It's our job to make sure no one knows.
"You know that it's going to get out eventually. You can't keep a secret like that forever. Sooner or later, it's going to get out. Everyone will know."
Julia Donovan, female, 41, reporter. Burned in studio fire caused by faulty lighting equipment, suspected but unconfirmed terrorist attack.
He remembered that one well, a little too well. That case was one of the easier ones to justify. The reporter was sticking her nose in where it didn't belong, despite repeated blocks and warnings. She knew about Prometheus, the Trust, the Asgard, the SGC. She had been helpful in the past, delivering cover stories in lieu of the real ones. But one day, they decided that her usefulness had reached its end, and she went on the list.
It was a messy kill. A month of preparation, to do it quick and clean, when the reporter suddenly sold her car and bought a new one. Someone else was probably smashed in a car crash caused by mechanical failure, but he didn't have time to dwell on that. They had to think fast and improvise. One maintenance worker outfit, a chain across the doors, and a frayed wire later, the deed was done. The investigation was stalled as a matter of national security. The reporter did a piece on Al-Qaida a week earlier, so it worked out. But there was collateral damage, and though inevitable, it was never something he was proud of. It was dirty. Unprofessional.
"I guess after all that it was just an act, wasn't it? I was trying to do good, but I didn't know what was at stake. You intended to dispose of me all along, but you had to destroy me first. I'd rather have died at the hands of the Trust. I'd rather take my own life."
Alec Colson, male, 52, executive. Assassinated by organized criminal elements over past illicit business.
As soon as he had shown the Asgard clone on live TV, the executive was marked for death. The SGC was able to discredit him, though it involved revealing working holographic technology in the process. Colson Industries was failing and his right-hand man was working with the Trust to keep him afloat. After being shown what was really at stake, he relented, and the SGC hid him offworld after the Trust made an attempt on his life. He disappeared from the public eye- hiding on another planet- and the sensation quickly died down. Years later, the executive returned to Earth, disgraced.
Though his situation was messy, his death was clean. He took care of this one personally, waiting in the woods outside the disgraced executive's home with a Remington 700 and a magazine full of Hornady V-Max. After Agent Harris drew the executive out, he fired three times in quick succession. One bullet missed, the other two found their mark. It was deer hunting season, and nobody thought much of the gunshots until it was too late. They revealed that the man was dirty, various agencies theorized he had been offed because of it, and despite the previous ruckus, everybody forgot about him within a month.
"I swore to uphold the law. Protect the innocent, put the criminals behind bars. Criminals like you. But that doesn't matter, does it? You're above the law. I knew Samantha was black, but I didn't think she was this black. Killing me to protect your secrets."
Pete Shanahan, male, 39, detective. Shot by drug dealer after blown working undercover in Denver.
Though he tried to steel himself against such things, he still didn't like thinking about the cop. Being romantically involved with a member of SG-1 wasn't grounds for removal, not on its own. If he was still involved, things might have been different. If Colonel Carter hadn't revealed everything, it might have been different. But it wasn't, and he knew too much, so he had to go. He was a good man, not bad or even in the moral grey, and that only made things harder.
The cop's situation both made things easier and it made them harder. The death of an officer would be thoroughly investigated, the death of an officer once engaged to an Air Force Colonel working on top-secret projects even more so. On the other hand, cops died. He kept things as simple as possible, working through underground channels to blow the cop's cover without blowing his own. It worked. When a local drug dealer found out the "dirty cop" wasn't as dirty as he thought he was, he whipped out his Glock and shot him, seven .40 S&W rounds, three through the chest, one through the neck, two through the left shoulder. In the minute it had taken to plant the evidence and confirm the kill, he had already figured it out, but it didn't matter in the end. The investigation turned up nothing, except that one Detective Pete Shanahan was carrying a single piece of ID that a gangster had noticed, a mix of bad judgement and bad luck.
"So this is how it ends. Shot in the back by my own people. I know you black ops types do a lot of morally questionable shit, but I didn't think killing your own people was one of them. Guess I'm a liability the government can't afford. Well, come at me."
Martin Edwards, male, 44, USAF. Fatally shot by an unknown home invader, who was never caught.
Killing a fellow soldier was probably the hardest thing he'd had to do. Even to his suppressed moral compass, it still felt wrong. But it was absolutely necessary, and he understood that. The colonel had been a problem even when he was serving with the SGC. He lead the naquadah mining operation on P3X-403, and ended up in a confrontation with the local population of Unas instead of working with them. Daniel Jackson had managed to defuse the situation, but the colonel ended up with more than a black mark on his record. He ended up marked as unreliable, a liability that had to be eliminated.
The job was one of his messier ones, not one that he was particularly proud of. The colonel was usually working, deployed somewhere. An attempt to sabotage a transport plane failed when the faulty engine was spooled up on the ground for testing and exploded, killing two of the wrong people. He elected to go in quick and silent, doing the deed up close and personal. It hadn't worked. The colonel noticed him breaking in to his house, even though the utmost care had been taken. The two ended up confronting each other, a gun in each of their hand. The support team was always ready, however, and throwing a rock through a window provided a long enough distraction for him to fire without getting hit. The investigation went nowhere and the killer was never found.
"You're killing me? As if disrespecting me and ruining my academic reputation wasn't bad enough. I was starting to gain some respect for the military during my time on Atlantis, but it seems the only method you know to deal with a problem is to blow it up."
Peter Kavanagh, male, 36, scientist. Severely injured by an accident in a high-energy physics experiment, died in hospital.
His hit list probably wasn't the only one the scientist was on. A former member of the Atlantis expedition, the scientist wasn't well liked. He constantly complained, formally and informally, that his work was not respected and disagreed with the military involvement in the program. He was usually more concerned with himself than others and had a tendency to pass out when threatened. The reasons for eliminating him were twofold. The scientist had spoken out against various elements of the program before and might do so publicly. If pressed or forced, he would probably give up classified information. That could not be allowed happen.
Most of the experiments the scientist carried out were relatively safe if proper procedures were followed, but could be extremely dangerous if they were not, or if certain protective features were removed. The experiment that killed the scientist was one involving particles in a small scale accelerator. Immense amounts of power had to be tightly regulated to keep the particles moving, and replacing a power regulator module with a faulty one was all that was needed to dangerously overload the coils. Blocking the flow of the cooling system and disabling the safety switch completed the sabotage. Doctoring the security camera footage erased some of the evidence, the fiery explosion completed the rest. After that, he visited the scientist in the hospital and slipped him a small amount of poison, just enough to kill the weakened man without being detected. There was collateral damage, of course, there always was. Six others ended up dead from the accident. It was unfortunate, but this was determined the best way to remove the scientist.
"What did I do? I don't even know what the Stargate is! I designed the waste management system- the damn toilets! Sure, I started putting the pieces together, but it's not like I had any hard evidence. This... I mean, well, you're covering something up. You've only confirmed what I suspected!"
Jessica Branton, female, 36, engineer. Currently kneeling with her head against the muzzle of his gun.
The engineer was a nobody, but an inevitable casualty of the scale of the program. An immense amount of engineering work was put into the construction of Earth's starships. Such work required thousands of engineers, draftspersons, architects, and designers. The very secret parts- shields, inertial dampeners, hyperdrive- were done in house, as was the overall design, but it was simply too large in scope to engineer every little component. Outside firms, most already having high levels of clearance, were hired to do work that was either purely theoretical, cleverly disguised, or both.
Of course, someone was going to put together the pieces, and there was a simple protocol in place for that. When they got close, they quietly disappeared. For one reason or another, it had been the engineer that designed the high-tech toilets on the Prometheus that started figuring things out, starting to seek out and put together all the hypothetical and cryptic projects.
He tracked her to her house, a small apartment in Chicago. It wasn't a very nice neighbourhood, and people got murdered all the time. A simple shooting would be sufficient. But when he had his finger on the trigger, he hesitated. It wasn't because he had to kill a woman- he'd shot plenty of members of the opposite gender. It wasn't because of the pleading look in her eyes- he'd learned to ignore that long ago. It wasn't because it was an unfair fight- a fair fight was a stupid one. In fact, he found himself unable to place the hesitation.
Maybe it was the sheer absurdity of it all. A toilet designer, finding out about a massive conspiracy, hunting down the clues, and ultimately ending up dead for it. She had a mundane but steady career, two children which she no longer had custody over, and a small dog that now lay on the floor in a pool of its own blood. Barely involved in the program, not even by her own choice, really, and now she was on the other end of his gun.
Maybe it was the crushing weight of every person he had killed. He tried to push out the faces, the names, the personal details. Round, asian, brown eyes. Angular, pale, crooked nose, blue eyes. Jared. Harper. Emily. Ryan. Lost only son in car accident. Liked shooting as a sport. Restoring a 1967 Corvette Sting Ray. No. He couldn't afford to lie awake at night. Couldn't afford to have regrets, doubts. The mission had to come first. Didn't it?
"Fuck it." Slowly, he took his finger off the trigger, flipped the safety on, and holstered his handgun. "Get the hell out of here."
He had barely finished the sentence when there were two loud bangs, quickly identified as gunshots. The woman before him collapsed to the floor, blood pouring from a hole in her forehead. He turned around searching for the shooter before noticing that his chest hurt. When he touched it, his gloved hand came away wet and sticky. He tried to bring up his own pistol, but his arms failed him, followed by the rest of his body, and he collapsed to the ground.
A lone figure stood in the doorway, wearing the same black BDUs and bullet-resistant vest that had ultimately done no good against the armour piercing ammo they used. She lowered the gun and spoke a few words quietly into a throat mic.
Make sure no one knows it's our job.