ToRC: Going Forward, Looking Back

“I started this in an effort to save some people from making the same mistakes I did. From here on out most chapters will be a story from my past. If you try to use any of these memories against me, you will die immediately so be careful.”

The first thing that struck John about the hacker’s apartment was that it was remarkably posh. The lobby, which the fact that it had a proper lobby was already a point in favor of it being posh, had a front desk with an employee behind it instead of a registry so John had enquired as to the whereabouts of Lester and found that he lived near the top of the apartment building. The elevator up hadn’t even smelled like cleaning solution like the one at his apartment did.

“John, it’s good to see you.” The intercom buzzed at him as he approached the door.

“Hello Lester, why did you ask to see me.” John responded as he opened the door.

Lester waited for him to close the door before responding “An employer has come forward with a job for the two of us. I should let him explain.”

The lights dimmed and one of the walls opened to reveal a screen with a man in silhouette “Greetings gentlemen. My time is very precious so I will cut to the chase. Mayor Riley is going to introduce a law soon that will make jobs like yours and mine harder to perform. As such I want you to kill him in a way that screams professional without making it look like an accident. Now there is a timetable…”

John interrupted the man in silhouette “It will be done by the end of the night.”

“What?” Lester and the man in silhouette exclaimed in unison.

Lester started to go on about making plans but John shushed him. The man in silhouette regained his composure and said “Glad to hear it.” Before hanging up.

“I need you to send a power surge to the mayor’s apartment building in an hour.” Without waiting for his agreement John left and went to get a very specific container. It was a small red thing that looked like a tool box. John opened it to check the contents and revealed one vial that seemed to be empty and the seating for nine other vials.

A few minutes after Lester sent a surge to the Mayor’s apartment building the regular repair man showed up with a smile and his customary red toolboxes. John had been setting up this alias for a few months now in case he had needed to get at the Mayor or one of his inner circle. A slight nod was all it took to get past the security guard and into the service elevator. On the ride, up John pulled out his phone to give Lester a call. Lester was stunned “How did you do that?”

“Been setting up this alias for a while in case we needed an in. Hey when you call the guy to give him the good news I won’t be there but he needs to think I am.” John transferred the call to the earpiece in his mask as he pulled it on.

“I don’t know what you are planning but you are using your scary voice so I’m not going to ask yet.” Lester’s voice echoed in his ears.

The elevator dinged and John strode out into the Mayor’s apartment. The Mayor was up in his office as he was every night at around this time. “The job is done.” John announced as he sat down in the seat across from the Mayor. The vial in his back pocket broke quietly beneath him as he sat on it.

“Excellent, those petty back stabbers deserve what is coming to them. The payment was successfully transferred to this account.” The mayor handed over a strip of paper with bank account info on it.

John took the paper and pocketed it “You were right by the way. A member of your inner circle actually contacted my people about eliminating you.”

“I’m glad to see you remained loyal.” The Mayor said. As he tried to say something else he began to cough and clutch at his throat. John pulled the shards of the vial out of his pocket and dropped them on the Mayor’s desk. The Mayor glared as the poison did its work. He fumbled for his desk drawer and even managed to pull his pistol before he slumped over.

“Payment processed” flashed across the HUD his mask overlaid on his vision. John calmly got up and plucked the pistol from the dead man’s hand. Then he moved to the side of the room where he wouldn’t be obvious to anyone entering.

A minute or two later the Mayor’s aide came running into the office. “The funny thing about your job offer” John began as he moved to block the only exit from the office “is that it could only have come from you.” The aide paled and John gestured at the body “He hired me to kill all of his inner circle and I was coming to deal with you when Lester called me. I already killed the rest so that just left you.” John pulled the trigger and ended the aide’s aspirations. “Do you know what I like about laser pistols?” John asked Lester on the other end of the call.

“I have no idea.” Lester said dryly as he went about modifying the security feed.

“I can’t think of anything either.” John joked as he put the gun back on the desk. “I’ll need you to look at this account before we take our payment from it.” John patted the pocket he had put the account info in and walked back to the service elevator.

“How much should I use for our little project?”

“90%, after all this didn’t cost me a dime.”

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