They were seventeen and Speedy wanted to have sex. Not with Reset, but using Reset to learn how to get into Mary Edward’s pants. It was harder to make that happen than most people would think. Reset could tell Speedy what to say, but, like putting the rock under his foster father’s car, Speedy could still deviate slightly and things could go awry easily.
For Reset’s part life with his foster mother got better, she went through a series of months agonizing over whether to send Reset back into the system or not, eventually it was Reset who decided; he scanned the futures and found this one to be okay. He wouldn’t get whatever he wanted, but he wouldn’t have to keep dodging an anal rape in his near future either. Overall Kathy would do well by him, even naming him as her sole heir in less than a decade before succumbing to breast cancer. Reset decided to stay and he spent a lot of time in the future looking for how to make it happen. Even with all of his efforts it was a near thing, the final touch had been taking her out for Don’s birthday with money he had ‘earned from odd jobs.’ Manipulative? Yes, malicious, no.
Empathy had always been a problem for Reset; he didn’t have to guess at other people’s motives, enough future scanning and he knew them. Speedy was awesome that way, he would literally die for Reset and was going to be his friend for as long as Reset could see into the future. Well, most of the futures anyway.
Dying was a hazard that Reset could explore whenever he felt like it. There were no pearly gates, there was only darkness and he had stayed on more than a few death paths to see if there was any hope of heaven. So far, nothing.
“She’s into me, I know she is. But how do I seal the deal? Tonight, is the Junior Prom, the perfect time. I have good wheels, I have the best tux and I have you, just tell me what I need to do!” Speedy said.
“Everyone gets laid at prom.” Reset said, knowing it wasn’t true.
“You think so? I mean senior prom, sure, but we’re only Juniors. Do I use a condom?”
“Do you have a condom?”
“Yeah, I bought a whole box, in case things work out, you know.”
“What about a hotel room?” Reset asked.
“Uh, I’m only 17! I tried, but even the Best Western said I need my parent’s to come down and get the room for me.”
“What about the No-Tell?”
“You think Mary would go there?”
“If she were horny enough, maybe.”
“Do you see it?” Speedy asked.
“Definitely not, she’s too classy, even if she is horny. What about an after party? I know Tod invited you over to his parent’s place…”
“Tod ‘the Christ’ Madlen? His parents are probably having a prayer session with a priest to oversee that we young ones don’t add to the pregnancy epidemic.”
“His family is pretty religious…but they have a huge house and it’s a pool party, from what the invitation said. At least you’d get to see her mostly naked.”
Speedy considered that for a moment, then nodded, “And they have a huge basement, no way they could keep eyes on all of us at all times.”
“That’s where I’m headed.” Reset told him.
“You are? Are you going to get laid?” Speedy asked him.
“No!” Reset said, “I mean I probably could, but I’m too busy trying to get things worked out for you.”
Speedy stopped for a moment, they were walking to his car from the school building, “Wait. Don’t do that.”
“I mean, give up some action so I can get some.”
“It’s not for me, Speedy. I don’t need some woman fawning over me and pretending I belong to her for the next year. Women are a young man’s sorrow and an old man’s comfort.”
Speedy rubbed his face, “That’s good, did you come up with that yourself?”
“One hundred percent.” Reset lied. Speedy punched him in the arm and they both started laughing.
“Dork.” Speedy said.
They got to Speedy’s vehicle, his pride and joy, a gift given to him by his parents after they cashed in on the stock market before it went bust. His family was one of the wealthiest in their suburb, which was saying a lot as there were some very affluent families in the neighborhood.
Reset wasn’t doing so bad himself. Kathy had received the proceeds of an insurance policy left by her husband, it came 8 months after his death and because she and Reset had made the decision to stay together by then, she put four thousand dollars into a joint account for him. Reset had argued with her about letting the money set in savings earning 4 percent interest versus putting it in the stock market. Eventually she had acceded to his whim when he showed her he was taking a finance class, letting him invest five hundred dollars and keeping the rest safe.
Reset was a stock market wizard, of course, but he had future saw what happened if he drew attention to himself by making phenomenal investments, so he limited himself to steady gains with a few setbacks now and then. In two years, he had tripled his money and the money Kathy had saddled onto his. She had allowed him full access to all his funds too, supplemented by his money from the odd jobs he did around town and now he was at least even with most of his peers, not ever really wanting for anything, but not living like a millionaire either. Kathy had bought him a solid car for his birthday, American made though, not a good Japanese version, still vehicles made in the U.S.A. were coming a long way in terms of reliability and just having a car offered him more freedom than a bike.
“I don’t want you giving up anything just so I can get laid.” Speedy said.
“I’m not. One of us has to brave the new frontier and I’d rather it be you than me. Besides…”
“You future did it, didn’t you?”
Reset nodded, “Yeah, a lot.”
“Is it good?”
“It’s good, which is why I don’t mind helping you out tonight, if I can.”
The night came and went and Speedy did get laid, which was unfortunate for Reset. Mary turned into a girlfriend and he turned into a third wheel…It felt like there were always unintended repercussions for not doing a decent job future living. Reset would eventually get a girlfriend himself, but his heart wasn’t in it. Around Christmas that year they ran into their first Shiner on an ‘odd job.’
Speedy felt a need to keep getting money, for college, for going out, for a house. Reset had lost interest in stealing because money was never going to be an issue for him, he saw that early on and while he liked having some spending money, knowing the next week’s lottery numbers would make it possible for him to turn one dollar into millions in less than a week. Apparently, Shiners who could see into the future accurately were extremely rare, or, like Reset, they just won small amounts and stayed below the radar of the authorities.
They decided to steal from a bar in Boston, all the way on the east coast. It was a good job so far as Speedy was concerned. Reset couldn’t disagree – the place had old school mob written all over it and shutting it down would do the community a service as well as line their pockets with money no one would miss.
Security was great, there were muscular guys a year or two older than Speedy and Reset all over the place…but what the mobster using the “Blue Monkey” didn’t know was that his second in command, the bar manager, was robbing him blind.
“It’s like we are killing three birds with one stone, isn’t it?” Speedy asked.
“I guess, stealing from the mob, exposing a thief and getting a bunch of cash for ourselves. What could go wrong?”
“Nothing. There’s no way they would ever track it back to us, five thousand kilometers away!”
“Look, Speedy, this is a lot of money. Things around the job are…hazy. There are a lot of loose ends that I can’t track down.”
“How much do we get, if we do it?”
“Over a million.”
Speedy let out a long whistle, “That goes a long way toward building our secret lair.”
“Yeah, I’m sure turning 18 and coming up with three quarters of a million dollars to construct a secret lair won’t raise any eyebrows.” Reset said.
“We’ll follow the plan, you’ll make some killer investments and we’ll form a…a…hedge fund or something to play the market.”
“That’s the plan. With you going to college to learn how to officially mange the money and me just being the secret raw talent behind the scenes.”
“I still don’t see why I have to go to college. You should go, you do great in school.”
“I’ve already been, more than once. It’s boring and I already have the knowledge. You get the degree and the credibility.”
“Why can’t we go together, it would make Kathy happy.”
“I know. I’m still thinking about it. We’ll see. So, about this job…” Reset said, getting them back on track.
The plan was simple. Go in, not to the Blue Monkey, but to the manager’s house, the Wednesday follow Thanksgiving. So far the cash from any big weekends was stashed onsite, but what the manager was taking was not insubstantial. He wasn’t a fool and had security of his own, usually there was a thug or two at his place in the evenings. Reset and Speedy could pick the time, incapacitate any watchmen, crack the safe and get out before anyone knew they had been there. The safe was already done, Reset had played the future enough times to get the combination. The watchers…were problematical. The money would be moved on Thursday, in a van with three goons to, of all places, a bank. Apparently, the manager wasn’t the brightest bulb in the pack, when it came to not leaving a paper trail.
Doing the job on Wednesday night could be successful, but Reset kept running into problems: He liked to replay the future several times to make sure he did everything right, the problem was the future was never playing out the same, he couldn’t find the variable that was tripping him up.
“We’ll be alright, right?” Speedy asked him, “I mean in the end we get back here and everything is fine.”
“I think so, I mean, most of the time.”
“What happens some of the time, the bad stuff, I mean?”
“Well, sometimes you get shot. Sometimes I get shot, sometimes we both get shot or stabbed, once you get clocked over the head with a wine bottle and I visit all the time for the rest of your life as you never come out of a coma.”
“Sheesh, all my life? You don’t have to do that.”
“Well, it’s only for like four years.”
“Four years? No one ever heals me up or anything? They got guys that can do that, why don’t you get one of them?”
“Sometimes I do, but you get all pissy about things…and I get sent to prison about half the time too, you die while I’m there.”
“Well you better not go to prison! That will fuck up all our plans!”
“I…Speedy, we can’t let that happen to begin with.”
Speedy looked at Reset and laughed, “I’m just pulling your short hairs, buddy! You better tell me what to do so neither of us get hurt. I won’t mess it up, but I have to know exactly what to do.”
“That’s just it, I’ve told you what to do, but the future is still…iffy. Maybe we should do another job?”
The Thanksgiving holiday was tomorrow.
Speedy shook his head, “You’re not infallible. And what other job can we put together in such a short time? I need the benjies, so do you! Christmas is coming up and we have a reputation to uphold.”
“You mean you want to buy Ma Eddy a big piece of sparkly something that she can show off to her friends.” Reset wasn’t sure when ‘Mary’ became ‘Ma Eddy’, but it had stuck.
“Don’t you want to get Julie something nice?”
“Not really, no.”
Speedy shook his head, “That’s cold, man. Really cold. Why don’t you get a new girl if you don’t like her?”
“It’s not her or any girls…it’s just, they are so boring!”
“Poontang is boring? Lordy, lordy, listen up everyone, bumping uglies is boring, Reset would rather take in a compelling movie or maybe sit for a concert.”
“That’s not it…well maybe it is it.”
“It’s the pregnancy thing, ain’t it?”
Reset nodded, “She on the pill. To regulate her period, at least that’s what she tells her mom. All the sex I want.”
“And you don’t want any of it.” Speedy let out a low whistle, “Can’t you just pretend she isn’t?”
“What do you think I do?”
“That’s a weird fetish, man. You’re going to have a lot of kids if you don’t get it under control.”
“Yeah, and your’s ain’t weird? Breasts the size of small children? I mean the woman would need a cart to get around, she would be so top heavy.”
Speedy’s eyes glazed over, “Oh man…that’s so hot. Maybe two carts…one for each.” He shook his head, “Mine isn’t going to result in a million paternity suits.”
“Just a lot of chiropractic visits for poor Ma Eddy, if your plans go the way you want.”
“I hate to be the one to say it, but maybe we should get back to the job.”
“This is serious…you never want to stop talking about Ma Eddy and her watermelon sized breasts.”
“Focus. What if I just start zipping around at random until mister shadow shows up?”
Reset went for a look, when he got back Speedy had started up the video game system and was blowing up aliens. “That could work, but you know what works better?”
Speedy set the controller down, not even pausing the game. He turned to look at Reset, “I don’t, but you’re going to tell me.”
And Reset did.