|The Swiss Assignment [NPC Hit + Filler Material]
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|Author:||Arnold Hassuer [ Wed May 10, 2006 2:31 pm ]|
|Post subject:||The Swiss Assignment [NPC Hit + Filler Material]|
Somewhere high in the Swiss Alps.
In the dark of the train car, I sat alone on a bench. The sun had set hours ago, and I had drawn the blinds long before. This was one of the oldest trains in Europe. The cars were easily sixty years old, the types where you still sat in our own individual cubicles, a dozen to a car, bordering on a common hallway. The benches were richly upholstered in dark red velvet that was nicely set next to the equally rich stained mahogany. This was the kind of train only the very rich could afford. I was by no means rich, but my current employer was. He was not only wealthy enough to contract my services and put me aboard this luxury means of conveyance, but he outfitted me to fit the part. The most expensive suit that the tailor had, it had cost about the same as it took to feed his entire extended family for the next three months.
I wasn’t one for suits, but I knew that I would be keeping this one as a perk. The shirt was a deep burgundy with almost imperceptible vertical stripes a shade darker. Over it, I wore a black sports coat, specially tailored to hide the tell-tale bulge of a shoulder holster. The pants were a pair of non-descript dress pants, made of a heavier than usual cloth to make their life-span last. Finally, my feet were encased in a pair of leather wing-tip shoes. I had protested, but my employer insisted. No one on this train would be seen in those god-awful surplus combat boots, he told me. I relented in the end; it was his money after all.
There was no argument over the equipment strapped to my side, just under the armpit. I grasped it by the butt and pulled it from the canvas holster. The weapon’s weight in my hand was familiar and reassuring. My own Hecklor and Koch USP, made specially in Germany to my own specifications. All the serial numbers had been completely erased, and the weapon was totally untraceable. After a hit, most professionals will dispose of the weapon used. I could never bring myself to do so, having paid a lot for this gun. Thus, I kept a supply of a half dozen spare barrels in my luggage. They were of various lengths for various uses. Some countries object to a gun barrel under a specific length, so I took great pains to conceal my spares. The suitcase I chose had metal supporting rods in the sides to prevent it being crushed at the airport and what-have-you. At my own home, I took out the supplied rods that ran the length of the bottom of the case, and replaced them with my own, hollow, supports. Wrapped in a cloth, the barrels were a snug fit, but would go undetected through any airport X-ray scanner.
The barrel that was currently in the gun had been calibrated the previous morning. The muzzle was extended slightly from the end of the slide. About a quarter-inch of the barrel was visible. It was also threaded finely to accept a suppressor. Said silencer I pulled from my left-hand jacket pocket. It was short and stubby, but I knew that it was effective. It was a well-made American model from Advanced Armament. With great care, I threaded the end of the suppressor over the threads on the barrel of the USP. It wasn’t like twisting the top off of a soda bottle; the threads of a suppressor were much finer, and one turn made barely any advancement down the muzzle. It took a special wrist motion to get a silencer on quickly. I had the motor memory for this action after many years of stealthy killings. With the suppressor firmly in place, I placed the pistol on the bench. It sat there, pressing down into the plush cushioning like a fat, dark animal. I pulled a pair of leather gloves from an inside pocket, pulling them on one at a time and making sure that they were firmly in place. They fit skin tight, as if they weren’t there at all and were just part of my hands.
I picked up the USP again, ejecting the magazine this time. A row of stubby bronze forty caliber rounds sat nestled inside, ready to spring. These were not the high-powered American rounds that I would have liked. Since I had been away for so long, all I was able to get were Croatian hollow-points. The propellant was as heavy as the American commercial brands, but with half the power. I tested a few of the dealer’s full-metal jacketed rounds and found them grossly underpowered, especially for a forty caliber. To compensate, I had chosen a box of the home-made hollow points. They were more like dum-dum rounds than hollow-points really. Someone had taken the time to clamp all fifty rounds in this box into a vise and carve a cross into the tip of the round with a rat-tail file. Once the round entered its’ target, instead of a narrow wound channel like I would get with the FMJ rounds, this projectile would split along the carved portions. Once the bullet burst through the target’s epidermis, it would be more like a round of twelve-gauge buckshot.
I slapped the magazine back into the butt of the USP. The time of the job was fast approaching. I knew this wouldn’t be the same as any of the ones before. I had been younger then, and arrogant. That arrogance had gotten me shot, stabbed, and beaten more than once. The last time, the bullet that hit my chest nearly killed me. I took a hiatus from the trade, and went full-time into my arms dealing. The only reason I had taken this job was the exorbitant pay and its’ simplicity. The mark was in the next cabin over. He probably was sitting with his back to the same wall as I. From the pictures I had examined, I saw that he was an obese man, taken to wearing a fuzz of a goatee on the upper-most chin. He needed glasses, but had no sense of style in that area. They were the large horn-rimmed type that always annoyed me when I saw them. I knew this would be simple.
I calmed my breathing and focused my thoughts on the task at hand. Easy job: open the door of my own cabin, walk the six feet down the hall, gun in hand. Open or kick down the door of the mark’s cabin next door. Come in shooting, a double-tap into his fat chest, and another round in the head to be sure of a clean kill. Get out, and then the escape. With everything clear in my mind, I always found it easier to carry out my kill.
I grabbed and twisted the handle of my door. A quick glance up and down the aisle showed it was deserted. As it should be; everyone was filthy sticking rich and in bed, dreaming dreams of a quick buck made. While they dreamed it, I did it. I walked the six feet in four long steps. I was up against the wall just to the side of the mark’s door. He had his own blinds drawn, probably asleep inside. With the utmost care, I grasped the door handle and pushed downwards. It gave way with little resistance. Not a man to lock his doors, I suppose. I pushed the handle the rest of the way down, and gave the door a firm shove. It came open without trouble, and I was behind it.
The fat man sat on his bench. In the fraction of a second that I caught a glimpse of him, I saw that he was half asleep. The top button of his shirt was undone, and his shoes were kicked off. All that was on his face was the constant film of perspiration that plagues all men of great weight. That, and a look of utter terror. He knew who I was and didn’t need to see the gun to know what was happening.
More than aiming, I pointed the muzzle of my USP at the man, and pulled the trigger twice in quick succession. The suppressor made a whisper of the gunshot, hardly loud enough to be heard in the next cabin over. At least I hoped so, because that was where the man’s personal bodyguards were stationed. Both rounds entered just below the mark’s throat, high on the chest. A spray of gore spread from the resulting holes in his back. As it soaked into the velvet of the seat, I came towards him. He was still breathing, but shallowly. If left alone for the next few minutes, he would easily die on his own. But the chance that the bodyguards would check in was too great. I took careful aim, drawing a bead on his forehead, lower and towards the eyes. The expression ‘shot right between the eyes’ actually has more truth to it than similar claims. If a bullet enters on the nasal bone, right between your eyes, it will enter the upper lobe of your brain and progress through the centre portion before blowing out the back, close enough to the stem that there are no involuntary muscle spasms. That was where I hit. Grey matter joined the blood on the wall.
With the terrible deed now done, I turned and walked from the cabin. There was no time for looking backwards in this unforgiving business. Concealing the pistol under my coat, I stalked down the dimly lit hallway. My destination was the repair car, situated near the end of the train. It was another throw-back to the old days. Often, something would get stuck under the train, or jump up and damage the undercarriage. This was when the tracks were not as well kept as they are now. There was no real reason to have the car anymore, now that the tracks were examined weekly. Train buffs and rich people liked the authenticity though, and so the car stayed, between the diner cars, and the baggage cars.
To get foreign objects out from the undercarriage while the train was still in motion, they had a small trolley that ran on the rails, under the train. And it was small; there was barely enough space for one man, lying on his back. The trolley was accessed by a trap door set into the car’s floor, and then lowered onto the tracks by a winch. The trolley could ride free on the rails, tethered by a rope so that the poor worker could move up and down the length of the train.
I knew all this, because I was now lying on the repair trolley. My USP was holstered once more, the suppressor tucked into my pocket. I clung tightly to the rope that kept me from slipping by the train and shooting off into the black nothingness just past my feet, totally out of control. My timetable allowed me to let myself go slowly, so that I would end up at a contact point with my employer. He would be waiting at a level crossing with a car to take me back to the city.
I heard far ahead bells jangling as the train approached the crossing. I let my grasp on the rope slacken and felt myself move away from the repair car. I had to keep my head down tight against the steel deck of the trolley to avoid having it taken off by one of the axels. In time, I came to the last car of the train. I emerged to see the stars above in a bright moonlight sky. There was little time to wax poetic over it, because now came the important part. The trolley was equipped with a set of hand brakes to slow it as the train might slow for a bridge or curve. I took that handle now, and squeezed it gently. A high pitched squeal came from just below me. It was aggravating, but had to be done. As I slowed myself, I reached carefully into an inside pocket. There I found my handy knife, one that had served well for many years. I flicked it open one handed, and deftly cut the cord that held the trolley. I was now free of the train. I slowed more and more as the train progressed above me. It was gone now, and I was approaching the level crossing. My speed was perfect. With a slight jerk, I brought the trolley to a complete stop in the centre of the crossing.
A man ran from the road when I came into view, and grasped my wrist. I grasped his in turn and allowed myself to be pulled to my feet. “Mr. Hassuer.” The voice stated. Not a question, but an indisputable fact. “Who else?” I replied with a smile. Who else, indeed, would they have found in the exact meeting place, in the exact method, and in the clothing that he had bought me?
We walked to the car, my employer thanking me profusely for my services, and demanding all the intimate details. I gave them in my own quiet manner. In the car, the conversation continued as the personal chauffer drive us to my hotel in the city. I field-stripped the USP, disposing of the used barrel. I had to explain to the employer why this was done, which ended up turning into a lecture on firearms methodology.
The man dropped me off at the hotel and insisted on walking me into the lobby. Under the bright lights there I got my first good look at the employer. In retrospect, he was not that different from the mark by physical standards. Their only difference was beneath that, in their temperament. The man I had killed only an hour previous had been a good man who only wanted to build his low-rent condominiums for lower-income families in a nicer part of town. This employer didn’t like the thought of poor people living in an area traditionally reserved for the richer elements, and had the other killed. I saw then the folly of the contract killer’s trade. Never again did I kill a good man after that.
Since the family meeting at the bowling alley has stalled, and I havn't had the chance to RP in a week or so, I bashed this out in a day. I was so bored....
I have no requests, only the consideration for elite archive status and the reader’s enjoyment. This is a piece I wrote with no connections to Arnold’s overall story line as I have it planned out. I just liked the idea, and it was enjoyable to write.
|Author:||Solivagus [ Sun May 14, 2006 11:56 am ]|
Time to judge. I'm taking care of this because no one is around to do so. Please don't expect something to match or even come close to Ayu's style of grading.
Something I should mention which I believe to be important. There was one spelling mistake and a couple of grammatical errors, but nothing that slaughters the language. However its still something that bothers some.
I don't usually read first person pieces but I have to say that this was quite enjoyable. The ending, after the assassination, was lacking in detail, in comparison to the rest of the piece. Despite this, it was a good piece.
I haven't the authority to send this straight to the Elite Archive so I will mention this piece in the Staff forum. Nothing will come of it I gather, so if three days pass and nothing is said, I will move it to the Elite archive.
I'm donating 20 000 because I can. Also, I want to pick your brain about fire arms and so on, as you seem to be the man who knows his weapons.
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