Thursday, September 12, 2013

Qualms for a Killer, a sci-fi short story about an assassin's first reservations about killing as he aims down the sights of the largest and most unorthodox weapon of his career (Page 1)

An assassin is allowed one moment of doubt in his or her career. A single instance of humanity. One uncalculated blink. To commit a second such moment is to stumble into the event horizon; where you will find yourself in the contract of another killer who doesn’t share your hesitations.

So I have been taught.

I am fortunate to yet suffer such a breach in professionalism. If I had, I would be entering the assassin’s event horizon right now. I’ll be honest; if I had to choose the time and place for my days as a cruel diplomat, it’d be here and now. It wouldn’t be so terrible to falter in this serene silence. This humbling view.

I stand at the most beautifully lonely place I can personally imagine. An orbital station is typically any assasin’s nightmare, but not this one. Normally I wouldn’t have taken a contract that would bring me to a place like this. Only one point of entry and exit. Well documented visitation logs with strict private regulations and public laws. Nothing but metal and bits of glass between me and a cold, embarrassing end.

This, however, is an orbital excavation platform slated for decommission. The parent company is being liquidated after a convenient leak exposed rampant corruption and draconian labor practices. What a wonderful set of coincidences. The client must have spent a great deal of money and time to align such a perfect set of circumstances for this job.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the client created this faulty mining company for this very purpose. Impressed, but not surprised. The best part of this elaborate contract?

My target isn’t even on the station.

If assassin’s could hold records I’d be breaking the one for ‘Furthest from Target at Time of Kill’.

Mom would be so proud.

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