Prologue

The knife in Jay Marx's hand trembled as he crept up another staircase in a dark building. Marx worked well in the dark, especially considering the fact that if he tried to do his job at any time other than the night, he would get caught.

What he did was illegal, but while it was against the law, he felt it helped the community. He had a legitimate job, but that was so he didn't become homeless. He didn't make any money from the real work he did. There was plenty of crime in New York City, and Marx did his best to clean some of it up. That's what he was doing now.

As he made his way up the staircase, his footsteps made no sound. At the top, he turned right and headed toward the door at the end of the hallway. The sniper should be in that room.

Thankfully, the door was already open a crack, so he didn't have to risk making noise by turning the knob. He used his free left hand to slowly push the door open. When the gap between the door and the doorframe was large enough, he stealthily slipped through.

There was the sniper, right where he should be; sitting in a chair by the window. Jay switched stood up from his crouch and took three more silent steps forward. He was right behind his victim. His left hand slowly moved up above the target's left shoulder, where it firmly clamped down. A split-second later, he thrust the knife into the man's back. While this was the biggest takedown he'd ever attempted, it definitely wasn't the first. At the exact same time as the knife penetrated the criminal's back, Marx's left hand swiftly moved from his left shoulder to his mouth, to suppress the yell.

After a few seconds of holding the body in this position, Marx slowly lowered it to the floor after withdrawing his blade. Then he wrenched the sniper rifle from the rigid body's grip and took up the position in the chair by the window. Using the windowsill for support, he peered through the sniper rifle scope and watched over the trade that was going on below.

The small group of men was standing roughly 150 meters from the building Marx was in, and three stories below him. The M40 sniper rifle he was holding would remain accurate at that distance, no problem. There were six men total. Three were facing away from him. Three were facing toward him. He also noted the two cars in the area, one behind each trio.

The deal that was going down was a trade: drugs for diamonds. Both could turn a profit, but the group receiving the drugs probably planned to use them recreationally rather than sell them. These people were addicts.

The group facing away from him was a small time street gang. They were the ones who provided the diamonds in exchange for the drugs. Being gangsters, they got the diamonds by robbing a jewelry store.

The other group was made up of members of a wannabe mafia family. They were rich, and altogether there was enough of them, but they lacked the amount of weapons and organization needed. Other than their wealth, there wasn't much to differentiate them from the thugs they were dealing with.

The middle gangster held up a small bag, and poured the diamonds out into his palm to show that he had them. The middle mobster acknowledged this and gestured for the man on his left to unzip the duffel bag on his shoulder. The man did so and lifted up the flap to reveal assorted drugs. There were bags of cocaine on the left, a large variety of pill bottles in the middle, and bags of marijuana on the right.

The gangsters seemed to get excited at the sight, and the one in the middle put the diamonds back into the soft, black bag and pulled the drawstrings tight. At this moment, Marx got an idea. If he was going to stop this trade, he needed to make sure none of them could escape.

He pulled out a length of rope and attached it to the exterior wall above the window, then allowed the rest of the rope to drop to the ground. It was a thin, lightweight rope, so it didn't make noise when it hit the ground. However, it was made to hold a lot of weight.

With this makeshift rappelling rope in place, he looked the scope once again. He didn't have long before the criminals left. He shot each car twice in the hood. When smoke started rising from the cars, Marx knew he'd hit his mark: the engines.

He dropped the rifle to the floor then dove out the window and rappelled down the building to the ground. As soon as his feet hit the ground, he spun a hundred eighty degrees and broke out into a full sprint towards the car closest to him. All the criminals' attention was focused on him. By the time they had their guns out and aimed, he was already in cover behind the vehicle.

While trying to catch his breath, he also pulled out his Beretta pistol. He stood up from his cover, put two rounds in his first target's chest, and went down as quickly as he'd come up. He repeated this process until there were only two hostiles left standing. Swiftly and smoothly, he moved to the rear end of the car and rounded the corner with his handgun at the ready. After there was a bullet in the head of the man on the right, Marx quickly shifted his aim to the left, and put two in the final target's skull.

Jay took a moment to take in the scene around him. Two cars with their engines shot and six bodies. That's what the police would find at the scene in the morning. They would also find a duffel bag of drugs to put in the evidence department on the front step of a police station. A jewelry store somewhere in the city would find a bag of diamonds in their mail slot.

However, there was one thing—person—that nobody would find tomorrow. Jay Marx.