The next morning Janice was waiting for me at the front door of the school. She always had enough energy to make a rabbit jealous, but today she had more than normal. Maybe it was because of how big of a job the hit was and how it would affect the standing of her organization her and on the other worlds.
I might not have been in the business as long as others, but I did know some things. The most sought after groups were the ones that could pull off the toughest and highest profile jobs. And to be honest, the number that could was countable with the fingers on one hand.
“Are you ready?” Janice asked, the words coming out a bit too fast and her pitch a hair too high.
“I can’t help it, this is big.”
“Yeah, so? Take a deep breath.”
“How can you be so fucking calm with so much on the line?”
“What do you want me to do? Run around shivering and bitching about being nervous?”
“You know, it’d be nice if for one time you actually showed some emotion.”
“Getting worked up before a job doesn’t help a bit.”
“If you say so.”
We make our way to home room and the longest day of my life starts in earnest. Time seemed to drag as the teacher listed off the announcements for the day, which I scarcely heard. Instead my mind is on the job ahead and the thousand details that still needed to be carried out.
“You need to stop worrying,” I said.
“I’m glad you’re feeling confident.”
“I’m that good.”
Classes seemed to go by in a blur now that the time to leave drew closer. The other students spend the day complaining about things like tests and whether a particular boy or girl likes them, all the while I continued to plan the hit. Once again I wondered what they’d think if I were to tell them that I was the assassin Mareth.
Finally it’s time to go and I slip out the front door and head for home. With almost everyone in my building being white collar workers, the place is deserted when I arrive. It takes less than five minutes to go up, go to the secret hiding place I have for my weapons, grab the backpack and then leave again.
Traffic proved to be murder and a twenty minute ride turned into forty as I finally reached the area around City Hall. Security officers were like ants and they swarmed around ever building along Main Street, which wasn’t surprising in the least. Of course they’d want to secure the buildings closest to the stage so they could place their own snipers in position to stop anyone who tried to kill the speaker.
A cold wind whipped through the part of my hair not covered by my helmet as I shift gears and start to accelerate away. Only a couple people should be in the restaurant when I arrive, which is perfect. While I’m not bothered by killing people, I despised having to make unnecessary murders.
The number of cars in the underground parking deck was double then what were there last night. Thank God for small favors, because that meant my bike wouldn’t look so out of place. Now the challenge would be getting into the building without being seen.
I hang my helmet on one of the handlebars and then casually make my way towards the elevators. A pair of workers passed me on their way to their cars and neither paid any attention to me. Why, when they were busy talking about a business deal being worked on, would either even care about the teen that passed them by. As far as they knew, I could be an employee of the restaurant.
A quick check of watch actually shows that I’m still ahead of schedule despite the problems with traffic. It would take less than a minute to assemble the rifle and then three to five more to get into proper position. Throw in five minutes or so to get the staff into the refrigerator and I’d need a little over ten minutes to be ready.
That’d be plenty of time because the speech didn’t start for another forty minutes. Only thing I’d have to worry about would be the stress that came from waiting in a spot where someone could find me. Never before did I have to wait this long to fire on a target, which meant it’d be a learning experience that would help me in the future.
The elevator comes to a stop and I exit before making a beeline for the closest women’s room and duck into the furthest stall from the door. A couple women entered and I stopped pulling the gear out of the backpack for a couple minutes until they left. Once I had my outfit on, I exited and then approached a door marked ‘Authorized Personnel Only.’
Three people look at me, their eyes growing wide as I enter the room. I can imagine how I look to them. With my cloak and ninja mask I make a mean imitation of what folks make death look like in the movies. No doubt a part of them are thinking that their lives are about to end, and if they make me it would.
“Uh,” the chef said, his voice shaking. “Anything we can do for you?”
I pull out the pistol. “Ok, everyone, into the walk-in.”
The three shuffle across the kitchen towards the refrigerators metal door. Two of them look at me and I aim at their foreheads and they turned away to face the door again. A quick nudge by the chef, followed by him shaking his head, lead the others to clam up and follow him into the cooler.
I wait for the door to shut behind me, cutting us off from the world, before I aim at the back of the chef’s head and then pull the trigger twice. A second later I drop the second worker and then the third before stuffing the pistol into its holster again.
Time continued to tick down as I emptied the contents of my backpack onto the floor. The first things I pick up are the black synthetic body of the rifle and then unfold the stock. Once that was in place, I grab the barrel and then slide it into the body until a click tells me it’s in place. The scope pops into a grove on top and then I unfold the two legs that work to keep the gun steady.
I place a miniature timer on the floor beside the rifle and then lay down on my stomach. There wasn’t a damn thing I could do now but wait and that would be the worst part. Every job up to this point had me in motion the entire time; not sitting in one spot waiting for the target to come to me. Every instinct in my body screams to run and keep moving but I push it into the background.
Given the time of day, no one else would be arriving at the restaurant until an hour after I’m done. By then the police and security forces will have found the dead bodies and they won’t be able to enter. While that’d suck for them, I’d be far, far away from here and rich as hell.
The timer clicks down to five minutes and I reach into a pocket and grab a set of earplugs. Once I put one in each ear, I then lift up the rifle slightly and look through the scope. Greenmist’s mayor was a portly man with a bald head and teeth that were so white they gleamed. He also was in love with under aged boys, which would eventually lead to me being paid to kill him, but that isn’t today so I ignore that fact.
A soft beep from the timer coincides with the time that the politician reaches the podium. He’s a young man, probably in his early thirties, blonde haired and is over six foot in height. Even from this distance and through the scope I can see how lean and toned his body is and how everyone around him subtly took on submissive roles around him.
He started the speak, and the combination of his words, body language and usage of his hands started to get the crowd behind what he said. None of it surprised me after seeing videos of him last night as I planned.
It takes a another minute to adjust for the distance and slightly breeze before locking the scope onto his chest. I sucked in a deep breath and hold it as I gently pulled the trigger towards me. The rifle kicked against my shoulder and the roar of the weapon echoed around me as the bullet shattered the glass and then raced away.
A second later the sound of the shot and the bullet arrived at the same time. The phosphorus round cut through the armored glass that protected the speaker and then the .305 round ripped into his chest. Blood sprayed out of his mouth as the man started to stumble backwards and I fired again. The second round caught the falling man in the head and his skull blew apart in a spray of bone and flesh.
Security forces burst into motion as they pulled their weapons and started to point at various buildings around the area. It wouldn’t take them but ten minutes or so to think to check buildings this far out, so I start to break down the rifle and then slip out of my cloak. Once finished, I leave a single rose and then slip out the staff entrance. A quick check of the hall shows no one has investigated the shots before heading for the elevator.
The car slows to a stop and I act like I’m wrapped up in listening to music on a portable player as a man and woman enter. They start to talk amongst themselves about the events of their day and how uneventful it’d been. It took all my self-control to keep from telling them that things would change in no more than thirty minutes but I keep to myself. No point in coming so far and then fucking things up at the very end.
They exit at the lobby and I continue on to the parking deck. I start to walk a hair faster as I approach the Ducati. About five minutes remained before the security forces would arrive, so I quickly put the helmet on and then fire up the motor.
Sirens are wailing as I exit the deck and then start down the road towards them, making sure to make sure I’m not driving any faster than the traffic around me. Ten cars go flashing past headed the opposite way and three air craft start to hover outside the restaurant.
Nothing makes an assassin feel better than knowing he or she accomplished a tough job and got in and out undetected. That is one of the reasons why people take up this type of job. Oh, killing people can be fun to the right person, but the challenge of making a successful hit drove most on. Me? I’m driven by two things: the money and the pride of doing what others couldn’t.
By now the police will have found the dead bodies in the cooler and the single rose on the floor and realized I struck again. How they’d react to it would be interesting and just how much information would be released to the media. Would the anchors be talking about Mareth or just in general terms?
Janice’s car was parked in the parking lot when I get home. It’s not surprising in the least to see her here after a job of this magnitude. What kind of boss would she be if she didn’t check in on me once I got back? Tom she is not. She actually gave a shit about what happened to me, while that fucker didn’t give a rat’s ass as long as his target died.
“Congratulations,” she said when I entered my apartment.
“Make yourself at home,” I said as I carefully set the backpack down on the floor and then removed my cloak and gloves.
“You don’t sound very excited for someone who just pulled off the biggest political assassination in this planet’s history!”
“I’m just tired and hungry.”
“Take a nap and have a snack then.”
“Hold that thought,” I said before ordering Chinese for delivery.
While waiting for the Hunan Chicken to arrive, I cut on the holovid and change the channel until reaching the twenty-four hour news channel. The anchorman was reporting on my handiwork. “Breaking News” flashed over his head and he read off the details with such flair that it was difficult not to be impressed.
“Police aren’t releasing any details,” the man said. “But sources are saying that it’s the work of Mareth.”
“You’re making quite a name for yourself,” Janice said.
“Had to happen sooner or later.”
The doorbell interrupted Janice’s response, which was fine with me. Frankly, I didn’t want to keep talking about the job. Now it was time to just sit back, eat and listen to the news.
Believe it or not, there’s much you can learn from what’s not said when the media discusses things. Most broadcast information about events like assassinations are talking points provided by the security forces, which of course would have gaps in the story.
I plop down on the couch and start to stuff my face while the anchorman continues on. For the next half hour the follow the accomplishments of the dead man’s life and how he’d be missed on Earth. Listening to the happy go lucky shit about made me throw up. If the man was so loved, then why did someone pay me millions to kill him?
“How long do you want off between jobs?” Janice asked.
“I want at least a week. Between the Doctor and this one, I’m tired as hell.”
“I think we can give you that,” Janice said. “Even though clients are lining up.”
“Tell them they can fuck off until I’m rested.”
“You really are cranky today.”
“What did you expect?”
“I get your point.”
With that we settle in and spend the rest of the day watching the news.