If the job doesn't kill you, retirement will
Recently retired assassin Michael Green is killed at his home in Chile by a team of his former comrades from the Damocles corporation, a private security firm.
Duncan Vizla, aka “the Black Kaiser”, another Damocles assassin, is preparing for his mandatory retirement at age 50 by checking in with his physician and financial adviser. Duncan is set for life. He has multiple properties spread across 4 states, has invested his salary wisely, and is comfortably able to contribute $200,000 per year to a charitable trust. He has made the maximum pension fund contributions over his career, with matching from Damocles. On his 50th birthday, in 14 days, he will be entitled to an immediate pay out of half the fund, amounting to $8 million.
He is contacted by his handler, Vivian, who says Mr. Blut, the owner of the Damocles corporation, wants him to travel to Belarus to kill a hitman allegedly responsible for the murder of Michael Green and 3 other Damocles assassins before settling into retirement. Duncan declines.
Duncan disappears to the small town of Triple Oak, Montana, where he intends to settle into a quiet retirement at a lakeside cabin. He gathers the trappings of normalcy, getting a dog (which he accidentally kills during a post traumatic stress related episode) and doing favors for the neighbor, but Duncan is bored and haunted by recurring nightmares from his time as one of the world’s premier killers-for-hire — in particular, a botched hit in which he ambushed a car carrying a family, when only the mark was supposed to be present.
It is revealed that Mr. Blut intends to sell Damocles and, as a way to inflate the company’s worth before the sale, is killing off employees approaching retirement to avoid paying out their pension funds and retain the money. Additionally, all Damocles employees have a contract clause stipulating that, should they die at any time without a will and named beneficiary, Damocles Co. is their legal heir and assumes all of their assets. Vivian again reaches out to Duncan, doubling the price for the (fake) revenge assassination in Belarus. Duncan travels to Minsk and completes the job despite it being a trap to kill him before his birthday. Vivian advises Mr. Blut pay Duncan in full and then allow Duncan to retire peacefully. Blut instead sends out the same hit squad that killed Green, who begin searching for Duncan at his numerous properties.
Duncan returns to Triple Oak and attempts to be normal, with often awkward and accidentally violent missteps. Duncan has one neighbor, a jumpy and nervous young woman named Camille, whom the chatty general store owner introduces him to during his trip to town for birthday supplies. Camille is shy and easily frightened, but Duncan takes a liking to her and the two awkward people become friends. She encourages him to get involved in the town by teaching a class of school children about the many countries he’s visited, and he purchases her a gift and acts as a sympathetic audience when she opens up about trauma in her past.
The assassins tracking Duncan have killed their way through Duncan’s colorful tenants, but found no trace of him at any of his listed properties. They head to Triple Oak, since it is through the local bank that Duncan makes his annual charity trust donations. One of the assassins, Sindy, pretends her car has broken down, and Duncan takes her home. She seduces him into a game rough sex, with the plan for another assasin to kill him by sniper rifle when she moves to fellatio. But the home ambush fails, and Duncan turns the tables and kills them one by one, including Mr. Blut’s girlfriend. Even so, Damocles operatives manage to kidnap Camille, looking to use her as bait to draw him into the open.
Duncan travels to Detroit to get information from a former mentor, Porter, who informs Duncan of the inheritance clauses in his contract and the plot to kill and collect on the pension funds. But Porter betrays him and drugs him in order to turn him over to Damocles. Upset over the death of his assassin girlfriend, and with 4 days until Duncan’s birthday (when he’ll receive his $8 million payout) Blut decides to torture Duncan for three days before killing him. Duncan endures significant torture before breaking free and slaughtering Damocles agents during his escape. He makes his way to an old lover, Jazmin, who tends to his wounds and supplies him with weaponry. Offering to trade himself for Camille, Duncan lures Vivian and dozens of Damocles mercenaries to a remote location, where he slaughters them with Jazmin’s remote-controlled machine guns. Blut’s remaining men desert him, and Duncan arrives at Damocles headquarters, where he kills Blut.
Duncan finds Camille heavily drugged and brings her back to her home in Montana to nurse her back to health. One morning, he finds papers in her room — check stubs from his own charitable donations and newspaper clippings about the botched assassination that has haunted him for years. Camille reveals that she was the child Duncan had spared that day — the only member of the family to survive — and that she had been receiving the $200,000 a year he donated to a trust fund set up to care for that child. Much like the Damocles hit squad, she had followed the money to the town and purchased a home there in the hopes of meeting him.
Duncan offers her the opportunity to kill him, but she cannot bring herself to do so. Instead, she asks him to help her track down who had put a hit out on her father, and he agrees.