Friday, February 17, 2017

Kragor the Merc: In Service of the Enemy

I know you listen to my stories because you find them amusing. Well, this time there's nothing to be amused about I can guarantee.

The big plan had been set in motion. The Falcons had given us instructions and a high-tech biomod - supposedly to protect against some mind-controlling stuff GERO was employing. We had accepted GERO's offer for work and after getting Charles to baby-sit us we were to be picked up. The whole thing was just like some boot-camp scene from a B-grade virex. Big truck rolled up and we climbed into an almost full transport compartment. Seemed GERO had managed to lay their hands on almost every merc in town...

It was a short journey to the assembly area where we watched the suits make up some plans. Also we spotted a familiar face from GERO's grand opening on the news channel - one of the high execs who apparently came down to relay some orders to the suits. Abriel's bodyguard was also there but it now became clear who she was really working for. The plot thickens.

There was a long drive to take us from the city out to the research facility. There wasn't much else to do, so I observed as much as I could. This continued until we reached  GERO's little paradise installation out in the middle of nowhere. We were taken on an outside walk to reach our quarters, which were at the rear of the facility. Every step sickened me more and more as I saw more of this facade. Inside the less flattering merc quarters we were called up and sorted into cells. I say cells for that's what it were. The facility was a blend between a prison complex and a damn storage tank for lab rats. It would soon be clear that was exactly what we were considered to be as we were put through some psychological evaluation, suspicious medical exam and fitness tests. I played the stupid orc - people generally didn't question you being a stupid orc - and continued to observe. Unsurprisingly, we were observed in return - but Ed managed to find what he believed to be a blind spot for the facility cameras. Certainly something to keep in mind.

We were also introduced to the less pleasant elements of the place; the team leaders were with all certainty the very same escaped criminals we'd spent some time looking for a few months ago. Seemed some had survived the Falcon's sabotage of their facility. Whether because of this or if it was just a personal trait I didn't know, but they didn't hesitate to kill people. Saw it happen right in front of our eyes and the mercs accepted it like a bunch of school kids.

It was nothing compared to our first job though. It was late and most others seemed to be sick from a biomod administered during the medical exams. For us it was more like a serious itch and we did everything we could to keep us from scratching out skin off. Apparently something important had happened and our elated team leaders noticed we were still up and going, so we were chosen. At that time I was glad to get something to think about and also an opportunity to learn more about what was going on. I were quickly to regret those thoughts.

We were lead by a total psychopath called Boyan and the mission was to eradicate some overdue settlers on what was claimed to be GERO's land. I knew there was little to do but to look professional and get things done - if I didn't do it someone else would. I just hoped the rest of the team had learned enough of ethics in the Fringe to get through this with their wits intact. Or at least not sustain more damage than they already had...

Juron and Charles were designated to sweep the ground while Lucas were to put down any stragglers. Me and Ed were simply to provide backup if necessary. For my part I would be keeping an eye on Boyan.

I won't go into details. People were murdered that night, but I learned some lessons. Juron is like a child when it comes to boundaries - whenever someone pushes he'll get interested and pulled along. Must learn to do that; it seems the only way to affect his actions in a profound way. Then there was Boyan. He was, what I can only assume, genetically improved to a level only comparable to his level of mental degradation. I had always kept myself professional in such matters - with a few exceptions - but this guy quickly made it to my list of people who need to die a horrible death. The toughest decision in the coming weeks would be if that should happen sooner or later. The Falcons might have hired us but this job was for a good cause after all...

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