I just want you all to know, it’s never anything personal. Ever. If I’m coming for you, it’s all business. This work is just an unimaginably good paycheck. I’m not paid what other people who do this are paid. They aren’t me. They don’t have the talent that I do. If I am after you, I was paid in the kind of money that most people dream about. Paid through a random drop at an undisclosed location until right when the drop has to be made. You pay me all of it, up front, or I don’t do it. There is no negotiation. What I name my price, I name. You tell me the target, and the details about that target. I do some research of my own. Afterwards, I come up with a price. As I said, there is no negotiation. My fee is in stone, and you will pay it. Otherwise, I walk, and you will never hear from me again.
There is no one in this world who who can do what I do. Not the way that I do it. There are plenty of people who claim to be the type who do it, but they are just amateurs. Sure, they all boast about their combat experience as soldiers or spies or bounty hunters. It’s a joke. That experience taught them how to kill people in wars. War isn’t where I am. I don’t go into an active war zone to deal in my trade. I act in the places that my target feels the most safe. In the home where they are with their lover. In the hotel that they have always gone to and never felt a reason to be afraid. Somewhere that this person couldn’t believe that anything would happen to them. It’s so perfect. The utter simplicity of the idea is wonderful. Shakespeare was right – brevity is the soul of wit. The ultimate cosmic joke.
Because if I am coming after you, you’ll never know. But even if you did. Even if you knew to be afraid, it wouldn’t help. You can’t change your fate. If I am coming after you, that’s all she wrote. Your story, no matter how good or bad it was, comes to an end. The truth is, you’ll never, ever see me coming. At no point will your death be something you register. Unless it is in that briefest moment where you realize what’s happened, but that isn’t often.
I trade in deaths that look like they were just bad fortune. I’m sure you’ve read about what I’ve done in the papers. Some poor woman falling off the railing of her hotel. A business owner being crushed under a chandelier that mysteriously came loose from its moorings. A fashion model that got food poisoning from her sushi. The chef gets blamed. But he isn’t going to get in any trouble. As I said, I deal in bad fortune. His career as a chef might be ruined, but he won’t spend any time in jail. There is no evidence. Of any kind. That’s the amazing thing. If someone ever, at any point, saw me for what I was, then my mission has already failed. How many incidents did you read about in the paper, not knowing that I had been there? When that stereo equipment came crashing down and crushed some poor person’s body, did you know I was there? When some poor sod “mysteriously collapses from an unexplained illness,” did you know that I had put a special cocktail in their drink? Of course you didn’t. You were just some frightened onlooker, wondering how such a horrible thing could have happened. And so was I. Or at least, that’s how anyone there would see me.
How do people find me? It isn’t easy. I don’t come recommended. At least not on any online location that you will be able to find. It’s a secret, among those who are the most powerful in the world. Like a vicious rumor that nobody can prove or disprove. Those who can prove it know better than to try. For if they did, they would suddenly find themselves on the business end of my skill. Though, who boasts about one such as I doing such a thing for them? This is done so that deniability is absolute. So there is no possible way that it can ever come back on them. But because my services cost more than you could make in three lifetimes (for the easiest marks), my existence is known only to those who are wealthy enough to afford me anyway. Like this ugly secret, that no one is brave enough to talk about.
In the course of my work, I have worn a dozen faces. I can seamlessly change in a flash! No one knows what I look like. No one ever will. That woman who “fell” off her balcony. She saw me. But she didn’t see me. She saw a phantom. Just one of a thousand that I have been in the course of the years that I have done this. Will age ever catch me? Unsure. I don’t know if the age comes with the face. But I change as I need. Becoming whoever I need to be, in order to complete my objective. My gender? Even I don’t remember. My race? Changes at the drop of a hat. My name? Depends on who you ask. There is no truth about me. Even this secret is known in phantoms. Commit this to memory – there is no one on any world like me.
That is what I am. I am my craft. I am what I do. If I am after you, then you won’t be waking up. Or maybe you will, but only so briefly as to not wake up again. You won’t know why your story was ended, or by whom. Just rest easy in the knowledge that this was never personal. It was just business, by someone who wanted you very, very dead. My craft is what I am. My skill is what gives me form. My perfection is my truth.
Until next time, a quote,
“One must ask how many poisonings throughout history have gone unnoticed, with the truth being known but only to the dead.” -The Count, Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo