I lost everyone. She was the only one left. Now she’s gone too.
After Elise died, I became like a zombie. Always drunk, picked fights with everyone, including strangers. Spent whole nights with even pigs. Don't remember how that happened. As the bars closed, they threw me off on the street. And I even slept there sometimes.
Admiral McMillan sent his minions, many, many times, to influence me to go back. I didn’t. Even Janice came to check on me, said I was looking like a howler monkey’s anus with all the beard and hair. She tried to lighten me up as much as she could, but I have had lost all hope.
Ghost Reckon: Breakpoint
So she started trying to salvage what was left of mine, even more now. Classic Janice. The best shooter in 86th, stone-cold heart with a gun, but can’t look away from the pain of others. She came once or twice a week in weekends and cleaned the house, did chores. Behaved like she was my mother.
And slowly I was becoming myself again. But anything couldn’t fill the void that was created inside me.
One Saturday night, it started to snow. It’s so beautiful in the mountains in a blizzard. The snow covers the landscape like white velvet.
She went outside to bring wood for the fireplace. In all the two minutes it took her to get those from the barn, she was drenched. That night she caught a fever. Couldn’t even talk. The farmhouse was 15 kilos away from the nearby hospital. So to keep her warm, I crept under the blanket.
She was so close I can hear her heart beating. Like a drummer warming up for a big concert. She moved even closer; now I can feel the warmth of her hip. And then she faced me. Looking at her eyes reminded me of a Baikal lake from different earth with endless depth. She slowly put her pale lips on mine. Held me with her hands so hard that she was fearing I might leave and never come back. Time slowed down.
We made love throughout the night. Then when she was tired enough, she went to sleep. Looking at her innocent face for a while, I too lost myself in the realm of dreams.
The next morning I decided to go back. To join McMillan’s team. Nothing left for me here might as well make it count doing the one thing I’m good at. Killing people.
Her eyes are tearing up. Janice is standing near my bed. The first thing I saw after I woke up, her face, sitting in a chair beside my bed, sleeping like a baby.
“Price, Price. Oh, baby. How’re you feeling?”
The tear of joy and relief, someone crying for me it’s been so long since I felt like this after Elise died.
“Where am I?” In a dull voice, I asked.
“How long have I been like this?”
Then I noticed the wrinkles in her face. I hope it hasn’t been that long.
“7 months. Price, you’ve been in a coma for 7 months.” It hit me like a slap. Seven months all that time has gone by, while I was here, in coma, being able to do nothing. The anger slowly started to crawl back in my head.
I slowly pull my hands up to my face. Where I’ve been shot. Everything feels OK, except slight scarring that I can feel in my fingertips.
“We brought the best cosmetic surgeon for you. Don’t worry, everything is where it should be.”
“How am I alive?”
“The doctors said the bullet missed the nerves by a few microns. What happened there Price? Everyone was dead. We didn’t even find Floyd’s body. But his blood was all over on the door.”
“He was the one who killed them, Janice. He was the one.” In a rage, I try to sit up. The machines start to blip faster.
“No, no, do not get up. It’s OK. It’s OK baby. I believe you.”
I lay down again. That traitor, my buddy from kindergarten, betrayed me. I killed my team.
I make a promise to myself that I will rip his heart out when i find him.
It took me 9 more months to be back on my feet and in shape again. I could hit a 3 cm wide pointer with any gun before. Now I can’t even hit the target from 15 feet. He took away all my motor functions. The doctors said it’s a miracle that I’m alive. Even McMillan has said that my time is up. I can’t do it anymore. But I can’t let Floyd get away with this. I want to know why. I need to know why.
Why did he wipe out his whole team? What was it? Money? Did someone hold something over him? I need to know. I can’t let everyone around me die out like this.
“Son, I can’t let you do this,” Macmillan said in a calm voice.
“You came back from the land of the dead. I can’t let you get back there. I can’t do that to you.”
“Sir, I mean you no disrespect, but I have to find him.”
“You’re making this harder than it should be. Just go home and go back to your farm life. I think Janice would suit you well. Get settled.”
“Nothing you say will persuade me. Give me six men and let me find him.”
“How? You can’t even keep your arms straight.” With a cigar in his hand, the admiral paused for a bit.
“Well, if you’re that stubborn, I might have something for you.”
“The guys at DARPA have created a new weapon. A suit. That might work for you.”
“Anything, sir. Anything. Just make me ready.”
And then the hunt began.