Chapter 1: A Twisted Past

It was blurry, dark and I felt like a truck was crushing my stomach. "Well you woke up" a voice says from the darkness. I pounce up and everything goes blurry and the feeling of a snake climbing up my throat takes me and I hurl into the blur of dark colours. "Take it slow, It will be better for you and my rug" the voice states. "I can't see anything!" I yell. "Well I believe that is a side effect of having led blasted into your skull at 1 mile per second!" The voice replies. I look down at what looks as my lap and begin to regain vision. I then slowly look over to the voice and see Plague doctor masks staring at me and I jump back. "You alright? You done spewing on my rug and screaming at me?" They ask. "Who are you?" I ask. "Doctor Eric Valentine! At your service" They answers cheerfully. He plants his hand forward suggesting a hand shake and place my palm in his hand and shake. "Now, I've been picking around that skull of yours and need to make sure you can see, hear, smell, necessary things like that" He explains. "Okay" I reply. He holds up two fingers and looks at me.

"How many fingers am I holding up?"

"Two"

"Good"

"Now, what do you smell?"

"Shit"

"Well than you must eat shit because your vomit has stank up the room"

"Haha, real funny"

"Now, can you hear me?"

I look at him suggesting that I doubt his seriousness.

"Well I'll take that as a yes, Now, Let's get you walking"

He stands up and leans over and I wrap my arm around his neck and he lifts me off the bed and onto my feet and then stands back. "You balanced?" He asks. "Feels like it" I reply. "Now walk" He instructs. I walk forward and miss a step and slip and slam into the floorboards. "That may need some work" He says while giving me his hand to help me. I get up with his help and then he walk towards a door. "Welcome to New Edinburgh!" He exclaims opening the door to show a dark, cold alleyway leading out onto a street. "Let's take a walk, you can tell me about yourself" He suggests. So I grab my money pouch and map off the bench and walk outside with him.

"So, How did you get shot?"

"Jack Den and his Thugs Den screwed me over and now I'm in a debt of over 10k"

"You fucked with Jack? You know what they say about Jack in Edinburgh?"

"No"

"They say don't fuck with Jack"

"Well too late now"

"He must've really wanted you dead, he usually doesn't whack people unless his paid to do so"

"Maybe someone did pay, maybe someone wants me dead"

"True, blink the wrong way these days and people want to gut you and display you as a hunting trophy"

"Hey, how about you tell me about yourself?"

"What? Me? I'm an old unlicensed doctor"

"Wait, old? So you were alive before the Nuclear Winter? How was it?"

"I wouldn't have the best opinion because back then I was still having guns stuck at me and knives to my neck. Just another downer of working in the Black Market"

"What about the sun?"

"It's hard to admire when you spend the day in smoke filled rooms and roam the cities at night"

"Well, not much change I guess"

"Yep. I hope you don't mind I took it upon myself to pay for the surgery"

"Thanks"

"With your money"

"Fuck you"

"Well here we are"

"Where is here?"

We stood in front of a two story rotting house in a row of houses. "Here, I'd like you to meet someone" He says. He opens the door and inside is a man wearing a gas mask and a green trench coat whilst cleaning his sniper rifle.

"Hey Eric, who's this you bring with you?" the man asks.

Valentine looks over to me. "You actually never told me your name" He states.

"Victor, names Victor Broker" I reply.

"Well top of the day Victor, what brings you here?" The man asks.

"He fucked with Jack and got capped in the skull, it was pretty nasty" Valentine answers.

"Well kid, you fucked up. Best hide yourself from the Thug Den if you wish to continue breathing" The man suggests.

"I'm glad we could all meet, Ryan why don't you tell Victor about yourself?" Valentine asks.

"Not much to tell, I'm an ex-sniper for the Patriots, I'm now a gun for hire. Got the cash and I can take out anyone you please" Ryan tells.

"Now, Ryan, Some jackass stole my coin last night by the name of Jason Sherwood. Turns out his a part of the Thugs Den and I want you and Victor to return my coin, and for Jason, I don't care what happens to Jason" Valentine instructs.

"How much?" Ryan asks.

"250" Valentine replies.

"Come on Victor, we have some coin to get" Ryan says getting off the wall and approaching me.