Friday, June 1, 2018

Page 1799

“Yeah, alright, sure, you got me,” said Roman, “but that’s not what I’m talking about here. Technically, yes, I could give you a hundred million troa--just out of the kindness of my heart, I guess. But in order to actually do that, I would have to liquidate so many of my assets that, well... let’s just say, I wouldn’t be the only one affected by it. Pretty much of all of my money is being used, right now. That’s what I do. In fact, I’d say that’s the entire point. To put it back into the community. All my money is in real estate, small businesses, charities, that type of thing. I don’t just go home and sit on a big pile of gold coins all day.”

Well, there was that one time--’ tried Voreese.

“The point is,” Roman continued, “even if I wanted to just give you that much money--which, by the way, Hector, I don’t particularly--but even if I did, I would have to financially ruin or otherwise fuck over thousands of people, first. Many of whom are children or elderly, mind you.”

Hector gave a slow nod. “I... completely understand.”

“Do you?” said Roman, frowning. “You don’t really know much about me or my business interests.”

Hector had a feeling that he could ask Madame Carthrace and suddenly know a whole lot more about them, but he elected not to say that. “I kinda figured you didn’t want me to know much about them,” he said instead. “Didn’t you say you were a thief?”

“That’s just one aspect of what I do,” said Roman. “Though, lately, I haven’t even been able to do that. Hands’ve been pretty full, if you hadn’t noticed.”

You’re preaching to the choir over here,’ said Garovel.

“Look,” said Hector, taking a breath, “I was just telling you what I... currently know about the situation. I wasn’t actually expecting you to just give me a hundred million troa. But that is about how much I need, so any help you would be... willing to offer, ah--that would be appreciated.”

Roman was quiet for a time, and his frown didn’t leave his face. He rubbed his nose and his chin while he deliberated, perhaps consulting Voreese privately as well.

“Hector,” Roman finally said. “I will do whatever I can to help you. Of course I will. I’m grateful beyond words for everything you’ve done, both for me and for our country. Hell, I’d even go so far as to say that you have my trust--which is not something of mine that many people can claim to have. So, even though I hardly understand what your actual objective is here, that’s almost inconsequential to me, when we get down to it. I may not be able to free up a cool hundred mil for you, but how does ten sound? To start things off, at least.”

“...Ten million?” Hector could hardly believe what he was hearing.

“No, ten troa. Of course ten million! I’m not that much of a dick.”

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