The Death of a Killer

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“Early this morning, a local business executive was found dead in his office. Henry Zaitsev, CEO of Veracious Visions, inc., was discovered at approximately 7:45 A.M., supposedly from having a severe heart attack last night. Police reports are soon to follow…”

Justin clicked off the television. They had the story all wrong, that is not how it happened. He vividly remembered the details, down to the thread count in his fiberwire.

He sedated the janitor on his smoke break and took his clothes after throwing his unconscious body in a dumpster. He then proceeded to enter the Veracious Visions main office and found the janitor cart. He worked the disguise like a charm; the lady at the front desk didn’t even notice him. As he entered the elevator, he pounded the second floor button. As the elevator arrived at its destination, he cached the cart in the janitor’s office. He slid back into the elevator, yet unnoticed. He removed the above paneling and hurled himself above the elevator ceiling, and laid in wait for his victim. It took a very short time, ten minutes at most. His target, Henry Zaitsev, walked into the elevator alone.

Justin waited until the elevator doors closed and the elevator itself started moving, so the distance would muffle the noise of his screams. He dropped the fiberwire down from the paneling, and used his muscular arms to lift him off his feet. He died slowly, unfortunately. He heaved the body onto the top of the elevator and made his escape, never once breaking stealth.

Now, over a week later, the stench of his rotting cadaver had aroused suspicion. Also, the unconscious janitor had started talking after he was sober from the sedative. They discovered the body on top of the elevator during a routine maintenance check, and the police wrote it off has a heart attack as to not strike fear in the general public. Quickly, however, they caught wind of Justin as they started linking his other assassinations to this one.

Little did Justin know, however, that the Criminal Behavior Unit from Washington, D.C., was called to work on his case. Lieutenant Bennan was the head of the operation, dubbed “Blood Money.”

Lieutenant Bennan had a reputation amongst the other “field agents” from the “Bethesda” agency he worked for. He had brought down and ruined the careers and lives of seventeen of his fellow assassins.

Justin couldn’t help but be amused at the police’s incompetence. This was such an easy hit, and he didn’t even bother to interfere with the cameras. They surely were checking them over as he sat here now, trying to match his face to any in their database. Typically, he wasn’t in their database. He controlled it. Justin was a mastermind of technology. In order to fool new up-to-date safety measures, you had to be able to know their flaws. Every terminal’s firewall has a spot where the flames aren’t so high.

The assassin opened his laptop, and checked his email. He had two – his personal and business one. “Business,” of course, meaning his secure Bethesda account. He entered his password and plugged in his jump-drive into the USB port. His computer calculated for a moment, and finally concluded its analysis. It recognized him, and he opened the Bethesda file with his information. A screen with his contracts and payments were listed. As a footnote, it stated, “A sum of $750,000 has been deposited into your specified bank account. Good work, Agent 47.”

As Justin read this, he raised his hand to the barcode tattoo on the back of his head he had received when only six years old. His training with Bethesda had been extensive.
Meanwhile, in the D.C. Criminal Behavior Unit’s central office, Lieutenant Bennan and his team of agents gathered.
“So… who is this guy?” Bennan asked.
Obviously confused, the team stared in silence.
Bennan looked again at the numerous reports, pictures, documents, and incriminating evidence spread on the conference table. Details of Justin’s every assassination were conveniently organized. Documents that dated all the way back to Saturday, February 19, 1992. Governor Chance of Louisiana appeared in a Mardi Gras parade, and was assassinated from afar in the French Quarter. Also, a local drug lord and three of his high-ranking officers were found dead in a nearby building. The two were connected to the same person due to reports of a suspicious looking man.

Brennan’s deputy, Sgt. Marinez, spoke up.

“These hits, according to the files, are sporadic. There’s no given pattern, so forensics has no way of predicting his next hit.”

“Good… anybody else? What do we got?” asked Brennan.

“He’s specialized in several different forms of killing, and can manipulate security systems easily. He’s a high-tech killer. He also has good knowledge of soporific drugs, seeing his capacity to anesthetize the janitor in his most recent hit.”

“Also, he has no insignia, no mark to let us know it’s him. He’s a ghost!”

Brennan thought a moment.

“Little has been found for identification, only his face. We’ve posted it on the news, on fliers, the public knows. Somebody has to know.”

“Good, good… I want to see his face again. Marinez, pull up the security tapes.”

Marinez did, and up on an overhead projector, the video came to life.

Brennan examined this tape hundreds of times. The killer shows his face clearly, almost as if it was intended.

As the video concluded, Brennan recollected his notes.

“The way he’s performed his assassinations in the past, he’s very professional. But he’s shown his face, as to if on purpose or as a slip-up, I’m not sure. He’s either becoming careless, or losing his skill,” Brennan inquired.

“Maybe something’s troubling him? Family?” asked Marinez.

“Family… yes, family. That’s his weakness!” Brennan exclaimed.

The team continued to conference, while the casual assassin sat in his beach house in Hawaii sipping martinis and finding every single woman on the island.

The next morning, Justin woke up with a feeling of uncertainty. He crept cautiously to his son’s room, to find him sleeping peacefully in his small bed.

He stared long and hard at the baby, down onto his peaceful face. He didn’t want his son to grow up like his father, no, that is not what was going to happen. He’d make sure he would grow up and have a normal life. He shielded his son with innocence, making him blind to the ugliness of man and his capability to kill another. He was only two years old, and very intelligent. And his father loved him.

He heard the door behind him close. The quietness suggested the Latina he found last night was leaving for work. He’d probably never see her again.

Justin sat down on his deck; massaging his temples and watching the bright sun appear over the horizon. Its rays mirrored perfectly on the peaceful water, and Justin sat in his vogue shorts and Hawaiian shirt.
He heard the woman’s car start. Justin leaned his head back out of the sunlight, and suddenly a pang of white-hot pain scorched the right side of his body. He was thrown to his left and landed in the sand with his ears ringing and the smell of burning gasoline and human flesh clouded his nostrils. Finally his senses recollected in a blurred, twisted entourage of pain. His right arm was torn to pieces, with only small strands of skin, muscle, and bone hanging from the middle of his bicep. His side had been peppered with flak and shrapnel, and blood had poured out of the place where his ear used to be. As he lay there, afraid to move, his son had awoken and was screaming from shear terror in the small confines of his dark room, with nobody to comfort him. Justin’s vision slowly distorted into blackness as he slipped into unconsciousness.
At what time he awoke again, it was unknown to him. He lie in a hospital bed with an IV connected to his arm and bandages wrapped around his chest, upper head, and the mere stump of an arm he had left. Blood was soaking through each of them. The drugs in Justin’s body forced his nervous system to ignore the pain, and he felt nothing. A nice walked in and administered morphine into his IV.
Justin had lain on his cot for two days before the police showed up.
One a Thursday afternoon, in the confines of his room, Lt. Bennan walked in. Once he reconciled his vision with dimly-lit atmosphere, it took him a moment to recognize the face of the assassin he had been trailing for the past 18 years.
“Well… look who we have here. The infamous John Doe, hitman,” Bennan said with a grin on his face.
Justin looked up, not a single emotion shown on his shattered, broken face.
“Where’s my son?” he asked.
“Your son?” asked Bennan.
“Yes, my son, Cal Nix.”
“And that brings me to my first question… what is your name?”
“Where is my son?” repeated Justin.
“Don’t answer a question with a question.”
“Don’t come in here and try to interrogate me without giving me some kind of clue as to what’s going!” Justin barked.
Lieutenant Bennan was taken aback by the confidence in this man. He decided if he wanted answers, he’d have to cope with the fact that he wasn’t going to get them easily.
“Your son is in the Pediatric Facility two stories down. He has a few small cuts on his side from shrapnel, and that’s about it. He keeps asking where his father is.”
Justin sighed in relief. He was okay.
“Now… my name is Justin Nix.”
“Do you realize why I’m here asking you these questions?” asked Bennan.
“Yes.”
“Do you also realize, I have a warrant for your arrest, Mr. Nix?”
Justin’s emotion remained a monotonous mellow.
“Yes.”
“Then as soon as the hospital releases you, you will be taken into custody by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

Justin thought a moment, thinking through his next sentence.

“What exactly happened? Where did the explosion come from?”

“As far as we know, it was either an engine malfunction or a hate crime. I’m leaning towards the latter.”

Perhaps another agency? Thought Justin.

“Must’ve been engine trouble,” said Justin.

Lieutenant Bennan shot down the idea immediately.

“Listen, Nix, we know who you are, what you do. You can’t hide anything from me. I’ve studied you for the past eighteen years; I’m basically your brother! I’ve seen every assassination you’ve done, I’ve cleaned up your work, I’ve filed the papers, I know you Mr. Nix, get that through your head!” Bennan barked, a rage in his eye incomparable to any hate Justin had witnessed. He sensed the loathe pouring from Bennan’s eyes, his thoughts, his actions. He would gladly have Justin killed, if it wasn’t for the Constitution. He’d probably be dead within the year anyway.

“You are an intelligent man, Mr. Nix. Too bad it must be brought to shame,” said Bennan with a sharp hate in his voice.

Justin said no more.

Brennan grabbed his things and walked in a seemingly calm fashion from the room.

Justin sat emotionless in his bed. There would most likely be a security detail posted outside his room. The only way out was death.

Justin looked to his right and saw the IV. It was his lifeline.

Why prolong it? Were the assassin’s final thoughts as he pulled the cord and slowly faded into the dark shadow of death, as a gripping blackness rolled over his eyes, and light no longer seemed to exist. He felt his soul itself crack, and the split second intensity of the pain from the explosion revisiting his last seconds on Earth, before he finally slipped into death.





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