Code of Ethics: Part 02.


He dressed surprisingly quickly, given his mood and stood before the front door to the apartment holding his coat. Then, with a last furtive glance around, walked out into the brightly lit corridor.

Jacobson's head throbbed even more and he hoped the twenty minute ride to Tacarrin's would do it some good.

It had begun to rain as he stepped through the crowded sidewalk toward the spinner waiting to take him to Tacarrin's.

He noticed a newspaper stuck between the seat's as he strapped in, "Mind if I read your paper?" he asked Fiedler.

"Help yourself" he replied not taking his eyes off the traffic.

An article a few pages in caught his eye. "Ahh fuck" he said aloud. Fiedler glanced over momentarily.

"What's up?"

"Would you believe Tyrell Corp has announced a new model Nexus!" Fiedler grunted "Yeah, as if the one's we have to deal with now aren't bad enough, does it say when?"

Jacobson stuffed the paper back between the seat, "I think I'm coming down with something." he replied massaging his temples again.

The rain let up as the spinner pulled into the curb. Jacobson stepped onto the sidewalk looking the dingy building over for the second time inside of a week. He wasn't looking forward to seeing Tacarrin, the man was ugly. Apart from needing a shave his pudgy domed head was crowned with thinning greasy black hair; a long scar snaked down his left cheek just from the corner of his eye. The half chewed stogie he always sucked on made him smell like a tobacconists. Still the sooner he went inside the sooner he could leave.

Bracing himself he went inside.

It smells like slow death in here, thought Jacobson. No wonder the Reps are running from here like, well, the proverbial rats leaving a sinking ship. Tacarrin's manufacturing facility made Jacobson think of pictures he'd seen as a boy of the first factories in the industrial revolution. You know, kids with smudged faces and adults that looked just plain beat down from long hours, low pay and hazardous conditions.

" Detective Jacobson?" asked a voice behind him over the din.

He turned and faced the woman standing in front of him. Blonde hair that hadn't seen soap and water for at least a week, roughened hands and yet green eyes that almost sparkled with an energy of their own. A Rep of course. Jacobson had seen her incept photos the last time he was here and searched the back of his memory for her name.

" I'm Susan. Mister Tacarrin is expecting you." She said, beating him to the punch. He shook her hand and despite the callouses, she had a decidedly feminine air about her.

Like one of those Russian Duchesses suddenly displaced when Stalin had taken over in the old Soviet Union, he thought. Jacobson had read a few stories. These stately women that tried to hold their dignity and bearing despite the sudden and often violent loss of fortunes, family and friends. He followed her smooth gait across the factory floor and up the stairs into the office Tacarrin occupied overlooking everything.

Like a feudal Lord overlooking his fiefdom, thought Jacobson as Susan opened the door.

" Ah, Detective Jacobson. So glad you could come so quick." Tacarrin's voice dripped of sickly sweet ass kissing and Jacobson suppressed a shudder. He doubted that the manufacturing staff ever heard the tone used on them.

" Just out of curiosity, why did you ask for me personally Mister Tacarrin?" asked Jacobson. There. It was out of his mouth. Jacobson hoped the words
carried smoother through the stuffy air than the acid they carried through his head.

Corrin Tacarrin looked at his feet for a moment. " Well, after our last dealings together, I thought it might be prudent to have someone that ...understands our circumstances here."

" Your circumstances?" Repeated Jacobson. He glanced over at Susan, who was standing over in the corner looking at her feet. Probably uses her for personal services as well, he thought.

" Yes." said Tacarrin, removing the cigar from his mouth. He walked over to his desk and sat heavily in the chair behind it. " I'm just a businessman. The demands of running this facility are great and I've got schedules to keep. The only way to do that is by getting every bit of productivity out of my workers as possible."

Jacobson stood in front of the window facing the shop floor. He watched as 2 men and a woman struggled to repair a broken gear on a loom. " Otherwise, you lose your government contract." He said without turning around. The woman and the men just about had the gear in place. They were filthy...

" You have to understand that - "

" I don't have to understand anything." Said Jacobson, cutting him off. " What I have to understand is that I'm here to do a job and that's what I'm going to do."

In the reflection of the window he saw Tacarrin motion to Susan who promptly, and without a word, excused herself.

" You don't like my methods, Detective?"

Jacobson couldn't bring himself to turn around. " Methods? Conditions like this led to labor laws at the beginning of the last century. Would a little better quality of life for your workers dent your profit margin that much?" He heard the chair creak under Tacarrin's girth.

" I'm just here to do my job. Looking at this," he motioned with his chin. "doesn't change that. But I find it distasteful to say the least. I still haven't gotten the smell out of the shirt I wore here last time."

Tacarrin chuckled and Jacobson at last turned to face him. " I take it for granted since I spend so much time here. This is a factory Detective, not an operating room. Come on, let's get down to business. Drink?"

Jacobson nodded and Tacarrin gestured out the window to Susan, who disappeared down the stairs.

" Last night, one of my best seamstresses flew the coop on me." Said the fat businessman. " Obviously I can't have that since she is so good. More than that though, she is really looked up to by a lot of the skin jobs I have on the staff and I don't want any of them getting any ideas." He turned a computer monitor to face Jacobson and handed over a slim file containing some papers and a mini CD. " This is Katja." He said nodding to the monitor. " She's a 5, but Tyrell Corp made some modifications to her before sending her to me. They
wanted to try out some of the features of their new model without fielding a full blown Nexus 6. They told me she had a C physical with a B mental so I thought she'd be good supervising some of the reps I've got working the sewing line. Well, she's got one hell of a B mental if you ask me. She's very bright."

Jacobson looked carefully at the screen as Susan entered carrying 2 glasses filled with liquor and some ice. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught Tacarrin leering at her as she bent over to put the drinks down. Tacarrin took a sip from his drink and licked his lips while looking at her before continuing. " So I've got another problem on my hands. I can't have the Tyrell boys thinking that I can't clean my own messes up so I asked for you personally. I mean, you did a good job tracking the last one down."

The booze felt like liquid fire in his throat and Jacobson closed his eyes for a moment. " Yeah, I get the picture. You're a real pillar of the business community. Okay, I'm going to study the material and get back to you. I may have to come back and interview some of the co-workers so I hope I can count on your cooperation in that regard."

Tacarrin nodded. " Just see Susan. She'll handle everything and keep me informed."

Jacobson looked over his shoulder to be sure. The way Tacarrin had said it, he wasn't sure that she was still even in the room.

" Okay, you'll hear from me soon."



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