One Eyed Jacques

5.

After that bit of excitement, I sat down and finished off the whiskey and at the now cold noodles. I tried to figure out what the hell happened and my next move. “Ghost,” I called out, “who were those two. I mean, besides a giant pain in the ass and Killian’s brother.” I felt I had to be specific, since my Ghost is a colossal smart-ass.

“I can’t believe you haven’t heard of the Senk sisters,” Ghost said, being true to form. “They’re the biggest singing duo and currently top ranked VR Crucible team. Their combined worth is estimated to be around ten million Glimmer at last accounting. They are what the kids say ‘a big deal.’”

“So it’s safe to assume their concern is a sincere one,” I guessed, “or at least to the point that this address isn’t a trap.”

“It’s probably a trap,” my Ghost countered, “but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t ignore it.”

He had a better point, but I wasn’t going to let him know that. “All right, we check that out in the morning. I’m not going to waste this buzz by working through it. The good thing about time travel, is that when you actually do it is irrelevant.”

“That is assuming it is about time travel.” Ghost responded and flitted by the door. “Boss, we got company approaching.

The Eye I was still wearing kicked into gear, showing me probably what Ghost was seeing. Three people, armed with submachine guns and the guy in the back with a bit of strange technology that I didn’t recognize were trying to quietly sneak up to my door. I took out my Hand Cannon, dubbed ‘Better Devils’ for reasons why it will be apparent. I awaited until they were at my front door and the lead one started to attempt to pick the lock, then I fired through the door. The slug, carrying an explosive payload, blew through the door and went through the guy like sledgehammer on an egg. The other two pulled out their SMGs and fired indiscriminately into the hole where the door (and their friend used to be). Kudos to their bravery, I would have totally expected them to shit themselves and bolt.

I summoned Void energy into an Axion Bolt and threw it in their general direction. It hit the ground before them, sending out a pulse which detected the two and then send out two seeker energy darts which incapacitated them. The battle ended before it even begun, I was disappointed on some level.

Incapacitated, disarmed and restrained, I proceeded to catalogue their gear and try to figure out what the hell was going on. Their weapons and tattoos told me where they came from New Monarchy, which raised more questions than it answered. They also had what was called Quantum Entangler, which was able to prevent my Ghost from reviving me. I don’t know how it works specifically, their mere existence was pure rumor and speculation up to this point. Ghost inspected it and shuddered, “They meant business.”

“Yeah.” I responded, “funny how our lives became so much more interesting since we started this investigation.” I lightly slapped one of them awake. Well, ok, it wasn’t so light but at least I didn’t break his jaw. He roused and a look of terror spread on his face when his gaze focused on his unfortunate friend with an immense hole in him that negatively affected his ability to keep himself alive. “Ah. You’re awake. Good. We can begin,” I said, putting on old personas like one puts on hats. “You noticed your friend there, that is also good.”

“I’m not going to tell you anything,” the gentleman said, trying to maintain a sense of strength despite being tied up and a half a foot away from his dead friend. “They’ll kill me.”

“I would encourage you to reconsider that position,” I said, “because what I can do to you is much much worse than simply kill you.” I was met with silence which I found interesting. “Do you know who I am?”

“Jacques-7,” was the reply, “yeah. I know.”

“Do tell, who am I, what do I do? What have I done?”

“Thanatonaut, Guardian of the first order, former Hidden.” He started to sweat. “Retired.”

I laughed. “Do I look retired to you?” The guy shook his head. “Now, there are a few ways this scenario can play out. One, which you will like the best, you give me the information I seek, I wake up your friend here and if he collaborates, I will let you leave.” He didn’t flinch. “Two, you dick around some more and I start hurting you until you give me the information I want. I’m very good at hurting people, I think you know that.” He gulped hard. “Third, I get bored, kill you and interrogate you in the realm of the dead, and trust me on this, it will not be pleasant for any of us.” It was good that they knew who I was and what I was capable of doing. Okay, that last bit was a bluff, but hey, it worked, he cracked.

“Okay okay,” he said. “Just don’t hurt me.”

“Attaboy,” I said, obviously happy. I might have ruffled his hair. “First, who sent you?”

“Imperator Diggson,” was said without hesitation. “You got a huge price on your head, Jacques. Don’t know why, so don’t bother asking.”

Shit. Nothing more fun than a price on your head. I suppose it should feel good to be wanted. Ghost flitted about, nervously inspecting the Quantum Entangler. “Interesting how your past seems to catch up to you.” it said, “ironically speaking of course.”

I went over to pick up the Entangler. “Shut up,” I told the Ghost. “I guess I’d better go tie up that loose end.” I think I might be able to get this thing to work well for me. Would have to tinker with it a bit. While I’m not on Olu’s level with this stuff, I’m not entirely useless. I could possibly use this to get myself free.

The Ghost quickly picked up what I was considering and flew in my face, uncomfortably close. “I know what you are thinking. Please don’t. You’re needed here still. Remember the job?”

Shit. The bastard was right. Despite the despair and torture of existence. I spent a silent minute weighing the balance between finishing the job because people are depending on me and just ending it all (where finishing the job or not is inconsequential). I didn’t want any of this. Death was something I was perfectly happy with, but this little fucker thought it’d be a great idea to bring me back to this shit. I put the Entangler in my coat and pulled out my cannon. “You’re right Ghost,” I said, “but once this is over, we’re revisiting this subject.”

“Fair enough.” Ghost said, realizing to not to push things, especially since he got his way. It moved over to the two hitmen, both awake now and looking a bit scared. “What about these guys? We’re going to let them go?”

I questioned the second hitman and he collaborated the first one’s story. I nodded, then blew his head clean off his shoulders. The first one, by the smell, vacated his bowels on the spot; it was a more than appropriate response. I leveled by hand cannon to his face and tears streaming down his face cried out, “I thought you were going to let me leave! We made a deal!”

If I was capable of smiling I would. “Oh you’re leaving all right. I was just never particularly specific on what you were leaving.”

Blam.

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