"I don't even know who he is."

I wish that were true, but even if it was, Passos was still at the end of that gun. The poor kid's hands were twitching and the barrel was moving along for the ride. I leveled my shotgun at the poor bastard like the barrels were God's pointer fingers, ready to smite the kid with extreme prejudice. I had to act fast, or else Passos would have a shiny new hole in his head, so I squeezed the trigger. It all went by too fast, but I could see the actions my reckless decision had caused.

Sure, the kid was hit by the pellets of the buckshot, but I watched as one stray slammed through the side of Passos's skull. His blood splattered against the stone, and he went down like a deck of playing cards. I remember my mind racing at the time, unsure of what to make of my actions. Passos was clearly dead on impact; he wasn't moving, he wasn't breathing, and he sure as hell wasn't raising a gun to help fight off the rest of the goombahs that were quickly surrounding the area of his demise.

But then, the scene shifted. I felt weightless as my vision suddenly warped and bent. It was like I downed a whole bottle of my painkillers at once, and the high was fixing to kill me. Everything faded away and I thought that, for once, I could be at peace in this new void. But alas, it wasn't meant to be. What was meant to be, however, chilled me down to the bone.

"Ain't no reprievement gonna be found otherwise!" the kid repeated, still holding the gun to Passos's head. But I could barely hear him. The kid was dead. Passos was dead. Yet here they both were, alive and well, still clinging on to the motivation they had in the moment. I stammered through my response, letting my shotgun laze to the left, right to Passos's body.

"Hey, man!" he shouted, "I'm not the guy who brought you into this!" I had to see if it happened again. I wasn't ready to risk Passos's life, but at the same time, if this whole situation repeated again, his life wouldn't even be in danger. I actively held the barrels up to Passos. "Hey, hey!" he shouted, joking "I-I thought the whole "murder-suicide" thing was a long way off!" That struck a chord with me. If it happened with someone other than me, then...well, would it work with me? I had to figure it out. I held the shotgun up to my chin, and before Passos could protest, I pulled the trigger.

I suppose it was lucky when, the second my vision went black, the warping reemerged. The stone melted into odd pieces of terrain that seemed downright impossible, and the snow became a white mess barely qualifying as anything resembling snow. And again: "Ain't no reprievement gonna be found otherwise!" was what the kid shouted again.

This time, reality seemed to return to slap me in the face, and my response was less than eloquent. I threw my shotgun over my shoulder and yelled out "What the fuck is happening?!", much to the confusion of both the kid and Passos.

The kid stammered out "W-What? I-um, well, this is a hostage situation, I-I think-"

"No, you idiot!" I shouted back. Clearly, he'd have no idea what I was talking about, but while I had it on my mind, I might as well have asked. "I shot you!"

The kid ran his hands over his suit, utterly confused. The gun was away from Passos, but he didn't move. Instead, he seemed content to sit there and wait. "Nah," he responded, "I-I don't think you did. I'da felt it."

Passos, for his part, looked quite concerned. Probably because I was yapping on about pellets never fired and shells never used, so I understood what was going on with him. "Hey, Max? You, uh, you okay?" he asked me. Honestly, you ask me now, I'd say "Depends, are you here to kill me or drink me under the table?", but back then, I was less calm and I had less class.

"Okay?!" I asked with the tone of someone speaking to a world class idiot; a real nutcase who's just gonna end up hurting himself. "I'm not crazy, watch! Hey!" I shouted out to the kid. He seemed startled, even more so when I demanded "Shoot me in the face!"

"...What," the kid responded, no question mark doing any justice for his tone. It sounded like I just demanded he dance around in a clown outfit and belt out the lyrics to some pop song no one will remember by next month, but again, I couldn't fault him for it. After a second, and despite any protests from Passos, he shrugged and raised the barrel up to me. I heard a loud bang, saw a quick flash, and once again, the world shook to pieces. And when I came to, que the sentence, "Ain't no reprievement gonna be found otherwise!"

I was getting sick of this constant "looping" or whatever it was, so I simply drew my Micro-Uzi and fired a shot straight between the kid's eyes. Passos, for his part, acted fast, scrambling over to the gun as more mooks popped out from their hidey holes. And even in the pitched firefight, I couldn't stop thinking about this new...thing that was going on with me.


By the time it caught my attention again, I had a shovel digging deep into snow, a gun against my cheek, and Passos was out like a light. In such a perilous situation, usually the last thing you want is to get yourself shot, but…

"Your body won't bury itself! Dig, motherfucker!" were the mook's words. Good, had to keep that in mind. I stopped suddenly, turned to the mook, and simply smirked. That was it. Apparently, that struck a bit of a nerve, as he immediately pistol whipped me. It still hurt, which could go either way, really: good or bad, I was going to check if this shit still worked. And if it didn't, maybe now I could finally just die and move on from the world. But as soon as he shot me, it was obvious that it wasn't meant to be. The snow seemed to bend and twist again, and the graves turned to grey blobs. And, as expected, when things returned to normal: "Your body won't bury itself! Dig, motherfucker!"

With a sigh, I put a plan into action, smacking one mook with dirt from the shovel before using the force to knock the other guy out onto his ass. Passos sprang up and shot a third guy who was running, and I grabbed a Micro-Uzi. Hopefully, his power lasts forever. I'm gonna need it.


Well, I hope you enjoyed either this random one-shot, or part of a random one-shot collection. I came up with the idea after, well, accidentally shooting Passos in the mission this was based on. So, if you liked it, maybe I'll keep doing it with other missions. Might even explore game glitches and the like. Have a great day.