The Assignment

Captain Von Delgo is a man who is lost. He is known as a turncoat, a hero and a mass-murderer. He has no beginning, and as far as he can see he has no end. Which makes him just about the most dangerous man alive. After the completion of his last job Captain is on his way out to receive his payment and rest up. His plans are delayed when a religious sect known as the Ravens pull him in with an offer. Captain faces a dilemma, he has never once failed in his assignments. But accepting this one and succeeding would change the way of the world, change everything that everyone has ever known, plunge it into chaos. But he has also never once turned down a job, and with his life quickly descending into a chaos of its own despair, he can see no reason why not to accept. After all, how hard can it be to kill an immortal?


27. Chapter 27

The Captain’s mind felt like someone had just taken his brain out, pummelled it and then stuck it back in backwards. He had seen Holin board the boat. He had waved him off the dock. He should never have left it alive. They had paid him for the body.

His feet stumbled as he took a step forwards to better see the man. His skin was pale and sickly, his eyes sunken, deep black pits. Dirt and salt matted his hair together; dried blood covered his upper body and all other areas that weren’t already covered by dirt. Worst of all were the scars that lined his flesh where he had been cut open and then stitched back together.

‘How?’ the Captain managed to open his mouth to ask. His jaw felt like it had been screwed closed it was so stiff to move. Holin continued to look at him, his face blank. His eyes gave away his feelings, they weren’t completely bottomless. He wanted revenge. The Captain realised that taking a step forward may not have been a good idea. He went to stumble backwards as Holin sped forwards in a blink of an eye and sent the Captain flying into a wall. The Captain’s head banged against the plaster, the force knocking him out.




Holin walked towards the Captain’s slumped body. He picked him up in one hand, throwing him onto his shoulder as he kicked the wall. It flew apart in a spray of stone and mortar. With a jump he was through the hole and steadily rising. The Captain’s body was heavy but he could carry it, it wouldn’t be far. The end was nearing. He flew on over the city and out over the sea. He left the Island behind and continued on towards the others. He crossed over those with such speed he looked like a shooting star in the sky. In no more than a minute he had reached his destination, the island where he had taken his first steps into the light after so many years of torture all in the name of science. The very same island that he had walked across so many years ago with the Captain, with the thought of freedom in mind. How wrong his thought had been.

And there was the house, it came into his area of vision. He had lived in it for a short amount of time and he had had fun. He flew down to it. He was, slightly, amazed at how it was still standing. How was it still standing? More importantly, why wouldn’t it be? He knew the house was a part of his time and he was the future, well he lived in the future of the Captain, but he now had the Captain with him. Therefore, should the house now not exist because he was stepping back in time to bring the Captain here? Or had he brought the Captain forwards in time the moment he picked him up to carry him here? He would work this out later. For now he had the Captain to worry about, or should it be the other way round?

The questions were back. He had forgotten them. He had stopped caring about them, he didn’t care if they came or went. But now, he noticed them being here and once again felt his mind weighing down with things he didn’t care about to know.

He flew to the door and pushed it open. It was the same as when he left. He had made a room before he left. Furnished it how he wanted it to be, how it was needed to be.

He dumped the Captain’s body on the floor and moved around the house, checking to make sure it was all right. Satisfied that it was as he left it, he picked up the Captain’s body and took him to the room.




When the Captain awoke his ears were ringing and his head ached. But it wasn’t enough to dumb the senses. He was in a different location. The Captain’s body froze, years of falling into traps sending his mind into overdrive of how best to deal with the situation. A sudden move might cause a trip wire to be pulled or a secret button be pressed which would cause him some sort of pain. If he stayed still something might be falling from the ceiling as he thought. He didn’t wonder how he had come to be in the place, it was unimportant. For the moment, his head whipped around as he peered into the darkness for something that was darker than the light around it. Where was he?

‘You are in my place. You will stand.’

The Captain’s head turned and he found what he was looking for. A moment later Holin stepped out of the shadows. It was light enough in the room for the Captain to make out that Holin had washed himself since their last meeting. How long had he been out for?

‘Do you see me?’ Holin asked. ‘Can you see what I am? Can you see what had been done to me? Can you see what you are?’ As he spoke, he let his robe fall to the ground. A light bulb hanging from the ceiling flickered, shedding a dull light. Holin’s pale skin gleamed in the florescence, his body a wave of intricate lines crossed with brutal slashings barely pieced together.

The Captain’s head dipped forwards in a nod.

‘I… I want you to speak. I want… to hear you say what you can see.’

‘I can see you. But I can’t see what you are because I don’t know. I can see what I am, and I can see what it has done to you,’ the Captain spoke softly; his voice harsh and shaking, horrified by what he saw.

‘Are you happy with what you see?’

The Captain began to shake his head, then ceased. ‘I am used to doing things that cause harm to other people,’ he said instead.

‘But are you happy; are you fine with that you see before you, knowing that it was you that did this?’

The Captain shook his head.

Holin cocked his head to the side, seemingly satisfied with the Captain’s answers. ‘You don’t understand how I am here, do you?’

 ‘I am your future. No, not your future, I am what will happen to me in your future. I am in my present state, but for you it is the future. You are the past. At this very moment, the moment you stand here and now, I am on that piece of junk floating behind Gamdagleeare Luff. Being picked apart, sawn together and being picked apart again.’

‘But how are you here?’

Holin shrugged. ‘I came out of the hospital, just as you were putting me on the ship. I don’t know how that has happened but here I am. I’ve waited for this moment for a long time. But for a long time I didn’t know, I didn’t know anything. And then it came back. A name and a reason for wanting you here to kill. I want to kill you.’ He nodded, a faint gleam in his eyes as his skin stretched alarmingly up in a smile.

‘We are going to play a game now. I am going to throw these things at you,’ He lifted up a thin disc with an edge that gleamed sharper than his eyes, ‘and you are going to dodge them; otherwise they shall slice through you like you are nothing.’

He heaved up the first disc and weighed it in his hand. It looked heavy, like it wouldn’t be able to fly very fast. The Captain wet his lips as he rose to his feet, he could dodge it easily. It was at this time that he noticed a whole rack of the razor discs standing behind Holin. Some were small, some large, a range of thick and thin. Something tugged at his foot as he made to move to the side and he looked down. A length of chain was coiled around his foot.

Holin chuckled softly. ‘In case you try to run,’ was all he offered.

The Captain stood against the wall, the insides of his palms sweated. The game sounded stupid. A bubble of anger blew up inside the Captain’s chest. If Holin wanted to kill him then he wished he would do just that. Instead, he wanted to play a game to see how long he would fight to live.

There was a faint flash of metallic under the dim light and the Captain dropped. The first disk hit the wall right where the Captain’s neck had been. It had flown faster than its weight should have allowed it. The Captain’s mind struggled to find answers, battling at the impossibility of it. It should have fallen to the floor.

The Captain rolled as another disk embedded itself where his legs stood. There was a loud smack, metal grated against wood, splinters flew. Covering his eyes from the splitters the Captain spun. A piece of wood clipped his ear, a warm trickle slid down his neck, as a another disk found it’s mark in the wall. He jumped as one flew underneath him and he barely had time to roll as another aimed for him head.

‘Stop!’ he bellowed, hitting the floor with a roll. He pulled himself to his feet and glared as Holin lowered a disk in surprise.

I make the rules here. You will do as commanded.’

‘I refuse to follow your rules any longer! If you are going to kill me then do it now! I refuse to dodge anymore.’

The Captain’s heart dropped as Holin grinned broadly, and he suddenly felt like he had made a bad move. Holin seemed excited for some reason, and it wasn’t good.

If you refuse to dodge, then I will simply get someone to take your place.’

He disappeared into the dark for a moment and returned shortly, pulling a small girl by the hand. She looked to be only six or seven years old, though it was hard to tell. She was a No One. Holin pushed the child to the wall across from the Captain so that he could watch the girl try to dodge the disks. The Captain’s heart sank as he looked at the child and saw that there was no way she would be able to dodge. Not with the speed they flew at.

I will give you a chance to take back your place at the wall, if you refuse I will continue with this child in your place.’

He said this calmly, as if he didn’t care who was on the other end of the disks shedding their blood. As long as someone played his sick game.

Sweeping his eyes from the child to Holin, the Captain could see that the man meant what he said. He would continue until he had either run out of disks or the person on the other end was totally decapitated.

With Holin watching carefully, his eyes thin slits to see what the Captain would do, and the girl trembling violently against the wall, the Captain tried to think. He shook his head slowly, sighing and looking down at the floor. If he died for the child then what was to stop Holin from killing the child afterwards anyway? And then moving on to every other person on the planet? He seemed to have the power. The life of one for the lives of many. After her death he would take down Holin.

Holin raised his eyebrows. ‘Does this mean what I think? You refuse to play my game and you refuse to take the place of this child?’

The Captain nodded his head, this time the nod was strong and determined. He glanced at the child, heavy tears were falling from her terrified eyes. His eyes flicked back to Holin whose lips were still spread in a smile.

Very well.’

He turned to the child. In one swift move the disk left his hand. The Captain closed his eyes, turning his head to the side as the disk began it’s journey.

A heavy sigh filled the room and the Captain opened his eyes. He looked towards the wall and his heart did a flip. The girl stood shivering in the same position, tears still streaming. He looked over at Holin, his eyes slipped down to his hand where he still held the shiny disk in his hand.

The Captain looked up, bewildered as he stuttered. Finally he paused, composed himself, and asked, ‘What happened?’

You and I are quite alike, now.’ Holin said quietly, letting the disk fall from his hands. ‘But there is a difference. It is a small one, but very important. Do you want to know what it is?’

The Captain raised his eyes where they had followed the descent of the disk. What he saw when he looked up was the Holin he had agreed to help take to safety.

Without waiting for the Captain to reply Holin continued. ‘The difference is you would let the No One girl die for the sake of the thousands more that need help. But I would give my life to save her. Hero’s will rise to save the others, but who will rise to save those individuals that need saving first?’

He sighed deeply and turned to the Captain, his eyes round and pleading. ‘I want you to kill me. Not here, not now, but back then. Back before I climbed aboard the ship. Before the torture, before the experiments. Before all that pain, I was forced to endure. I can’t stand it any longer, the pain is gone but the memories remain! I want to kill you so badly it’s tearing me apart. I want you to go through the same fate I was forced through, but I can’t stand the pain. And if I kill you now, what hero will rise to save me? You have unfinished business, Nor-Viscoe. Do the job my father hired you to do. Take me to safety. Kill me.’

The noise of the child faded out as Holin’s last words filled the Captain’s ears. They pounded on the drums, demanding entrance to the core of his mind. The doors swung open, the words entered and hit the Captain like a wave. He shook.

A wave of memories washed over him, drowning the words. Not five minutes ago Holin was trying to kill him, and now he was begging for death. He wasn’t sure what to think. The Time Tracks were locked, it was impossible to gain access. However, if that was so then how did Holin get here? The Captain pondered on it, aware that Holin was eyeing him carefully.

If there was a way to find the path that Holin followed, he could go back to the harbour, kill Holin after he’s boarded the boat, hop off and then start somewhere new. He would have to be careful though. He couldn’t allow himself to see himself.

The Captain glanced at Holin, seeing the scars more clearly than he had before. They had taken him apart and stitched him back together like a ragdoll. He had given him to the Tolva’s for money. What if he just killed him now? It would save him the trouble of trying to go back in time. Something flickered in the depths of Holin’s eyes and the Captain looked away. He couldn’t do that. The Holin that was just starting his torture would still go through everything.

‘All right. I will go back and kill you. But you will still be alive, now, waiting for me to arrive back in time. You may spend a long time waiting for me,’ he said at last, his mind made up.

‘No I won’t. You will kill me. You have said so and so you will. I am not sure how this has come to be, but it has. I am dying now when I wasn’t before. I think it has to do with how I am already dead. I can’t exist any longer because you have done the job though you are still here. You will leave and go, and find and kill. And I won’t be here any longer. I am changing time now just to talk with you. You can’t change time anymore by not killing me back there...’

Holin was fading fast, his voice becoming fainter and fainter. ‘You have to kill me in the past for me to die like this in the future!’

His shadow flickered fast and then he was gone.


The End.

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