Cactus. Dry.

“Go ahead,” Mundo smiled at the lean, mousey man at the bar. He wore a cactus-green pin-stripe suit and seemed to have something on his mind. It took him two shots of tequila to open up. “I’m usually the one talking. As much as I like it, it’s nice to hear other voices too,” she said.

Mundo’s bar had its share of daytime regulars. The bar was little more than a storefront for under-the-table business, or a library for college students during the day. Thorne was the only one drinking.

“You can’t win for trying these days…,” Thorne shook his head, then downed the third shot. He gestured at Mundo for a fourth one. “You ever have an idea so good, it takes off without you?” he laughed at his own question as Mundo refilled his shot glass.

“What, another one?” Mundo asked. “What happened to the Syndicate you were talking up a couple of weeks ago?” Thorne froze before he took the fourth shot. His eyes widened at Mundo.

“You remember me talking about it?!” he asked. 

“Sure,” Mundo shrugged. “You’re the only Nopal that’s ever come through here. You seemed really excited about the Syndicate. Everyone’s talking about it, so what’s the problem?”  

“No one believes me…,” Thorne sighed. He took his fourth shot, then set the glass down to ask for another. He continued talking while Mundo refilled it. “I guess I’m not surprised,” he whined. My last few contracts were huge failures. I invented the Syndicate just to give myself some visibility, but I can’t even prove I belong to the organization I made up,” Thorne chuckled. “As much as I love my job; the business side is murder.” He downed the fifth shot and requested another. Mundo obliged.

“Well if you tell me how to prove Syndicate membership, I’ll let everyone else know and you’ll be set,” Mundo said. Her polite, customer service smile grew wider when Thorne tilted his head at her. 

“Huh?” he asked “Let who know?” Mundo giggled and shook her head at him. 

“Everyone,” she stressed the word. “I’m a Mundo, it’s what we do.” 

“Oh yeah!” Thorne slapped his palm against his forehead once he remembered Mundo’s abilities. “You can talk to everyone on Earth, can’t you?” 

“Or just the people likely to be interested in the Syndicate,” Mundo said. “Same group from a couple weeks ago.” 

“You?” Thorne was surprised. “You’re why the Syndicate is so popular all of a sudden?” Mundo nodded, but shrugged.

“I’m fond of Plant Uniques,” she said, then filled the shot glass a sixth time. 

“Thank you!” Thorne said. He hopped to his feet and began digging through his pockets. “I’ve gotta give you something extra,” he said. Mundo shook her head, then smiled and pointed at the shot glass. 
“You’re already paying for all this alcohol that doesn’t work on…,” Mundo pointed at Thorne. “…#39 El Nopal.”

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