There were bugs everywhere. These little creepy crawly bastards about the size of quarter nyuyen with stripes on the back like a bee. Kind of like roaches. Ken in billing looked them up and said they were something called a Damascus Beetle. Or was it cricket? It might have been an Acre Beetle. I don’t know. It was definitely a city from the holy land and a word for bug. Antioch Locust? Whatever. It doesn’t matter what they were called. They were fucking everywhere.
I don’t know how we got them. Probably one of our patients. They’re all so disgusting. I thought when I got into being a med tech I’d be helping people. Now all I do is detox chip heads and clean up wounds for gangers and runners. I know I was asking for it by working for a free clinic in the barrens, but I still expected something more. Something fulfilling. Now all I have is nasty losers coming out of their abject poverty to leak bodily fluids all over me.
I’ve been doing a lot of the office management stuff since Janine got stabbed by a Halloweener and moved back to some fly over state, so it fell on me to call the exterminators. I popped on the yellow pages on my computer and called the first one I found. The phone rang a few times and a young lady answered.
“Hello?” the voice said. She had a very soft voice. I could barely hear it. She didn’t seem nervous though, just disinterested. Like I was waking her up from her afternoon nap.
“Hi, is this…” I paused to look on my screen for the name of the company I called. “Kill em Dead Exterminators?”
“No this is Dale’s Dead – O – Bug.” She said like I was bothering her. Bitch.
“Oh, sorry wrong number.”
“No!” She said, much more urgently than anything else she had said. “We’re them… I mean…” She seemed to be grasping for words. “We get that a lot… The… Uh… Phone company messed up our Ad.”
“Oh. Ok.” That was a little weird. Whatever. These bugs need to die. “I have a pest problem and was looking for someone to fix it.”
“Great!” she said. She seemed to be getting more excited now. Like the lethargy from her nap was wearing off. “We’ll be right over! We can be there in about twenty minutes!”
“Don’t you want to know where it is first and what the problem is?” What the fuck? What kind of incompetent assholes did I call?
“Oh. Right. I can take that information.”
They showed about an hour later. They had a white work van with a giant termite on the top. The eyes and butt blinked yellow. The side of the van said in big letters DALE’S DEAD
o BUG. There were five of them all dressed in identical yellow jump suits and had gas masks. One was an orc who looked like he hadn’t seen the light of day in a long time. He was a very pale green and looked like he had been up for days. The second was a guy with a bad limp and a beer in his hand who was wearing ridiculous beanie which was doing a just an awful job of hiding all the illegal cyber he had. The third was a small girl who looked like a cross between a street urchin and a goth kid. Then there was a petite Asian woman who didn’t get out of the driver’s seat. The last was a young man with a cigarette in his mouth.
He stumbled up to me and I could immediately smell the booze. He looked me dead in the eyes, took a last long draw of his cigarette flicked it onto the street and said “We’re to solve your bug problem.”
Then he threw up.
They had me sign a contract and then immediately got to work. I don’t know how much these things usually cost, but I would have paid way more. I guess they must know how sketchy they look and low ball on the price. They started bringing in equipment, sprayers and pumps and generators and the like. They said the place would be cleaned out of bugs by in 48 hours and that no one could go in there in the meantime. I didn’t want to shut the place down, but fuck it. Those bugs are awful and it’s not like the place makes any money anyway. Everyone could use a few days off from this shitty job anyway.
I had a bad feeling about giving these guys the keys and leaving them alone in there, but I was actually more concerned that they would do a shit job and I’d have to hire someone else. I put these fears aside because I just didn’t want to deal with it anymore. I left them to do their work and immediately went off to have a few drinks.
When the two days were up two things became immediately clear. Firstly, they had killed and disposed of every last bug in the place. They did a real good job too. It didn’t smell. Everything was clean and polished. The place looked better than it ever had. They honestly and sincerely did a really good job with their exterminating.
Secondly, they had robbed us blind of everything in the place that was worth anything. My fucking god were they thorough. Every pill. Every machine. Every computer. They took the fucking tongue depressors. We had to shut down for a week while we got everything in order. If it wasn’t for Renraku somehow hearing about our plight and replacing everything that was stolen, I don’t think we would have ever been able to open up again.
You know what the most fucked up thing was? I called the number again and got Kill em Dead Exterminators. I checked through their contract and everything led to an exterminator on the other side of town. A guy named Dale who lived hours away. He had the same van, but it was definitely not him. Lone Star said they’d find the guys but they didn’t do shit like always.
I hate this fucking job.