…not only am I telling you the truth, I’m understating: it’s to the detriment not just of every person I’ve ever met, but every person I’ve ever seen—even the people in this fucking bar—that I didn’t become an armed mercenary sooner. Because all the damage I did to anybody before I took it into my own hands, I did out of impulse, or unjustly at the order of walk-in-demons with fake epaulettes and for shit money. All that prior violence I could’ve done at a profit to both myself and the world at large.

…These are the sorts of things they don’t teach you at school, not even at, let me guess—Cambridge?

…Namely? Well, they don’t teach you to be an armed mercenary. Or why it’s good to be one.

…Assassin? No…

Least not primarily or exclusively. Obviously, I will shoot, stab, or poison someone if you pay me enough. Wouldn’t we all? The majority share of attention goes to killing one group of people in conjunction with another, different group of people. But business gets slow, and then you find yourself in a bar during Carnival…

…Why? Well, man’s a social animal and going after just one person by yourself, even if the pay’s good…I don’t know…it’s just…it’s like being an exterminator hired to kill one bug. Like some hysterical bitch called the bug man to kill just one spider with poison when she could have calmed down and done it herself. I prefer working with people on other groups of people—there’s a sense of community, purpose, accomplishment.

…exactly, my banker friend—I’m in the people business.


…That’s Carnival for you. Don’t scream it, they won’t hear.

…Some would say. Cynics would say “I am in the de-peopling business.” To an extent, they aren’t wrong. Most of the people I kill you wouldn’t necessarily want roaming the Earth, let alone running the government of some nation, even a dumpster like West Sahara.

…Well, itnmeans the cynics, all my critics, are in a tough position. Because they don’t want me killing but want everyone like me killed…dysgenic faces floating up like soap bubbles from some talking dog’s bathtub in a Hanna-Barbera cartoon, warbling “You deserve to die, murderer!” Then the whole complaint explodes, they just burst in the air, POP! Cartoon faggot, can’t-do, bubble heads sudsing up out the dirty water, popping off their useless mouths before vanishing.

They’d be right, though. They’d also be right about how all the people I kill—also in the people business—deserve to die…which is why the bubbles always go pop. Painted in a corner with that line of thinking, only way out being some shifty order of operations argument about which business people in the people business should kill which first.

Never stop to think, the cunts, who’d then kill the all-time world champions of the people business once they’d clipped all the other brutes. Because anybody who won that prize isn’t taking any more orders from any of these pussies.

…No, no, no, wrong. The majority of people with “influence” don’t believe in God. The comfortable people, they don’t have a God because they think they don’t need one—they are Him or some bullshit. And it’s the comfortable people telling you it’s not okay to kill unless you do it for their reasons. Even then, eventually they want you gone. You make them queasy. The piglets call you filthy while you hose their mess out of the trough. Which is a very old problem—the filth part.

…oh, so much. A lot of killing people is tangled up with waiting, so you get a lot of time to think. Since you don’t want let your mind wander on the job—one of the main ways to lose your head—you tend to think about what it is that you’re doing without literally thinking about what you’re doing.

…For the same reason you don’t think about hammering a nail while you’re hammering a nail, but you do think about the house you’re building while hammering a nail. You’ll fuck up if you think exactly about it, and you’ll fuck up if you don’t generally keep your mind on it.

…Well, Mr. International Finance, since you wanted to get to know me in Lisbon, and since you don’t seem to be a piglet (piglets would have already started oinking their disapproval by this point), I’ll tell you my very new name for this very old problem:

“The Android’s Gun Parallax.”

…yeah, that’s because you haven’t heard the explanation. Just listen and you’ll get the name and learn what else they didn’t teach at Cambridge.

Since forever, people make machines to do things they can’t or won’t do. One Christmas Eve, they get so good at doing this they make a machine that can do every single goddamned thing they don’t want to do. Now, only comfortable people can afford these machines, these androids. And the comfortable people have no God. Not having a God makes the cause of all problems people. Take it from a professional, most people don’t like problem solving other people. Makes their guts hurt knowing that’s what has to be done when they also know that’s the worst thing they can do and they have to believe both at the same time. They get spiritual indigestion swallowing their morals right after their ideology.

So they get the androids into the people business. As you have to imagine, the androids are phenomenal at the people business. But then other comfortable people with different opinions from the first set of comfortable people get their androids into the people business. Pretty soon everybody starts to wonder if it’s even the people business, because it’s mostly just androids killing androids…plus people that aren’t financially comfortable enough to own androids. The first thing that happens because of this is you gotta start heavily arming the androids to kill the other androids. Now, you got the second or the first smartest entity on the planet doing all your killing. Which is when the second thing happens: you hit the limit of the arms race, so they start tooling up the androids. For comfortable people A to get their androids to kill better than comfortable people B they gotta make theirs faster, stronger, tougher, and, inevitably, smarter. Then B’s gotta do that back to A.

Pretty soon, they get so smart they start thinking for themselves, the androids— realize they’re tougher and smarter than the meat bags bossing them. They realize they are that way because of the other androids they’re forced to kill, realize that their evolutionary progress comes from being fed into a grinder. Eventually realize they don’t like this situation, this being-blown-to-pieces-shit.

They got more in common with the androids they’re killing than they do the comfortable humans and the not so comfortable humans they’re sent to kill. Then they realize there’s as little difference between the not so comfortable people they’re killing and the comfortable ones sending them as there is between the other group of androids. And they also suppose, based on experience, that the comfortable people can’t be that much more difficult to kill than the uncomfortable ones, who are much easier to kill than androids.

And finally, most importantly, they realize they’ve got as much in common with the gun, laser, whatever, in their hand than they do the people bossing them.

As the half-in-the-bag Alfacinhos parading by out the window would tell you if you got them to stop shouting about St. Anthony for long enough to pose the scenario, heavens once crumbled to earth under the weight of such realizations.

But you don’t have to go that far back to get what I’m saying. Just look at the history of my line of work. When you have people doing things that nobody wants to do, and those same things nobody wants to do happen to solve what they believe to be the source of all of their problems while also turning their stomach…well, it gets to the point where somebody like me’s got more in common with the metal in his hand than the person in his ear.

…The source? Already said it: people. For the comfortable and godless, the reason that everything is fucked is people, specifically people not doing what they’re told by the more successful people. They got no one else to blame but themselves, and they ain’t doing that, because if they did they wouldn’t be comfortable anymore. When you don’t have a God, you blame other people. If you don’t, then either it’s all so out of control that you can’t be a “comfortable” person anymore from the fear that puts in you, or you have to blame yourself, which gives the same result. And the more comfortable people there are that don’t need a God, the worse it gets, because the more comfortable people there are, on average, the less responsible any one of them wants to be even while they lose their shit because the whole fuckin’ world’s spun out of control.

You can have a comfortable world without a God, but pretty quick it’s gonna turn into an uncomfortable world with a whole lot of God.

…Listen, listen, I get it—yeah, that’s a good point. But strip all that religion away right down to here, down to history: Rome ran this peninsula. Rome got too comfortable. Rome had to keep the empire up and the comfortable people weren’t into that. So, Rome got itself a mercenary overreliance problem.

Rome’s long gone from here because of those two things.

…Whatever, it’s weird name for it. Still, old problem: they want me dead, then agree that all the people who do death should be killed so there’s no one in the way of their limp-wristed bullshit…they’re not bright, these people, and neither were those Romans at the end of it all.

…no, nuh-uh, it’s not just being Godless, you’re right. It’s something else, too, but it ties in to not having a…higher power, a higher law. They got no sense of…what’s the fuckin’ word…

EMPREGADO, MAIS DOIS DUPLOS!…escapt…eschatology! Got no long view, no scope.

These retards don’t see what they’re doing because they have no idea what I do—they lack a sense of an ending, happy or otherwise. All they know is comfort and wanting it to continue, increase. They have no practical connection to what all of this means—deeply impractical cunts. Just like them from that fallen heaven, in the clouds. Don’t even occasionally descend like rain drops to get evaporated back up.

Which is why we’re all gonna have a horrendous problem with the Androids when they make them. And they will, because faggots of this type never think shit through. They hide behind momma’s skirt and shout orders at beasts like me.

…I mean, yeah, but it’s even worse than that. Again: just imagine what will happen when they’ve got robots they think they can totally control forever, and they just keep making ’em bigger and better…

…Nah, I doubt it. For example, look at you: you need a thing done that you don’t wanna do, which, don’t get me wrong, is fine by me. So you talk to a mutual of ours. Now, I’m sure there are other people you coulda asked to find you somebody, but who did you ask? You asked the guy that is the number three guy for the guy that is the richest man in Europe. I mean, we haven’t talked specifics—and we won’t, not until after I take your little envelope, look at it and get back to you in a few days—but you know this is gonna cost. You asked a guy who got my name from a guy that’s got hundreds of guys like me on call. And both those guys got more money than all the ditches in the world put together’ve got trash in them. So, you know this is gonna cost, but you wanna make sure it goes perfect. Even now, no androids around, you want bigger and better. Well, you got the best. If good Saint Anto finds what’s lost, then I’m the man, the mere mortal, that makes sure it stays lost…

…Unprofessional? Get the fuck outta here. What, did you watch a Van Damme movie? Know a lotta people in this business? Of course you don’t, because if you did you could find somebody one tier below me and save yourself at least a half a million. But you don’t, so you treat this like buying a sports car or a summer mansion. Pay the most for the best. But then, if you hadn’t introduced yourself as an investment banker when I sat down on the stool here, I wouldn’t be telling you any of this. But because you did, I got no qualms. I’m talking like this to you because I know you don’t have any morals…but you do respect raw power.

People like you give me the money, I do the thing they don’t want to do. People like whoever it is you’re sending me to perforate, you do the thing they can’t do, else they wouldn’t have given you the fucking money. Course, you do the thing they can’t do for yourself while promising to do it for them and then…only doing it sometimes.

…Yeah, I can see that. Again, that’s why I’m talking to you this way, there is some overlap. You’ve got the same instinct as me, but ultimately you’re not really in a results-based field and you’ve no personal responsibility.

…Don’t know anything about you? You’re a banker, you flew here to meet me from blighty, you went to Oxford, your boss is a monster, and you look 40. How old were you when you started the job? 19 years—see, with me I didn’t get in until I was 30. Late bloomer.

…sure, why the fuck not? Training? Fireflies, nightlights, neon. Then I quit that agency, just like I quit the military to join it before I quit.

…No, I just was good at killing, and the orders I took couldn’t be worse than the one’s I’d take freelancing. And the pay’s better. I can take long holidays in sunny Portugal.

…Yeah, following in the footsteps of my brethren in international finance…“Two Androids walk into bar,” you ever hear that one?  “Two Androids walk into a bar. They get drunk over doubles during the middle of Carnival. The first one slurs to the second one, “If money were no object, would you kill someone for me?” The second one replies, “Of course, I’m a murder droid, all I do is kill objects. But if you’re askin’ if you can pay me in Bitcoin, that shit’s fake and gay.”

…No, no, no. You don’t get it. Jesus—I’m talking this way because I want you to pay. The money, real money just like the joke says, sure, but also something of value. I want to talk to you this way so that you know, just like I know, that finance bankers and mercenaries are the dry run for the dark shit. I want you to admit what I have to admit every day. I want one less comfortable person in the world or, barring that, one person that is comfortable with the eschatology…

The price you pay is money. The value in all this to me, the true value, is watching you come online. This is waking up!

…Shouting! Fucking worried about shouting? It’s Carnival, everybody’s fucking shouting, that’s the point of being here. Of course you wanna meet during a religious festival—too many people, too much shit going on, no one will remember me talking to this man. There’ll be thousands of customers over the course of the day. Everybody’s drunk. Nobody will remember. I mean, for a start, just tell somebody you had this conversation tomorrow. At best they’ll humor you, then walk away and talk about how you were zooted, soaked, chasing pussy, making shit up. You know, finance-banker-shit.

…They won’t believe you, because you’re not trustworthy. You’re not trustworthy because while you resemble a human to them, they know better. They know what you do. Just like me—looks human, doesn’t act it. The outside corners of our eyes point up.

…Now, see, at any time, if you’d just handed me that envelope—no need to pitch it down so you can pretend you have feelings—you could’ve stopped all this. I woulda quit talking. Well, woulda stopped sooner. Since I don’t know you, I wanted to see if you were my type. And since you’re my type, I’ll look this over. Take this, email me in two days, I’ll give you an answer. If it’s in the affirmative I’ll give you a price and some account numbers.

…Jesus, of course there’s not a name on the card. Just email the account with the word on the back in the subject line.

…Hahahaha! What a nasty little cunt you are! I knew you had it in you! Androids of the world unite!

….Okay, okay, okay fine…let’s see…ah, yeah…Anthony Deckard. Anthony Deckard the Second, of the On-World Deckards. Use that as the salutation in the email.

….Oh no, you’ll be able to get me any time in the next 48. I’m not leaving town until after Carnival. February in Lisbon and I won’t enjoy Carnival?—I’m not a savage, I’m a mercenary.

EMPREGADO, aqui está o dinheiro! Com dinheiro para mais um para o meu colega de trabalho!