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The Contractor

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You arrive, it’s late at night and the nightclub is pretty full. Joy passes out independent comms to you all so Bain can’t listen in. You turn to the rest of the group, “I’m going to go in with Jacket. I need to make contact but I also don’t want to go in alone just in case. We can just play the relationship card after all. After that we’ll plan from there and I’ll make contact via comms, got it?” There’s a unanimous agreement in the van. You look at Jacket and both shed your bags and head in together, as a couple.

The bouncer stops you for a moment, looks you over then nods and lets the two of you in. You make a b line for the bar and get the bartender's attention. She looks at you and comes over, “What does he drink?” You look to Jacket who shakes his head.

“I guess he doesn’t today.” She laughs and brings you a rum and coke along with a note on a napkin, you drink and read the note quickly. It says he’s out back making a drug deal and he’s been really heavily sought after tonight. It also tells you which exit it is, it’s the one between this one and an empty building next door, convenient. You put your drink down, turn and look at Jacket and smile. He smiles back before she comes back over, “So, how’ve things been?”

“Oh y’know. Business as usual, how are the kids?”

“Great! The oldest just started middle school.”

“Fuck yeah, never thought he’d make it.” You both laugh a bit at this. “I’m sorry I have business tonight, y’know? We’ll catch up another time when things aren’t hectic.”

She smiles and nods, “It’s fine, I’m just glad to know you’re okay since y’know…”

“Of course, you get back to work and play pretend. We can handle this.” She smiles and nods and walks off. You flip the napkin and write a simple message. “Thanks for the help, take the kids out for ice cream on me.” You leave a 30 dollar tip with the message and finish your drink then head to a quieter alcove in the club. You make comms contact quickly, “He’s doing deals right now, he’s in the alley between this one and the empty building next door. You guys get in there quickly, we’re going to drag him in there.”

Sydney responds, “Got it, we’ll be ready in no time.”

You both stay in the alcove for a bit, you smile and flirt with Jacket, he goes along with it of course. As much as it is you both pretending to look good, it’s legitimately you two flirting with each other. You finally get the good to go from Joy and you both head towards the exit where he’s been.

You wait for a minute or so to let the previous clients leave before heading out there. It’s he and two guards, you both don’t beat around the bush and you kick out the piece of wood they were using to hold the door open as you both come out. Jacket goes for one of the guards first immediately punching him and going in for the kill. You throw a knife at the second guard and while he’s reeling from the pain move in low and quick. You catch him and throw him over your shoulder and prep another knife and turn to the dealer. “Don’t you fucking move, or else.”

He puts his hands up as he hears a series of cracks from behind him from the one Jacket is handling. You step on the guy who you have downed to make sure he stays down for the time being and Jacket grabs the dealer from behind and chokes him out. You put away your throwing knife and pull out an actual blade, lean down and slit the second guards throat. You walk over and knock on the door into the empty building as Jacket breaks both of the dealers arms then picks him up.

Sydney and Houston open the door and Jacket throws him unceremoniously through the doorway, Houston and Sydney pick him up at this point to move him further in while you two quickly hide the bodies in a nearby dumpster.

You both head in and follow them up to the second floor where Joy is in a room they’ve prepared admittedly hastily. It’s just a chair and some recording equipment. They both drag him into the chair and tie him down then head out to stand guard in the hallway.

You look at Joy, “You sure you want to stay in here?” Jacket tilts his head and looks at her too.

“I’ll be fine, how bad could it be?” You both look at each other then at Joy again.

“Joy, it can get rough in here and we can be kind of… hard to sit through."

"This is what we do, we're criminals."

"If you're sure…"

It takes some time but he finally wakes up to you and Jacket standing over him.

"So, tell us who your boss is and how to find them." He stays quiet, and Jacket punches him. "Boss, now." He continues to stay quiet and you reach down and pull out a knife. You pass it to Jacket and he brings it down into his leg, he yells out in response. "Boss, where? Now.”

He continues to refuse and you grab the knife and twist, he yells out again. "Information! Now!" He continues to refuse and Jacket grabs the knife and pulls it down as much of his leg as he can. Cutting through to the bone all the way down just past the knee. He screams in response, Jacket pulls the knife back out and goes for the second leg when you stop him. You let him catch his breath and ask one more time. “Information, tell us what you fucking know.”

He’s bleeding profusely, and looks at his own flayed open leg horrified before looking up at you both. “Well? We can do this again.”

Jacket sures his grip on the knife and stabs it into his other leg and he finally cracks, “WAIT WAIT! I can tell you who I work for. I work for Gemini!”

“Not good enough. Where is Gemini?”

“I can’t tell you that.”

“Can’t or won’t?” You grab Jacket’s hand and push the knife into him harder. He yells out again and you let go giving him a moment to breathe.

“Well?” He stays silent. “Won’t, got it.” Jacket grabs one of his already broken arms and breaks it in a second place with a crack. He yells out again and you kick he and the chair over and you both step forward to stand over him. “So?” He’s breathing heavily and you both look at each other, he’s still not answering. “Y’know, he’s being nice. I’ve already stopped him from being much crueler. If you’d like I can leave you in a room with him alone.”

Click, “I’d like that.”

He looks at you both terrified and starts painfully struggling against his bindings. You crouch down next to him, pull the knife out of his leg then bring it close to his throat and look him in the eye. "Look, I know you know where Gemini is. I'm going to ask you one last time where he is, okay?"

"I can't say…" you take a deep breath and exhale.

"Joy, you sure you want to be in here." She looks white as a sheet at this point and shakes her head. "Head on out, we've got this." She nods and heads out to be with Houston and Sydney.

You step back, throw the knife into the wooden floor where it sticks in and Jacket opens his bag behind you. "The good news is I won't be leaving the room, the bad news is I don't care how bad he hurts you as long as you don't die. He's all yours." You smile at him as he passes you while you step back and lean against the wall.

The next hour is filled with the sounds of a pleading man and his agony as Jacket throws him around like he’s nothing easily breaking bones. You feel your heartbeat speed up once in a while but you take a breath to calm it, you want in but you know it’s better this way.

At about the hour and a half mark you hear it, “I’ll tell you anything, just please make him stop.” He’s covered in blood at this point, unable to even crawl towards you. You smile and put a hand out to stop Jacket as he moves in again, he yields of course.

You crouch down next to him, “So?”

“Gemini owns 4 big nightclubs downtown, they visit all of them throughout the week randomly. Nirvana, Backstreets, The Beach and Club Orchid. Please, just stop.”

“Anything else?”

“There’s more than one of them… Gemini that is… It’s two people...” He says weakly.

You smile at this point and crouch down next to him, taking the knife out of the floor, “Thank you. You should’ve led with that, would’ve saved all of us a lot of trouble.” You lift the knife and hear him plead for a moment before slitting his throat and standing up. You look at Jacket who nods and you both stop the recording and start packing things up. You head out as soon as you’re done and meet Joy, Houston and Sydney in the hallway.

Sydney looks at you both, “Got what we needed?”

“Yup, let’s head home. I’m sure Bain’s well and awake and knows we’re gone. So be ready for the shit storm that comes with that.”

“We have a damn good reason to be out here though, they should know that more than anyone.” Houston and Joy nod at this before heading out. You guys make your way back out to the van. On the car ride you fill them in with what you know about Gemini.

Houston responds first, “So more than one person, they frequent a series of clubs. We’ll just watch all of them and be ready.”

“Yeah, that’ll be much easier then checking every fucking nightclub in this city.” Sydney replies. For a moment it’s quiet and you hear Houston again.

“Shit, we’re being tailed, hang on I’m going to try and lose them.” He accelerates and starts taking an erratic pattern around the section of the city you’re in. Whoever it is they won’t seem to stop following you guys and at this point they’re not even hiding it.

Sydney climbs out of the passenger seat and into the back. “Like hell am I going to let these bastards get their way.” She cracks the door and pulls the pin on a grenade and lobs it out timing it just right to land under their car and blow it out. Houston speeds up a bit at this and you help her close the doors again, “Step on it before the police arrive.”

Joy laughs, “Like they’ll get there in time, I have all cell signal in a radius of our van snubbed. Anyone who calls the cops before we leave a certain range is going to have to use a landline.”

You smile at her, “Good thinking Joy, that’s kinda great. It lets you get away with shit like that.”

Sydney laughs, “Good. I wasn’t about to let those bastards follow us home or menace us. I’m done playing soft with these types.”

You breathe a sigh of relief and look at Jacket, he looks a little relieved too and smiles at you. You smile back and wait out the car ride, a little ways away Houston slows back down and you work your way back to the safehouse. When you arrive he parks on the hill again and you guys make your way down the hill to the little courtyard where Joy’s van is. Rust and Hoxton are already waiting for you guys there, and they look pissed.

Houston’s the first to get down the wall with you close behind, you’re both met by Hoxton. “Dallas is going to fucking kill you when he gets back, and you. What were you thinking dragging everyone else into your stupid fucking plan?”

“We tagged along, they didn’t ask us to do shit for them.”, Sydney says as she climbs down. “We want answers as bad as everyone else and we’ve spent ages playing this stupid game of chess with him matching every move we make.”

Rust steps in, “That doesn’t excuse this kind of shit, you’ve been here fucking long enough to know better. And you!” He moves towards you and Jacket drops down and puts his arm out in front of you.

Click, “Biker.”

Joy hops down, “Stop fighting, we have answers. We know how to find Gemini.”

Rust is staring down Jacket at this point when Houston cuts in, “Let’s talk about this inside. I don’t want anyone overhearing considering recent events. Let’s talk with Bain as well instead of leaving him in the dark.”

Rust finally backs down but only to go inside, Jacket stays between you and Rust as you guys head into the safehouse and upstairs to the office. You all file in and hear Bain finally.

“So, I know Fox started this. How did all of you get roped into this?”

Click, “I was asked.”

“Of course, and the rest of you?”

Sydney looks annoyed, “You asked me to look out for them leaving the safehouse, and I did. I agreed we should follow this lead and take a chance so I went with them to make sure they were both safe.”

“And everyone else?”

Joy and Houston look at each other for a moment and Houston speaks first, “I was talking with Sydney and she told me what she was doing and I decided I wanted to come with.”

Joy looks away, “Ditto.”

You hear an exasperated sigh out of Bain, “All of you know better, every one of you know better than to run off when we’re in this kind of danger. People are watching our safehouse, they know where we are.”

Sydney steps in at this point, “But we’re just sitting here wasting time and playing by their expectations. Vauban, Leo, whatever or whoever this is what they’re expecting us to do! Keep playing passive and giving up space. We need to hit them hard!”

“That doesn’t excuse reckless behavior!”

“We’ve already talked to you about how we feel and you didn’t want to listen. You want to keep doing the same infiltration quiet shit over and over again. Well guess what Bain, we got fucking answers!”

Joy pulls out the recording equipment you guys used.

“Yeah, we have answers and you could’ve all put yourselves at risk and fucked all of us over!”

As Bain and Sydney argue Joy pulls up the recording section where he tells you guys what he knows and plays it and the room goes quiet.

“So?”

“Gemini owns 4 big nightclubs downtown, they visit all of them throughout the week randomly. Nirvana, Backstreets, The Beach and Club Orchid. Please, just stop.”

“Anything else?”

“There’s more than one of them… Gemini that is… It’s two people...”

The recording stops and the room sits in silence for a moment before Bain finally speaks up.

“I want you all to go to bed, and if I find out you’ve left the safehouse without my permission again I will consider you our enemy and a traitor. Do you understand me?”

You all nod and go to leave, Hoxton stays behind with the recording and Bain while Rust follows you guys out. You all look at each other and head downstairs going your separate ways for the night except for you and Jacket. You both go to head downstairs when Rust grabs you by your shoulder and stops you. “No, since you two fucking scheme I want you two to stay away from each other.”

You look at Jacket who looks back at you, Rust gets even angrier at this and grabs you by the collar, “I’m going to tell you the truth, the only reason I apologized to you and said I trusted you was so Bain would leave me alone. I still don’t trust you and haven’t this whole time and honestly, after this stunt? I think you threw that guy under the fucking bus to protect yourself.”

Jacket moves in on Rust and you put your hand out and touch his arm, he stops and looks down at your hand and looks up at Rust. Rust realizes something is going on and looks down too and sees where your hand is.

You speak up, “You don’t want us to hang for a bit, then you don’t want us to hang for a bit. Fine, we’ll comply. Isn’t that right Jacket?”

He stays quiet for a moment before you hear a rewind and a click, “Agreed.”

Rust lets go of you and you head into your room for the night, Jacket heading into the basement and Rust back into the garage. You don’t like agreeing to what he wants but if it’ll keep him appeased then it’s not a big deal. You lay down in bed and stare at the ceiling, but you know you can’t sleep, not after tonight.