Joakim strolled down a dark hallway. It was in an unfamiliar section of the ship for him. Many, if not most, of the light bulbs were missing from the fixtures. The occupants of this area preferred this foreboding appeal. Joakim did not care for it. It was not that it made him uncomfortable or anxious, he just thought it was silly.
Arriving at a door marked “T22,” Joakim rapped three times, paused, then tried the knob. The door clicked open to a room equally as dim as the hallway which led to it. In the cabin sat a desk facing the doorway. Behind the desk sat a tall man with a sharp maroon suit and hat accompanied with a wicked grin. The feather extending from his hat was obnoxious. Behind the man was a window obscured by a curtain that was keeping the daylight at bay. Joakim answered the man’s grin with a smirk of his own. “Hello, Taj,” Joakim said coolly to the leader of this cabinhood.
“Hello, Jo,” Taj called back. “Sit down, make yourself comfortable-like.”
“Thanks, but I will not be long. I just stopped by to inquire about Mike Jimmy.”
“What about him?”
“Is he missing? Why would I know anything about it?” Their dialogue was quick, but not hurried.
“The good man vanished. It seem like the kind of work a no-good ruffian like yourself would be tangled up in. Come straight, and I may save you some embarrassment,” Joakim said evenly.
Taj flashed his smile again. “Come off it, Jo. None of this interests me. Why don’t you go ask the captain. I hear great things about him.”
“For your sake, I hope you have nothing to do with this. You understand, right?” he finished with a sarcastic smile. Joakim turned around and exited into the gloomy hallway. He left content, for the meeting went as he expected. Taj was a wise adversary, despite his looks. If he had anything to do with the case, Joakim did not get a read on it.
As he approached the stairwell, a floppy-haired white boy tumbled down the stairs and spilled into the hallway. Joakim heard a woman’s voice bellow, “If you ever try to get fresh with me again, I will tell my husband!”
Joakim stepped over the lump of a man and continued up the stairs.