As awesome as being a mercenary sounds, it wasn’t that glorious to be one. Years of training, numerous months of pay we used to keep track of time, thousand patrols and it all seemed pointless at the end. Those that were any good found themselves a job in the independent branch, but more than half of us were left to fend for themselves. Royal Dreadguard was reserved only for the high rollers and black ops, while the rest of us had to find business in few dozen organizations that worked on the black market.
It was a gamble to sign in with the small entrepreneurs, because they didn’t minded where we were sent. I know a lot of men sweating while putting their mark on the contract, thinking he might go against the Royal Dreadguard someday. Beside the great risk of fighting other mercenaries we looked as brothers, some lucky bastards actually had luck of working in the peaceful areas like village borders, street controls and training camps.
I was hired to watch the outer border between Ildock and Gratna. Our tundra slowly merged with the hills and forest that forbade the sight of the great Gratnian wall and inner city that was smoking from the industrial machines. Summertime was idyllic for people like me. Occasional helping the villagers with their field jobs kept us fed and out of boredom that was usual in the line of duty. Lack of control spoiled us with daily drinking, mingling with the crowd and joining the traditional celebrations.
There were weeks when I forgot where I have left my blaster, forgot how to tuck in my uniforms, strap in the helmet, do the paperwork. I assimilated with the people I was order to protect and keep safe. The truth is, there was nobody attacking us, nobody to protect from, just peasants and fun.
An expensive car drove in the middle of an empty village and stopped in the middle of an empty road. Freshly shaved men stepped out from the car, straightened their suits and came to my table that was looking at the empty village square. I wasn’t wearing my uniform at the time, but an ordinary shirt and pair of farmers pants I got as a gift.
– Are you Proxy Trooper? – man with pair of modern sunshades asked me while two guys at his side looked across the village, counted the houses, estimating the proper snipers nest, evaluating wide streets, thinking of a tank rolling through them.
It wasn’t hard to guess if I was a designated guardian of the village or not. I was athletic, my shoulders broad at the military rate – a sign of a fighting man. Strong jaw, short hair almost bald only gave me away in the mass of ordinary folk.
– Yup. That’s me. – booze touched the nose of the man I spoke to, when he gasped and took off his shades and cleared his throat.
– Your contract is being revoked. We are taking over. – he said in pretty unwilling tone that only could insinuate a veteran that had a lot of these conversations in the past.
– What does Dreadguard want from this village? – I leaned in the chair, my hand on the glass with thick beer foam.
– You know how it goes. This time we were hired by the Ildocian Knighthood Council to elevate the defencive measures in the area. Politicians keep eating shit in the meetings, but we are who have to deal with it. We have reports from the agents in Gratna that last skirmish tensed International relations, so we act out of precautions. – he stops for a second to think, but being suspicious of my compliance, he clears his throat once again, – I know you guys do what you were told. Frankly, I am trying to avoid the conflict between your firm and mine. We don’t need to spill blood. Just step down and let us roll in. Don’t start a proxy war between our two organizations. We don’t need a bad blood. Either your firm will assign you to so some other place, or you’ll find some other job. C’mon, we don’t need to fight. – his voice changed its amplitude, while hands of his companions glided down to the waist where I saw weapons bulging their clothes.
– I understand. Maybe you can say some good word about us to your commander. You know, hire us as a back up forces and so. – I gave him my hand and shook on it, where a warm smile creased his face.
– Will do. Thanks man. I appreciate it. – he spoke and tapped my back.
I passed two grim looking guys, went downstairs and started walking away. They smiled for a while, gave strange looks over the square seeing the village was empty of people.
– Hey, where are all of the people gone? What happened here? – main guy shouted at me, but I didn’t care to stop.
– They heard you guys were coming, so they armed themselves and went to the forest! – I roar it with a smile, – Get fucked!
Back with the military topics. I wrote this a little bit longer that usual. I was being inspired with the prompt. Oh, look, more stories.