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I lay on the bed shivering, my body twisting and muscles spasming. There wasn’t much pain per se, but the whole process was uncomfortable and I drifted in and out of unconsciousness many times throughout it.

I had come to Jimmy in trouble. Lots of it. It wasn’t just that I was nearly broke, or that I was in debt. I was wanted, and not just by the police. I had fallen a long way in a short time and I was in trouble, deep trouble. The kind of trouble that either gets you dead, or in jail for a long time and then dead. In either case, you were dead.

I didn’t even want to think of that part.

So I had come to Jimmy. Jimmy was an old friend, as much as I had friends. I had helped him out a long time ago with his business and getting started. Some of what he did was illicit, but not much. With the ‘people’ he worked with, quite a lot was legal, and society was often quick to look the other way on some of the shallower moral issues.

There was one thing he did do that was illegal. It was something anyone could get done, if they were rich enough and had connections enough and thought about doing it in the first place. Few did. Jimmy did however, and he made the right connections to make it work. But only a few people knew about it. What made it illegal wasn’t doing it, because no one knew it was done, what made it illegal was that the technology was stolen, Jimmy wouldn’t say from where.

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