I sit in probably the most awkward and uncomfortable position to date that I’ve ever encountered in all my twenty-two years of living. The environment is crowded and filled with a room of drunken men. Lively barking and cackling at the top of their lungs, some of them sounding and looking like they nearly wanted to puke from their overindulgence as I find myself placed next to a man who’s constantly whispering sweet nothings in my ear. The bar, we’re in, is built heavy on silver metallic structuring with pearly white floors complete with recessed lighting and crystal-like booths and tables. Sounds fancy, huh? Actually, The Mawcraft Bar was easily considered one of the seediest taverns on all of Planet Samernia. And yet I find myself here. Guzzling down another shot of Tabasksisk, an alcohol I can only describe as being as what Bourbon probably is to humans, and sporting a lazy half grin in between rolling my eyes in disgust and annoyance whenever he looks away.
The he I’m referring to is the same man that has been tickling my ear till it nearly bleeds with talk of how he’d like to take me to a private room where we can become “better acquainted.” A Samerainian man who goes by the name of Zoono Marvadz, also the name of the very man I’ve been sent to eliminate. I reviewed his target profile long before I had even entered the premises and as soon as I walked in, I spotted him. I then managed to cozy up to him enough to where he felt comfortable in buying us several rounds of drinks before getting touchy-feely with him to the point where he immediately insisted we grab a booth somewhere in the bar that was a bit more secluded. It’s all a part of the job though. I have to fake it in order to get close them...then, I strike when they least expect it.
Analyzing him on the computerized hologram was one thing seeing him face-to-face was another. With the data I had received from the higher up elite where my orders come from, I learned that he was a 34-year-old con artist who had swindled a ten million dawzot, Samerainian dollar, deal from an aristocratic group of arms dealers named Showrow known for their ruthless, yet professional demeanor and reputation for paying back those who crossed them by hiring killing services on the black market. This is where I come in the picture. The Showrow hired me and my crew to wipe Zoono off the face of Samernia. Luckily for me, I was able to narrow in on his love for red-headed, bearded Samerainian men and quickly use that to my advantage to get him alone and vulnerable. Not so lucky for him.
“Zoono,” The abrupt and stern way I call his name has him immediately pause from kissing on my neck as he mumbles something about how I got my hair to be so red, and looks at me with eyes heavily weighted with concern. “I’m tired of us sitting here and talking.” I take another sip from my cup. “I’m ready for us to go somewhere we won’t have so many roaming eyes watching us.” I raise my brow hoping that he’ll catch my drift.
Zoono chuckles softly before closing in and planting an unexpected kiss on my lips. I hold my composure well as every bone within me nearly shutters. “Finally, you give in.” His face is so close to mine the smell liquor on his breath stinks tremendously and fills my nostrils causing me to hold back a gag as I bring my fist to my nose and mouth to coyly block some of the stench. “I’ve been trying to convince you that we should go somewhere no one will follow.”
After we leave the table, he pulls me into walking with him. With his left arm thrown over me, he leads us upstairs then outside on the rooftop of the Mawcraft with a high view of buildings resembling some of our most commonly operated spacecrafts sitting on large stems. “How about up here? I know the owner, and he has always granted me private access.” His nose and lips are only a few centimeters from the right side of my face as he speaks. He takes his arm from around me then walks a few feet ahead. It appears it’s completely desolated and he and I are the only ones there.
"Here is perfect.” I can’t help but form a small grin of satisfaction. One which I’m sure would probably remind one of a demon gloating at the idea of throwing a soul into the fiery pits of hell. But so it is. The perfect place and the perfect opportunity. As he continues to walk away with his back completely facing me, I reach in my back pocket and with one touch of a button the object I reach for turns into a high-energy blast firearm that easily resembles a black, nine millimeter pistol.
As he steps a few more paces forward, he stops. “You know, it sounds crazy, but I think from the moment I saw you walk through the door tonight I believed you are exactly the type of man I’ve been longing to find.”
“As do I,” My smile turns into a sinister grin. I take my left hand and place it on top of the revolver and cock it back. It produces a loud noise, and although I can’t see his face, from the way his body tenses I can tell he is stiff with worry and probably shitting his pants.
“You know what I think, Zoono?” This is it. A blinding light shines from me as I reveal my true identity to him by transforming into my natural form. I am a Samerainian man, yes, but not a man with fiery red hair pulled into a top knot with the sides shaven accented with a full beard and mustache. Zoono slowly turns to look behind him, moving cautiously, his eyes widening by the second as he soon realizes his fate, now being sealed by my hands. Calamorne. Top lethal assassin on all of Samernia, head of arguably the deadliest clan in history, The Samerainian Covenant, and highly trained in the art of execution since I was as young as sixteen years old.
He looks at me as if he’s just seen a ghost do a 360˚ degree head spin, assuring me that my reputation is even more notorious than I imagined. My long platinum blonde hair blows carefree with the wind, my outfit transforms into a slick black leather get-up, the beard I once had as “Moorant” the red head completely disappears, and a darkness overcomes me. A familiar, yet unsettling feeling that I’ve come to embrace whenever I point my high-blast in the direction of my intended target. Hearing the hydraulics of the revolver accelerate from a distance as the gun lights up preparing to fire and looking him dead in his eyes, I say the words that I had been preventing myself from uttering the very moment he first opened his mouth.
"I think you talk too fucking much.” With one pull of the trigger, a green high-energy blast comes out as a ray and zaps Zoono, plunging him about ten feet back before he hits the rooftop’s pavement. I set my right arm back down and the revolver transforms back into a small, razor-thin box no bigger than a wallet that I slip back into my pocket as I walk over to check Zoono for vitals. There he was. My 400th kill. Lying on the beige concrete with his head cocked to the side and a stream of blood dripping from the mouth of his corpse.
Although I rev in victory, studying him up close, I suddenly feel a small sense of guilt. Perhaps remorse? You’d think I’d be used to it by now. Killing has become as natural to me as a simple act of grooming like brushing my hair, but I can never fully escape the acknowledgment of the reprehensible actions that I’ve easily adapted as my ordinary way of life.
Looking at Zoono, he was a handsome man. With a Roman shaped nose, tan skin, platinum blonde, cropped hair and almond-shaped light blue eyes, he exemplified most traits that were inherited upon all Samerainians whether male or female, causing a sense of pity to stir within me for only a beat. Maybe he was a father. A lover? A boyfriend? A son? Maybe he was just a man who had turned to swindling rich folks out of millions considering the present times we live in, in a struggling world where opportunity seems limited and only available to those born into privilege. Maybe he was just a victim of becoming enslaved to a lifestyle he never truly enjoyed and only maintained in an attempt to merely survive, like myself.
Whatever it is, reality hits me that I’m wasting time in giving a damn and like clockwork I snap right back into the mindset of a cold-blooded killer. Bringing the index and middle finger on my left hand to my left ear, I lightly press and activate the radio signal paging the woman who instructed me to carry out the hit. “It’s done.”
“Wonderful.” Her pleasantly high pitch and flirtatious tone immediately excites me. “I knew you could do it. So tell me, how was it having to entertain a man? I hope not nearly as fun it is entertaining your own girlfriend.”
“Definitely not,” I playfully roll my eyes. “You know that’s never been my thing. It certainly was a challenge, but I managed to get him drunk enough to have him swooning all over me.”
“Go no further.” I can hear her smile and detect a hint of sarcasm, “Otherwise, you’re going to make me jealous. And you know how I can get when I’m jealous.”
“Trust me.” I sport a devious smile as I reminisce on how Talamaria’s envy always got the best of her. We had been dating for three years and as much as I had fallen for her, I knew how terribly dangerous of a woman she could be. Particularly when it came to another woman, or person, showing me any sort of affection and vice versa if she believed it merely appeared that I had been doing the same. “I know.” I simply add, before changing the subject entirely. “I’m heading back to submit the final report to the Showrow.”
"No.” My face twists with confusion as she hits me with a resistance that seems immediate and direct. “Stay where you are.” She encourages me, “I’m sending a hovercraft to come and get you. The Showrow mentioned they wanted to meet at a new location which I pinpointed the coordinates of the navigation to carry you on the craft. It should be arriving in just a few minutes.”
“O-kaayy?” I can’t help but drag it out. Since when did sending a hovercraft for me become part of the plan as if I couldn’t get the fuck out of dodge myself? It felt off, but I didn’t question it. I was introduced to Talamaria a few months before we started going out through a mutual colleague who was so pleased after he used my services he opted to recommend me someone who could be an asset to my clan. She had been working with us ever since, and I put every ounce of my trust in her as a point of contact for finding the clan new leads. So far she was good for business and also very good in other aspects that helped to keep me fully...satisfied.
Only about a second later, I get an incoming call on the other line. “Hold on, Tala. I’ll call you back.” I click over and it’s one of the men from my clan, my best friend that I’ve known since I was five, Savod. ”Calamorne!" My eyes widen when I hear the shaky, tremble of panic in his voice that comes out as a shriek.
"What is it?!" I demand quickly, my heart nearly skipping a beat.
"You need to get out of there! The hit is a set up! The guards are coming for you right now!"
I hang up immediately and take a beat to catch my breath then I take off, sprinting on foot then jumping off the roof of the 60-foot building and transforming to expand my wings. With a flash of another blinding light, I feel them emerging and sprouting from my back as I allow them to swiftly carry me off away from the scene of the bar. It isn’t long after that two of them close in on me. Sported with matching gold helmets and armor, the guards glide on their wings, closing in on my tail at a speed of 190 mph, but I’m faster.
I am no novice when it comes to outrunning them, and I’m fully confident that I’ll be able to do it again. In one sudden move, I shift to the right and flap my wings vigorously, putting a gap of at least ninety feet between me and them. A safe distance, I assume. A part of me starts to gloat at how quickly I look back and see the image of them as two specs as small as dust while I speed through an amber-colored night sky dusted with colors of pink, purple, black, and red and filled with an infinite amount of endless stars. Then suddenly, I find myself stunned by the sharp pain of a laser that hits my right side directly in my lower back.
It seems that one of these bastards has a gun, and of course, courtesy of the government, it is high-powered with an electric shock and sting the magnitude of a mountain. Immediately, I fall from the sky, hundreds of feet from the air to the ground and hit the pavement so hard it causes a dust cloud of an explosion on impact. I feel paralyzed, every bone and ligament in my body nearly feeling broken.
From a distance, I hear the trample of the guards’ feet closing in on me and I find myself looking up at them from the view of my face remaining glued to the ground through the eyes of swollen lids which are more than likely black and blue.
“It’s the end of the line for you, Calamorne.” One snickers, boosting in the fact that the short chase came to an end nearly as soon as it had started. I groan in pain as the guard then presses the bottom of his flat boot of his right foot on my face, pushing my head further into the black concrete. “Too bad the king said that he wants you alive.”
Nearly thirty minutes later, I find myself with a splitting headache, a small price to pay as a result of the fall. I’m now sitting at the end of a long white rectangular table with a slick, smooth surface, accompanied by five other occupants in the room. One, a member of the King’s Council named Alamorphien, who goes by the nickname of Allen. Two of them are guards, probably the same ones who captured and dragged me in here, who stand posted up by the entrance. I assume in case I try to make an escape. Doesn’t make sense because it’s not like I can move anyway. They made sure of that when they wrapped an automatic chain that tightens at the slightest hint of me shifting in my seat. Another occupant is the king himself. He stands looking out the glass window as the room remains still. Waiting for him to address me and inform me, I’m guessing, of the reason as to why I’m here and not in a cell. The other occupant...Talamaria, the very own woman I had been calling my girlfriend.
For a moment my eyes stayed glued to her. I’m assuming she can sense the intensity of my glare as she fidgets uncomfortably, refusing to look anywhere even close in my direction. She sports the same attire as Allen. A blue latex body suit with the Samernia emblem placed in large bold yellow coloring at the center, the best I can describe it is a diagonal squiggly line compiled with stripes and a diamond like star going across. Fucking traitor. She’s been working on behalf of the Samerainian government all along. Her mission? To stab me in my back by orchestrating a hit job where the guards would then be ordered to snag me at the right place, at the right time.
“Calamorne.” King Exsidorsi finally breaks his silence. He remains with his back turned to us looking out at the view of the capital. A scene marveled with dancing lights from multiple buildings surrounding the main center and combined with spaceships zipping through the air as they fly to their destination. The long red cape on his uniform as stiff as a nail as his platinum grey hair illuminates off the lighting in the room. “Leader of the most wanted criminal organization in all of Planet Samernia. A group of highly dangerous assassins who make their living off of carrying out hits and executions.”
My eyes narrow to slits as I look intently for his point. Thankfully, the wounds and damages to my body fully healed given thanks to my body’s rapid healing ability, one of the many given powers from our Samerainian lineage. It also made the sound of his abysmal talking only a tiny less painful.
“That is you?” He turns and finally looks at me. His slightly wrinkled face somewhere in between appearing stoic, yet slightly fascinated. “Am I correct?”
“I know you didn’t bring me in here to brag about my expertise.” At this point, I’m starting to lose my patience. “So, if you’re not going to arrest me, then what the hell is it that you want?”
“To talk.” He strokes his chin with his right hand as if studying a foreign specimen on display. His fully grey-colored brows furrow and the three deep lines on his forehead deepen. “I have a proposition for you.”
Another fifteen minutes later of time in my life I can never get back, I listen to King Exsidorsi ramble about some mission he wants me to accept. The destination? Planet Earth.
“So, now that we’ve had a chance to have this discussion...”
Finally. I let out a sigh easily displaying my annoyance as I hang my face down, now looking at the marble white floor as Exsidorsi brings his speech to a close. “You now know the reasons as to why it’s crucial that we need to recruit someone with your given...skill set.” He keeps his arms behind his back as he waits for my reaction.
“And if I refuse?” My brows rise as I look up at him waiting for an answer, even though I already know I won’t like the one that’s coming.
“Then you can find yourself spending the rest of your days in a Samerainian lockup unit or perhaps finding yourself on the receiving end of an execution.” The king almost says it like he’s assuring me I asked a valid question. I can’t believe a man so cynical has been king of Samernia for nearly twenty years now. Truth is that I fully despise him and everything he stands for. To me, he’s the reason for Samernia’s plummet into an increasing downfall.
“Well, King Exsidorsi, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I’m a man who doesn’t have much of any fear...” I bite back a groan as the chains tighten preventing me from fully shrugging the way I want to, “Considering my occupation. So I’m afraid things such as prison and death are not big enough to persuade me into complying with your demands.”
“Well then, how about this? You go to Earth and complete this mission, and I’ll rig the system and see to it, personally, that you’ll become the next King of Samernia.” King Exsidorsi made it sound like rigging the system was as easy and usual as teaching a five-year-old on our planet to operate a spaceship. “Do we have a deal?”
I edge closer, my body completely ignoring the level of constriction and restraint the chains have on me as I shift forward in my seat and grit my teeth accepting his proposal. “Consider it done.”
I keep my arms crossed as I slouch in the chair of the main console operating room of the small spacecraft they practically tossed me on to ship me off to Earth. The flight deck is dark, pitch black with only neon blue and orange lights from the control boards and large computer systems illuminating its surrounding area. In front of me is a large glass window providing a display of my trip through space as the craft passes through various gas clouds and a giant black sky with sparkling stars all around.
In nearly four hours, I will be reaching my new temporary home for the entirety of six months. The time span I had been given to complete this operation in a completely vast and unknown territory home to the Homo Sapiens race, finding myself grimacing as I listen to and watch Talamaria’s pouting face.
“Look, what exactly did you want me to do?” She blubbers on, placing her hand to her forehead and shifting some of her long blonde hair out of her face; almost appearing sincere about the fact she had betrayed me. If I didn’t think or know she had been such a good pretender, I would have felt sorry for her. But I do know better.
“Telling the truth would have been a nice start.” I try to hold back, but the tension mounting within me begins to boil over. “You lied to me for three years straight about who you really are! Working for the government the whole damn time?! I trusted you!”
“Oh, please. As a member of the Council, I’ve taken a sworn oath to complete whatever task I’m assigned!” Her mood changes from melancholy to full on defensive mood in only a matter of seconds as I now watch her waving her finger to emphasize her points on the 34-inch 2D holographic screen before me. “I’m given orders all the time, just like you, to carry out assignments that require me to go undercover and sometimes become someone completely different!”
“So, who were you all those times we fucked and you used to tell me you how happy you were that I entered life?” My voice nearly cracks as my fuming anger quickly dissolves into sadness, ”Who were you exactly those times when you told me that you loved me? Huh?!"
Her only response is to purse her pouty, rose colored lips. She then looks down at her lap. I shake my head before I, too, find myself diverting my gaze. A thick silence fills the air. She didn’t have to say it. I already knew what she couldn’t bring herself to admit aloud. There was never any love there. It was all a façade. You’d think it’d be easy for me to understand that as putting on a façade had become one of my greatest routines, but still the betrayal cuts me as deep as a 12-inch laser blade.
My attention goes back to the screen as soon I hear her sigh, which I assume appears to be a deep exhale letting out some of her frustration. “As Council, we believe it’s important that you presume a new alias while posing as a human on Earth.” She says it completely with a straight face, “Your name while you’re there completing this assignment is Jacob Myers.” Her extra emphasis on it lets me know she’s hinting it’s something that’s crucial that I don’t forget.
I sighed before nodding my head one time. “Got it,” I deadpan. ”My new name going forward on Earth is Jacob Myers."