She closed the door behind him as he left holding the dossier in her hand. The same pictures she had seen several years earlier. The agent had been kind and not given her any pictures of the victims. He had been very kind, in fact, travelling this far to talk to her. All the way from the British islands. The old wounds never healed quite completely, but his presence had left her with a big lump in her throat. However polite and careful in his phrasing he had been, she had terrible memories about it all. She studied the pictures carefully and thought about what the man had told her. The enhanced pictures showed small markings on the shells left on the murder scene. A pair of boots as well. Then she noticed something. Her trained eyes started connecting the clues. She spread the pictures over her table and started going through the papers. There was something there. Something she couldn’t put into words. The bootprints were to big and the casings from another type of weapon than she thought.

    She remembered the cold rain on her face as she moved along the dark back alley. The man she was after had a small shop further down. A façade of course but still a good place to find him. Because of the plan, she had a common handgun and was to steal the cashier before leaving. If it was thought a robbery, no one would look to deeply into it. She hid behind a dumpster. The cold metal against her back as she kept her eyes on the back door. The target was inside closing shop. Her heartbeat rose as the hit came closer. This target wasn’t like the usual targets. She would have to be quicker than usual. Give no chance for retreat. The short stout man exited the back door. Locked it as she started walking up towards him. He noticed her and their eyes met for a second, then it was over.

    The bootprints were to big. Well inside the man had all sorts of rifles. A clear collector. The cartridge was for a point forty one. Found indoors, in the bedroom. The tight space would prove problematic with a rifle. It didn’t add up. She put everything back in the brown bag and put it all away. It was years ago, her memories might have faded. Her team mates came back to the apartment. They had been kind enough to leave her alone with the agent. Noticing that she was down, they got her out that night.

    A white envelope with a handwritten address on. Somehow she knew who it was from. All the other envelopes were bills, as usually. This was different and not to be opened with the others as company. She said she’d go for a walk as she left. The two of them seemed clearly worried about her. They’d both been very kind and helpful these last few days. It felt good, somehow, that someone cared. Sitting with her legs dangling of the high rooftops edge she carefully opened the envelope. The letter inside asked who the agent had been, if it was something to do with her prior engagements and then a phone number. She couldn’t tell if it was worry about her personally or something else. She needed him. Which is why she went to a payphone and rang the given number. A female voice explained that the number wasn’t in use. The second after she had hung up the phone rang. His voice was on the other end. After explaining what had happened with what she remembered she asked for his help even though she really hadn’t earned the right to do so. Hearing his voice soothed her and the voice assured her that it would be looked into.

    A few days later they were on their way home after a mission. The car had gotten a flat tire and the other two were fixing it while she hung back. It was a calm neighbourhood and they all knew they were safe. A couple walked past when one of their phones rang. The young woman looked confused when she looked towards her. The phone call was for her. His soothing voice told her the truth. The target had been wrong. It also pointed her to a small apartment in London where one of the original group was currently living and asked if she wanted him to look further into it. She took it in her own hands, then handed the phone back to the young woman and thanked her.

    Rain, always rain in this country. A brick building, faded beige, aged and uncared for. Steam raising from her breath. She had taken a leave to return home for a while. The others seemed worried for her and wanted to come with. She had declined them. This wasn’t something that someone else should deal with. This was her own past and hers to fix. Wanting to affirm that the man she was after would be in the building, she waited for a long time. Her resolve never faulting. The people all seemed so depressed around here and the vehicles almost seemed to have stopped evolving a long time ago. The newest technology hadn’t found it’s grip to these parts of the city.

    She remembered the first time she had met him. That sincere smile on his lips, the caring voice. He had found her on one of the worse days. He had just knocked on the door, wanting to talk to her. She had made tea for him, even though he was a complete stranger at the time. He said he had talked to the agents and that his organisation was investigating the same case. Explained that they was an undercover group without any name but no less important. That first time he only said to her that they were getting closer to finding out who was responsible. It was a few times later before he explained about another man. A despicable man, a rapist and murderer. The words back then had seemed very convincing, though now she saw them for what they were. He had used her, tricked her.

    A carbon dioxide spewing vehicle drove into the small parking lot connected to the old apartment house and the man she was waiting for walked out. His clothes didn’t fit the areas general inhabitants. A black suit, white shirt and purple tie. His every move was under surveillance by her eyes. She followed him into the building and listened to his steps to know what floor he went to and carefully looked past a corner to see which door he entered. The information she had been given was correct in every detail. Her heart started to beat at the thought of what she was doing, but she took a deep breath and calmed down. After the lights of the corridor had turned of she moved to the door and simply knocked. Knowing the man inside, the regular trick wouldn’t be anywhere near sufficient. Instead when he asked who it was she told him. She heard the quick ruffling inside, then she kicked in the door. A chain saved it from coming completely loose. Her silenced pistol changed it’s mind. She saw him pulling out a shotgun from a bag laying in his bed. Jumping into the kitchen saved her from the initial blast. Working quickly, she took the frying pan of the stove and threw it out the door before she quickly followed. Trusting his reaction she pulled her shot, watching the muzzle flash from the shotgun. Hearing the wall behind her shatter. She hit his hand, then kept shooting. Hitting his arm and leg. No lethal hits, but enough to stop him.
    Walking over she studied him as he struggled. A foot to his neck and she leaned down. She wanted to know a few things and for every answer she didn’t like, she’d put a bullet into him. First, she asked who had ordered the original hit. He pretended not knowing, but after some ruthless convincing he talked. The name surprised her but not enough for her to show. Second, she wanted to know who had pulled the trigger. The answer came quickly this time. To quick, she thought, and made sure that he didn’t lie. As she did he admitted that the assassin was currently working for the one in charge. Then Thirdly, she wanted to know why he panicked as she came around. Sadly, the ladies in blue came driving on the street outside, with their flashing lights and their warning noise, before he was able to answer. She made sure he wouldn’t tell anyone else of her. Escape wasn’t a problem.

    She knew both of the people involved. One being her mentor and the other being a man of incredible importance and influence. What she knew about him, he was a good man. Apparently that was wrong. If the contact had been right, that is, but she was certain enough that he would’ve told the truth. Not being in the company made it harder for her to get information about the targets she had. Instead she would have to take matters herself. She sat on her motorbike outside the mansion. There were a party inside. Lots and lots of people. Any one of them would be able to recognize her and she didn’t want anyone to know of her yet. Though a man of his stature would most certainly soon know of his accomplish being murdered in the bedroom. She would have to find a easier place to hunt him down. In a late night café she got to read the newspaper and struck gold rather quickly. On the front page of the local paper was a mention of a grand opening. The wealthiest man in town would be cutting the ribbon the very next day. She got him.

    Stalking the back alley she saw the shining black limousine, guarded with two vans, slow down to a halt. Since she didn’t dare to use her own contacts she didn’t have any other weaponry than the same pistol used with the contact. This didn’t pose such a big problem as she did want to talk to the target before giving out judgement. Preferably she would be able to keep things quiet as well. The drivers left the vehicles, one of them stayed behind while the others went into the back door of the building. The limo driver went into the building. She didn’t have any problem looking like she was knowing what she was doing and simply hurried up to the door and entered. The guard didn’t stop her. The kitchen was in chaos, the huge dinner that would event later that evening was already being prepared. She found the driver she was looking for rather quickly and kept following him. Being a labour man, he wasn’t allowed amongst the puffed and proper people. A clear class segregation. It suited her fine. At one time he left the building and went into one of the darker back alleys. She let him do his business before she acted. A pistol to his neck and the explanation that he should be quiet or the pistol wouldn’t be. She got him to disrobe, then tripped him and hit his head in the side of the dumpster he had hid behind, leaving him inside it. Hopefully alive. Stretching up she almost had the drivers length and hiding the hair beneath the suit and the face under the hat, she quickly moved up to the limo and sat inside. Then waited.
    Moments later the drivers went into the other cars and started their engines. She turned the ignition and followed their cue. They slowly drove up on the town square and cut through the masses of people, then stopped outside the building. She knew the routine after having seen it several times before. He waved to the people and shock their hands. She went out of the drivers door and over to the back seat. She held the door open for him as he went into the limo, his guards moving over to the vans in front and back. She then simply walked up to the driver seat and drove of, following the head van. As they left the crowd she lowered the glass between the driver seat and the back seats, asking him to put his phone on the floor. At first he didn’t realize who she was but as he did he started to breath heavily, screaming that she was a phone call from death. She reminded him that her gun would be quicker than his voice. He put the phone on the floor. She asked where she could find the assassin and why people seemed to panic when they saw her. Apparently, after she had left the country she had been deemed to know to much to quit and a permanent treasure was set on her head if she was ever to return to the islands. The assassin was on another mission, though. She got to know where.
    In a crossroad, she suddenly stepped on the peddle and drove down another street than the van in front. The van behind kept close. She had some troubles loosing the vans, but saw to it that they didn’t get past her by driving busy roads and against road signs. After being hit herself in the rear of the limo, there was a big car accident that stopped the vans and allowed her to escape. In a forest outside the city she stopped the limo. She pulled him out into the dirt and had him on his knees. She asked why the original hit had been made. Not getting a satisfied answer she hit him across the head then tried again. Another unsatisfied answer and she shot him in his shoulder, then tried again. It was to get to her, they wanted her skill to work for them. They wanted a bait that she would bite on. She shot him several times in the gut and watched as he cringed on the ground. Then left, knowing that he would die a slow and painful death in the middle of nowhere.

    It was risqué what she was doing. Just staying in the country was a risk to her at the moment. The police might not know of her as of yet, but there is a chance they’ve connected to two murders. Seeing as the man she had killed a few days ago was such a public man, Scotland Yard will have started their investigations by and the people the three of them worked with will most likely as well want to find whoever committed the hits. If everything was true, there might be still others being after her personally in hopes of cashing in on her head. There were just one more target left, though, and his target was the man she was following now. She didn’t know when he was planning on hitting or even if the plan was the same but if he was going to do it, she would be there. Hunting him.

    She remembered the smell of gunpowder. His hands on her hip and shoulder, correcting her stance. His gentle whispers in her ear as she was to taking aim. She really didn’t need the advice but she enjoyed his closeness back then. His smell, a faint cigar and gunpowder. Back then she had fantasies about him. Never anything more. You were never meant to show emotions. Now it was different. She had not seen him in a long time and the pistol hidden under her leather-jacket was loaded with the bullets that would have to send him to his final destination. It was the last of her ammunition. The first few missions with him he had been reassuring and kind to her, then later more harsh and commanding. After that she got her missions on her own.

    Luck served her, she saw the muzzle flash before the side window of the car shattered. Not caring that the driver drove straight into a street light, she turned the gas-handle and drove straight for the building with her motorcycle. Knowing that the assassin would see her, she chose to drive close to anything that could obfuscate the sight. Making sudden turns as well, hoping to avoid any bullets. She noticed the muzzle flash again and how the phone-booth she passed that instance shattered. No sound. Before she got the to the building another flash was made and her rear wheel exploded, sending her tumbling down the street. Somewhat disoriented, she darted straight towards the closest alley. The brickworks shattering next to her as she entered. Behind cover, she pulled her helmet of and threw it away making a quick survey of her limbs being glad for having had the pads taking most of the damage. One of her legs was stiff but she could still run.
    She ran through the back alley towards the building she had seen him in. As she closed in she pulled out her pistol. She didn’t bother with the silencer this time. Outside the street seemed calm. A car stood outside with engines rolling. She recognized the metal green colour, having been inside it a few times. Her feet took the distance rather quickly and she saw the driver inside, a young man she hadn’t seen before. Knowing the car, she pulled the drivers seat open. The guy had a gun in his lap and started for it when he noticed her. She was faster. In a quick motion she turned of the engine and stole the key, then closed the door.
    She heard the rifle this time from above. It caught her hip and the concrete pieces that flew as the bullet hit the ground, bounced against her thigh. She pushed backwards and threw herself towards the wall of the building trying to make the angle more difficult. The pain in her hip stopping her from moving fast enough. Another bullet came down, tearing through the leather jacket but not hitting her. Looking up, she saw the rifle disappear into the building. She saw what floor. Forcing herself up, she pulled open the door and started towards the staircase. They met in the middle. He had pulled his pistol out as well. Neither fully prepared for the other. Barely standing she took aim at the same time as he. The guns sounded of almost at the same time. Her shoulder shot back and threw her against the wall. His neck was cut open, sending a tremendous amount of blood onto the wall. Sure he was dead she didn’t wait around.
    She dropped her pistol down a sewage hole and staggered along the street barely aware any more. The blood poured down her side. Her vision blurred and she fell on the ground shortly afterwards.

    She awoke. A well furnished room, antique bed. Paintings on the walls made by the finest artist in history. Out an enormous window she could see the trees with brown leaves. Trying to move, her muscles barely let her act and bandages covered the wounds. An IV-tube connected to her arm.
    Legend never told her how he had found her or how he had gotten her out the country. She never asked, her gratitude was too much to destroy the respect she had for him. As she healed, he let her know that he didn’t enjoy her taking such a mission for emotional reasons but he never seemed upset about it. She never got to see anything beyond the room she was in, except for when she was well enough to travel. He put her in a wheelchair and pushed her through an enormous mansion. Not a trace of any one else the whole time. Then put her in a car and drove her home.
    She had been away longer than the vacation she had taken and everyone kept asking how she got injured. She never told anyone. She made a complete recovery soon after and returned to work.

Story is © Peter A Svensson 2010
All characters are coyright respective owners.