Irwin Robert Baker, currently trading under the name of Robert Irwin, had long ago stopped being dismayed by the fascination numbers held for him. The box in the bottom right of his laptop’s screen ticked over share prices and tallied the net worth of his investments in them. It was all green, and he was earning more sipping Earl Grey in Manchester’s Northern Quarter than he could have in an office.
Of course, it had helped that he had started with a large sum to invest. Mostly he was playing low margins, staying just ahead of the rates he could get from a decent savings account. Playing it safe. Even when the training kicked in and he divined some gamble worth taking he only threw the long odds funds at it. His life was all about safety these days. Prosperous but just a little dull.
Even his side gig for the Police was low risk. They’d assigned him a handler and she sat on his shoulder like a cartoon angel, telling him to stay in the office or the car and let the armed officers do their job. Kay Woods looked good whilst she told him off, though, so he let her keep on doing it.
Several of the numbers ticked up again. He’d cash out if they peaked or at the end of the day, whichever came first. The latest gamble bounced up and down ahead of a big, and mostly secret, announcement due in the afternoon. If Irwin had read the runes correctly the news conference would cause an immediate spike in share price and fair long term value. If not, well it wasn’t as if he’d be doomed to eating instant noodles for the next few months.
A little risk, but not too much. A safe life. Irwin was contemplating taking up sky diving when his mobile rang. Not the mobile on the table by his laptop, but the one in his shirt pocket. The one he still carried and called his “work phone”, even if he was officially retired. He fished it out and looked at it, for a moment confused by the insistent device.
“We need your help.” said a vaguely familiar voice.
“Have you tried turning it off and turning it back on again.” Jeremy Simpson, Jed the Jedi, had balanced his tactical genius with technical incompetence. Even knowing this was no social call Irwin couldn’t help but joke.
“Serious help. We’re running an op and….. there’s a situation.”
“And I’m the nearest thing you have to an asset in the right area. Tell me more.”
Sky diving could wait.