Chang picked up the last chocolate piece and started to nibble on it.
“Urgghh. Why not just eat it in one go?” Kane grumbled.
“I’m savoring it. It’s the last piece.”
Kane rolled his eyes.
“Relax. We have at least fifteen more minutes before he comes here. He has just left the building,” Chang said continuing to enjoy the chocolate. Kane checked his gun once more, ensuring everything was working.
“You are really a tool. Overkill much,” Chang said and laughed. Kane ignored her.
“Come on. Relax,” Chang continued.
“I’m not a natural like you,” Kane grumbled. This time, Chang ignored him.
Chang and Kane had joined M.A.I.D. almost together, Kane, a week before Chang. Since then, both have been competing for the top spot each month. Chang beats Kane more often than Kane succeeds. That didn’t hurt Kane as much as the ease with which Chang did that. Kane’s gear consisted of three sets of knives, 5 guns including a sniper rifle, and one automatic rifle, a drone, and sometimes, even a sleeping bag. Chang had a gun and a giant-almost-a-sword-knife.
“Why do you need all that stuff?” She would often ask Kane much to his chagrin.
Today’s assignment was something new that their trainer-cum-manager was trying – joint assignment. Of course, whoever actually kills the target will get 75% of the bounty, and the kill count which directly affects the year-end bonus. That was in general. In particular, this was the first time, Chang and Kane were going head to head.
“Today will decide who’s better,” Kane said. Chang laughed. Chang didn’t remember the last time she had actually cared for the competition. It was fun initially to compete and get better but now, she mostly focused on having fun while on the job. Her new philosophy was that ‘killing someone should bring joy and not the stress of the competition’. But she didn’t tell Kane these things. The competitions really seem to bring the best out of him and she enjoyed irritating him when she won.
Fifteen minutes passed and Kane was ready with his sniper rifle. They had only one shot with the sniper rifle and if Kane took that shot, he would win and Chang wouldn’t even get a chance. Kane checked his gun once more. In his mind, this was his best shot.
Kane and Chang were on a building that was around two lanes away from their target zone. They could barely see the main entrance of the building but it was enough to attack with a sniper rifle. It was also close enough for them to reach the gate of the other building before any emergency services can reach so that they can take their target if their sniping tactic failed.
The car came and from it, the leader of a major corporation came out. He was not the target. Accompanying him was his number two who was destined to die today. Today was about sending a message, to both the CEO and his future number two – get in line with the reality or it will catch up with you, whatever your stature might be in the world. His number two was just collateral damage in the process of a valuable lesson, much like the frog in a biology class.
Kane took a deep breath and fired. His target was the head but the target moved back a bit and was hit on the chest instead.
“He will probably die,” Kane said half-heartedly.
“Can’t go back with a probably now, can we?” Chang said looking through her binoculars. They were a bit too far away from the scene for her to actually do anything about it. Her gun was better equipped with short-range attacks. She could take a shot but the probability of hitting was low and chances of accidentally hitting someone were too high, something, which they couldn’t afford.
“Now?” Kane asked.
“Now, Plan B. Or rather, Plan Me,” Chang said with a grin. She reached the main entrance followed by Kane who was now down to his smaller weapons. Chang was wearing a coat that protected her from the rain and hid her weapons well. She walked towards the crowd covering the man lying on the entrance of the building. The CEO and the other important people had moved inside the building. ‘Good thing,’ Chang thought.
She moved towards the crowd and reached the man, bleeding but still breathing. She pulled her mask up and took out her knife and before anyone could react, she pierced through the man’s heart. He screamed and everyone looked from him to the hand holding the knife. In that instant, a gun fired and people turned to see a man across the street holding a gun towards them. People started to flee from the scene and Chang pulled the knife and walked away with the other people. Kane also walked to a nearby lane and vanished.
He couldn’t believe what he had done. He knew there was no coming back from it and he didn’t understand how that happened. He called his manager at M.A.I.D. and immediately told him what had transpired.
“I’m sorry Kane but I can’t help you now.”
Chang looked at the wound. She couldn’t believe that Kane shot her. Was his jealousy that magnanimous that he would rather kill her than see her win? She had always considered them friends who were having a little banter. Clearly, he had other things in his mind.
The wound was not fatal but needed immediate medicare.
“Kane would know about the hideout as well and would have access to it, but I have to hide from the public as well. Shit!” Chang swore some more and decided to take his chance with Kane than with the cops.
She found the hideout where there was some first aid specifically designed for M.A.I.D. employees, which basically meant it was practically a full-blown medical facility with capabilities to single-handedly take out a bullet from your body. Chang took the bullet out and called his manager.
“I know,” he immediately said.
“I’m going to kill him,” Chang said.
“You completed your mission. And Kane’s actions disbar him from M.A.I.D. You can do whatever you want before your next mission which would be at least six weeks from now, considering your condition.”
“So, I have six weeks.”
“Yes. Six weeks.”