'Something's wrong.'

I don't think truer words have ever been spoken.

Walking down the street, I see- I see madness. Madness in the form of monsters, monsters that I recognize. Things that were dreamed up in the mind of a Japanese game developer, come to life.

The park is far behind me, and the industrial area that was to be my shooting position is ahead, but I don't know if that matters now. I don't think it does.

Idly, and with an expression of soft joy and disbelief, I watch a laughing smeargal using their tail to replace their discarded cans of spray-paint, as they graphity the side of a gas station.

The background noise of the night hasn't escaped me.

I'm also not ignoring my sixth sense of: FUCK FUCK FUCK, GET OUT OF THERE MAN!

Casually walking away from the gas station intersection, I climb atop a darkened building a block away. Probably an old factory.

The roof may only be around three stories', but it's enough. What I see as I rotate like a carocell on that roof leaves me speechless, and wondering if I truly have lost it. Because the city is burning. Not like Rome did so long ago, but it is burning. I see fires raging in buildings, I see car wrecks, if I took out my scope, I could probably see the bodies. The screams, sirens, and crackly static of fire wash over my ears like the tide.

My target for the day still sits in the back of my mind however.

'Hmm, he probably left. Where would he go? His family probably.'

The thought makes me grimace.

'Ugh, I hope I don't have to kill him in front of them.'

'That's the sort of thing that makes you a lifelong enemy I imagine.'

'What would that be like exactly?'

Musing over this, I descend to the ground.

The almost stillness of this mostly empty part of New York for this part of the day is shattered. Probably has been since a bunch of people changed,

'Ah, best to not look conspicuous.'

Away goes the balaclava and goggles, the mercenary vanishes replaced by a perfectly average individual.


Grimacing, I reflect that a full-looking hiking pack isn't 'average' to be carrying around in the middle of a New York/Jersey at night.

With a shrug I put it out of mind.

'Nothing for it. Now; his address. . . Ah! Yes I remember..'

A bit out of the way from where I am, Donovan's house is across Jersey on the waterfront.

'Amusing. I can turn into a seal pokémon and my target is likely to be in a house easily accessible by water. Ha.'

Not so amusing is the fact that I have no fucking wish to test that body now. On a job.

With a momentary twitch of my lips and an increase in my walk speed, I start to make up for lost time. The house's location cuts off access to a lot of options. I can only get in through the front, as the area is a wealthy neighborhood.

'Lots of cameras, high fences, well-lit no doubt.'

Increasingly annoyed with myself, the day in general, the surefire fact that the upcoming area I will be hunting in is exactly the opposite of what I prefer. Topping it all off is the distracting commotion of the night, which all blends together and slowly melts away as I continue onwards to Donovan's house.

The neighborhood is exactly everything I consider unnecessary, and it brings a small frown of distaste to my lips. This quickly turns into a neutral expression as I consider the disarray and destruction around me. Ambulances, police,(but less than I would expect) a fire in a house down the street, seemingly contained by the large yards between houses.

The whole situation gives the feel of the aftermath of a small earthquake.

There are a few debris scattered about. Some abandoned cars, and a single pool of blood on the sidewalk. I wonder if they lived.

Pushing all that out of mind for the moment, I see exactly the street I was looking for.

I only see one streetlamp down on it, because it's literally down.

'Ouch, wonder if the driver survived.'

Looking at the caved in front of the car, the various fluids and debris surrounding it, and the open doors with a lack of body's makes me think they did.

I smell the air,

'That's new. . .'

With a closed lip smile I take in the smell of the scene; smoke, blood, wiper fluid, oil, and something I can't identify.

It helps take me back to the proper state of mind for what I'm about to do.

Continuing down the sidewalk, I consider how I want to do this, I can't linger long cuz though I don't dress like a bum I don't dress like anyone who lives in this neighborhood,

'No polo shirts for me.'

The water looks like an enticing option, approach the house at speed, kill the target as I go, and escape into the water.

'But do they have a boat? A good consideration. Will they try to follow? Ah, well, I should probably see the house first.'

Looking about the property as I walk past, I see a large well-maintained house.

'Two stories, wrap-around porch, two-car garage, a standalone two-car garage. Yard with a garden, some trees, a rope swing, minimal cover.' Large square windows, curtains drawn, light seeping through so someone's home. Garage is shut so I don't know who. Probably the whole family.'

That's disappointing.

The security is also disappointing, motion light sensors, probably a doorbell camera, maybe some other cameras around. I move past the building steadily, looking from the corner of my eyes to do my best to avoid attention. Not sure if it worked.

Straightening my eyes and posture I walk to the end of the street turning left, there is a dead-end road that terminates at Newark Bay. I hop the railing as quickly and quietly as I can, and don my balaclava. My goggles would do more harm than good tonight, it's night proper now, and I don't want to be half-blind.

Walking along the concrete lip above the water but below the street, I make my way back down the street, but now; below it, with an easy escape route.

The water splashing and rolling against the concrete, sand, and rocks of the shoreline masks my noise nicely, as does the commotion of a city in chaos.

I'm in back of the house now, they don't have a boat. I'm a good swimmer, they shouldn't be able to catch me.

Watching the house for a good ten minuets I see shapes through the blinds coming and going. It looks like an argument.

I can't tell who is who.

I think I'm going to have to go inside. Don't want to kill the wrong person.

But what I do want, is the quickest way to him. Thankfully, his house provides a solution! The bricks that makeup the walls create a very odd crisscross of protrusions at the four corners of the house. It's a welcome architectural style that I've seen in Alabama. Very interesting, very good grip for climbing plants and professional serial killers.

They're in the window now, it's time.

I climb over the lip of the wall into their yard, and jog as quietly as I can to the corner of the house. The lights come on in response to my movement, the people in the window don't stop arguing, they must not have their phones on them. The bricks are stable, and I climb as fast as I can while keeping a semblance of quiet.

Above the lights and sensors, and parallel to the second-floor window, I'm in position.

Slowly, oh so slowly, do I place a foot onto the roof of the extended window of the floor below, it sslloowwwly takes my weight . . . Until I'm crouched like a ninja on a wire.

'Eh perhaps a bit to dramatic.'

The window is Infront of me, and I can hear them now, one of them is definitely Donovan. The other matches his wife.

This will be traumatic.

I take a few seconds to listen to the conversation; it seems their son has transformed. That's gonna be rough on the kid, six years old a pokémon and fatherless. Donovan is to the left, and his wife is to the right. I take a few seconds to put in some disposable earplugs, then I get my pistol from my backpack. The suppressor is already attached.

I'm very excited now.

I grab the window sill with my cheep nylon gloves, and slowly line my head up with one of those small holes in a set of blinds, the ones that let the strings through.

I see him, he is sitting on the bed, sweating, rubbing his head, face twisted in worry and fear. I can't see his wife from here, but I can hear her, she is by the door almost opposite the bed in distance. She won't suffer physical damage from glass or a missed shot.

I raise my pistol, grip the windowsill tighter, and empty the clip.

Glass and wood shatters, the blinds are shredded, the bed, wall, and Donovan Thad Swift all get at least a dozen new holes.

I take a moment to just look.

Donovan is sprawled on his bed, leaking blood, shit, piss, and other viscera, the wall behind him has many holes and shattered pictures, the bed is being dyed a deep red.

He has an expression of surprise on his face.

I don't realize I'm smiling until I turn away. He had an eyeball blown out, and at least six to the chest. Job complete.

A death he never saw coming and didn't feel for more than less than a second. The best in my opinion.

I jump down and start booking it.

I hear his widow screaming in heart wrenching agony a moment later, and then the noise leaves my ears, cuz I'm over the seawall again and sprinting down it.

'Fuckfuckfuck, I didn't think this through.'

I suppose my mind is still a bit scrambled, but that's no excuse in this business.

'Ugg, I'm getting out of this city.'

Collect my pay, gas up the van, head down to somewhere with water. That I haven't been to yet. If I'm some sort of bullshit magic seal, well I'm gonna abuse the hell out of that.

Taking a quick look back reveals no pursuers, aaaannnnd here we are!


Up over the seawall I go! Ok, back on the road, get back to my van, call my client, get that money, get out. Simple.

That thought finally wipes the smile off my face. Still feel great! Just, my 6th sense is tingling again.

Smoothly turning 360degrees, and up for good measure, I don't see anything.

'Uuugghh, I hope that tingle is from my upcoming call with the client.'