Crazy people. Crazy world. Nothing is reasonable. Nothing makes sense. Darkness all around.
Don’t care. Haven’t cared. Why should I start now? Nothing changes. They’ll be back. They want the story.
Must be late. They need sleep. I don’t. What do I care for them? Idiots. That’s all they are. Can’t find the others. I’m the only one they have. Should I feel tired? Wasn’t made that way.
Revenge. That’s all I want. Dr. Tobias and Dr. Russell will die. If they aren’t already dead.
No windows in this place. Can’t see the sky. Do I really care? No.
The idiocy of humans irks me. Think they can have everything. We know better. Assassins know everything. Everyone should be like us. Perfect harmony. All get along. What a happy place it’ll be.
But I know better. Never will happen. All things destroyed. Those men. Those guards. They hate me. Hate them back. Keep me locked up. Just like Dr. Tobias and Dr. Russell.
Must kill them. Kill them all. That’s all that’s left to do. No regrets. No second thoughts. Can’t do that anymore. Aren’t I lucky?
Lost my family, friends. Only to be a government experiment. Greedy scientists. Insane scientists. Don’t know what they’re doing. Poor, poor Jen.
Half dead. That’s all we are now. Half dead. Half alive. Better to be dead? I wouldn’t know. Living is for fools. There’s nothing left. Nothing at all.
Crazy world. Insane people. Nothing but apathy.
Has time passed? Don’t know anymore. Don’t care. Caring is for humans. Assassin now. The very best. Jen would be proud. Is she still alive? Perhaps. And poor little Mari. Looked so young. Government took her. Haven’t seen her.
Brave Dionysius. Where is he? Pretty Erika. She still here? Alive. Always alive.
Don’t know why I thought of them.
Not crazy. Never crazy. Crazy is for humans. I’m an assassin.
Stand, a harsh voice commands.
I stand. Follow the guard to the room again. Bright light. Same men. Scrape of chair. I sit. They sit.
Do you remember where you left off? one asks.
Continue on, two says.
I heard Dr. Russell speaking to Dr. Tobias. The Secretary of State’s nephew had been successfully killed, of course. Dr. Russell wanted the Secretary killed…
* * *
“Shall we send Jen and try her out?” Dr. Russell asked eagerly.
“Certainly, Eleanna,” Dr. Tobias replied dismissively as he scanned his notes. “Whomever you wish.”
“You’re distracted, Curt. Is something bothering you?” she asked, concern evident in her voice.
“We’ve kept them here for six months now. I’ve received reports that their families have moved on.”
“And? Curt, don’t keep anything from me. We’re partners in this.”
“Of course, Eleanna, of course. Well, Schuyler’s wife has been asking for a body. She’s been asking for the past six months. She’s been put off every time. Now she’s hired a detective to hunt down his body.”
“I thought you said their families were moving on with their lives.”
“That’s what I thought. That’s what my reports said. However, Schuyler’s daughter was very fond of her father. She apparently misses him very much and has been inconsolable for quite a while. Her mother, Lena, is demanding Schuyler back. She’s been told he’s dead. She wants the body for a proper burial.”
“You’ll just have to tell her he was in an accident and his body was destroyed,” Dr. Russell said firmly.
“I’ve tried that, Eleanna,” he replied, distressed. “She won’t accept it.”
“She must die, then.”
“Then so do Schuyler’s son and daughter.”
“Then so be it. Curt, don’t tell me you’re growing soft.”
“No. Never that, Eleanna. I’m just worried we’ll be found out. No one except the highest-ranking government officials are to know about our little experiment. If anyone finds out, it’ll be the end of us.”
“Curt, their families…” Dr. Russell said to prompt him.
“I know. They’re the biggest risks to this. They must all be eliminated.”
“Whom shall we send out?”
“They will kill their own families, one at a time. Send for Jen, Dr. Russell. It’s time we try her out. And get Schuyler and Erika.”
“Yes, Dr. Tobias.”
He heard footsteps and doors closing before his own door opened. Dr. Russell stood in the doorway and beckoned to him. He fell in behind her, alongside Jen and Erika, quietly closing his door, though it still banged, just as every door in the lab did.
When they entered the lab, Dr. Tobias pointed to three chairs opposite his own. Dr. Russell headed over to her desk, her eyes trained on her partner.
“Dr. Russell, I’ve received reports from the president,” Dr. Tobias began, shuffling papers around on his Cryma-Crystal desk and looking at no one. “He’s been asking after more assassins, preferably a Glimmer. I want Schuyler to take care of him. And Erika will kill the vice-president.”
Dr. Russell shot a glare at him. “You have to stop keeping secrets from me, Dr. Tobias,” she said through gritted teeth before turning to type furiously at her computer.
Dr. Tobias ignored her. “Glimmer, Schuyler. Glimmer, Erika.”
Schuyler and Erika became hazy figures before vanishing completely.
Schuyler didn’t know where he was, and didn’t really care. He stood on a platform in shadows cast by huge banners and a golden fringed flag. He stood behind a tall, distinguished man with gray hair. The man wore a navy blue suit and his long fingers were grasping the sides of a Cryma-Crystal podium as he spoke before a room full of people, his voice echoing throughout the large chamber. No one saw Schuyler; he was just a hazy figure standing behind President Claymore. He could have been the silhouette of a guard or just a shadow.
Without a thought, Schuyler thrust his hand into the president’s back and squeezed his heart until he felt the man’s death. He released the still heart and yanked his hand back. Then he vanished just as the president collapsed on the platform, and reappeared in the lab, his hand as clean as when he had left the lab.
“Finished,” Schuyler said flatly.
“Finished,” Erika said as she appeared beside him.
Dr. Tobias looked up from the papers on his desk. “Excellent.”
Dr. Russell glanced away from her computer to look at them, then flickered her eyes back so quickly Schuyler wasn’t sure if she had even seen them. Jen was standing beside her, tonelessly reading off a list of names.
“Thank you, Jen,” Dr. Russell murmured. “Return to your room.”
Jen turned and walked away. None of the assassins looked at each other. They only stared straight ahead.
“Excused, Erika,” Dr. Tobias said. Erika turned and headed back to her room. “I have another mission for you, Schuyler. I want you to kill your wife, son, and daughter. Glimmer, Schuyler.”
Once again, Schuyler became a hazy figure before vanishing…