Vivian Riley Chapter 08
My search for Sally Jenkins wasn’t quite as successful as I had hoped to. Sally wasn’t as important as Alexander and Briana, but higher in rank than Jeffrey had been. She knew how to hide better. Nate, on the other hand, felt better and his co-workers really seemed to respect him, now that he had a girlfriend.
I heard them once; I had visited the pub in a disguise, straight brown hair, big glasses and uptight clothes. “You know,” Mullen had said, “I can’t believe they are actually dating… what does a chick like her want from a guy like Nathan? Isn’t she a bit too sexy for him?” The others agreed and the conversation continued to have us as a subject, discussing if it was correct or not, that we were actually really dating. I got bored pretty quickly and left again. After all, I had more important stuff to do than listening to their conversations.
But I was lucky and overheard something important while walking out, “She left after Jeff was killed, seems like someone was after him and is most likely coming after her next you know how Jeff is, he likes to talk!” Oh yes… I had seen that! He had been really talkative! “So, where is she now?” another guy asked, looking around suspiciously. “I heard she went up to Canada!” the first one said quietly.
Canada? Right… ok, how would I get up to Canada and back without Nate noticing I was gone? A problem I had to solve once I would have found her. So since Nate was busy with an observation that night I went straight home, to do some more research, now focussed on Canada. It took me a while but I had been trained by Alexander himself in hunting people down, so I didn’t know why they even tried running from me. Now… how would I get there? Or rather, what would I tell Nate?
Why was I suddenly so worried about what I would tell him?
I shook my head and got changed to go for a run. Jeff had been easy, but Sally was a little higher in rank which included her training, usually at least. Suddenly my phone rang, “Hello?” I asked while jogging along my route that had turned into my normal route since I’d been with Nate. “Vivian, it’s me,” Nathan said, sounding happy, “How are you?” “Good, I’m jogging,” I said and smiled, “How are you, Nate? Aren’t you working tonight?” “I am,” he said and sighed, “That’s what I wanted to talk to you about… I have to continue following that person, and he seems to be going south-west towards Mexico and I’ll be gone for the entire weekend…” I tried to refrain from jumping in joy that I didn’t have to lie about leaving and sighed instead, “What a shame… can they do that?”
“Sure they can…” he sighed again, “I’ll call you as soon as I know when I’m going to return. Why are you jogging in the middle of the night, it’s pitch black outside!” I chuckled, “I always go jogging whenever I can, sometimes in the morning, sometimes at night. I don’t mind the darkness, anyway, there are lights!” At least at the moment, since I was jogging past the sports field where a team practiced soccer. “You don’t sound like you’re jogging,” he said confused and I chuckled, “Well, I do it all the time and I only started a few minutes ago, I still have three-quarters of my route.”
“Are you sure you can chat while working?” I asked, making my voice sound worried, I didn’t really care, but if he got fired, I had to look for a new insider! “I guess I should continue the observation…” he said sadly and so we said goodbye and I told him to enjoy the trip, Mexico was nice after all.
Once I had finished my round I returned to my apartment, packed a bag with things I could need and turned on my laptop to find out where exactly Sally Jenkins hid. To find out I checked every number that had ever been used around Jeff’s house, checked their registration and track their whereabouts. That was easy, but I didn’t expect to find her with that method, but I might get close to someone who knew how to find them. And of course, I’d have it easier once I was closer to Alexander and Briana! If their ranking system was still as when I had been one of their not existing children, I’d have to work my way up, probably. Their training center for assassins, untraceable assassins!
Sometimes I was wondering why I was still alive, why they hadn’t sent someone seriously after me. There had been a few assassins in the beginning, but my pride had been seriously hurt when they had turned out to be average, nothing special or extraordinary about them. Unlike our area of expertise, they were only trained in strength, a few single martial arts techniques and a tiny bit of tactics. I didn’t know about all the other children, but I grew up there, I’d probably been there from the day I was born, so I had learned everything! By the age of three I had been able to read and write, maybe some people hadn’t been able to encrypt it, but I developed that skill.
We were taught to swim and dive, our lungs were trained to hold our breaths as long as humanly possible and even longer. I was taught to do complicated maths formulas by the age of six and by the age of eight I had completed a few courses from different universities. I had been trained to precision, to adapt to every situation.
Something no one had expected had been my belated “terrible-twos” when I was twelve and my escape within this phase. Maybe I would have learned more, but I had officially graduated from the program and had a few hits already, so everything they had made me do, had really come to a good use during my escape.
I didn’t know what the others had learned or who they were because I had been taught in isolation except for the combat and socializing lessons. They had even moved their training base once they realized their assassins couldn’t kill me that quickly! So far I hadn’t just found their new base yet, but that was only a matter of time!
For now, I checked for a train or bus connection to Toronto, Canada. That was where Sally Jenkins hid, one person amongst thousands. I took the next train to Toronto, trying to decide how to get the information out of Sally that I needed and once I had it, how to silence her. It wasn’t easy because Sally lived in a city, unlike Jeffrey, I couldn’t just blow up her house like Alexander had done with Jeff’s house.
Nathan sat in the car beside Mullen, watching a drug dealer drink a huge cup of coffee. He’d kill for some fresh coffee! “How’s your girlfriend, Probie?” Agent Mullen asked out of the blue, “Isn’t she too much for you?” “She is great!” he replied with a scolding expression and rolled his eyes, „Why would she be too much for me? So far we’ve been doing great!”
“She didn’t sound too disappointed when you told her you’d be gone for the weekend!” Mullen teased, “I bet she’s having another dude! Right now, as we speak, she’s probably going to see him right now!” “Just shut up, Mullen, she is not! Vivian wouldn’t do something like that!” Nate said and wiped over the binoculars with his fingers, making sure there was no glue or something like that stuck on it. “If you don’t believe me, call her, right now!” Mullen said with an evil smile, “Call her, right now!”
Annoyed he returned the binoculars onto his lap, somehow he had doubts himself, but who could blame her? She had been forced to be his girlfriend, more or less, without considering her feelings even the slightest bit! “Hey Nate,” he heard Vivian’s voice through the phone, “Everything alright?” “Yes!” he quickly said and scoffed, “Sorry, did I wake you?” “No, I am watching a movie!” she chuckled and Nate sighed relieved, “Sounds good, did you enjoy your run?” “Yes, but I don’t think that’s why you were calling, right?” he heard her smile, “Do you want to know what I’m wearing?”
Nate leaned back in his seat, closed his eyes and smiled, “Sure, tell me!” Sometimes he got the feeling that Vie was serious about him after all. Back in New Zealand, they had had something as well. Spending their free time together, going to the club and making out in her hotel room after the club. He had liked her from the second he had seen her. But he never knew how she felt about him.
“I’m actually just after coming out of the shower…” she said chuckling quietly, “Only dressed in a towel and drops of water!” “I wish I could see you right now…” Nate sighed, “But Agent Mullen is there in the seat beside me and our target is coming out again!” “Oh, sorry, I didn’t want to keep you from doing your job, do your best, but don’t overwork yourself, take turns sleeping and keep your guard up!” she said and sighed, “Call me when you get back, and Nate… please be careful!” “I will, Vie, have a great weekend!” he sighed as well and said goodbye before shoving his phone back into his jeans.
While the two men watched Hernando Peréz walk over to his car again, Nate didn’t really feel relieved. There was something important but who was he to question her, to have the right to ask about her secrets? “I told you she wasn’t cheating!” Nate said and observed every movement Hernando did very closely. On the other hand, everybody had their own little secrets, some bigger, some smaller. Although, with Vivian, he got the feeling that the secret was huge and if she would tell him it would probably change his life! Then again, what kind of secret could change his life? Probably it was nothing, just his work full of secrets and violence making him suspicious of nothing.
By the time I had reached Toronto, the sun slowly started to show in the east. I had slept a couple of hours on the way, so now I was up and ready to find Sally Jenkins. I guess I was lucky to have met Nathan on the flight to New Zealand, I had been trying to get a lead on anyone from the organization, and now I was after the second one already! It hadn’t been that long since I had met Nate and so I was probably on a good way. Then again, I wasn’t too sure if I was able to trust him completely.
During my training, I learned not to trust anyone, but since I had escaped, trusting people had been one of the things I’d had to learn. Not that I trusted many people, but I did trust Antonio and my contact, well, at least most of the time I trusted my contact.
I got to an apartment close to Sally Jenkins hideout. She had tried to go undercover as a businesswoman, working as a freelance marketing assistant in a local company. Since she would finish work around five, I still had tons of time to get a look at her apartment, check for her security systems and maybe even go inside and wait for her. I’d need a really good plan though, Sally could just scream and the neighbors would call the police. Maybe I could knock her out and drag her away from humans, so she could scream as much as she liked.
When Sally walked up towards her apartment, I flicked over my studded ring, exposing a thin needle covered in a drug that would make her sleepy within a couple of minutes. While randomly walking by, I pushed the needle into her hand, quickly apologizing for “running into her” and walked by. I had seen the panic in her eyes; she knew I was coming for her, but she didn’t know who I was or what I looked like.
Quickly she walked up to her apartment and disappeared behind the door. In the meantime, I had some time to get to the house from the back and snuck in through the balcony, after pulling down the ski mask to cover my face. Everything seemed to be new and more like a showroom than an apartment. It probably looked a lot like my apartment, unused and only pretend. I had cut her electricity in the morning causing her self-installed security cameras to turn themselves off. When I got down, I found her on the floor in front of her kitchen, sound asleep. I sighed relieved, tied her up with a rope and drugged her with another sleeping drug to make sure she’d keep sleeping for quite a while. I was just about to make myself comfortable when the doorbell rang.
Annoyed I pulled Sally over to the bathroom, turned on the shower and made sure my black haired wig was still where it was supposed to be after pulling off the hat. Carefully I closed the bathroom door and opened the door. “Can I help you?” I asked and skeptically eyed an older man in front of my door. “Well, I was going to pick up Maria for our weekly bridge game in the tavern down the road!” he said and looked at me with curious eyes, “I am Carl, she told me earlier she’d come along!”
“Oh, yes she did tell me,” I said and sounded convinced, “Well, see, I surprised her, I’m her godchild and I came to visit her. She said it would be ok to not go out tonight, stay in and spend time with me.” “Oh well, that’s all right, she can just join the next game. What a lovely surprise, she must be thrilled to have you! She seemed a little down since a good week. Maybe she’ll talk to you, dear!” he said and turned to leave, “Have a great stay in Toronto!” “Thanks, enjoy your bridge game!” I called after him and waved goodbye. Canadians were strange people…
Once he was gone I sat down on the couch with my tablet and went through the files I had stolen just before I had run away. They used to be secret files but were now worthless. There were a couple of useful files with personal data about the higher ranked assassins in them. I was on that list as well, had been since I was nine. Right now I read through Sally Jenkins’ or Maria or whatever name she would use. Luckily the files weren’t sorted by name but numbers, mine was 1396, her number was 1175.
Sometimes I feared I’d have to take out every single assassin on their payroll! Not that I was afraid of taking out a couple thousand assassins while they kept training more, it would just take a while.
As soon as it was dark I pulled Sally up to her feet and threw her over my shoulder. When I snuck back on the balcony, I checked that there was nobody there to watch, using special goggles with heat and electronic sensors. When everything was clear, I kidnapped Assassin 1175 with a jeep I had stolen. Annoyed I rolled my eyes when my phone rang; my contact.
“Where the fucking hell are you?” he asked annoyed, “Didn’t I tell you to lay low for a while?” “What? Can’t I go for a weekend vacation?” I asked ironically, driving down a narrow road towards a forest. Perfect! “Vacation? You?“ he asked, not believing a single word, “What are you up to? Never mind… I have a job for you, kind of, it’s the guy from the last job, I found him.” “I know where he is, I sorted him out a couple of days ago. He should be dead by now.” I said and stopped the car for a minute.
“As fast as always!” he said and chuckled, “Anyway, there’s another job for you to take care of, the files are in your inbox, it’s highly paid and high priority, Vivian! So whatever you’re doing, stop doing it and get your cute ass home!” “Fine, I’ll be back sometime tomorrow!” I said and drove into the thick forest ahead of me, “But I’ve got really bad reception out here, talk to you tomorrow!” Annoyed I simply shoved my phone back into my jeans and drove to the isolated cottage I had chosen. There was lots of space and nobody around.
With a last glance around, I pulled Sally out of the vehicle and into the cottage. I tied her to the metal chair I had prepared already and pulled the instruments for my torture closer, while making sure the transmitter-necklace was turned on, being called while torturing wasn’t that handy.
When I was ready and prepared, I woke my victim with some icy water and watched her as she observed her surroundings, looking for a way out. “Yes, yes, I know, >Who are you? What do you want with me?< blablabla,” I said as she opened her mouth to ask the usual questions, “1175!” Her eyes flashed over to the door and back to me, “I have no idea what you’re talking about!” I rolled my eyes, pulling the small table after me, giving her the chance to speak up before I started with the questioning. First I took out a knife and let it slide over her cheek and her neck, “It would be such a shame to cut your face, now, wouldn’t it? You could just speak up and stop denying what I already know!”
Roughly I grabbed her hair and pulled it to the front, exposing four black numbers, underneath the roots of her hair. “1175,” I read the numbers and walked around the chair, I pulled up my own hair, showing her my own number, the four numbers that were used to identify us, tattooed just above our hairline! “What do you want to be called? Maria? Sally Jenkins? Or maybe something else entirely?” I hissed into her ear, pressing the knife against her throat.
“Do you know what I want to know?” I asked and ripped off her sleeves, “I bet you do! Where are Alexander and Briana? Where are those two hiding?” Her face turned white, only hearing their names seemed to frighten her, “I’m not going to say anything!” “Well,” I said softly, “In that case, maybe I should tell you that Alexander and Briana personally trained me, Alexander taught me all of his torturing techniques and I improved them. Believe me, you should fear me more than them!”
She scoffed and shook her head, “Have you ever been punished by them?” “I’ve been raised by them!! I’ve always been a rebellious child!” I chuckled evilly, “Have been punished more than once, and I have punished under his supervision as well.” Steadily I held the knife against her wrist, “Anything you want to let me know before I start?” She simply shook her head, “I won’t tell you anything!” “Fine,” I said and cut her wrist, enough to let the blood drip over her skin, “Don’t worry, it’s just a little cut, and at some point you’ll probably feel a little dizzy, at some point you’ll lose your consciousness, I’ll have a little break until you wake up again.” Sally flinched but didn’t make a sound. “If you feel like talking during the procedure, let me know, I’ll take a little break and might even stop if I like what you tell me!” I said and silently cut her other wrist. With every cut, the expression on her face grew fiercer and tears rolled down her cheeks.
After a few more cuts on her lower arms, I continued with a few cuts on her legs, leaving her for a few minutes to bear the pain and start talking. But soon I continued by revealing her stomach ready to cut, “Feeling dizzy already?” “Not a bit, bitch! You’re nothing like Alexander and Briana!” she said and tried to spit into my face. Slowly I took a deep breath and plunged the knife into her stomach, I tried to miss her vital organs though, I kind of needed her after all, at least for a little bit longer.
Sally screamed for the first time, sucking in air, fighting for control over her body and most of the pain. “That’s for trying to spit on me,” I said and put my hand firmly around the knife, pulled it out roughly, “And that’s for still believing those two bastards are worse than me!”
“Maybe I should just let them know that I’m here, that I’m waiting for them to come and get me!” I whispered into her ear, “Like that I would probably save quite some time… I wouldn’t have the trouble of getting your blood out of my clothes later on and no trouble hurting you anymore, I could just break your neck and spread the word about the one that got away, the kid that killed everyone on her way out. I’m the one who’s bringing you down!”
I put the knife down to throw my fist into her face. Her jaw cracked suspiciously, it was probably dislocated. Sally spat out some blood while glaring at me, “Go to hell!” “I’ve been raised by Alexander and Briana, that’s kind of equivalent to hell, isn’t it?” I said and picked up a small bottle with a yellowish liquid, “That stuff burns like hell if you get it on your skin. Now imagine what it must feel like on a fresh wound! Where are Alexander and Briana? How can I find those hiding bastards?”
Careful not to touch the liquid myself, I dunked a cotton swab in and gently put some on her hand. Almost immediately I saw her getting stiff, trying to endure the pain. Soon enough she started screaming, begging me to take it off, to make it stop. “Do you feel like talking to me?” I asked and put the cotton swab into a small bag, taking a fresh cotton pad to wipe her hand. “Yes!” she sighed relieved and I knew the pain she felt now, was far more bearable than the pain caused by the poison!
“They are on a plane, they don’t stay in one location longer than an hour! It’s impossible to track their whereabouts!” she said quickly. I sighed, “I know that already! I’ll just need the right tech to track them! Who knows about their plans?” “Nobody but them!” Sally said, breathing fast.
“Anything else you want to tell me?” I asked and walked around the chair, standing behind her. “I don’t know anything else that could help you!” she said and looked down at the blood on the ground, steadily dripping from her wounds. “Fine…” I said and broke her neck, “What a waste of time!”
Annoyed I packed my things together and opened the gas lines with a kick against the stove before leaving. I started the car and spilled some petrol from the kitchen, through the front door, closed it and over to the car. Quickly I cleaned my shoes on the ground and returned to the house to close the windows and the doors. Back in the car, I quickly started the engine, lit a match and dropped it onto the petrol. It caught fire and pulled a bright trace towards the door. I hit the gas pedal and drove off, slow until I heard the sound of the exploding cottage and saw the flames in the rearview mirror of the stolen jeep.
As soon as I was close to Toronto again, I ditched the car and walked back to the room I stayed in; I took a shower and dumped everything I didn’t need. I took the next train from Toronto to New York and took a little innocent nap on the way. It was almost noon by the time I got back to my apartment and sat down. Somehow I felt really uncomfortable. With a deep sigh, I looked through the files my contact had dropped and almost fell off my chair when I read the name, somehow I wanted to laugh and do the job right away, but I couldn’t. I knew I wasn’t supposed to know, but Nate was still going after the guy I was supposed to kill! Hernando Peréz, a famous drug dealer and drug producer in the scene.
“Does that really have to be now?” I asked annoyed and put the files through the shredder, before burning them. Careful not to disturb Nate’s work, I sent him a text message asking how he was, that I missed him, and where he was. While waiting for an answer, I checked for flights towards Mexico, knowing Hernando, he’d probably try to get there as fast as possible.
Instead of getting a text, Nate called me, telling me that he missed me already as well, how annoying Agent Mullen was and that he wished he could be with me. Of course, he told me where he was and that they were just waiting for a confirmation from the headquarters, to take Peréz in before he crossed the border to Mexico.
I took the next flight to Mexico, renting a car and went to see an old “friend” of mine. With Nate observing Hernando, I had no choice but to use a rifle and I couldn’t take one on the flight. That would have been convenient though. Like that, I had to take the train and bring my stuff or take the plane, which was faster, but I had to organize my weapons on location. J.J. didn’t like me much, but I’d always get the stuff I needed while I was in Mexico and the surroundings. J.J. even organized a car for me, no names, no tracking and no nothing.
“Always good doing business with you, J.J.,” I said and loaded my stuff into the car. “I trust you to return the favor if I ever end up in New York!” J.J. said and looked at me, “Not that I’m planning on going there anytime soon!” Chuckling I shook my head, “Name it and I’ll do my best to make it possible! But you know that already, don‘t you? Thanks, and I’ll return everything in a couple of hours! It shouldn’t take long!”
“Thank god you owe me!” J.J. said with a wicked smile, “I wouldn’t want to end up on your blacklist!” With that I drove off towards Nate’s location, I used the GPS signal from his phone to keep track of Hernando Peréz. I hit the break and hit my head against the steering wheel, what was wrong with me? I could have used the GPS from the beginning; there had been no reason to text him! So why had I? Why did I text him instead of just using the GPS? With a sigh I started the car again and drove on, unsure what I should do. Maybe I was just sick…
When I had Hernando’s car in sight, I climbed out of the car again. My position on the cliff was perfect for the shot, I lay down on the blanket I had prepared again and just checked the aim again, waiting for Hernando to come a bit closer.
I took a deep breath and slowed down my entire system, my pulse, my breathing, my heartbeat. All that mattered, all that existed at that moment were Hernando and my rifle. As soon as I was sure Hernando was the one in the car, I felt the rifle recoil and fall back into position, almost the same as before. Maybe the rifle’s aim was a bit off, as I hadn’t hit his forehead in the middle, but more like over his right eye. Anyway, he wouldn’t survive, but I aimed again, this time for the triangle formed by his nipples and the top of his sternum. I didn’t have as much time preparing, but I hit within the triangle. I watched for a few more milliseconds to confirm his death and packed my things together, after catching a glimpse of Nate in another car. Smiling like crazy I drove back to J.J.’s, returned the rifle and the car, took the rented car back to the airport. I just had to be back before Nate! Who knew if he’d return straight away or if he’d have to investigate the obvious murder?