There is an old church in Santa Fe that once belonged to the McCree family for generations. Though it survived the Omnic Crisis, it could not survive neglect over the passage of time. The windows are boarded, the mahogany podium is knocked over. Worn bibles with fingerprints molded into the leather cover are scattered around the dust filled floor. A small fountain once filled with holy water now runs dry. Rumbles of friendship, laughter, and gambling from the bar next door can be heard through the half-open entryway; a striking contrast to the deserted holy grounds.
The target is the crumbling statue of Mary surrounded by broken candlesticks at the front. Ten year old Jesse McCree weeps quietly as he wraps his mother’s serape closer to his body to fend off the cold draft. His father, Ernesto, stands beside him, revolver aimed with steady brown fingers and a steadier heart. The tears in his eyes do not fall like Jesse’s and grief flares his nostrils. Jesse whimpers and tugs at the hem of Ernesto’s jeans. To see his father wallow in despair makes him anxious.
“Listen to me, tesoro.” Ernesto quickly dries Jesse’s wet cheeks and nudges him away. Jesse’s safety always comes first. His baby boy, his only child. “God has a hitman disguised as a demon—always watching, always knowing. Do you know what their name is?” Once-vibrant curls stick to his sweaty forehead. The bags beneath his eyes are as dark as the shadows that lap at his feet.
“N-No.” Jesse hides behind a collapsed bench as his father squeezes the trigger. He covers his ears and flinches when the bullet pierces Mary’s porcelain heart.
Ernesto lowers the smoking revolver and presses a kiss to his rosary.
“Deadeye.” His voice is broken. He is a hollow man, gloom squeezing between the emotion and the response. “And no one survives a shot from them.”
[There are sinners, and there are saints. Deadeye is neither.]