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March 5th, 2018

Finding the three goons that had been hired to beat him senseless was easy, they were in one of the little-known back rooms playing cards along with a few of their buddies. Obviously the belief that he would be coming back wasn’t a heavy burden on their minds since not a one of them had their weapons readied, and a couple of them didn’t even have their guns nearby. Killing them all without hesitation almost felt too easy, but he hadn’t paused as he’d walked right by them, beating down a door that lay behind the mercy-killings he’d just committed to find one of the men he’d been looking for seated at a large wooden desk, smoking a cigar, and looking for all the world like he knew that this was bound to happen.

“Kinda thought you’d be here earlier,” the Brit said, a grin on his face as cigar smoke wafted from between his teeth. He was called the Brit because he was in fact from the UK, but also because very few knew his actual name. He was a bruiser of a man with a bald head and rough-looking features, but out of all the people the Brit had done business with, he was the one bounty hunter the big man had never tried to mess with, until now.

“Y’gotta understand that it was just orders now,” the Brit said, seeming not a bit worried that there was a man that fully intended to kill him standing in the doorway. “You’da done th’ same if they’d tapped you for the job.”

He shook his head, “I wouldn’t have done the same. I would have finished it.”

The Brit laughed as he reached for a glass that was half-filled with an amber liquid that he swirled around a bit.

“Let us finish, yeah? Me da’ always said that hell has a place for those what don’t finish good scotch.”

“That the reserve?”

The Brit grinned as he closed his eyes, “Oh yeah, nuttin’ but the best.”

He merely nodded, letting the other man swig the drink in one long swallow as he winced, holding the glass up for a moment as he swallowed. The two of them had knocked a few drinks back together in the past, and he knew very well that the Brit was right. It was just business. But he took getting assaulted rather personal all the same. As the other man put his glass down he didn’t look the hunter in the eye, but did work up the nerve to speak.

“It’s a right fucked up day when two mates gotta square off eh?”

He didn’t answer, knowing very well that the other man usually had a weapon on him, even if it couldn’t be seen.

“Right,” the Brit said with a sigh, “Come on then.”

If someone had been there to witness the exchange they might not have been able to track their movements in that moment. The Brit was fast, but he was just a hair faster as he raised his dual pistols and took aim in the same breath, squeezing off two rounds and then, lowering the firearms just an inch or so, fired off two more.

The Brit rocked back in his chair as the shoulders of the jacket he was wearing tore suddenly, the fabric flayed open as red flew to strike the wall behind him. Only a second later both arms were hanging loosely at his side, useless as two more red patches had appeared at the middle of each arm. The first shots had taken the Brit in the shoulders, no doubt creating massive exit wounds that had likely damaged his shoulder blades, while the other two had been hit with a bit of luck and a lot of practice, obliterating his elbow joints as his arms had become little more than unresponsive lumps of flesh at his sides.

And despite all that, after the initial shock wore off, the Brit actually found it within him to laugh. It was a coarse, barking sound that came from his lips, but it was still there as he rocked forward, looking up at the hunter as he walked towards him.

“I had, to try,” he said, working through the pain as his eyes narrowed with each word, “Couldn’t, just, let you, send me off.”

“I know,” the hunter replied.

“Do me favor then,” the Brit breathed, “End it. I think I been nice enough t’ deserve it.”

Some men might have hesitated in that moment. Some might have argued. He simply put one of his pistols to the top of the Brit’s head and pulled the trigger. It was more than he deserved, but it was something anyway. From another doorway behind where the Brit had been sitting he could hear the furtive sounds of someone trying to be quiet, and failing horribly.

Time for the headman then.

(to be concluded)

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