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Jason walked calmly along the sidewalk, effortlessly blending in with the crowd. Anyone who was not paying close attention would have suspected nothing, would have seen only another businessman with a briefcase. Then again, even if they were paying attention, that's all they would have seen, anyway. Jason had spent his whole life training, learning how to be no one to anyone. Those unlucky enough to come face to face with him never lived to tell the tale. He was an expert at what he did, and he lived his life by the creed that every last one of his kind did: do not harm the innocent, be discreet; and do not compromise the brotherhood. He was an Assassin.
He walked with purpose, truly personifying the hard-working, proud businessman. He checked his watch. Two minutes before the target would be in sight. Jason found himself lucky that the man he was here for followed his schedule to the letter. For the past week of his observation, Jason found he was never late, never early, and always planned ahead. Although this guaranteed the location of the hit, Jason knew that the man always had at least four armed men protecting hum, as well as three plainclothes officers on hand at all times. It was going to be one of the more difficult assassinations. And Jason was ready for it.
He took another glance at his watch just as he got to 7th Street and Main. 15 seconds to spare, he chuckled to himself. He took the opportunity to sit on a nearby bench, next to a couple of older gentlemen. Two policemen walked past as he was sitting. Jason had always been able to notice things others could not, including the seemingly insignificant silver crosses below their badges. Templars, he thought. He fought the urge to take them both out and waited patiently for them to leave. As they turned the corner, his target came into sight. His name was Stephen Hanson. To the media, he was a happy-go-lucky, fun-loving family man. To those who really knew him, he was the single most corrupt politician in New York. Every last cent of his campaign money had been earned from bribes and blackmail. Not only that, but he was a Templar, and a high-ranking one at that. Today, he was scheduled to give a speech that would no doubt secure his position as the next governor of New York State. And Jason had to kill him.
The assassin slowly got off the bench and began walking down the street, parallel to Hanson. As they approached 9th and Main, Jason quickened his pace. He knew he had to act fast; otherwise his chance would be gone. Hanson turned right onto 9th, oblivious to the man who had just turned left and was walking up to him. The intersection was crowded with people, and no one saw the businessman run into the politician. Nobody saw Jason thrust his hand into Hanson's chest, or Hanson's eyes grow wide.
But they did notice Stephen Hanson, the beloved politician, dead on the ground, and a nameless businessman hovering over him with a blade sticking out from beneath his sleeve, once an officer screamed out, "Assassin!"
Jason's blade snapped back into place. The first part of his job was done.
Now all he had to do was disappear.
He cut right into the road, directly into traffic. He sprinted across 9th, narrowly missing two cars and a bus without slowing his pace. He ran another block and turned into a nearby alleyway. He tossed his briefcase farther down and then, using a couple of crates as leverage, he jumped and caught the edge of the fire escape. He climbed up a few flights to the top of the building with two plainclothes officers in hot pursuit. He ran across a couple of rooftops, getting higher and higher up by climbing on the air conditioners and other miscellaneous objects left on the roofs. He got to the last rooftop, unable to progress any farther, just as the plainclothes men caught up with him. "Stop, or I shoot," one of them yelled. Jason reluctantly put his hands in the air and turned to face them.
Then, he smirked, leaned back, and fell of the roof.
The two men ran up to the edge of the roof and looked down into an alley seven stories down. The assassin was nowhere to be seen. He had escaped.
As the officers headed back down to ground level and radioed in, they didn't happen to pay much attention to the dumpster. Had they stuck around longer, they might have seen Jason climbing out of his impromptu safety net, covered in garbage. He sighed, took off his suit and fake wig, pulled a hoodie and jeans out of his nearby briefcase, and headed back to the lair.
Jason pulled a phone out of his pocket and dialed a number. After a few rings, the other line picked up. Another voice, most likely a woman in her 30s, said, "How'd it go?"
"He's been taken care of," he answered. "I'm on my way now."
"Alright. See you-" The voice cut off as Jason pulled out the battery and tossed the pieces into a nearby trash can.
As he rounded the corner, Jason had no time to react to the butt of the shotgun that slammed into his face and broke his nose. Nor could he react to the gunman as he blasted a hole in his chest.
The gunman slowly walked in a circle around the former assassin. He pulled a small leather case out of his pocket and removed a cross from inside it. Four sharp barbs stuck out of the back. He placed the silver cross, face-up, on Jason's face, and slammed it into him with the heel of his boot. The man then left, leaving the body as a clue... and a warning.