Gretta Chiff sat in Eft’s office. Eft had stepped out to talk to the demon Tobe and had left Gretta there to wonder. The goblin looked around the little office and couldn’t stop herself from comparing it to the dragon's chamber. Once she had an interview in the chamber of the dragon, but it had remained perfectly preserved in memory.

“Sorry about that,” Eft said as he reentered the office. Closing the door behind him he hobbled over to his side of the desk. Once he sat down he glanced at the paperwork in front of him. “Gretta, you’ve been with us for two years and your manager has nothing but good things to say about you.”

“Kludg is a good guy, though a little slow,” Gretta said then immediately put her hand to her mouth.

“It is ok, I understand. Some people have a few more rocks than others inside their skulls. While we need all hands on deck for production, we have some challenges that we must overcome if we wish to maintain production.”

“I’ve already tried to recruit my clan, but they don’t want to leave…”

“I’m more talking about the completion of personnel contracts. I’ve seen yours, and noticed you wanted to better understand humans.”

“Aye, some adventurers killed half my village but left the wee ones like me. One of them said something about not worth any experience.”

“You have two years left on your contract.”

“Twenty months, two weeks, three days, but who’s counting?”

“Yes indeed. With recent events, we are looking at creative solutions to solving employee contracts. With yours, I’d like to offer you this,” Eft reached in a drawer and pulled out a magical ring. “This ring will allow you to live as a human or half-elf. Mortis Operandi is willing to loan it to you for one year, during of which we expect 4 months of you working towards completion of another goal.” Eft paused and waited to see if Gretta said anything. The goblin stayed silent with wide eyes gazing at the ring. “After completion of the project, you’ll be given free rein and be expected back to work with the ring.”

“Do you really think an illusion will work that well?” Gretta asked finally able to speak.

“This isn’t an illusionary ring, it changes you into a human form.”

Gretta remained silent for a minute, and Eft let her think. The older goblin leaned back in his chair and reviewed Gretta’s paperwork. She had joined the company at a young age. She has had nothing but stellar reports from supervisors and her nine years here have had little incidents. The largest was a few years ago involving a large ball of yarn and some were-tigers.

“You’d trust me with an item that powerful?” Gretta said finally breaking the silence.

“Yes,” Eft said but he didn’t tell her why. He knew there were things in place to track it or her down if needed.

“What do you need done?” Gretta said. She quickly reviewed how far or what she would do to have free use of that object.

“There is a town that resides on ancient Ogre land. We need them to leave so the ogres can settle there.” Eft said.

Gretta took in a deep breath and almost whistled when she let it out. She carefully phrased her next statement.

“Even if I could, I’m not going to slaughter a whole city,” Gretta said and she pushed her chair back a little to get up.

“No, no, we don’t want you to kill everyone. We were thinking more along the lines of encouraging people to move elsewhere by non-lethal methods.” Eft quickly said.

“Wouldn’t it be worth it to just break the contract?”

“There are thirty ogres employed by Mortis Operandi. At this time we cannot afford to lose them.”

Gretta whistled this time as she exhaled. She had worked with Utul and his brothers quite a bit. She just hadn’t realized there were that many. Before she could speak, Eft continued.

“We aren’t just going to drop you there and expect you to do it alone. Nor are we just going to let thirty ogres have at it. Currently, there are several routes to go, the easiest route is you go in and buy up as much of the commercial property as you can and people will move out. If it comes down to it, we have a non-lethal poison you can dump in the water supply.”

“Why don’t you just do that and get it done?” Gretta said.

“I know those will work a little but won't work on them all. Also, our budget isn’t enough to simply buy the town out. Once one person gets a sniff that someone wants to buy the land, the prices will jump. This will take patience, subtlety, and guile.” Eft said. He slowly slid a piece of paper across the desk, rotating it so she could read the bottom comments.

“Gretta possess patience, subtlety, and guile. Once her contract expires MO should endeavor to resign her no matter the cost.” The comments said.

Gretta blushed making her green skin turn a slight brown in the cheeks. She had liked working under Garly and had been saddened when he retired. Secretly she strove to take his place as a production manager but recent events had trimmed down the workforce and output.

“Alright I’m on board, what do I need?” Gretta said. A mixture of emotions settled within her, excitement, worry, and pride.

“First we fire you,” Eft said, then he got up and walked to the door. He opened the door and Sandra was standing there with some paperwork.

“Do note that any actions you take from here on out are not at the direction of Mortis Operandi and of your own desire,” Sandra said stepping into the room. She set the paperwork on the desk along with a pen.

The next hour passed slowly as Gretta signed form after form documenting her termination from the company. Everything ranging from writing down all company property she currently had on her person, to instructions for projects she was still working on. Once the last form was signed, Sandra left the room.

“Here is your severance pay, and a collection of your belongings in your room.” Eft set a bag and a small trunk on the desk. The bag didn’t make a sound, but the little two foot by one foot by one-foot trunk made a thump.

Eft slid the ring across the desk and then started looking in a drawer.

“Where did I place that, I hope I didn’t lose it,” Eft said as he rummaged through a drawer. Gretta took the ring and placed it in a pocket. Eft glanced towards her and gave a slight nod. “Well you can go now, please avail yourself of our teleport services. It is the least we can do for ex-employees.”

Gretta took the small bag and placed it in a pocket. Hefting the trunk under one arm, she went to the door. Opening the door she turned towards Eft and said, “I hope I may continue my employment at Mortis Operandi at some point in the future.”

Eft nodded and smiled as he waited for Gretta to close the door behind her. The old goblin glanced at a timekeeping device and realized he had another appointment to get to. Reaching into another drawer of his desk, he found a potion and drank it. Once he was sure the thought protection had started working, he raced down the hallway to a different teleporter.

Since there wasn’t anyone else to do the next task, one of the worst in Eft’s opinion. He hurried to a meeting with a client to do ‘Customer Service and Retention’.


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About the author


Bio: Life long gamer and geek, after decades of RPG's, decided to start telling his own tales. Ones where the players can't derail.

I love fantasy and sci-fi. Have for decades, from the first time I read Dragons of Autumn Twilight to Stormlight archive, the worlds created have entrapped me. Now after years of attempting to complete a story, I've finished a few and am working on a new ones.

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