Six assassins Falstaff sent after me and so it was six assassins that I killed as judge, jury and executioner. These were individuals who would never face legal justice; an assassin was beyond the law other than that of “The Organisation”. As I took their lives I felt as if I were finally closing the book on my time as an assassin. I knew some of the faces of these people but I did not know their names; as were the rules of “The Organisation”. It didn’t matter; the carrying out of each sentence drew me ever closer to him.
It took me several months to hunt them all down through the quagmire of the war that had the galaxy in its grip. It is going to be a long and protracted affair as many of the battlelines were becoming a stalemate. Even with all its sophistication, the gears of war still relied on the soldier, the grunt, and there always seemed to be plenty of supplies of cannon fodder. Perhaps war can finally come to an end when those who are wearing the uniform refuse to fight. A fools dream, perhaps, but does not every waterfall begin with a single drop.
I tracked the first assassin to a small, abandon listening post, on an asteroid in the ruins of “Tarfa” - the sixth planet of the Halem Empire. The world had been recently destroyed by the planet killing weapon developed by the Gabralites that fell into the hands of the Draconians. It was a solemn sight to see the remains of a world where three billion people once lived and who were now ash. It wasn’t hard to find him, Isabella showed me the way, when she died a part of her stayed inside my mind, giving me some sort of telepathic capability; an ability that led me to her killers, and all I had to do was follow the images. He asked for no mercy and showed no fear as I snapped his neck; he was an assassin right to the end. I offered no prayer, an assassin deserved none.
As the Halem Empire launched a counter offensive against the Draconian fleet, I slipped away towards my next target. I found it on “Vega 5”, I say it, because I have never seen this species before; it had great agility with its four legs and three arms, it appeared bulky, but it was damn fast. It fled across the building tops of “Vega 5’s” main capital, Ion. It nearly gave me the slip twice and for a time it actually turned the tables on me, and I became the hunted. A game of cat and mouse ensured. But that was its undoing. For when I was chasing it, it wanted to escape, but when it was chasing me I didn’t want to escape. We faced each other on an apartment top. The fight was brutal and vicious. I suffered several cuts across the abdomen before taking my opponent down, by flinging it off the three thousand foot high building, and watching it plunge to his death below. I took two weeks to recover from my wounds...and then I was off again.
I hunted relentlessly across The Cascades, through the Crab Nebula, down into the bowels of “Helm’s Gate”, around The Maw of Solitude and the moons of Orion’s Belt. I slept and ate only to replenish my body. My soul slept while the killer in me took over. One by one I found the trigger men and one by one I dealt out justice. The third assassin caught his last glimpse of daylight upon the green moon of “Alpha Centauri”; the fourth upon “Hydra”; the fifth at “Usar Minor”. The sixth was a female assassin, a fellow Vaillian. I came across her during the battle of “Cassiopeia”; the Earth Empire was making a grab for the supply lines of the Da’veks. She thought to lose herself amongst the confusion of a space battle. She didn’t. I bordered her ship and sent her screaming out the airlock. It was her gun that took Isabella’s life. Now, there is only one left...Falstaff.
It was four weeks ago that I handed out justice to the sixth assassin, and as I write these words aboard this stolen ship, mere hours away from “The Organisation’s” secret headquarters...and Falstaff, I find myself completely at peace. It was only two days ago that I stood upon my home world of Vail; only two days ago that I strolled the paths of the swamp I played in as a boy; only forty-eight hours ago that I visited both my mothers and fathers graves, and offered up a prayer for their souls. I had come full circle.
But now it is time to bring my testimony to a close, but at least I have laid out an account of the events that brought me to this day of reckoning. Perhaps another will write the final chapter. As I sign off I can feel his presence drawing closer...waiting for me...fearing me.
Copyright © 2011 by Peter Jessop