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2. Lucid – Occupation

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Money makes the world go round. The economic gears are the basis of all else. Society, government, even mental/emotional stability – all rest on the point of currency circulation. And it gives me the motivation to keep going. You’d be surprised just how far a little bit of the old green can go.

I work for the highest bidder. Not because money means happiness – on the contrary. I work because there are more noble ambitions in this world. My noble uses of time aren’t your concern, at least not right yet.

I don’t live the high life, I’m just a working class fool. One of millions of others. The difference between them and me? Isolation, disrespect of authority; perhaps the guns have something to do with it. They’re my tools, my only companions in this. They are all I need to get by, and they never fail me.

I’m a mercenary. A hit-man. A contract killer.

Emotion, compassion, heart and soul, conscience – all were given up to pay for the new set.

Concentration. Dedication. Honor. Talent.

I’ve gotten set in my methods. Never get too close. Aim to kill. Be merciful. Even the best killer in the world has the sense to deliver a killing blow if the first shot is a fluke. Never let anyone bleed out. Just let go. Control is intoxicating, and that’s what this is about; deciding who lives and who dies. Maybe you’d have to be me. Or in my position.

I live in an abandoned church. It’s mostly broad open space, but it’s all I have. I don’t need much to get by. Just oxygen and the desire to continue on. That’s all anybody should ever need. Should.

I was being employed to go after this girl, to scare her a bit. As a favor for an old friend. I call it a favor; he was paying me. I was humoring his bizarre requests. Every so often, he was a bizarre type of guy. We all are sometimes.

This point was my exclusive concern. There were very strict guidelines to be adhered to; no room for failure. Such a crime is punishable by death in this business. And not always a quick one. Depends how merciful the parties involved are feeling that day.

I’m not too great at this, the stream of consciousness principle, the writing. But I needed proof in black and white. To show how hard I’d tried; how far I’d come. The record to show what happened to me, what makes me as I am. The blow-by-blow description of my troubled existence. Irrefutable evidence.

To show my daughter. To prove I didn’t abandon her. She’ll see when she’s older.

A kid should be proud of her folks. Should be.

I’m currently 34 years old. I’ve been in this line of work since I was a teenager. This is my life. There’s no changing the truth. I am the end of my line.

The name dies with me.

Perhaps my daughter will understand someday. Perhaps she’ll see that I did what was necessary. To survive. To make things better. For the future. My goal?

Destroy. To finish what Miss Hunter started.

I’m going to use the money I’ve earned to buy the remains of the Black Dragon. The bar is mine already, from inheritance. From my wife. The dear departed soul herself.

I intend to buy the plot, rebuild the place – and burn it down. I want it to be legitimate. On paper, I lost it. The more proof, the better. I want to tear the remnants apart, piece by piece.

Leave nothing but dust.

Even if you cut off the monster’s head, the body continues to move, to flail around. You have to burn it, leave no body to bury. There’s still the possibility of rebuilding foundation.

This life killed my family. It killed me. So this is my revenge.

Who is left to stop me now? Most of the great families have ended. The Ransoms, the Merricks; the list goes on. I’m a survivor. The last remaining of my line. The really insane part?

My brother and sister were fools. They deserved what they got.

I’ve read the stories. I know the history. Everyone does. And yet, nobody learned. People died, the wheel turned – and proof still remains. Without the evidence, it’s merely a fairy tale. I’ll end this, for always.

Mercy? Is that what you want me to rant about? Mercy died.

With Harley.

The details are a bit twisted, but they’re there. This started for her. Because she wounded me deeper than anybody ever could.

She loved me.

Once upon a time.

This madness, my life and career, everything I am…I did it all for you.

My name is Lucidius Mason.

This is my tragedy. My salvation. Redemption. For my blood family that I’ve been orphaned from. For love that won’t die.

Only burn.

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