I don’t like working with third parties, especially free-lancers. I prefer doing operations in solo or in team when the whole team is from my organization. Third parties stress me out. In this business, interests often conflict, and people are smart enough to know how to act in their best interests. Freelancers are the worse. They don’t answer to anyone. They don’t have a hierarchy to respect or rules to observe, apart from their own. Even worse, they’re often the smartest. You don’t last long as a freelancer when you don’t know exactly what you’re doing.
I was leaning back on the hood of the car, trying to keep an eye on the pair of guys fussing with the map. I had basically been forced to work with these two. The organization’s contacts didn’t reach too far in this country, so they had to resort to a dangerous option: Lou and Saul. These two “consultants” had established their base of operations here after their work back home had forced them to flee. I had never seen them work, but I had heard about it. High competences all across the board. Tech, weapons, work on and off the field. A mix of creativity and highly paranoid security surrounded most of their operations. They both knew tae kwon do, they could both hack at a high level, and no one really knew how they split the rest of the competences. They worked as a solid duo and didn’t really seem to trust anyone but each other. Pairs like them were rare. The work was tough and ungrateful enough that most freelance teams disintegrated quickly. Not them.
“So, are we going soon? The night falls quickly here” I asked back, sounding a little too impatient. These guys talked a lot to each other without including me. The slight paranoia every guy doing my job needed was ticked. Lou, the deer lifted his eyes, shrugging. “It’s not really important. We’re so ahead of schedule we could camp out two days here. We got an inflatable tent that can fit us and the jeep. Chill.”
I shrugged and returned my eyes to the horizon. I wanted to get in touch with my contact in the city as soon as possible, feel like I had someone else in my camp nearby. While we were in the desert, I had to trust the stag and skunk, though, it was their turf. Once in town, though, I’d be calling the shots. I couldn’t wait. Saul then called me to them, and explained our route, his finger tracing a long loop on the beige-colored paper. I sighed. “We have to make that long a detour? What about this?” I asked, tracing down a straight line towards the city. The skunk shook his head. “Bandits and bad acquaintances who’ll be looking for vehicules like this. We can’t risk it. Contingencies.”
I nodded, irked. “Contingencies” seemed to be these two’s catchphrases. I could really see what people meant when they said the duo planned ahead to an insane level. I just didn’t want to spend another night in the tent with them, at least until the mission was completed. The threesomes were nice, of course, but I’d enjoy them more if less was still at stake.