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Quality Control
Pervaya Iiniya Securities offered unique services to their more favoured (and richer) clients. Beyond mere body guards and security specialists, some schools of thought might have seen them better registered under the hazy cloud of 'private army.' A hard sell when they employed only thirty-some specialists, but they had always been known for the quality of their personnel, not their quantity of them, like some other security companies.

John White was one of their more unusual staffers. Despite the hefty paychecks offered with a Pervaya Iiniya Security contract, he had proven long ago that he didn't do the work for the money. Although a professional in all senses of the term that could apply, he didn't do it for the joy or thrill of protecting people, either. Sure, he'd take bodyguard jobs, or security assessment contracts, but those were more often at the direct behest of his employers, as 'personal favours.'

Mr White was on the books for the 'other' jobs the company took. When the most powerful people in the CCD wanted something done 'off the books,' Mr White came in. And every one of those jobs landed his employers both hefty pay checks, and more importantly very powerful allies. Allies kept close thanks to the evidence of the jobs the company had done on their behalf.

Rescuing kidnapped daughters, fouling assassinations, 'encouraging' gangs to shift their illegal activities to new venues. Sometimes just straight up killing folks that, honestly, probably deserved it.

That was what Mr White enjoyed about his day job. And since his night job had been so quiet of late, hunting monsters hadn't been taking up much of his time.

Gun shots rang out through the old complex, and Dimitri Borisov couldn't move. He was covered in blood and worse; his hair was thick with it, and he couldn't bring himself to try and pick the sharp bits of bone, coated in rubbery flesh, from his curly black hair anymore. None of it was his own blood, at least, and he kept trying to tell himself that.

Over the past fifteen minutes, he had seen six of his friends die. He still wasn't sure who the hell was killing them, but he was terrifyingly certain that it was just one man.

He sat behind a concrete pillar, and Aleksandr was laying beside him. Dimitri still wasn't sure why he had dragged Aleksandr so far; his face was gone, just a pulped cavity, which was where much of the gore in Dimitri's hair had come from, actually. But it had seemed like the right thing to do at the time, wasn't it?

He wasn't a coward. He'd tried to save Aleksandr. Aleksandr was the boss's muscle. The one the boss sent when some shit-brained addict or another didn't want to pay up. Or when some fool parent came snooping with their damn petitions and demands that they stop selling drugs, or causing trouble.

So he tried to save Aleksandr. Which would make the boss happy, right?

The gunfire had given way to muffled screams. Someone was begging, blurting names and addresses, but from the pain in their voice, it wasn't working well. And then there were no more words, and then no more screaming. And then everything was quiet.

One of two things had happened. Either the attacker was dead...Dimitri glanced at Aleksandr and then doubled over, throwing up on his own pants. Or more likely, everyone else was dead, and he was the only one left.

Everything was quiet. He listened as best he could, but couldn't hear anything beyond his own half-panicked breathing and beating heart. A moment of hesitation, then he slowly slid to his feet, awkwardly trying to brush most of his dinner out of his lap, then froze. Foot steps. Calm, slow. The sound of metal grinding against metal, a click. Probably reloading a weapon.

Dimitri slowly sunk down to the floor, trying to be as quiet as he could...and then his phone rang. A catchy synth-revival ringtone. Loud, obnoxious. More importantly, loud. And he just started crying, a deep, body-wracking weeping as he curled up on himself and fell to the floor.

The foot steps continued drawing closer; no faster, no slower. And then they stopped on the other side of Dimitri's pillar. And then a hand grabbed his gore-soaked hair and dragged him out. He grabbed at the arm, trying to keep his own body weight off his hair, but he didn't struggle. There was no point.

“Probably your boss calling. Check.”

The voice was so damnably cold. No anger, no joy for what had happened. Nothing. Just a statement. He didn't look up, and when the hand let go of his hair he curled up on the ground and dug out his phone from his pocket, holding it up towards the monster that had killed all his friends.

“Check it. Who is calling?”

A hint of fading patience in the tone, a brief flash of heat. He sobbed quietly, then brought the phone around to look at the screen. “It''s the boss...oh god, please don't...”

A still-warm barrel tapped against his cheek. “Answer it.”

He shook, curled in tighter on himself, then fumbled to take the call, pressing the phone to his ear, “...boss?”

“What the fuck is going on over there, Dimitri?! Dmitri called, freaking out that you were being attacked...”

“They're all dead...boss? Everyone's dead...he's right here. Oh god...I tried to save Aleksandrov...”

“The fuck? The hell are you talking about Dimitri? Calm the fuck down and get your head out of your ass!”

“You should let your boss know that that Dmitri and I had a nice talk. You probably heard some of it from over here.”
The monster nudged Dimitri with one booted foot, and Dimitri yelped and curled up tighter.

“Fuck me! Is that true, Dimitri?! Did Dmitri talk?!”

“Yeah boss...yeah, he...oh god he wouldn't stop screaming, boss...”

“Tell your boss. Quality control is slipping. Don't much give a fuck if you guys are peddling, but your boys peddled some poor quality shit to the wrong people. Consequences for cutting corners. Boss-man is a professional business man though. This shit won't happen again if he gets his shit together.”

“Tell that fucker that I don't take...”

“Tell him if he doesn't sort this shit out, I'll be visiting that fancy private school his girls go to.”

Dimitri sobbed again; he didn't want to be in the middle of this conversation. He didn't get paid enough for this shit. He didn't care about whatever the fuck they were going on about; he just wanted to get out of there alive.

The phone was quiet for a moment, and then the boss spoke up again, much quieter then before. “Right. Quality is slipping. Won't happen again.”

Dimitri nodded and sputtered out his boss' words, and the monster simply nudged Dimitri with his foot again. “Good job. Better off just shaving your head. Bitch to get brain out of hair like yours.”

And then he walked away, and Dimitri just lay there weeping, a puddle spreading beneath him from wetting his own pants. The boss had hung up when it became obvious the conversation was over.

Continued in Not Terrible

Edited by Hood, Feb 9 2018, 10:09 PM.

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