the whole city on fire. he was watching it from a high ridge, his binoculars trained on the first building he had set alight. his mission was to cause unrest in the region. one day he would be wearing the colours of the resistance and another day he would be in the uniform of the centralists.
it didn’t matter to him who he was killing – he was emotionally removed from the situation. the fact that his heart was a burned out mess with no working parts and that he was inured to most violence made him perfect for the job.
his employers made weapons and they need conflicts to stay fresh in order that they could make money. country starts to stabilise – assassinate the president. country looks like it is heading in a peaceful direction, stage a peace protest about something and kill the protestors. they were shepherding people around, leading them by the nose or kicking them in the rump. it was his kind of work.
if you scanned the news feeds for the last several years most of the major atrocities that had been committed had been started or finished by him. he was a bastard to the very marrow of his bones – a liar, a thief and a murderer, but he had the added bonus of being untouchable, because he had the right people on his side.
this place, so he had read, was once an idyllic little place that people liked to visit – someone from the company saw how much the mineral rights were worth, and how much the subsequent tourist business would be worth, and they decided to make a move on it. when he had occasion to think about it he wondered why they didn’t just buy people off rather than start some kind of conflict with people. you ended up with an irradiated dirt lot that you had to rebuild from environmental maps.
his personal biographer and photographer was always on hand to capture any snappy one-liners he happened to sneak in there but today he was flat out of any funnies. he was flicking through his auto-camera pictures and he felt a little blank. he was puzzled, what was this he was feeling?
the feeling wasn’t regret – the feeling, he suspected, was a failure of interest; a disintegration of enjoyment. he hardly remembered enjoying it – that seemed somehow unprofessional, but maybe there’d been some small amount of exhiliration as he had done his job. did this make him somewhat more human? he chuckled at the thought. on his comlink he read what the next job was.