Story A Day Challenge – Day 2: The Job

William Fielding walked down the long hallway and entered through the large oak doors at the end. An armed guard searched him and, once satisfied, escorted him  to the balcony where General Kingston was waiting. William flashed his broadest smile and extended the general a warm greeting. The general smiled back, a charmer behind his imposing frame, and business negotiations were underway.

As the general rambled on about his most recent exploits, William thought back to his own past. He had come a long way from that scrawny kid living in the slum known as Butcher’s Row. With no home or family, or at least none that he knew of, he took care of himself. He would put on his sweetest smile and beg passers-by for money. The occasional soul would take pity on him and hand him a few coins, but that majority turned away from him. They were so quick to look away, refusing to pay attention to the details. William learned to use their averted gaze to his advantage, slipping his fingers past their blind eyes and into their full pockets.

He had graduated from there to petty theft, dabbled a bit in smuggling, and eventually attracted the attention of noted arms baron Bobby Trigger. He loved the thrill of the job. People were, as always, neglectful of the little details. That neglect served as a cloak in which William wrapped himself as he moved weapons to gangs and warlords.

When William finally got caught, he cut a deal. Bobby’s entire operation collapsed, and William only got 5 years, of which he only served 2 due to good behavior. He emerged from prion a changed man, using his criminal expertise to star a small security firm. He knew all the ways the law could be broken, so he set about using his skills for good.

The firm grew and Fielding Security became the name to consult whenever anyone needed things kept secure. But old habits died hard.

William would find himself sizing people up, looking for the deficits in their attention that he could exploit. He couldn’t resist the urge to grab little tokens. Watches, brooches, that kind of thing. He’d always return them, claiming he’d found them, that they’d been dropped. Until the day he robbed George Henshaw.

Henshaw was a man of mystery, a former government agent who had set off on his own crusade to change the world. But there was only so much he could do on his own. What he needed was a spy, an infiltrator. Someone that could greet people with a smile while twirling the knife that would end up in their backs. He needed someone like William.

The security firm served as a perfect front for the operation, allowing William access to some of the most dangerous men in the world, men who always needed a little extra protection. William would wine them and dine them, promising them soldiers, and when they had been lulled into a false sense of security, when their attention was dulled, he would strike. Documents, plans, agendas, he’d swipe them all with his skilled hands, ensuring nobody ever suspected him.

And that’s how he found himself in the penthouse summer apartment of notorious warlord General Kingston. Kingston had suffered many losses in a civil war that he had instigated in his country. He was on the lookout for mercenaries to support his cause. William was more than happy to provide him with what he needed. Now all he had to do was wait, and nab the letter that would be the General’s undoing.

He loved the thrill of the job.

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