Agent of the Dark

Martin shuffled down the street, his hands shoved down into the pockets of his overcoat. The rain splattered on the material and slid right off. Not even rain could bother Martin Coughlin, one of the Dublin's greatest crime bosses. He outranked the IRA and all the other families; he was bigger than big. No one, nothing could touch him. Or so he thought.

Someone was about to change all that.

A shadow leaned against the brick wall of an alleyway, arms crossed and long hair shadowing the face. It watched as Martin continued down the street without missing a beat. Now the hair was pushed back behind the ears, revealing a pretty face. Sharp features accented the darting green eyes and the hair red as fire. It could have been any Irishwoman, but this one was different. She dug into her own pocket and pulled out a small-caliber handgun. The woman listened as a bullet entered the chamber with a sharp click. She had heard the sound many times before, but it sounded like poetry every time.

"Coughlin." She called. He laughed as he turned around, still ignoring the rain.

"Ah, we meet again. Who are you this time? Oh, I suppose it doesn't matter."

"No, it doesn't." she agreed. The lilt in her voice made her words snap with staccato accents. The gun seemed to almost level itself at Martin's head; the movement was unconscious yet precise.

"You realize that killing me will only make things worse. This city is nothing without me."

"You sure do give yourself some real credit, Coughlin." the woman noted, her curtain of hair falling into her eyes. She seemed not to notice. "Personally, I think Dublin would be much better off if scum like you were taken off the streets."

The sound of the gun cocking echoed down the street, ringing over the storefronts and vanishing behind the bricks.

"What if I told you I knew who you were?" Martin announced, unphased by being so close to death.

His would-be killer was equally stoic, yet something passed over the emerald in her eyes. It was almost like a mist, there for an instant then gone before most could register the change. But Martin Coughlin saw it, and he knew exactly what it was.

"It's not very professional to be afraid." He paused, as though some fact had escaped him. "It's Miss Drake, isn't it?" he finally asked.

No sooner were the words out of his mouth then the fatal bullet found its target, right between his eyes.

The rain took the blood towards a storm drain as the woman knelt next to the body. Lifting his coat open with the butt of the gun, she noticed a photo nestled inside the inner pocket. She pulled out a tissue and gingerly pulled the photo free.

Turning it over, that same feeling of fear passed over her face.

It was a photo of her, an agent of the dark, without her shield.

She'd been made.