ToRC: Don’t be a hero

“When I was just starting out the most common phrase among the other agents was “Dammit” but the second most common phrase was “Don’t be a hero”. Up until we started turning free agents into an actual job it was just the domain of movies so people would get involved and what to be the big hero and do all the things. For instance, one of my first teammates stole a prototype sex bot because he thought it was genuinely attracted to him. It turned out that it was just using a damsel in distress program to appeal to his desire to be a hero.

A later team ended up meeting death hand in hand after they decided, against my advice, to try and bring down one of the Big Three in a corruption scandal. They forgot that we were a symptom of that corruption. Long story short they outed themselves and I stopped associating with them.

They are probably dead now. For that is the fate of all heroes in our line of work.”

“I’ll just take the next story.” John said as he folded. The stories hadn’t even made it all the way around the table yet but John had found himself thinking about better times and had something that he wanted to share. “As you all know tomorrow is the anniversary of Reynold’s death.” John paused as everyone at the table toasted Reynold’s memory. Once they had downed their glasses and filled back up John continued “In honor of that fact I want to tell you all about his green run.”

All the other players put their hands down and focused on the story, it was rare but they had done it once or twice when John had told a particularly interesting story. “It all started after the Chicago War.” John began. “I had just assembled a new team from the Prometheus files and was doing a hit so that I could get used to them.” A few of the guys laughed at the absurdity of that. To most free agents a hit was a tough job but John had earned his title by making killing look easy. “The target was Jolly Charlie, a TV personality at the time who had mouthed off to the wrong people. The job said that we couldn’t kill him when he was live since that might “scar the children” so we were in the audience and would kill him right after the production. Unknown to us one of his producers had just killed a guy to keep him quiet about some drug thing. The guy who had been killed had been out with his son who saw everything.” They were quick on the uptake, like all agents that survived as long as they had, and had already figured out where he was going.

“It’s the middle of the show and suddenly this young man comes flying out of the rafters with an old hunting knife and lands on the producer. He started raining blows down on the guy without saying a word and our hacker panics, thinking that it was time to go, and cuts the power to the building. Lights go out and the people who saw a kid stabbing a guy scream. Not everyone saw that though so confusion leads to panic and people start moving. All the other agents get out of the studio while I take to the rafters. Charlie is getting evacuated so I had to throw a knife through his heart. With the mission completed I went back to watching the kid. By that time, he had finished his stabbing and started trying to leave. He is still covered in blood so I drop down behind him and shove a mask on to his face. He is understandably shocked but recovers quickly when I push a pistol into his hands and tell him to shoot until he sees the escape car.”

The other guys at the table weren’t even drinking by the time he got to the stabbing and as he continued they just kept staring. “We step into the light of the street with our masks out and guns drawn to the newly hired security force rushing in. Reynold shot to wound without me having to tell him to and we managed to cut a path to where the rest of the team were waiting with the getaway vehicle. I fired them all once we were safely away and offered Reynold a choice. He could either join me and have his identity deleted, he would be new man, or he could try to find his own way but he would probably be caught. He signed on as expected and collected the price for the producer, who had a more minor hit put on him.”

John topped off his drink, which he had been sipping throughout the story and raised it up for another toast. “To Reynold and all the other guys and gals who took a bullet for us.” Everyone toasted and agreed to finish the hand, no one wanted to follow that story and multiple toasts had lowered the alcohol supply severally.

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