I am the world’s second best assassin. It’s not the best title, but it’s certainly not the worst. I’ve learned that it tends to be a matter of perspective in most cases, especially mine. Now I would like to think I’m pretty good at my job. Over time my skills have developed; techniques have been refined; and missions have certainly been next to impossible. And yet, I’ve never experienced a nervousness over my next hit. Never had I let emotions overpower my senses. Never had I made myself worry over the factors of possible failure and death.
As that manila folder skid my way across the polished desk, I knew this assignment was different. Perhaps even more demanding than the others. Rather than the typical stamped-on-block-red letters spelling “My Eyes Only”, I was greeted with a navy blue ink on the corner. The handwriting was so small in comparison to the usual eye sore, I almost thought it was a blank folder. But on the top left, the single pair of “A-1” destroyed my composure.
I’m classified as “A-2”.
Immediantly, I thought that it was some mistake. They had accidentally given me the case for Number One. But I internally punched myself a split second later. No one in our agency could screw up that bad. Right?
So my next logical conclusion was that I had been promoted. Number One had taken a dirt nap and it was my turn to handle the level 13 cases. Finally!
So as I opened the file with pure excitement, the sudden and rare feeling disappeared, morphing into pure anxiety. My next target: The World’s Best Assasin.
I receive a level 13 file for two minutes, and I’m going to hell because of it. Forget the thousands of missions I’ve completed (most in record time), this is the one that will send me to the fields of punishment. How am I even suppose to approach this? What did she do to get on my hit list? Is it possible for me to decline? What if I failed and died? Or worse, become the world’s THIRD best assassin? Oh. Absolutely not.
And for the first time I realized, this is what dread feels like. Suddenly, the steel doors slammed themselves shut. Which was surprising considering they've always looked pretty heavy. The lights abruptly shut off and our emergency lockdown system activated. It was almost hard to concentrate with the pulsing bright light and blaring alarm ringing through. Almost.
A moment of clarity overpowered the chaos; I am a threat to the World’s Greatest Assassin. (Again, it’s one of those “matter of perspective” situations) An explosion that shook the east wing of the building, brought me down from my slightly giddy state. I suppose it’s time to go to work. I patted the side of my thighs, in a form of good luck and to triple check my ballistics.
And then I heard it. Orders being shouted over multiple gunshots, probably a couple meters down the corridor. The volume dwindling by the second. That’s my cue. I felt the switch in my head flip up: it was kill or be killed.
Watch your back mom, you’re next.