“The media hates free agents. We cause havoc. We kill people. We destroy buildings. We create cover-ups.
The media loves free agents. We cause havoc that makes people tune in to find out what is going on. We kill people that they can commemorate and report on how people are reacting to the death. We destroy buildings and let them write feel-good pieces about the rebuilding. We create cover-ups that they can uncover. We make news.
Such is our relationship with the media.”
“We’re live in three, two, one.” The producer said as the overhead lighting dimmed and the stage lights lit up the man sitting at a desk.
“Hello and welcome to a very special edition of the Rogers’ Rewind. I’m Lenny Rogers your host and let’s get right into the news.” Lenny adjusted his suit and notes before continuing “As some of you are aware the CEOs of the Hades Inc, Finger of God Armaments, and Prometheus all retired within a few months of each other.” He let the audience have a moment to digest what he had said before continuing “They contacted us and arranged an interview. But there’s something even more interesting than that. Prometheus contacted us to tell us that he would be bringing the mystery man they were spotted golfing with.” He put his hand next to his mouth and pretended to whisper to the audience “my sources say that this man might have had something to do with the retirement.”
In the dressing room John, Prometheus, Maze and Oni were discussing the upcoming interview. Maze was surprised to see John there and had just finished asking how Prometheus had managed that. “He didn’t.” John said simply. Maze looked at him, obviously wanting more information, and John sighed “This is my daughter, Jane.” He pushed Jane forward a little and she gave a half-hearted wave “She wanted to see a TV studio so here we are.”
The conversation would have continued but the other guys got the notification that it was about time for them to get out to the set. John wasn’t going out in front of the cameras and had already patched his voice box into the sound and recording systems. When he finally had to speak, his voice would come out as loud and clear as if he were out there with a mic next to his mouth. The voice wouldn’t be his own, or at least not the voice he had been using for the last decade or so, but the guys would be able to confirm it was him.
John got the notification that all the security cameras were down when the CEOs were introducing themselves. It was a precaution, Lenny had promised that it wouldn’t be shown, but John had survived by taking extra steps to insure people kept to their word. John pulled out a set of No Light goggles that he had bought for this occasion and passed them to Jane. He didn’t understand the science behind them but they allowed the wearer to see in the dark, even pitch darkness. He didn’t need them but they were going to tour the back rooms under cover of darkness and the goggles would let her see what she wanted to.
Lenny started his intro for John as John and Jane left the dressing room to start their tour. “Prometheus, you have known our next guest the longest. How would you say I should introduce him?”
“I’ll take this one.” John interrupted. Lenny looked around as his voice came from every speaker around the studio. “I’m the guy who took over your sound system without you realizing it and has been listening to you the whole time.”
“Well it’s good to have you but where do I face when I talk to you?” Lenny asked with a scared chuckle.
A silhouette appeared on the screen behind him. “I can go with this or I can put it on screen of your desk.”
“Works for me.” Lenny said and he moved on to his questions. “So, how do you know these three gentlemen?”
“I worked as a free agent and took contracts from each of them.”
“Free agent?” He prompted.
“I got this one.” Maze hopped on the answer “Free agents are the people to do the jobs that we needed deniability for.”
“Right, I did jobs like assassinations, theft jobs, kidnappings and things like that.” John added
Lenny had been taking a drink and had nearly done a spit take when John said “assassinations” as he wiped the coffee that was dripping off his chin he “You are certainly very forthright about your criminal past. Aren’t you scared of reprisal?”
Oni stuck out a hand to call attention to himself “If anyone is listening to this and wants to go after this man I feel I should warn you. You will lose. He has been doing this for longer than most of his competitors have been around and he is still alive.”
“Okay, so…how did you get started in this business?” Lenny stammered through his question in an effort to move the interview along.
John told his story while he helped Jane into the rafters so they could get a bird’s eye view “I had a cybernetic heart when I was a kid and while my parents were by no means poor, they were struggling to make sure I got the proper maintenance. When they died, I had to get a job and start working. My first assassination got dropped in my lap and I made more than I ever would have doing honest work. From there it was just a simple matter of finding a team to take on bigger jobs.”
“Sounds like any other business.” Lenny seemed relieved.
“Yeah, except we kill people more often.” John quipped, making Lenny go back to being nervous. “Now, I’m afraid we really must dash. Little One has a test tomorrow.”