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The Messenger sat down on the huge bed and was wiping his silver gun clean; he pulled out a silencer from one of the pouches of his leather utility attire and proceeded to fix it on the nozzle of the shiny pistol.

The Victorian styled bedroom was extravagantly furnished and the king-sized double walnut bed he was sitting on had four oak bed posts which supported a richly designed cover made from a hand-woven thick material.

The main lights were turned off leaving only the large scented candles that filled up the overhead chandelier and gave the bedroom a smooth and rich red ambience; he suspected that the scent emanating from the candles might be sleep inducing as he already felt signs of dizziness.

The poor old man was still sleeping and snoring heavily, his chest rising and falling with each snore. He was a heavy sleeper and a heavy snorer at that too, it irritated the Messenger and he had to fight the urge to choke him right there on the bed till he died but he decided against it, a dead man cannot give him the information he wanted.

He knew everything about the man lying before him; from the constant bullying that accompanied his childhood, his engineering talents and subsequent success when he landed an executive contract with the Mosler Company, his tendency to being a sexual pervert at times, to his queer habit of having something rubbery in his pockets wherever he goes – be it a rubber ball or anything.

The first and one of the most important rule of becoming an international assassin – know your target; he had never failed that rule and the rule never failed him, he smiled. His neck was becoming itchy again and he rubbed it with his gloved fingers and cursed; he decided that it was about time he did what he came for and get over with it.

“Wake up sir,” the Messenger whispered in the old man’s hairy ears and he bolted up,

“Do not move sir, you’re strapped to the bed posts with some queer straps I found in one of your rooms; it’s yours, so you know how it works,” he said in his distorted scratchy voice. And the white man struggled against the restraint but it only got tighter with each tug, soon enough he gave up and relaxed on the many pillows, breathing heavily.

“Who the fuck are you and how did you get in here?” he spat, his face was gaining color and he began to sweat.

“I am the messenger and I’ve got a message for you. Your guards have…let me see,” he checked his smart watch, “oh, eleven minutes before they wake up from their nice little sleep and you seem to have a lot of security systems in here when I came in, I had to disable all of them. Satisfied? It’s my turn to ask,” the Messenger turned away from him after he finished talking.

He went back to wiping the pistol slowly with a small rag that had the doe’s finger prints cloned and super-imposed on it, he had looked up the database for Derek Oscar and had cloned the fingerprint from the one on the system and even created a glove out of his finger-prints, he would be the doe throughout the duration of the mission and that was the idea.

“I don’t care who you think you are but you must pay for this!” he shouted,

“Shhh, talk quietly, Mr. Anderson lest we wake up the neighbors,” the Messenger said pressing his gloved index finger on the pouted lips of the man.

“I’ll bite off your fucking fingers if you don’t get me out of here,” Mr. Anderson fumed and tried to make true of his threat but the assassin was faster.

“Why not quit the foreplay Mr. Anderson or don’t you want to know why I’m here?” he pointed the gun at him and the man relaxed back on the pillows immediately.

“Just tell me what you want and get me out of here, please I don’t want to die,” he was now sober and tears were flowing from the sides of his eyes.

“We seem to be getting along nicely, now how do I get into the Iron Mountain?” the Messenger asked with the gun still trained on the man.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he was casting glances at his phone which was on a miniature mahogany bedside table, he only needed to press a button and a call would be put through to 911 and other security agencies concerned with his security but it was a far cry, any attempt to reach it would further tighten the grip of the strap and he could already feel his fingers getting cold from the lack of blood flow.

“I don’t have time sir. You were the key person behind the vault design, I heard it could withstand up to thirty-two Kiloton atomic bomb, that’s impressive. Why don’t you tell me where the master plan of the Iron Mountain main vault door design is; I bet the footnotes on the loopholes on the lock is safely written in watermarks behind that single page and I know it’s right in this room…in a book,”

“Oh shit, how did you know all that? You idiot, you would never get away with this,” Mr. Anderson tried to swing a fist at him but the restraint tightened on his wrists and he jerked back on the bed, he couldn’t bear the pains any longer. He could feel the restraints cutting into his wrists and the pain was making his hands numb.

“I will, you’ll see. Where is it or would you like us to play games? How about I use my jack knife to make holes in your wrist, if you know about Jesus, which I really doubt then you’ll understand what I mean,” he chuckled at the sight of the man’s contorted face; what fear could do? He thought.

“No, please don’t hurt me,” the old man pleaded.

The Messenger stuffed his mouth with the rag he had been using to wipe the gun and shot the man on the wrist, the cloth muffled his painful groan and his wrinkled face distorted in pain. He was trying to say something and the Messenger pulled out the rag and held it up just inches to his mouth,

“Third volume of William Shakespeare, type in the code 0879,” he began saying breathlessly but he barely finished before the Messenger stuffed his mouth once again. His left wrist was bleeding profusely and the blood soaked into the bed, he had never felt such pain in all his life.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got your prints,” he held up a rubbery glove to the light and looked at his watch, “two minutes, that’s a lot of time,” he stood up and walked to the bar at the west wing of the bedroom and eyed the old scotches and wines arranged elegantly on the shelves, most of them dating as far back as the 1950’s; he ignored them and pushed a button underneath the oak wood and the whole bar rumbled before it rotated a full 180 degrees to reveal the library.

The library was stocked with lots of complex engineering, security locks and complex books on modern day combination security systems, he was disinterested in them; soon enough he found a section that contained old collector books and easily found the book he was looking for, they were altogether six volumes of the works of Mr. William Shakespeare dating 1709 and edited by Nicholas Rowe.

‘The third volume,’ he picked out the one that has the number three inscribed on the spine. The book was leather-bound but was heavier than it looks, probably the insides were framed with metal; he unlocked it with the code and slipped on the genetically modified glove before pressing his thumb on a small glass panel on the inside front cover. It was not in the least a book, it was a camouflaged safe and he took the wrapped paper that held so much sensitive information and a few other things that caught his interest from inside it.

“You know I’ve been thinking about whether to kill you,” he stood up and walked back to the bed and sat down, the old man was still groaning in pains but he was quieter now, he was losing a lot of blood but the Messenger cared less. He pulled out the rag from his mouth,

“You have what you have, please just let me go, I don’t want to die. I promise not to say a word about any of this,” he was saying many things at once as soon as the rag came off his mouth but the Messenger was only grinning wickedly and shaking his head.

“It’s too bad that I don’t agree old man, your brain seems to be running out of better ideas,”

“Please, I’ll do whatever you say but don’t just kill me, please…” his voice was cut off as the Messenger smacked the gun on the old man’s head.

“So long, Mr. Anderson Smith,” he stood and looked himself over in the mirror and left.

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