Another Day, Another Duty, A Short Story

Another Day, Another Duty

~ :: ~

A darkly clad figure cautiously looked around a corner before treading into a dark alleyway of a deserted city. With his Assassin’s Blades extended on his wrists, he continued his journey by quickly moving from behind one steel trash bin or concrete doorway to another, carefully observing his surroundings before each move.

The night was dark, with only the nearly-full moon and stars giving any illumination besides the occasional half-broken, dim streetlights on the main roads. Coming to a vertically-facing rain gutter which ran against the cinder block wall, he began to scale the rusted cylinder, using various abnormalities in the wall along with metal hinges which fastened the contraption in place, after both sheathing his blades and making sure no one was observing his moves.

Reaching the top of the building, he silently leapt up onto the roof, placing both hands on the ledge and swinging his body over. Pausing to adjust his hood and specially-modified night-vision glasses, he crouched down and moved silently and unseen from roof-top to roof-top until he reached near the end of the block. Underneath his half-zipped up ebon jacket, he could be seen wearing an armored vest consisting of protective pads fixed to a tight fiber jumpsuit beneath, throughout which various weapons were concealed. Seeing a dark figure ahead of him, the assassin dashed behind a large HVAC unit placed on top of the roof, not feeling any danger in his current situation due to his extensive training.

His prey, whose eyes were trained on the street below, took no notice of this motion. Looking around, he made sure there were no more lookouts on different roof-tops, after which he crept up behind the watchman and extended his right blade once more. He formed his hand into a fist and struck the blade into his prey’s throat before sheathing his blades again, grabbing the body as it fell and gently placing it on the ground. To the assassin, as he was called by few, or Ivan Petrov, as he was called by fewer, this work was now commonplace, allowing him to perform his duties without caring about morals. He had long ago pushed aside his conscience, believing it only to be an annoyance and hindrance in completing a mission.

Getting down on his stomach, he used his arms to pull himself to the edge of the roof where he slowly peeked over the foot-high ledge to see his target: a group of arms-dealers in an abandoned bank diagonally adjacent to the building he was on. He moved to a crouch position, resting his right knee on the concrete before removing his glasses – folding them and placing them in the pocket of his black shirt.

He unslung the black sniper rifle from his back, gently placing the two metal rods attached to his rifle on the ledge before him as to not make a sound. He reached into one of his left pockets of his charcoal cargo pants, pulling out a night-vision scope and placing it on the ground next to him.

Making sure the Bi-Pod was securely placed on the ledge, Ivan focused himself, slowing his breathing and calming his body. Firmly placing the butt of the gun against his shoulder, he held the barrel of the rifle with his left hand. Bringing his right hand up toward the trigger, he gently placed it on the gun, resting his finger on the side of the gun as he prepared to shoot, wrapping the same arm into the sling to force his arm to remain still. He adjusted the nobs and scope rings located on the top and side of the scope to the correct coordinates, and after loading the five-round magazine into the gun, placed the side of his face on the adjustable cheek piece, taking aim at the only streetlight still lit near his current position.

After placing his finger on the trigger, he took several slow, deep breaths, after which he pulled back on the contraption, firing at the light. The bullet broke through the glass casing and hit the bulb, immediately causing the light to flash out and glass shards to fall to the ground. Ivan quickly pulled his gun off the ledge and laid flat on the rooftop just as the two gorillas who were keeping watch turned their attention to the large glass windows of the building, looking for a cause of the sudden loss of light.

Seeing no immediate danger, the two guards reported the event to their boss, who was currently in the midst of an illegal arms negotiation. Ivan peeked his head over the ledge again and, seeing that no one was watching him, sat the rifle back on the raised platform. After taking a few seconds to aim again, he fired at the light inside the run-down bank, causing the whole street to go dark; lit only by the illumination of the heavens above.

He swiftly switched out the normal scope for the night-vision scope and aimed again, this time at one of the two guards who came rushing toward the window once more as the others inside the building armed themselves. Ivan reflected on the merciless, unhesitating manner in which he undertook his work as he lined up the cross hairs onto his target. He pulled the trigger, and the man he had shot crumpled as the bullet flew right through the gunman before embedding itself into the fall wall behind him. I’m following orders, he repeated in his mind, as he had countless times before. Nothing more.

By then the remaining persons inside the building had taken cover behind some of the bank’s counters, realizing they were taking sniper fire. Ivan forced himself to be patient, remembering his orders and how he was supposed to go undetected. After several minutes, he saw one peek his head over the counter momentarily. Ivan focused on him, placing the cross-hairs of his scope where the man was moments before.

After a few more moments of silent waiting, the same man poked his head up again, getting impatient of the lack of action. Ivan quickly pulled the trigger, causing the man to be flung back by the impact of the shot. He was dead before his comrades heard his body hit the ground.

Another impatient soul rushed toward the door, attempting to take care of the sniper himself. Ivan smiled inwardly – after all, he loves the hunt of the game – and shot his weapon again after a split second of adjusting his shot to allow the bullet to hit the runner. The mercenary fell to the ground, a pool of blood forming beside him.

Realizing there would be no more foolish beings for easy prey, Ivan took out a metal crossbow from his backpack before slinging the rifle on his back again, folding the Bi-Pod and stock to more easily fit on his back for travel. He traded them for a metal tripod, placing it on the rooftop to serve as a zip line.

He aimed the crossbow at the wall next to the large window, firing an arrow with a string attached to it and then removing the end of the rope from the bow and tying it to the tripod. He placed a handle on the zip line from his pack and then grabbed the normal scope, quickly dropping it into his backpack before placing the bag on his back and grasping the handle of the zip line. He sailed down to the building where he used his arm to shatter the main window he was next to.

Acting quickly, he took out a silenced pistol holstered at the back of his waist and shot at the first who came running toward him, after which he pulled out a dagger from inside his jacket with his left hand and flung it to the other side of the building where another man rushed forward. The knife embedded itself into the man’s chest, causing the man to stumble forward and fall to the marble floor. Jumping into the building, he fired several more shots at two others before crouching low behind a counter as the last guard opened fire with an M-10 machine pistol. He made his way to the far end of the counter where the main arms-dealer was standing on the other side with his body guard. Reaching around the counter, he threw a smoke grenade behind them, causing them to turn around into an ambush of smoke.

He acted as fast as he could, running back to the other side of the counter as to not inhale the smoke and jumped over the three-foot wide top, shooting the body guard in the back as the arms-dealer turned around. Ivan extended his left Assassin’s Blade, and, making sure the dealer wouldn’t run by pointing the silenced pistol at his head, walked calmly forward. Coming within six inches from the dealer’s face, he holstered his pistol and held up his blade to the crime-lord’s face. Staring him in the eye, Ivan took one swift motion and stabbed his victim in the neck. Blood spurted from the open wound, spraying the surrounding area with the crimson liquid.

Sheathing his blade, he brought his right hand up to his ear where he pressed a button on his blue-tooth device before softly voicing into the device, “Done.” He walked over to the crates of ammunition and suitcases of money where he made sure they were all in order, after which he made his rounds to each of the dead muscle-men and took their guns and ammo, placing them in the crates with the others.

Several minutes later, the soft whump-whump of a small helicopter was heard flying nearby, which made its way to the intersection of the run-down bank, landing softly on the ground. Two men jumped down from the vehicle, moving to the crates and loading them on the copter while Ivan loaded the suitcases. As the two men boarded again, Ivan made his way to the first building he was on, climbing up a fire escape and vaulting himself onto the rooftop where he gathered his zip line. As the helicopter hovered next to him, he jumped in just before it took off.

~ :: ~

The helicopter landed again at The Black Fist base where Ivan quickly jumped out, letting the others carry the weapons and money. Stepping off the helipad, he made his way past the training facility and toward Martin Veracruz’s chambers. Although it was the middle of the night, he heard someone using one of the courses.

Of course she’s out here at this hour, Ivan thought to himself, seeing the green-clad Larissa punching and kicking a padded pole, simultaneously throwing daggers at other makeshift targets.

He continued on his way, coming to the main building which he entered. After following a series of turns, he arrived at Veracruz’s chamber where he threw both of the huge wooden doors open and entered to find The Black Fist leader at his desk.

Ivan approached, muttering two simple words: “It’s done.”

Martin Veracruz nodded, looking at the array of weapons and the large stash of money as the crates were brought in. “Very well. Dismissed,” he answered to the assassin. Ivan acquiesced, turning and leaving the room and walking toward his own quarters.

Veracruz, dressed in a large black trench coat and emerald scarf, turned his attention to the new munitions, slowly rising from his lofty chair and stepping forward, examining each of the crates and briefcases. “He did well, as usual,” he muttered to himself. Raising his voice, he turned his attention over to the men who had brought the supplies in. “Take them to the armory,” he said, motioning to the crates. “Put the money in the vaults.”

With several nods and “yes sir”s, the men departed, carrying the crates and brief cases out with them as Martin Veracruz sat back on his chair.

When the room had cleared, a dark figure stepped out from one of the side doors. When he spoke, his voice was deep but clear, the voice of a leader. “Those weapons will suit our needs nicely. Soon, we will be ready to start.” He wore a navy blue jumpsuit and hooded cloak, with a golden-hued vest armored with protective pads which could be seen beneath the cloak.

“Indeed,” Veracruz answered his second-in-command, bringing up several maps on screens which dropped from the ceiling. “Soon…” These lasts words were whispered by Veracruz as the two of them continued drawing up battle plans.

~ :: ~


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