Lawyers, Greaze, and Money
rating: +10+x

The time was 9:32 AM. Martin Greaze shuddered nervously, and wiped the sweat from his forehead with several hundred-dollar banknotes. After carefully folding the bills and putting the dirty money into his pocket, he spoke to a very similar-looking figure through a computer screen.

Walter, I’m going to put this bluntly: I need absolutely everything you can possibly give me or Greazeburger Earth is going to be in water metaphorically hot enough to hard-boil it. I’ve got a courtroom I’m supposed to be in at 10:00, and all the lawyers I’ve reached out to chased me away with holy water.

Walter raised an eyebrow, took out a pen and a sheet of paper, and stopped slouching. Martin continued to speak, becoming increasingly shifty-eyed and unsettled as the clock behind him ticked.

I don’t even know how a lawyer could use holy water, but what happened last week led to this. I was managing my shady, underhanded deeds as usual when some shitbag emails me out of the blue. His name was “Marshall Carterdark” or something, and he somehow figured out that we had stiffed him on that deal with the Greazeburger Mayonnaise-Summoning Thaumaturgical Rune Applier a few months back. How in the ice-cold ninth circle of hell was I supposed to know that he would actually use it, and on his friends no less?

Walter cringed, attempted to speak, but instead let out a noise usually reserved for rusty door hinges.

I really need help, because the guy said he was suing me on behalf of his company for violating the regular corporate sales laws and also some esoteric legal system called the Geneva Conventions. Apparently, what the fake Mayo Rune Applier actually ended up doing was a violation of the part about ‘extensive destruction not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly’.

Walter crumpled up the paper he had reserved for taking notes, and pinched his brow in frustration.

Martin, I’m absolutely not the person to ask about this. I manage resource distribution within the company, not legal trouble. You’re probably better off contacting the legal team, or maybe the higher-ups, since this sounds really bad.

I called you because I need stuff. You’re the stuff guy, you manage who gets what stuff and when, and if they need things instead of stuff. So, why can’t you give me the stuff I need and I handle the rest on my own?

Walter uncrumpled the paper, and shook his head disappointedly for the eighth time in the last 15 minutes.

What do you even need?

Martin inhaled nervously and unrolled a sheet of paper that appeared to be several feet long. Walter interrupted before he could even begin.

Greazeus Crust, what the hell did you do to need this? Forget what I said earlier, it might just be best to throw yourself into the ocean and dwell forever in the infinite blue.

Hey! I already explained what was up, and all I need is a few metric tons of Greaze, an operating table, the physical manifestation of confusion, and ten thousand different scented markers. The list is only that long because I listed all my favorite flavors in order.

Is that all?

Well, there’s also the 3.4 million USD in cash, the eight lawyers, and the Greaze Cannon.

Walter frowned, and reached towards the camera.

Yeah I’m not helping you.

Walter closed his laptop, and Martin was alone.


The time was now 10:02 AM. Martin had teleported into the ‘courtroom’ a few moments ago, and now it was clear that he was dealing with no ordinary lawsuit. The denizens of the courtroom were dressed beyond basic formality, wearing three-piece suits and hats that looked more like works of art than actual clothing. Martin Greaze only wore a stained blazer, khaki pants, a beige button-up shirt that had once been white, and a tie that looked like it had barely escaped from a used car dealership in the late 80s.

The ceiling, a grand glass dome, arched over a space of obscene luxury. He wrinkled his face in disgust at the purple velvet furnishings, and the antique mahogany tables carved with intricate phrases of the law framed in gold leaf.

Various artifacts, all equally excessive in splendor, were positioned on pillars around the room, as if the court had given the upcoming shitshow an audience.

In front of an enormous stained-glass window, and behind an unusually tall podium, sat the Judge. Martin could only assume so due to the large label reading “Honorable Judge” on the podium, and the equally large label “Of The International Anomalous Trade Court” positioned below.

While the Judge was distracted reading papers, Martin took the opportunity to vomit into a nearby mug. He hoped it wasn’t his.

“With everyone present and accounted for, the trial can now begin.”

The Judge abruptly began the trial with an usually loud and resonant voice, ringing throughout the room in a tone that could only be described as cheesy.

“Remembering the ironclad rules of acceptable commerce set forth by our very own Marshall, Carter, and Dark, we are gathered here today to discuss a violation. Martin Greaze, the apparent representative of ‘Greaseburger Earth’, is accused of attempting and succeeding in swindling the Frederick E. Dark Junior out of 2.8 million dollars over a falsely-advertised thaumaturgical device.”

Martin Greaze gnashed his teeth at ‘Greaseburger’, and religiously crossed his hand over his head, arms, and chest in the rough shape of the Greazeburger logo.

“The accuser, the Frederick Dark himself, is acting on behalf of his teenage son, who had allegedly purchased the product from Greaseburger just twenty four hours ago.”

Ah, the standard angry rich kid lawsuit. Martin pondered, while rifling through his pockets in search of his standard legal defense booklet.

“Frederick Dark may now recount their recollection of the experience.”

Martin Greaze flipped past pages labeled “The Judge Is Actually My Long-Lost Brother”, “Competitor Gavel”, “Cha-Cha Slide ‘Peer Pressure’ Defense”, “Trial By Musical Chairs”, and most importantly, “Traffic Violation Gaslight”.

“Well, last evening, my son had purchased a device from some salesmen that he-”

Martin Greaze looked into the eyes of the Judge.

I didn’t mean to go 50 in a 30. I only park on Tuesdays.

Then at exactly 10:04 AM, the windows exploded.


The time was 10:02 AM. Doctor Kensing was parked down the street from a derelict warehouse and spoke into a two-way radio.

“Kensing here. This nasty-ass shack is where our informant led us? Over.”

“Mission Control speaking. This nasty-ass shack is by all accounts the location described in the anonymous report. We suspect the building’s dated exterior may be a ruse designed to disguise its use. Over.”

“Well. I guess we’ll send a few guys up to the front door to knock.”

“Mission Control here. We’ve missed your message end confirmation, is there anything we missed about the operation? Over.”

“Wait, the operation’s over?”

“Mission Control. The operation’s what? Over.”

“Fuck. Let’s walk this back. Over.”

“Mission Control. Where exactly are we walking over? Over.”

Kensing sighed hard enough to slightly fog up the window of the car. It was cold, too cold for mid-February, and quite frankly, it was too early for this shit even at 10:03 AM.

“Alright, to recap, our informant gave tangible information that Martin Greaze had gotten into legal trouble and is attending a court case here at this time. We’re going to send some guys in, detain whoever’s in there, and then send some more guys in if sketchy shit starts going on in there. Over.”

“That sounds reasonable, proceed. Over.”


The destruction of the hideously beautiful stained glass windows, oddly enough, was upsetting to Martin. As armed and armored agents swung in through the space the windows used to fill, Martin wished that he could have destroyed them himself. Still, he had an opportunity now, and he took it.

The Judge, previously wrapped in near-babylonian levels of pomp, abandoned the act faster than Martin Greaze could instinctively reach for his company-issued handgun, and unceremoniously sprinted out the rear doors with a quickness that gave professional Olympians a run for their money.

The moment the armed agents landed on the carpet, soaking it with the February snow-slush on their boots, Greaze had drawn his firearm and started spraying lead in their general direction. In an inhuman display of both trigger speed and reloading agility, Greaze emptied round after round after round in the span of a few seconds, squeezing his eyes shut as his trigger finger moved with the lightning speed of a business major with a cocaine addiction. Seconds passed. Minutes or weeks maybe. Martin Greaze opened his eyes.

Completely unharmed, and surrounded by a cartoonish amount of smoking bullet holes, were the unhit agents, who were covering their ears and shaking. What was not unharmed, however, were the previously-priceless artifacts on display around the room. Now, blown into glitter-like splinters and shards, they finally did have a price, which was certainly less than the cost of the ten thousand-or-so slugs Martin had permeated the room with.

Good. Martin thought, as he tossed the now-melted handgun at the feet of the shell-shocked operatives, and began filing the gold leaf off of the courtroom’s slug-peppered tables, much to the chagrin of the also-unharmed bystanders who now had a chance to escape the warehouse.

I never liked firearms much anyways.


Kensing shuddered in his car, taking very deep breaths while his eyes were glued to the bullet holes in his windshield that were too close for comfort by a few orders of magnitude.

“J-Jesus Flipping Christ!”

Kensing pulled the handle and kicked open his door, reaching for his walkie-talkie to find that what was left of it was now embedded in the car’s passenger seat.

“Fuck. I’m going to have to walk out of here.”


Hmmm…

Pockets full of gold shavings, Martin Greaze was displeased to hear a gun cock behind his head.

“Alright Greaze, we’ve got you. Don’t move, and no harm will come to you.”

I’m sorry, but I think you’ll have to schedule an appointment. Right now I’m slated for a 3-o-clock, and I need to pawn off these gold shavings before then. Sorry for the inconvenience.

A guard spoke very quietly into their headset microphone. Martin Greaze, however, was able to perceive it perfectly well on account of bullshit reasons that aren’t explained in this text.

“Gamma, the backup will be here any second now. Get the cuffs, and they’ll bring the mobile cell. It’s all reality-proofed and such, he won’t be able to teleport out.”

Martin Greaze laughed. He’d gotten out of this sort of situation before, and he’d do it again.

He concentrated now, veins in his greasy forehead swelling as his jaw clenched, molars threatening to crack each other into two. His eyes squeezed shut again, aching like the rest of him as he threatened to squeeze them out with the pressure. His heart drummed in his ears, and in one moment, it all went away.

Martin Greaze reaches out.

His cold, wet, and clammy fingers touch white fog.

Floating words, facing away, held aloft by nothing.

He steps into the mist, and finds himself pressed against a glass plate.

He sees you.

martinseez

Did you lock your doors?

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