Spoiler Alert: This story mentions plot from The Expendables 2, you have been warned.
Authors Note: Set in a slight AU. In this one, Billy The Kid survived being stabbed by Vilian. I had planned to introduce a new character in his place but found myself writing one similar to Billy, so I decided to bring him in. As this is a work in progress any feedback is welcome!
Barney Ross sits towards the middle of the bar at Ackerson's Bar, a local dive bar. He's sipping a beer while half paying attention to the two TV's hanging above the bar, one playing a baseball game and the other muted and on the local news. The Expendables made it back from a mission overseas a few days ago and he's enjoying his time off till the next job comes along.
A lanky man in a suit and tie, looking completely out of place, strolls into the bar and immediately takes a seat a stool away from Barney. He glances over his shoulder before ordering a vodka tonic. There's a sense of jitteriness to the man as he turns to Barney, "Whose winning?" He asks as he cocks his head towards the TV playing the baseball game.
"Not really paying attention." Barney answers, "Though I'm sure you could call one of your spook buddies to find out." He takes one last swing of the beer in his bottle and signals the bartender for another.
Barney's words cause the man to get more anxious "I don't know what you mean." He tells him. "You seem troubled with your thoughts. Perhaps going to Church would be a good idea. Give you a new perspective." The words come out of his mouth in such a way that Barney knows they are rehearsed. The kid is a CIA agent in training.
"Hold the beer Andy." Barney says to the bartender putting money down on the bar top. He gets up from the seat and puts a hand on the shoulder of the man. "Don't worry kid I have a way of spotting spooks when I see them." He tells the kid, keeping his voice low, before walking out. With the nearest church just over a mile away, Barney takes his motorcycle there.
As he pulls into the parking lot, the familiar black SUV he's grown to associate with the man he only knows as Mr. Church. He kills the engine to the bike before heading up the stairs and into the church. Sure enough Church is sitting in one of the middle pews, looking bored and annoyed to have waited so long.
"Next time send someone who doesn't need training wheels. I made him the second I saw him." Barney tells Church as he walks up the aisle, stopping near the pew Church sits in.
Church cracks a grin, "I thought a little humor might be needed before I hand this off to you." Church says grabbing a folder from beside him. He rises to his feet, leaning against the pew.
"Cut to the chase Church. Last time I saw you, you were threatening to throw me in the deepest darkest hole you could find. We're even for that one and I haven't done shit to cross you since." Barney says.
Church casts a glance to the three black suited security agents he has with him, giving a knowing nod. The men tense, ready to spring on Barney, which has him realizing something big is up. Church pulls a picture from the file and holds it out for Barney to see "Meet Agent Alyssa Hollis. She was an elite FBI computer specialist and hacker until she was recruited by me to work for the company. Most recently she was working undercover as a hacker for a Russian mob affiliate. Her objective was to gather information on the affiliate while assisting them in their plans to create a computer virus capable of stealing credit card information from hundreds of thousands of people. She missed a check in two days ago and this morning we got an emergency alert from her. Sources reveal her cover was blown and she is now being held captive in the headquarters."
Barney listens to Church talk about the girl while looking the picture over. "And you want us to go in and get her right?" Barney asks, "Don't you spooks have extraction teams?"
"They have her drugged and working against her will to finish the computer program. Her rescue is matter of national security." Church explains, "If she finishes the program, they will kill her and use it to bankroll their operation."
Casting another glance at the girl in the picture, clearly for some sort of ID, Barney gets the feeling there's something Church isn't telling him. "If we do this Church, you're going to be the one owing me a favor. Make it two for the things you clearly aren't telling me."
Church looks to the security agents then looks to Barney, "As part of Agent Hollis' deal for joining the CIA she wanted me to track down her birth father. I've been working it personally as often as I can. One of our reconstruction techs did a mock up of what her father could possibly look like based on hers and her mother's appearances." Church pulls a second photo from his file and holds it out to Barney.
There are six images on the sheet and all of them look similar to Barney. "I think I'd know if I had a kid, Church." Barney says, "This girl must be pretty darn valuable for you to try and guilt trip me into taking it. I think we're done here." Barney says and turns for the door, one of the security agent's moves to block the exit. "You'll be across the room and I'll still be walking out that door when I'm done with you." Barney warns him.
"Karen Howard, she lived in the North End in a small one bedroom near the water." Church says pulling a third photo from his folder and holds it up, "Twenty years ago, you were taking time off and ended up extending it into a hiatus of sorts."
Karen's name causes Barney to turn back towards Church; he looks at the picture and knows her. He stopped being a mercenary to be with Karen, he thought he could live an honest life with her. It only last half a year or so before the darkness built up in him and he realized he could never live a completely honest life. He made his living by killing, not by working construction, in an auto body or whatever other odd job he could find. He had seen so many others struggle with long term relationships with their line of work. If he told Karen the truth either she'd kick him to the curb or spend her days worrying about him when he was away working. If he lied to her, he'd be doing just that and he couldn't do it. Which left him with only one option, to end things with her and he did. He left her the meager contents of his savings account and skipped town to head back to work as a mercenary. As the years past Karen became just a memory of a life he couldn't live. He hadn't thought about her in a long awhile, until now.
"Karen is Agent Hollis's mother; she died eight years ago when Hollis was twelve. She was put into foster care with no other family to take her in. Her birth certificate was blank on the line for the father." Church says and then steps closer to Barney, "I know it's a lot to take in, now I can't prove it 100%, not without DNA, but I think we both know that girl is your daughter. And there is a ticking time clock hanging above her head. You and your team get her out and we'll run the DNA. If she's not your daughter, well you did a good deed and I owe you those two favors. If she is, well you get it."
Barney holds his hand out for the file, "If this is some sort of trick Church I'm going to come for you and I will kill you. Understood?"
Church nods and hands the file over, "Her location and everything you need is in there. Actually." Church reaches into his suit pocket and pulls out a black case, it's thin and long enough to a pencil, "If my sources are correct she's going to be severely drugged, you'll need this." He hands the case over to Barney.