Chapter 6:

Opportunity Of A Lifetime

Assassin's Hunter

Shortly after leaving Keiffer's shop, I decided to take a trip uptown to clear my head. There weren't many conventional ways to meditate here in Ultima. But I knew just the place that was not only nostalgic but tranquil.

As the tram sped through the cityscape, I took notice of the brief sunshine and dry weather we were getting. I always loved the rain and never minded its constant downpour here. But it did cheer me up that the warm glowing rays of light were making someone's day.

The climate here in this region has changed drastically over the past years due to the global warming crisis. Measures such as the Pure Nuclear Energy Act and the Polar Ice Reclamation Project were thankfully taken to reverse the effects. Those, however, couldn't stop the rising sea catastrophes, causing the U.S. to lose a good chunk of its coastal cities. And then you would have the 'small' effects, like the seemingly neverending rain we get here in the Rocky Mountain states. Out of the three hundred and sixty-five days of the year, Ultima receives about a hundred and ninety in precipitation.

I arrived at my stop and hopped off the tram. As I walked down the grimy stairs of the tram station, my phone earpiece beeped from my pocket. I pulled it out, and the earpiece displayed a small holographic name above the device. Well, it wasn't a name, but a word: UNKNOWN.

Weird. I shouldn't be getting any spam or unknown calls. It was a secured line.

I reluctantly placed it on my ear and answered.

"Darkstar, long time no… hear. Hahaha! What's new lately?" a flashy voice spoke before I could even inhale.


"It's me, Hermes!"

Oh crap.

"What do you want? And why do you still have this number?" I answered.

"Such cold words between old familiars. I thought we left on good terms?"

"Not how I remembered."

"Well, you know me, I always like looking on the bright side of things!" Hermes giggled.

Hermes was the most annoying and repulsive of all the people I've dealt with in my business. His dramatic flare and cheeky personality could win almost anyone over, but not me. His facade was as believable as his integrity. Long story short, a kill I made for him put me in hot water with some Yakuza thugs and the Japanese police. He didn't tell me I would be killing some old clients of mine. Unlike most assassins, I worked alone without ties to a specific person; but out of respect, I would never kill them for another job. Unless they deserved it… like someone I knew.

"You have a very selective memory. When someone nearly screws me over, I remember," my voice grated.

"A misunderstanding, my friend. I'd never do you wrong. Not now, or ever! Speaking of, I have a-"

"I told you I don't do repeated clients. I've already done two jobs for you, so you can expect my surprise and response when you call."

"I wouldn't call you if it wasn't urgent. And it is. Yes, I have a job for you, but this time it's different," Hermes said.

"The answer is no, Hermes. Delete this number, or I'll get a new one," I was reaching towards the 'End Call' button.

"How's a hundred million credits sound?"


"Got your attention now?"

That figure was more than ridiculous. It was too good to be true. The Skulls, one of the most wanted groups in the world, was a five million job lasting seven months to accomplish. This offer already reeked ill fortune and fate, but the payout was too big to pass. What had me scratching my brain, though, was the target.

"Who could possibly be worth a hundred million?" I asked.

"That right there is the cherry on top. This kill could shake the earth for years to come. It'll be quite the achievement to put on your resume."

"Who is it?"

"I got all the info you need. Come to my club, Shambhala. I'll brief you on everything there is to know there. Drinks are on me."

"I'd rather cut the festivities and start as soon as possible. I'm a busy man, so give me a name now, or I walk."

"Heh- I'll take that as a 'yes' then. I'm a nice guy, so I'll give you what you need now if you insist," Hermes took a breath changing his tone, "The target is Jacob Dygen."

The name was all too familiar. The head of Dygen Corporations. The leading company in manufacturing and weapons design. They also specialized in off-world colony supplies, automotive production, interstellar vehicles, and providing Kol refineries. One of the three 'Great Powers' of the world. If I remember correctly, the guy was also a leading candidate running for Supreme Leader. If he won, he would be the most powerful and influential man in the nation… no, the world. Not to mention how adored he was by the public.

“Dygen. The Jacob Dygen? CEO of-”

"Yes, that Dygen. It's a sensitive topic, so I'd rather not disclose so much over the phone. Secured line or not. I need him dead before Election Day. That's four days away. Lucky for you, he's going to give a big speech in downtown Square tomorrow night. That'll be your best opening. I don't care how you do it or who else you'll need to kill to get to him."

"Killing him is gonna be next to impossible. His security is gonna have that place locked down, sewer to skyway," I stated.

"Why do you think I'm paying you so well? Sure it'll be difficult, which is why I got the best guy on it. You're smart and resourceful. You'll find a way," Hermes countered, "And since this due date is cutting it close, I could have your payment paid in full right now with a bonus if you come to meet me. Consider it seed money for the job."

"No need. Only after the job is done."

"Half now then. You'd be doing me a huge favor. It's the least I can do," Hermes insisted.

"After... with bonus if you feel obliged to, but only wired. I don't want to see you if I can help it… and Hermes... if I do this, I want this to be the last. No more jobs from you. In fact, I don't want to hear you ever again after this."

"And you never will. Just text me the account number, and I'll have it deposited when complete. I can't wait to see how you'll do it,"

"Goodbye, Hermes,"

"Woah, these are our final words together. No best wishes or fun memories to reminisce?"

"I'd rather do without that."

"Um- you sure you don't want that drink?" he added desperately.

"I'm about to change my mind."

"Ah, well. Suit yourself. Give your little sister my regards…"

Sister? What is he talking about?

"I don't have a sister," I clarified in puzzlement. Hermes must be off his meds to state something so random and wrong. Even if I had family, I had never disclosed my personal life to him. Nor would I ever to anyone.

"Really? I could've sworn you mentioned her before. Anyway, see ya, buddy!" Hermes ended the call.

With the money this job would bring, I'm set for life. Maybe finding a new home in an off-world colony doesn't sound so far-fetched anymore. Killing Jacob Dygen, though. That won't be as easy as it sounds. But, before I began making plans for my new mission, I continued my way to the old cathedral. The last place I was with my mother.