Knox Pashaa: Chapter 10

Knox’s eyebrow shot up. “What do you mean?”

Riza slowly walked over to his desk and picked up a long, thin cigar from a holder.

“They’re out for blood Knox. You went too deep into how they run things. You insulted them...and we helped you do it.”

“So what? The Fubari can just pay the scrubbing fee and get the story pulled. It’s my job to find stuff out and report on it, I follow leads. And they deserved to get caught in their own mess. And you’ve always held your own, you’ve got the resources to keep them off yer back.”

Riza took his time massaging the cigar between his thumb and forefinger.

“Look Knox, we can’t go to war with the FTU, it would be impossible.” He looked up at Knox. “You and I have worked together a while, we got you into certain places and tipped you off for the friendly rate; we’ve always got a cut. It’s worked out so far. But this kind of scandal with those weasels.... We didn’t think it would go this far...”

He snapped his fingers, a spark and flame appeared in his hand and he lit the leaf. Puffs of white smoke kicked out the side of his mouth. Riza lowered his gaze to Knox.

Knox’s brow furrowed and his ears twitched.

“What is this? What’s going on here?”

Riza spoke between puffs.“Look- before you get carried away- we wouldn’t be having- this conversation- if we didn’t get your room moved at the last second.”

Knox’s fists clenched “You sold me out to them!?”

“Hey!” Riza moved with the speed of a cobra and slapped the table with a massive crack. “I kept you alive! They knew it was us that got your foot in the door and we had to give them something or it would be my ass on the grill. If you had answered your damn communicator I could have gotten you out of there a whole lot earlier.”

“That doesn't change the fact that twenty minutes ago I was almost blown up.”

“But you didn’t, because of ME, so take a seat and let’s talk about what we’re gonna do.”

“What, I owe you now? I gotta do a job or something?”

“Sit down.”

“Or what, I get a knife in my back?”


Knox moved over to a chair against the wall and collapsed into it. He massaged his forehead. Riza’s eyes lowered to the desk as he puffed another drag from his cigar. They sat like that for a while, the smoke and hard smell of leaf permeating through the office. The billboard outside puffed away as well, wafting into the massive room of the lower levels.

“You need to get off the station. You need to disappear. With any luck the poor sap who got hit in the blast will be confused for you long enough to get away.”

“Who was he anyway?”

“Young Ventoshi, he owed a lotta money from his time gambling down here, wasn’t really my call…”


“...We can get a ship off-station set up for you in the next five hours. Try to relax until then.”

“Fat chance at that.”

Riza looked up “Just don’t drink too much till then.”

Knox chuckled. “Too late for that.”

“ Heh heh, I bet.” Riza fumbled with a desk drawer. “You can stay upstairs, but you might wanna carry this around with you.”

Knox’s gaze shifted beyond Riza and through the window at his back. The fuming billboard was now belching smoke out into the air, covering the buildings across the thoroughfare in an approaching fog. Riza produced a weapon from his desk.

“It’s nothing special but- what is it?” said Riza seeing Knox’s gaze.

He placed the blaster on the surface of his desk and took a cursory puff from his cigar to examine the billboard.

“Oh. Yeah that stupid thing has been acting up for the past three cycles. Freakin’ eyesore.”

The sound of the office door opening suddenly cut the mood.

Knox watched Riza’s pissed off face turn from the window just before three tightly grouped bolts of orange light thrummed through the Pyra’s chest. He spun back and hit the ground.

By Jason Pratley

Jason Pratley joined the team sometime in 2013 when he created the concepts for the gods of ODR. He has since become the Writing Director and de facto loremaster for DDG. Check out some other stories and content at and