Author : Julian Miles, Staff Writer

“Oh for god’s sake, not again.”

It’s only the fourth time I’ve thrown up in the last hour. As I reach for the towel, everybody in the room tenses. They relax after I wipe my mouth and sag back into the chair.

“For a killer, he doesn’t show much.”

The burly one is right. I show very little of the dangerous composure my kind is supposed to have.

“That’s what makes him effective. Appearing to be harmless.”

The skinny one passes comment in an attempt to appear wiser than he is. He’s the junior of the team.

“Whatever. He’s worth a fortune. Plus we get upgraded just for finding him.”

The leader is the longest serving. For all his experience, he has no idea what he’s captured. Or I hope he doesn’t. I may have screwed up this time.

“Can I have some water?”


The reply is unanimous. They have no idea why I’m rated as an unstoppable, highly-trained threat to their employers, but they are cautious. Too many have died trying to take me.

“You can have a drink when they get you where they want you to be. When the interference lets up, I’ll report in and everyone will be a lot happier. In fact, I’ll go up to the roof and call in.”

They watch their boss leave and miss my shoulders drooping in relief. I thought I had been caught for real this time.

Burly and Skinny are just getting worried about Leader when two loud thuds herald my deliverance. The air distorts in front of them and slams them into the wall so hard their bodies leave tracks in their own blood.

The door swings open and a familiar figure strolls in with a tray of food in one hand, a steaming compressor-pulse shotgun in the other.

“Room service, Mister Jennings?”

Fleming always makes me laugh. His deadpan delivery and ability to imitate any accent is just so refreshing after moments of utter terror.

“Thanks, John. And say thanks to Sally and Spitz too.”

“And Charlie. He’s been supervising the ‘atmospheric’ interference and his eyes may never uncross.”

Eight years ago I was a junior accounting clerk. One morning I found myself arrested for serious crimes across the country, all corresponding to places I had been at the relevant times. After a lot of shouting and screaming, I was resigned to my life being over. That night, a man came to my cell. He explained that I had been set up to cover for an operative of Asylum, a company that worked internationally for the highest bidder. They had even corrupted governments.

But this man’s bosses only employed those whose lives had been damaged or destroyed by Asylum. If I wanted, they had a lunatic plan for me to strike back at Asylum. That was the night I started working for Exile.

The next day I daringly escaped during a prison transfer; there being no traces of me having had any help.

Asylum think that when they framed me and it drove me to discover hidden talents. They want me dead because I obviously know a lot from interrogating everyone they send after me before I kill them.

Actually I know nothing and have a team of the most dangerous people I know, and who I believe to be the most dangerous people on the planet, making sure I always get captured and never get kept.

Professional killers really shouldn’t be this much fun to travel the world with. I’m having the time of my life.


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