In the twenty-some-odd years I’ve lived, I’ve never seen hell quite so similar to that which runs rampant here in Chernarus. To me, life goes on, but I know others don’t feel the same. They don’t understand why these things happen, and they never will. Those people died first.
Johnathon C. Holmes, twenty eight. Private investigator based in Syracuse, New York. Atleast, I was based there. My life has always had its twists and turns, and after receiving a job that could put me well into early retirement, deadheads had to ruin it all. Woe is the life of John.
I can’t completely complain. My life back before all this wasn’t too great, either. I had a severe habit of not working unless it was to make ends meet—an awful habit, don’t be like me, kids—and a severe liking of bread-in-a-can, without the bread parts and most of the wheat and barley parts… I like beer, okay. Sue me. Anyway, these habits could get you into big, big, BIG trouble with the wrong folk. I was indebted to less than savory people back in the states. Life was pretty shitty.
That was, until I got a phone call that fateful evening. I have some of it on tape, back then I always recorded my clients phone calls in case the job went sour/they had other motives in mind and I didn’t wanna go to prison, but it’s missing the beginning few moments… Here, I’ll play it for you.
“—es, Mr. Holmes, I’m calling as a request of your services.”
“Uh, huh. And what exactly are you requesting me to do, Mister, uh… Didn’t catch your name…”
“Call me Saints.”
“Alrighty, Mr. Saints.” ~sounds of notebook opening and phone being readjusted. “Continue.”
“Just Saints, thank you. Ahem, anyway, I’m requesting your service for a job that requires you to leave the states for a while, possibly up to six months.”
~~Dead air for a few moments. “Six months?”
“I’m willing to pay five hundred thousand, now, as a retainer and twice that once you return home.”
~~Dead air, again, for a moment. The sounds of eyes bulging might be heard. “What do you need me to do, Mr. Saints?”
“There’s a small country in Eastern Europe called Chernarus… You know of this place, yes?”
“Yeah, I think… Geography wasn’t my best class, back in school.”
“Quite… Anyway, a man from the states called James Franklin Hall from Philadelphia ran from federal police to the country… With its political issues currently, Hall is quite safe there, mostly due to the feds not caring about some psychopathic murderer leaving the—”
“Wait, wait…”~~sounds of scribbling and hasty writing~~“Explain. Who is this guy?”
“Do you remember hearing a story a few months back, about the murders in Philly?”
“Uh… Honestly, if it isn’t personal or work related I don’t remember much, sorry.”
“Well, there was a string of murders in Philadelphia that went unsolved for weeks. They all had one thing in common: Gangsters and thugs were being murdered in their crackhouses and money laundering businesses. The only thing the police had to connect them was the appearance of a masked individual, wearing a smiling ‘Comedy’ mask like the ones you see at a theatre.”
“Y’know, I vaguely recall hearing about that… Was through work, however. Don’t remember it on T.V. or anything.”
“You wouldn’t. The feds and the Philadelphia P.D. didn’t want people to know there was a masked madman loose in their city. They linked some of the victims to a man named Thomas Hall, whom most of the P.D. figure he was indebted to them.”
“I know that feeling.”
“Not like this. They murdered him in cold blood in front of his brother James, who’d just returned from military service. Experts are unsure but they surmise that James went into a rage filled spree and killed multiple people. They’ve identified possibly two separate murderers—one who wore the theatre mask, the other who wore a hockey mask. They aren’t sure if they’re the same person or not, but DNA evidence suggested that James was the one in the Comedy mask, and so an APB was made for his arrest. Within twenty-four hours of the APB, Hall killed the final arm of the Philadephia based gangs and left the country.”
~~Sounds of writing in the background~~ “Alright, so where do I come in? Listen, I’m only in it for the money, one and a half million dollars can make any man cry, even a man like myself.”
“Understandably. I’m hiring you to seek this man out and subdue him in any way possible and bring him back to the states. My branch of work would be very pleased with you, Mr. Holmes.”
“I’m not a murderer, Saints. I’m an investigator, not a hitman for hire.”
“Then don’t kill him. Knock him out, break his bones, whatever you need to do. From your record, it seems you’re okay with breaking bones, as long as you get results. Is that true?”
~~Dead air~~ “Deal. When do I start?”
“I’ll be faxing you your tickets in a moment, Mr. Holmes. More information is coming your way.”
~~barely audible sigh is heard before the tape is ejected~~
And so, I’m here still. I never found James Hall… I heard he’d changed his name and was fighting the dead, helping folk. I never really cared after finding out I couldn’t get home. He’d have to share the same hell I would. I never really thought about why I was asked to find the guy, it wasn't like I was a big named investigator... It might have been because of my semi-legit status, and the fact that I wasn't widely known. Or, Saints knew I'd take the cash and was willing to ask a complete no-name over a billion dollar sniper team. I'll never know.
Now I’m based in Vybor, waiting for work to come my way. I’ll do whatever you want as long as I get paid. As you heard, I don’t kill folk for cash, don’t mention it. I’m also not a kidnapper, another fun favorite of mine. Hitmen, kidnappers, diddlers and slavers all share the same afterlife—I just help them on their way with a few broken bones and maybe a ruptured spleen. Who knows?