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For Hire

Chapter Text

“Alright, we are officially over the border!” The driver said to me. “You are here for private work, yes? Not a goon like those other folks?”

It’s time like these I thank myself for learning random languages during my time in isolation. Swahili, Japanese, Afrikaans, Portuguese, and stuff like that made me really qualified for a job of this caliber.

“I’m just here to… see someone. In and out, don’t wanna be here too long. This heat is already killing me.”

Truth is, I was here to kill someone. Hikki, the supposed arms dealer to both sides of this war. The APR and UFLL, supplied by this man, have nearly destroyed this country in hopes of crushing each other. Hikki I was the fuel to their flame, and I intended to extinguish him.

As we drove through the land, on the way to Pala, I took in the scenery that I would be surrounded by for a few days. Lots of tall grass, rivers, and trees. Suddenly, my face slams into the back of the front seat as the driver slams on the breaks. I look up, and hear the driver curse as someone speeds by in a car.

”We would have ran straight into him! Have people forgotten how to drive?” He yells.

God, it’s so hot out here. I’m sweating buckets, more than I thought I would. I feel a little jittery too.

The car rolls to a stop, and I see men with guns. They seem to be guarding the bridge.

”What are you doing here?” One of them asks in a distinct accent. Oh, they must be South African. Explains the whiteness! I answer “I’m here on a business trip, met to meet with a very important man. Confidential, of course.”

Their faces convey shock before returning to a gruff, intimidating look. Probably haven’t seen an American in a while. One of them grunts, and motions for us to pass through. My driver breathes out, looking a bit on edge. 

Everything hurts, what the hell is up with me? My legs and arms are aching, and I’m shivering. Did I catch something?

We pull into town, and the driver explains, “Your hotel is in the middle of this town, and you should be safe here. There’s a ceasefire, and- Are you alright?”

God, I feel like I’m going to pass out. I can see the driver talking, but his words just don’t register. He helps me out of the car and starts bringing me into the hotel. My vision starts fading, and my legs give out on me as I fall to the floor.


I groan in discomfort as I awake. I’m in bed, and there’s no way I can get up, or even move. There’s a stranger in the corner of the room, going through files. The files I was given after accepting the job. He looked very familiar.

He throws papers and pictures to the floor, and approaches me. He holds a pistol in his hand. Then he starts to talk.

“He has a reputation as a dangerous arms dealer, which is well deserved, so tread carefully. Known to sell, buy, and re-sell weapons across the world to warring countries, and will kill to achieve his goals. He is a destabilizing force in the region. Orders… are to terminate.”

Now that he’s closer, this is Hikki. And he knows I was sent here to kill him. I am so fucked.

He scratches his chin with the gun barrel. “Well, your mission was a bust, wasn’t it?  I’m alive and breathing, and you’re the one with malaria. Besides, did you honestly think you were sent here to kill me?”

”What?” I ask.

”You were sent here to die. So all the ‘first-world’ countries could say, ‘Hey, we tried, but this guy can’t be killed. We sent our best guys in, and we lost contact.’ And since you’re working for money, and now you’re not getting any money, you’re not my problem.” He pulls out a machete, and I flinch.

”You’re gonna have to find something else to do with yourself, which shouldn’t be too hard. But let me tell you, don’t come after me. Nobody kills me! Nobody!”

He swings the machete, and lodges it into the bed, directly above my head. Then he pulls out a pistol, “I’m the one who says who lives, and who dies. Me.” He places it on the desk next to me, and starts walking away. I close my eyes, and try to fall asleep.


Gunshots force me awake. It seems I’ll have to leave this bed after all. I get up from my bed, and grab the pistol and machete Hikki left for me. Then, an explosion knocks me to the floor. Did some asshole shoot a rocket at the hotel?

I exit my room, and see fire spreading all around me. I rush downstairs to the first floor, and take cover behind a bar. I peek above, and through the front door I see soldiers killing each other. Definitely not a professional army on either side. Then, I see one of them point at the buildings I’m in, or maybe even at me. I duck back  under the bar, and grip my gun tighter.

”Come out! We know you’re in there!” One of them shouts. Fuck.

I peek over again, and see maybe seven guys looking right at me from all the way outside. I quickly dive down, avoiding a hail of bullets they shot my way. More gunshots come from outside, maybe they’re distracted now?

I get up and see two men in the hotel, aiming at me. Quickly, I shoot at both of them, managing to hit them. They fall to the floor, dead. That’s when I start to feel weaker. Malaria is no joke, huh?

I fall to the ground, and pass out.


”Hey, wake up.” I’m somewhere different.  Somewhere inside, with a man standing over. “Get up shithead, you have work to do.”

”What?” I groan.

”You killed my guys. I didn’t kill you, you owe me. Make sense yet?”

I stand up, “Yeah, I guess. What do you want?”

He shoves my pistol, machete, and an AR into my hands, and answers, “There’s an outpost south of here. I want you to go there, and kill everyone there. Should be easy. Just take the car outside.” He grabs me by my collar, and throws me outside. Talk about a warm welcome.

When I get into the car, I notice a phone, map, GPS, and empty journal, seemingly for me. I follow the map until I get to the outpost he was talking about. I go off to the side, planning to scout it out. I see maybe six guys standing around. What really catches my eye, is two guards dragging someone with a bag over their head into a small building. 

The guards were far enough away from each other, and I could easily silently kill them one by one. I sneak my way to the hut, putting my ear against the door. Most likely the hostage is on the ground or tied to a chair, so I’ll aim high. I hear talking, and grunts of pain.

I kick the door down, gun in hand, and put down the two guards. When they drop to the floor, the man speaks. “Thanks for saving me! Unless you’re also here to kidnap me… probably not.” For someone in such a bad situation, they sounded pretty cheery. I pull the bag of his head.

”Kel?”

”Sunny?”

Kel begins to laugh, “No way! How are you man, it’s been a while! Are you a merc too?”

I’m really confused, “Kel, you’re a mercenary?”

”Well, yeah! Can you untie me?”

I nod my head and free him, and he towers over me.

”Hey, Kel, I think they broke your nose.”

He grabs his nose, and quickly moves it in a certain direction…  and suddenly it’s back to normal.

”Yes, Sunny, it hurts to do that. But it works.”

Wow, ok.

”Well, Sunny, we should probably get out of here. Meet me at Gino’s, I’ll talk to you then.” He rushes out of the building, and I get a call.

”Are you done?”

”Yeah, actually, outpost is cleared. Am I free?”

”Fine. Your debt has been paid. If you want, more work can be found in town.”

Rudely, he hangs up on me. Guess it’s time to reunite with Kel.

Is everyone here trying to kill me? I was just driving when some soldiers tried to ram my car off the road. When I hit a tree, and got out of my car, they followed suit and started to open fire. Just barely, I managed to kill them all. But my pistol jammed during the fight and I had to use my AR. That jammed too, and I would have died if the final guy’s gun didn’t also jam. Machete kills get a ton of blood on you.

By the time I got to Gino’s it was already night. I was dead tired, but headed inside anyway. Kel was talking to someone, and I realized it was Basil! I head over and exchange pleasantries. He had a camera wrapped around his neck, much more modern than his polaroid.

”Finally get an upgrade?” I ask.

He chuckles, “Well, most reporters need more modern equipment.”

“Reporter? Little dangerous here, don’t ya think?”

He scoffs, “Well, didn’t stop you. Besides, with Kel on my side, I’ll be fine.”

It’s nice to have a safe place like this, just for chatting. They inform me that Aubrey and Hero are here as well, Aubrey actings as our arms dealer and Hero a doctor in town. 

I ask, “Does he have any malaria pills?”

Both their faces darken. Basil looks devastated, and Kel just says “Shit. He does, you need to get over there now. Stop by at Aubrey’s to get some real weapons first, though.”

I nod and exit Gino’s, heading across the street to the only other building in this area. When I open the door, I feel something pressed against the left side of my head.

Aubrey commands, “Don’t fucking move. I saw you coming in on the CCTV, you have five seconds to tell me who you are before I blow your brains out. One.”

”Sunny! It’s Sunny!” I answer, panicking. She walks around in front of me, and gets a good look at my face. 

She gasps, “Oh my god, it is you!” She hugs me, “It’s been so long, how have you been?”

”Good,” I answer, “I’m a mercenary now. I guess. But Kel told me to come in here for guns, before I went to go meet with Hero.”

She scoffs, “Of course Kel didn’t call me, would’ve been nice to have a warning. What can I do ya for?”

I start to browse through the assortment of weapons, unsure of what to get. After some perusing, she elects to instead choose for me. Aubrey takes my old guns, and gives me new guns. 

“Star .45 and AK-47. Outdated, but reliable. Even with that junk you’ll do better off against most of the other people out there. Really only some mercy’s that’ll have better gear. But if you want better stuff you’ll have to pay, still need to make a living.”

”Thanks, is there any ammo I could have?” I ask.

She starts to laugh, “Hoo boy, do we have fucking ammo. Your ammo is free, Kel raided a warehouse and brought too much back.” She gives me some ammo, and sends me in my way.

I step back outside, and the heat immediately makes me uncomfortable. I take my car, and drive up towards town, which was only a minute away. The people standing around don’t seem to like my presence. Whatever.

I enter the church, and see what must be Hero talking to someone lying on a makeshift bed. I walk over, and clear my throat. 

He spits out, “What do you want? More drugs for your commander? Or maybe just to kill my patients? Maybe you’re finally here to kill me.”

Woah. “Hero, it’s me, Sunny.”

He looks up and blinks at me, “Oh! Hey, didn’t expect to see you here! You a mercenary with Kel?”

I answer, “I was supposed to kill Hikki, but I missed my opportunity, and now I have no idea what to do. Also I have malaria.”

He hisses, “Jeez, man. I have some pills in the back, if you want some. I have shipments dropped every couple days Kel will always get, do we’ll never run out ofsupplies. That being said, don’t get yourself hurt and have to come here, ok?”

”Yes sir,” I nod.

He exhales, “I’d love to chat, but I’m usually really busy. Call Kel, I’ll give you his number.”

I leave the church, and dial Kel’s number.

Hello?”

”Kel, I got my pills, now what?”

”Now, we do some work. The UFLL and APR headquarters are both in that town, and would love to hire for more covert missions. Of course, call me after you take a job and I can cook up a way to get us more money.”

”Sweet, who should I go to first?”

”It doesn’t matter. They’re all the same. Catch you on the flip side, man.”

Click…