My work as a courier for courier for International Solutions, LLG meant worming into places I shouldn’t be on the strength of my sparkling personality, lifting the occasional item from its rightful owners, smuggling contraband across borders and battle lines, and filling out reams of paperwork. For an operation as frankly illegal as International Solutions, they sure did love their paperwork, probably because the profit margins are slim enough as it is, and operatives like me could (and had) tried to split with whatever they were couriering to move it on the black market and cut out the middleman.

IS had its fingers in all sorts of pies, from smuggling to wetwork, but they were bright enough to see that my true talents lay in bluffing and subterfuge. I didn’t shoot people with the grunts; I delivered the grunts’ marching orders and their silenced pistols with the serial numbers filed off. Things were good that way. I liked things that way.

Then I met an IS cargo plane arriving in Katanga in order to give some hired muscle sealed orders and a PSS silent pistol looted from an ex-Soviet arsenal. The pilot was the one that met me on the cargo ramp, taking the package without so much as twitching a muscle on his face.

“What’s wrong?” I laughed. “Airsick?”

“Our passenger’s dead,” the pilot said. “He had an embolism at altitude.”

“What?” I said. “Well that just throws the whole timetable off. Do you know how much trouble it was getting this equipment? Who’s doing the job now?”

The pilot handed me my own package back. “You are.”

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