“We have access to criminals, specifically criminals on death row. Except instead of an injection, you’ll do the deed. You understand that we have to know that you can do what you say you can do. We need proof.”

There were a thousand reasons to turn around. Did I want to be a part of a government that could kill so casually? I thought about the news over the last few weeks. Terror and violence had surged since this whole thing started. I needed answers. I needed to do something. I needed the money.

I gestured for my guide to open the door. Inside was a man tied to a chair, a cloth bag over his head. That was all. A row of darkened glass likely hid observers or recording equipment.

“What did he do?” I asked.

“Attempted robbery,” He held up a hand as I started to interrupt, “when the robbery failed, he took children as hostages. Not all of them made it back alive.”

I hung on to that.

Lifting my hand, as if to bless him, I pushed. Ruby lines shot out, and the convict’s body convulsed once and was still.

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