It was supposed to be an easy job, the kind we do while keeping low between big scores. We had the targets, the recon, a destination, and the manpower, but none of us were prepared for what was really going on. In case I don’t make it out, I’m recording this vid as a warning to everyone else out there – don’t make our mistake.

Tracking down the three targets was easy; Tracy Shills was a low-level financial planner, Bruce Wyste ran a chop-shop of questionable legality, and Orzo Johnstone worked security at a up-and-coming night club. There wasn’t anything that seemed to connect them or mark them as noteworthy, but the job wanted all three to be at a particular parking lot in three days’ time.

Three days isn’t a lot of time for surveillance and investigation, but these weren’t heavy-hitting corporate suits. We learned Tracy had a new boyfriend, as evidenced by social media and using her credstick halfway across town for fancy dinners. Bruce had dealings with “social undesirables” and was into a local Seoulpa Ring for a few thousand – nothing that would get him killed, but threats had been made. Orzo fancied one of the bartenders at the nightclub but hadn’t appeared to make his feelings known. A good mix of digital, social, and magical engineering and we had all of the information we needed to put a plan together.

Tracy’s GridLink account had shown her car all over town in the past week, which corroborated the idea that she liked to show her new beau a good time. The morning of the meet we delivered flowers to her office with a card that looked to be signed in his handwriting. “Tonight it’s my turn to show you a good time” the note said, along with the time and location. Having the delivery driver mention how excited the man was about his “mystery plans” sealed the deal.

One of our contacts knew a man of Korean descent who could pass a message along to Bruce for us. Just a little threat and demand for a “good faith payment” to be handled in person ensured Bruce was going to arrive on schedule – he was terrified of what could happen if he didn’t show.

Orzo had a big brother complex, always wanting to look out for others. A frantic call from “the bartender” with a sob story about an abusive ex convinced him to show up, ready for a confrontation. Normally we wouldn’t have riled up the target so much but someone was a bit too involved in their theatrics to help themselves.

Three targets, one location, none the wiser as to why they were really there. Honestly we didn’t know why they were there either, but we’re paid not to ask those kind of questions. The boss wanted us to be on-hand “just in case,” and said there’d be hazard pay in case we needed to step in. Easy money, right?

Hard to spend money if you’re dead.

We watched the targets arrive, look around, get confused, check their commlinks, and wonder what they were doing in a nearly-empty parking garage late at night when the stairwell door burst open, three armed and armoured corp mercs opening fire, not fifteen feet from where we loitered. Within seconds all three targets were dead, the corp shell casings spilling on the floor all around us. When we looked up from cover they were gone and the police sirens were already approaching.

This wasn’t supposed to be wetwork. This wasn’t supposed to be dangerous. This wasn’t supposed to be me on the run for my life. We were able to piece together that the three targets had witnessed a car crash that was reported as an accident but was really another corporate hit job. This was just their way of cleaning up loose ends – using us to gather the pieces and then sweeping the board in one stroke.

Now we have an unknown corp trying to pin us for murder, the cops tracking us down, and no easy way out. Listen to me, omae, never accept a deal without doing your homework. And never get caught in the crossfire.