Substitution

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Its a short story i did in my spare time about a teenage assassin. i have an odd imagination so it may not be for everyone. Its set some time in the future

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Substitution
It was a warm Sunday, completely defying all sense of occasion. A man walked towards the temple. Silence reigned within, footsteps echoing all the more marking his passage across the marble floor. The priest noticed his way of walking, strong confident and imposing himself in general. He did not appear as anybody special to the untrained eye, but the priest knew better. A corporate hotshot he thought to himself. He headed towards the confessional. Typical. They all believed in salvation after the dirty deed, never before. The priest smiled he had a feeling, and it was pointed towards a retirement plan. He circled slowly not to make himself apparently interested but the man who had just entered seemed the suspicious sort. He called over a nun. “Sister please inform the gentleman that I will be with him shortly” She nodded courteously and walked away. The priest turned his back on the both and headed towards the alter. He caught his foot on the last step and fell heavily against the table. An elderly couple hurried over to help him up, as he had not risen from his crouched position “Can we assist Father?” This sort of talk always bugged him. As his faith became cynicism he noticed that people always spoke in what he thought was a very self righteous way. This bugged him because he always wanted to be thought of as a normal open sort of guy, even back in the days of his ordaining. “Ill rest my weariness for now, my flock” he responded in this way because it was expected of him. Standards had really dropped when he talked in a way that everybody could understand. Raising himself slowly off the marble, he staggered over to the font and made the sign of the cross over himself. Then he turned to address the stranger. Each footstep clanged out on the hard stone floor, polished to perfection. He would have to recommend that cleaner for a raise. He even sorted through his apartment in the upper floors. What a saint! He allowed himself a smile at the joke hed had for years even though he was never quite sure why it was funny. He reached the confessional now and glided inside. “Father” The priest made an almost imperceptible movement of rubbing his forefinger and thumb together, activating the recorder he had concealed during the elaborate farce and the alter and font. The perfect hiding place, who would dare to search the holiest of places? “Yes my son, what ails you?” “This is my first confession Father, and I have news that may shock you” “Continue it will never leave my sanctuary” He almost laughed at this point, which was disturbing because the business man did chuckle. “Yes Farther I can trust you. In my life I have done terrible things. Many came to me for help and aid yet I turned them away, for my benefit. ” “Sometimes we need to turn them away to make them stronger” he said randomly quoting a saying he quite liked. “Not this time Father. It made them weak; it brought their families and their lives to a standstill. It hurt them and just because I wanted what I did not need. I went

against oaths, of the law and against god” “My son repenting is the only way it is good you have come to atone for these sins” “Yes I feel it was the right time for atonement, those who have been crippled by the evil have come seeking revenge, they petitioned me for absolution for the deeds I have committed” “This is good a way to make amends” “Yes I took this opportunity to make amends for these sins although it is not an honorable way, it is certainly required of me, and I shall repent for your crimes” Alarm bells rang “My Crimes?” “Yes Farther for these are not my sins” The cloth separating them billowed as two whisper bullets penetrated it slamming into the priest’s body crippling him. “They are yours” He hardly made a sound. There were a few scrapes as muscles twitched in shock “When you blackmail someone, make sure they are destroyed entirely, do not leave your enemies with enough strength to recuperate and earn enough money to say, you understand this is purely hypothetical hire an assassin. I shall leave you contemplate your actions, as it seems this is the perfect Setting” He got up and walked away, brushing of the velvet that covered the box into the cool air of the church. The nun rushed over to him smiling. “It helped me a great deal sister I feel I have accomplished my goal in some ethereal way” He gave her a toothpaste commercial smile “However, Farther feels he needs time to process my words, I think they went straight to his heart” She smiled uncertainly but hurried off to do whatever nuns do when they are not hurrying. He glanced back down at his watch. Hmm twenty minuets left. There was quite a nice park walk on his route back he mused. In true pathetic fallacy the bells began to ring. The time was moving on. Assembling the gun in the dark had been quite a time consuming task. Damn those metal detectors they had spoiled his plans for coffee… Oh well there was always tomorrow lunch. “Who…Hired!” He turned round and saw the priest staggering out of the confessional, crazed and bloodied. This was causing him a headache now. Most people had the decency to die neatly. The body may not have been discovered for days. Also adding to the worries of jail and lack of coffee, the man was being inconsiderate and holding a gun. He did not seem like the type to miss. “Sit down you are distressing the patrons” The assassin turned like the wrath of the ages bringing his right arm in a neat but powerful swing. In his hand was a Parker pen. Metallic, tough and the catch added as a fin for steadying it during flight. The pen revolved once and the point buried itself in his chest and an angle, slipping behind is ribs and piercing his heart. The man groaned and fell marking his transition from human to meat. “The pen is-n’t mightier than the sword, it’s merely quicker” He stood for a moment but that was enough. Thoughts began clicking away, ticktocking behind his eyes. He was calculating. The number of witness, possible exit strategies, possible problems and most of all, the imposing limit on his time. His instant of serenity was cut short as he noticed the old couple on the phone. The police would be here within minuets at one whiff of catching him. He relished the chase, hopping and skipping rings around witless cops as they stumbled blindly around

alleyways, whilst he was probably on the rooftops above. Time for direct action. With one bound he leapt onto the back of the pews, nimbly landing and taking an immediate and direct route to the door. A member of the public had decided to be a vigilante and was blocking the door. He felt sorry for him. All the poor guy was trying to do was help out, a decent guy, definitely a rarity nowadays. The prospective hero threw a punch as the assassin bounded onto the floor off the last pew. It was a clumsy and high blow, easily ducked and it put the killer in a perfect position. Like a spring unfolding all at once, he went from crouching to standing in one deft movement. Along with his sudden movement, he brought his fist in a diagonal direction just below the mans ribcage. He felt a pang of guilt as the man was lifted slightly before crumpling, out of breath but hopefully alive. As he burst out of the double doors he could hear the sirens approaching rapidly and contained his excitement. This was going to be a chase worth a thousand before it. Behind the closest police car, he saw the battered old vehicle of the cities most famous freelance gun for hire. Damn private eye, was too smart to be tricked by any old ruse. The assassin burst down the stairs and instantly turned into a narrow winding alley to the left. Alleys were good. They contained ways to the roof and convenient hiding places. He had the area mapped in his head and was continuing at a pace which he could keep up for hours. First he ditched the long trench coat. Without it he looked much more junior, it shaved years off his persona. Spotting the cast iron beauty of a fire escape, he flung the briefcase as far down the alley as possible. Making swift progress he ran straight up the wall. You could make decent progress before gravity realized what was happening. At the peak of the run he kicked off his fingertips brushing against the ladder. In one swift movement he was making his way silently to the roof tops. All of this happened deceptively fast, in roughly twenty seconds. He halted as he heard the footsteps of a squad below him scurrying away. The lead man stopped abruptly as did the rest of the squad. He estimated the leader was 3 or 4 foot away from the case. Removing a set of earplugs, he leaned over the edge to watch the mayhem. * * * Cautiously he approached. The sergeant placed his ear on the case. No ticking. He ran a scanner over the top. No electricity. On a piece of paper tucked into a pouch on the side was a four digit code. The cocky bastard he thought. Well we’ve got to be thorough and he aint getting out of that end of the alley as there were two cars worth of men at the opening. So the sergeant surmised that cautiously opening the lid of the briefcase was a good idea. As he flicked off the catch the lid burst open, obviously under strain from the inside. The pins had been removed from four grenades and the lid used to stop the handles moving. A second later no one was standing. Chaos and fear had done their job. Men hit the floor and stayed there. * * * The assassin could hardly stand. Laughter burst forth from him as he scuttled up the fire escape. He could see the reward for his capture easily doubling. The chief was going to be so pissed he was going to tear chunks of the city away to find him. The DN was probably going to be brought in out of his own pocket. This thought sobered his amusement considerably. The feeling off elation he got as he reached the roof and

admired the view was brought crashing down by the thought off private military. If he was a common murderer he would have much less trouble, yet it was irresistible to add a spice to the final chase. There had been some good ones as well. Hed once tarred and feathered two squads of the cities finest. There was also the thing with 40 pissed sheep and half a ton of fresh manure. That wasn’t even planned yet it brought him such warmth to think about it. However fun this was, a couple of flash bangs was probably too far and would cause serious ramifications. An alley way separated him from the next building. It was barely 2 meters wide and offered little hindrance. 10 minuets. Hed hit the ground after the next two buildings and proceed cautiously from there. No need to draw any attention to himself. As he looked over his shoulder for the third time to make sure the coast was clear, he was sorely disappointed. The P.I was poking his head over the roof watching him. He burst forth once he knew his cover had been blown, and to the assassins dismay, began to level the abominable magnum at him. A quick dive saved his life as a hole appeared in the floor a few meters ahead. The bullets path would’ve struck him in the chest if he had have been there. Okay, he thought we’ve had a bit of fun with the nice but dim police officers now we escape. We’ve had slippery now lets see what I can do with a bit of trickery… * * * This guy was fast. He dodged a bullet. He had made it up the fire escape far too quickly. It was time to end this guy and put the murders to rest. All these thoughts came to Evan moments before the criminal jumped right of the edge of the building. * * * Wind rushed around him. Falling gave him a wonderful feeling of freedom. Two floors below the roof his boot caught on a ledge and he buckled, springing outward and through the window opposite. On the other side was a hallway. He sprinted, dumping the shirt and trousers, also the shades. At the other end was another window. Without hesitation he flung it open and climbed down the side of the building, hands cracking and splitting on the tough windowsills. Bloodied and aching he reached the bottom and thanks to the laws of narrative, fell into a pile of garbage. Slowly the mound of swearing and rotting food stood up. He walked a few meters out of the alley way, slowly and confidently. Most people barely saw you if you acted like this, just in the same way no one notice anyone who wants to take your money. Barely a minuet left. The walking pace became slightly more brisk. Another reason he was invisible was his bright red jumper and yellow tie. This may not seem like the greatest espionage get up ever, but when you were barely a mile from a school which had an open gate policy at lunch it was forgivable. He had very little time before the uniform would change from invisibility cloak to a great big sign with arrest me written on it. Breaking into a jog, he stuck his hand into his pocket, and into a bag of sticky gel. Next he rubbed the goo onto his hair working it into the roots. It would stay there until…aha. A dustbin marked with a black line round its midsection was his next stop. From it he plucked a black satchel. From within that he pulled a bottle of water and tipped it wholly over his head, taking the gel and black hair colouring with it. The years melted off him. Within 30 seconds the assassin had changed from being a 30 year old business man to a high school student. The best disguise is to hide in plain sight.

His life was less than ordinary. His home was the school. His life was death. His infamousness only helped to hide him. In the few shots off his escape he looked far too old to even be in school, yet alone half way through. He ran into the main gates. After a few steps a siren wailed nearby. With 2 seconds to spare. He smiled wryly. He had evaded jail and detention. On many occasion he mused which was worse * * * When he wasn’t undertaking extracurricular activities, Drake wasn’t a normal guy. People disliked him. There was little reason for it they just did. I’m sure they justified it to them selves at some point with reasons that made sense but some how he didn’t fit in. the only people he’d call true friends was a guy 3 years older than him who was his mentor. They hung out outside of this school once or twice and they got along. Mainly cause the student in question was insane and would do anything for a laugh. The other one was a girl, Chrissie who was a year younger than him. Hed stood up for her once and taken a beating that was meant as revenge from a spurned potential boyfriend. He hadn’t been there to personally attack the girl as they were removing a pair of scissors from his leg at the time. But four of his particularly loyal friends had cornered her and would have struck if it had not been for Drake. He’d stepped in between them and taken the punishment. It was utterly terrible. Mainly because he knew that he could quite happily tie the four steroid enhanced 13 year olds together and roll them down the street. Except that the police would’ve asked some very inquisitive questions. Most of which would begin with “where were you on the night of the…” She was terribly deadpan, a reflection of Drake himself who was not exactly the most subtle person. She also had an evil sense of humor and smiled only when someone else was about to suffer. As an observant pupil or teacher my have guessed, the school was not the greatest place on earth. It had problems. It was one of the places were funds were funneled into other things, rather than education. You name it, some ones been arrested for it. The teachers fell into two categories. The psychopaths who taught. And the cowards who read a book while the class did unspeakable things. So did the pupils there were the guys on top and the guys underneath. Like Chrissie there were a few who had flown under the radar and had never been noticed. Until the scissors incident that is. All this random information floated through his head as it was slammed into a locker. “Hey punk lunch money” “Dude, think your cool with your black flecks?” “Yeah” “Yeah” “Yeah” So there were five of them. Drake was pretty handy but there were some angles you just can’t fight from. Like the one with your head pressed up against a locker and you arm wrenched behind your back. On any other day he would have given in but he still had the Tech stuff in his bag. He hadn’t needed it at all now he was going to pay for being cautious. “So which pocket punk” came the first voice Ok plan B, make them angry enough too attack and forget about the money. “Sorry I payed your sister with the last of it.”

The punk guy went silent. He was willing to bet that his brow was knitting with concentration. Dude-guy came to his aid “dude he just insulted your sis” “You think that’s funny punk?” “Not as funny as your sister was.” A fist slammed into the side of his head, opening a vicious cut and blurring his vision. “Hey! What the hell do you think your doing?” The voice of his savior floated down the corridor sounding pissed. “Push off sub. This ain‘t none of yours right?” “I really don’t agree” Suddenly Punks arm torn from his back. His vision cleared enough to see Punk sprawled and who he presumed was dude-guy and his mates running away. “You alright?” “Yeah” was what he intended to say. “Bleah” was what reached his vocal chords. “Ill take that as we need to go get some help.” At this point a black tide rolled over him. * * * He awoke in the nurse’s office. Most of these would included somewhere for him to recuperate in piece. At this school however the nurse’s office was the head of math’s office. He was propped in a corner because the only chair was occupied by a middle age gentle man smoking a cigarette. “Your awake take these wrap your head in this new guy wants to see you girlfriend in hall” most people would have the decency to punctuate sentences, but not this psychopath “So where is the sub?” “Phys A3” “You’re a terrible person you know that?” The spiteful little man let out a nicotine fuelled laugh which quickly became a cough. Drake left him spluttering to his own devices and walked out the door. He pulled on the head bandage which quickly fell to the floor as it was two sizes too big. As he took two of the painkillers someone shoved him in the back. Drake winced as his headache flared again. He revolved to see Chrissie standing staring and smiling. “Nice necklace” she said indicating the bandage draped across his shoulders. “I’m in an incredible amount of pain” “You would’ve been in more” About ten feet behind him stood the sub that had saved him earlier. There was something odd about the way he stood. “Is your name Drake Thompson?” “No”he said instinctively lying. “You miss understood me I think you bought insurance off me” alarm bells went off. That was one off the key phrases which was used between educated men too denote illegal business. Someone had found him, his worst nightmare. Chrissie clearly un-amused at her outsider status said “why the hell do you need insurance” “I think I need to see some id before we discus my dealings.” Drake said slyly The sub smiled “that’s all I needed to know Drake” he said flinging his coat open revealing a pistol and mini Uzi. As they were exposed he drew the pistol and leveled it at Drake.

Fortunately in the time taken for these dramatics both teenagers fueled by an ungraceful leap from Drake were already crashing there way through the science class. “What the hell are you doing” came a voice from behind him. But they were already departing through a window on the opposite side of the room. As they hit the floor 4 feet below, a bullet shattered the glass. Screams erupted from above. “Keep moving! And stay low!” The pair ran round a corner, one dragging the other more than anything. “What the hell does he want?!” “Me dead” expending as little breath as possible. They rounded another corner and ran towards a shed at the back of the school. “Why? What the hell have you done, because he seems pissed?” Drake risked a glance behind and saw they were alone. In the shelter of the shed it was cool and if you really closed your eyes you could almost drown out the screams. “Tell me what the hell is going on right now?” “You’re not going to like it” “Will I like it more than being shot at?” Oh god he thought you got three choices. One of them is not good because I can’t kill her. The second is unsavory as the would be assassin would find her if she was mysteriously knocked unconscious. And number three will involve a lot of questions. To hell with it. “You need to listen and not ask questions…”and he explained and she surprisingly listened I silence. It only took five minuets; it was extended as every now and then Drake checked for the sub. Chrissie used a wonderful range of facial expressions to convey just how little she believed. At the end of it all she had a few questions. “Really?” “Yes” one down the easiest of the lot “If you’re not at the home where do you live?” Ah slightly trickier “here in this hellhole. It was badly built and there are many open spaces between the walls. Hell Ive got three reasonably sized rooms. Now I have a question for you.” “What?” “Hell Ill be outright with it. Do you want to live here as well? ” “What!” “Well you already know about my past and well your mums hardly the greatest person ever why not?” “Well…” “Think about it Ive got someone to meet” * * * He couldn’t have got far. Cautiously he rounded the next corner. The damn kid was the reaper! He was almost the best the stuff of legends amongst assassins yet he was 15! It was gonna take a lot more than firepower here. Although he had one advantage. Obviously the cold hearted bastard would come running if he had his girlfriend. They always did. And that’s when the announcement came… THIS IS THE PRINCIPLE SPEAKING PLEASE COULD THE PHYSICS SUB

PLEASE SEE ME IN THE CHEMISTRY BLOCK. An ultimatum was to be expected after all he thought. It was possible that it was genuine but that was highly unlikely. As he stalked towards the corridor his eyes flitted about the scenery, looking for traps or alarms. Some of the stories hed heard involved some highly ingenious ways of shortening a man by at least a foot. Without warning he spun around and kicked the door to a classroom open. On the other side 30 bewildered faces stared back at him. The only time the monsters in this school were quite was when someone was pointing a gun at them. “Uniform check, on your feet” Chairs clattered and fell over as 29 pupils jumped to their feet and 1 jumped straight out a second story window. “All right then” he marched down the hall. Perched on a locker was a beaker. It wasn’t green and bubbling, but it was there, which was ominous enough. If he looked close enough…ah yes there was a fishing wire trailing to the door. If he had have kicked the door in this glass would have collided with him while the kid, who was hiding in the booby trapped room would spring out and kill him. There was an evil smile spreading across the mock teachers face. If he removed he beaker and screamed, the kid would leap out and he would be waiting. His own ego masked any doubts he had and silenced the voice that said; we really should check this out more, just after he reached up this voice said in a very smug tone “I told you so”. At this point he learned the true meaning of “contact explosive” * * * From out side the door he heard a burning sound. Most people in this situation would have barged the door down, but there was no need. Just walk slowly and calmly, thinking about something pleasant. As he stepped out the door he saw his assailant on the floor. Walking slowly he slid the pair of scissors into the ribcage. Slightly more extreme than what Chrissie did but slightly less embarrassing for the victim. When you saw his right hand, it was almost a kindness. Again, calmly he walked away. A running man attracted attention and bullets, so it was always best to edge away. There were no screams or shouts yet, in this school loud bangs were only checked after there was no chance that the perpetrator was still at the scene. He had to leave. There were screams as he rounded another corner. Preferably now. * * * Chrissie paced back and fore. She was getting worried. A minute ago there was an explosion. Even behind the shed she heard it. Screams usually followed such events but there was a deathly calm. “Hey” she spun around and lashed out, successfully subduing the wall. “Good to see you too” the voice was sub level. “Have you thought about the answer?” “Maybe. I’m still not sure who the hell you are.” Drake turned away “I‘ve decided to clear out for awhile a week or so at the most” What the hell? Her life was shit anyway how much worse could it get “Okay I mean how much worse can it get? I wont have to kill anyone will I?” Drake turned to face her with a beaming grin “not unless you want to. Come on we got to pick something’s up. You want to come with or wait for me to come back?”

“Ill come with” “The costal town, water district is warn this time of year” “Let’s get your luggage then” They moved quickly across the tarmac and burst into the library. For such an unruly school it was a beautiful library. Beautiful locks as well completely wireless with the only access via key fobs that had a one gigabyte memory filled with numbers. A simple and infallible system, a millions upon millions digit code that only had three official accesses keys and one more that had been run up by a genius programmer by Drake, it was important to be able to access your home right? As they ran between the shelves there was silence. It was closed to everyone during the day and accessed only by special request to the head master and librarian, basically meaning that the most impressive building on campus was closed to everyone. Upstairs was a different matter however used as an impromptu store room for any long term paperwork. Also the designer of the upper floors went to a different school to the one that did downstairs, possibly whilst drunk. Rooms were at odd angles creating gaps in between the store rooms. Some insignificant, yet one or two were large enough to accommodate his needs. The largest measuring 3m squared was a bedroom and kitchen to Drake and another was an operations centre as he referred to it but by everyone else would have called a small room with a computer and a phone in. Inside an actual store room was used for clothes and bags of equipment. He began to put apparently random electrical items and clothes into a travel bag. “You were going to kill me weren’t’t you?” Drake froze “You would have killed me, if I had not agreed?” she pressed on knowing what was next “It wasn’t that I didn’t’t want to come, and I didn’t realize till after but I need to know” “How did you figure it out?” “Your eyes, they betray you.” “Yes I would have, but I wouldn’t have felt g…” he knew this was a ridiculous thing to say. “Ill never speak of this again, I understand why.” they stared in silence. “Jesus what the hell caused you to become …this” “That’s for another day. Are you still sure?” “Yes” “There’s only one thing left to do then” He ran towards a seemingly inconspicuous corner and removed a panel leading into a small room with a computer and a…an operations room. There were three messages. The first two were conformation of payments from previous jobs. The third one was slightly worse “Reaper, we found you. For the past year you have evaded us we finally found you. This is a not us exposing you. We wish to hire you. It is a simple job. You do what we say, you stay out of jail, or worse” Chrissie joined him with a worried expression “you may still undertake work on the side however, our jobs take priority and the price of failure is simple. The choice is yours. Also you may find that one of our other employees may have something against you, you may want to take precautions.” “Thanks for the heads up” Drake had a face like thunder “We can’t take that trip can we?” “There’s one thing I have to take care of first”

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