The young man collapsed into a waiting cab after a hectic day of work. The echoing cacophony of colleagues demanding more and better from him threatened to pound through his skull from the inside, but the pressure was momentarily forgotten at the realization that the cab wasn’t vacant after all.
“Oh! Excuse me, I assumed-”
All apology died in the air as the other passenger turned from the opposite window. Thick white hair topped a grizzled face. Piercing gray eyes leveled with the front seat before a voice that must have gargled sand for thirty years spoke.
The idea of protesting crept by meekly at the back of the young man’s brain, but nothing would have marched out of his mouth if someone had lit the cab on fire.
“Your effects, Commander, as requested,” the grating words were offered with a glimpse of cracked front teeth, and the young man’s hand was about to close around the extended plump envelope before a touch of reality broke lose somewhere behind his eyes.
“What? I think there’s been a mistake,” he was rather proud of how even his own voice sounded at the moment given his rising panic and the headache that had returned and doubled in the space of a second. “Sorry, I don’t know you, so I’ll just hop out over here in a mo-”
The driver gunned the engine past the idling cars and through oncoming traffic, while the back seat companion restrained the young man with a simple but firm grip on his shoulder.
“Oh, we’ve met, sir. Just not yet.”
. . .
Y’all can take it from here.