So it's my debut here. Tell me what you think.
Assassin: Katia Stafford
Victim: Alex Vasich
A clash of weapons, wit – and hearts?
My Mark for this job was the famous politician Sean Ravaneigh's wife, the vain and power-hungry Audrey Ravaneigh - originally Audrey Cauz – who went on to become notoriously responsible for her husband's murder back in my time.
The coldest winter of 2023 saw the shocking death of Sean, a powerful and just player in the world politics scene. After a series of high-technology investigations his own wife was found responsible for his death. The AirWorld seethed and the CONA –The Council for Necessary Assassinations, my haven and home of sorts – had to step in.
So naturally who else would they send for this job but able, wily, never-failed-a-job me?
So like every other job I get, here too I was expected to do the same – go back to the time when the problem first surfaced (in this case, the day Sean got married to his killer wife), kill the Mark, erase every memory of the Mark's existence and come back to my own time without getting caught.
Or so I thought. But the twenty five year old version of Audrey proved to be even more annoying that her forties self.
It was her wedding eve and she had been simpering for about an hour in front of her mirror, trying out different facial expressions while her stylist patiently ironed out her hair. Every now and then she would screech at the poor lady for some petty detail gone wrong. And boy, was that making my skin itch the life out of itself!
Beside me, Julian groaned.
Alright, so what if I'm the youngest assassin in the council? I am their surprise element – nobody would suspect an unremarkably average nineteen year old girl like me could hurt a fly, let alone kill. I guess I am the type the world expects to be in my own room, probably studying to be a historian or perhaps an artist. Boy, is the world wrong and how!
"Watch and learn, apprentice," I whispered
Thankfully, the Mark stopped fiddling with her hair. .
"Now," Julian whispered and instinctively I fired, aiming for her chest.
The white beam hit right on her chest and as she crumbled to the thick carpet she stood on. Julian leapt out from his hiding place and came to a standstill before the body.
"The pretentious bitch," he muttered and prodded at her hair with his foot.
I smacked him. "Watch your language." I admit, foul language irks me.
Ouch. I got one back this time.
"Well done, Katia."
"Kats you did it!"
"Miss Stafford, you've done our world proud."
"We're so lucky to have you, Katia!"
"Got any plans tonight, hot lady?"
I sip my apple soda and nod and smile at everyone who comes to shake my hand at the Victory Bash(and do my power-glare on those who try to get lucky). I'm dressed in my blackest best – a flowing black floor length number with a matching head scarf – and the conservatives never stop ogling. I spot Julian in a corner with a girl in cringe-worthy turquoise, and grin to myself as he talks to her shyly. I do some mental calculation. Fifteen years old already, I think. The boy was growing, alright.
"Katia, I'd like a word with you."
I spin around. "Manager Gage!" I exclaim and wrap her in a hug. "I didn't see you around."
Manager Gage is who you can call my boss and mentor – she assigns me missions and gives me the occasional Master Training – the highest level of training that few are lucky enough to receive. She's a nice lady – a little strict, understandable, and also(I suspect) secretly men-obsessed. She must be around thirty.
"Your next mission's come up," she says and her tone strikes me as icy. I sense something amiss.
"B-but," I sputter, "We're not supposed to get our missions until next month right?"
She lowers her voice and I notice edginess in her voice. "Crisis call. Take the Mark Communic. Report to me tonight."
"Tonight?" I gasp as she shoves into my hand the Mark Communic – the essential character sketch and time era details of the Mark.
She frowns and in her frown I notice a thousand other causes than me. "Katia. This is probably the most important mission you will ever get. Get this right, and you save CONA from a disasterous shutdown. Get this right," she continues and drops her voice lower. I stare back at her, my heart hammering wildly. "And you become Manager."
I think I gasp. I don't know. All I know is that the Communic in my hand is the ticket to ultimate power and fame. The Manager is second only to CONA's founder – and nobody knows who he is, anyway; all we know about him is that he's the brainchild behind our weaponry and killing tactics.
She stalks away. My killer hands shake as I bring the Communic to life and read.
Mark : Alex Vasich
Time : 1998AD
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