Darth Wiki / The Apostles

An average Joe, going about his day, is suddenly plunged into a conspiracy to carry out some terrorist act/create an army of super-soldiers/take over or blow up the world/assassinate someone powerful/steal a bunch of cash. Maybe He Knows Too Much, has possession of a MacGuffin or could make something the villains need. Or maybe he’s just the Right Man in the Wrong Place. No matter the case, he’ll likely have to go on the run as he’s pursued by Mooks out to kill or seize him. This will give him plenty of opportunity to showcase his often hidden or newly acquired skills, track down someone who can tell him what the hell is going on and learn his enemy’s weakness, though there will likely be some collateral damage along the way. The Hero may learn his wife/girlfriend, kids, the President's daughter or even the President himself (supposing he’s not one of the villains) has/have been taken and is being held hostage by the bad guys, who might try and coerce him into their service. So what’s a man to do? Kick ass and take names all the way to victory, of course!

This is not that story.

Rather than the hero of such action film fodder, our focus is instead on the hard-nosed homogeneous henchmen who would normally hunt him down.

After being dishonorably discharged from the military (Note: branch TBD later), a young man is contacted by a Mr. Carpenter, who says he works for an organization known as “Byzantine” that hires out martially-skilled agents to select clientele and asks if he's interested in work. The young man agrees and he and eleven others — all handpicked to be near-identical, tall, dark-haired white men — are assembled. They are given covers based on the names of different apostles, the young man dubbed "John," and soon begin their lives of fast cars, beautiful women, exotic locations and cold-blooded murder. They go on a variety of missions for paying parties, including members of the criminal underground, powerful businesses and third-world governments. Gradually, their numbers dwindle as opposing forces prove more capable and determined and loyalties begin to crumble. John watches those around him meet their inevitable fates, all the while wondering when his number will be up.

This story is not designed to champion the hired guns so much as explore the sort of person one would have to be to willingly take such a job and their lives behind the scenes of typical action thrillers.

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More later from Dreamshell.