“We have a problem, Ricky.”
Ricky looked up from his computer. Kalila had that single-minded air that always indicated something more than a mere ‘problem,’ and with Vic right behind her, it was probably more on the order of a catastrophe. “Don’t you guys ever knock? Or at least say hello?”
Kalila waved a hand. “We don’t have time to indulge in any petty human customs. It looks like the werewolf strike is on.”
“Are you sure? I thought the talks were going well.” Ricky pushed back his chair. “You pay above union rates. Calvin and the others won’t strike.”
Vic gave a scornful look. “Guess again, human. Their allegiance is to the Local 666, not us. They took an oath.”
“Wolves are pack animals,” Kalila added. “Loyalty is in their nature.”
“But they’ve said all this time that their loyalty was to us, the ones who pay them.” Rick stood up. “I don’t appreciate this kind of deceit. We buy them steak tartare, for Christ’s sake.”
“There’s no need to invoke your god.” Kalila flung herself into Ricky’s empty chair, leaned back and folded her arms. “We just want to know what you’re going to do.”
Ricky gave her a disbelieving look. “What do I know about werewolf strikes? Besides, no offense, but you really don’t need a crew. You play small venues and support gigs. Everyone else at your level manages their own equipment. You’re getting a reputation as a bunch of prima donnas.” Seeing that this response didn’t satisfy, he added, “Okay. I’ll see if I can get you some scabs.”
Vic lunged toward him, baring his fangs. “Snack chips won’t solve anything, human.”
Ricky jumped back. “I mean non-union crew. Temps.”
“You mean strikebreakers,” Kalila said. She mulled the idea over, then shook her head. “Unacceptable. There must be a better solution.”
“Well, I can’t imagine what it might be.”
Vic turned away in disgust. “I knew it was useless to come here. What do humans know?”
Kalila got up and made to follow. “Figure something out, Ricky, or we’re going to have to start cancelling shows.”
Ricky watched them leave, then returned to his chair and slowly sat down. He didn’t know much about the werewolf union, what their goals were, or why they were calling a strike. He only knew that the band had gigs lined up at Ziggurat, Cabal, and Club Nostradamus, and even if he could get them through the next few weeks, an extended strike would leave them without a road crew for their tour at the end of May.
He rested his chin in his hands. There had to be a way.
To Be Continued...