Barney knocked on the door to the Melniks’ office and waited for an invitation. When it came he slipped in quietly, taking off his hat and clutching it in both hands, “You wanted to see me, sir?”
Scottie nodded, his feet up on his desk as he looked Barney over. Felix had been harbormaster for longer than anyone on the docks could remember, but it was Barney who did the heavy administrative lifting these days. And Barney had been put in place by Scottie. Scottie had recognized his talent for numbers and memorization when he had overheard the young man holding his own in a conversation with one of the Builders who had been in Cuffs a year ago. Sure enough, Barney had risen quickly through the ranks of management. And he owed it all to Scottie. And Scottie like it that way.
“I wish to procure this. Quietly.” With his feet still up, Scottie leaned forward in his chair and slid piece of paper across the desk with a single line written upon it. Barney stepped forward and picked up the paper, stepping back as he read, “I see. That’s an awful lot, but I believe the Kraken’s Sunrise is making a medical supply run. Considering how we look the other way on the less… legal supplies they bring into Port, they should be open to repaying the favor.”
Scottie smiled and nodded. This is why Barney was his man. While Scottie doubted very little slipped through Port without his knowing, he knew nothing got past Barney. Also, Barney didn’t ask questions.
“Is that all, sir?” Barney asked reverently. Scottie shook his head, folding his hands and staring directly at Barney, “I want the detailed records of everything that has come into Babbage in the past six months. From every legal inlet into the city. That’s Port, Clockhaven, Iron Bay, the air towers… everything.”
Barney’s eyes went wide, “That’ll take some doing, sir.”
Scottie waved his hand dismissively, “Nonsense. The other dockmasters should have those records on file. If not in their own offices then at City Hall. Tell them you’re doing an analysis of the flow of goods and attempting to optimize… something. You’ll figure it out.”
Barney rolled his eyes up thoughtfully and nodded slowly, “That should work, sir. I can start having the boxes of files to you by the end of the week, I believe.”
Scottie nodded absently, internally bemoaning the fact that it would indeed be stacks upon stacks of boxes he’d have to comb through, “Thank you, Barney. That’ll be all.”
Scottie stood as Barney exited and walked to the window overlooking Port. Vic had been quick to point a finger at Emerson for the graffiti incident, and there were reports coming in that someone had defaced Ahab’s. And now the Melniks had struck at Vic. Why? Why not. No one was going to come out of this unscathed. And Scottie was still sore about contracting that October “skin condition” not once, but twice!
One might consider these harmless pranks, but it seemed events were already spinning out of control. Right now, Scottie didn’t know who to trust. The only thing he knew was that while this was going to get worse, at least they now had a plan.