It is July 23rd, 2028, and the world is not the place it used to be. Terrorist attacks are a daily occurrence everywhere over the globe. Thieves, robbers, and murderers prowl the streets. The EU has been violently thrown apart, and the continent thrown into bloody conflict. The Americas are encompassed in civil war over precious resources. A colossal earthquake split Australia into two pieces, sending it and surrounding islands under the ocean. Russia has violently spread its all-encompassing rule to nearly all of Asia. Africa is a no-man's land, where there is no law, no government, nothing, and the strong rule over the weak. It seems that even the weather has managed to worsen the situation, with three hurricanes rampaging over southern Asia, towering tsunamis in the pacific, hundreds of tornadoes at a time in Tornado Alley, and the one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in the history of mankind, covering — ironically — Iceland in a sea of lava and throwing enough ash into the sky to darken the Earth for years to come.
Out of this chaos rose a group of people who managed to find a profitable line of work, even in the hell that Earth had become. Who are they? Why, the assassins of course.
Now, these may not seem like the best or most kind of people. But do not worry, they are important. Specifically nine assassins, who were of deep interest to me. They all operated separately, and they didn't necessarily know each other well at first. Of course, they knew the others by name. After all, they had tried to kill each other enough times. But they had no special relationships or friendships with each other till later on. But now I'm getting ahead of myself. These nine were of special interest to me simply because Time had some sort of an interest in them. Don't ask me how I know. I just do.
Nine girls, nine assassins. Taeyeon. Jessica. Yuri. Sooyoung. Yoona. Tiffany. Seohyun. Sunny. Hyoyeon. These are they, or at least the names they went by. Their fates are intertwined so deeply even I cannot find its source. But now, let me tell you their story.
Taeyeon drops down onto her stomach, cradling her customized CheyTac M200 sniper rifle in her arms, aiming at the door where her next target is meant to exit from. She relaxes her heart rate and breathes deeply, preparing herself for the kill.
A young woman bashfully strides out of the door, holding a dark black suitcase, which although looks innocent, Taeyeon knows holds a deadly bomb. What exactly it is being used for, she doesn't care. She was hired to kill this person, and even if the reason for killing her was because she killed a mosquito Taeyeon couldn't care less. All that matters is the huge sum of money she is receiving for this one tiny moment, for this one small life taken. She trains the crosshairs of her sniper on the woman's head. Taking a deep breath once more, she pulls the trigger.
The woman is thrown back several meters. There is no sign of any damage, save a small hole in the space between the her wide open eyes. Taeyeon switches targets and fires again, this time hitting and destroying the suitcase. She scrambles up and running to the edge of the roof, leaps over to the next building, and the next, and the next, even as sirens erupt below her and people are screaming and guns are firing and the bomb explodes and Taeyeon doesn't care, she doesn't care because she is already gone.
Jessica sighs and leans back into her comfy wheeled chair. "You have got to be kidding me..." She munches on a granola bar as she plays geometry dash on her phone in her right hand, and types away on the keyboard with her left. Through advanced means hidden by a tech genius of the past, the internet is still up and running, although it is not the 'safe' place it used to be. "Like seriously. You don't hire someone like me just to take down a website." She finishes typing and hovers her finger over the enter button. "Oh well, might as well have some fun while I'm at it." Her finger drops down onto the button.
The servers overload and the whole website comes crashing down. "Now for the fun part..." Jessica smiles and leans toward the array of screens in front of her, in her underground hide out in what used to be Ethiopia.
A window pops up on her screen, revealing a list of names and locations of everyone who was on the website at the time of the crash. She copies the list and pastes it into another window, and presses enter again. Immediately all of their computers receive a virus (created by Jessica herself) that at first hacks into the webcam, giving Jessica video access to all of them. Then, it wipes the computer's memory and overloads the CPU, heating it up to such temperatures that it explodes in the user's face. Jessica giggles and leans back again, watching their shocked faces as their computers blow up in their clueless, idiotic faces. "I hope someone died..." She giggles again, then taps the phone one last time, and, leaping over the last spike, finishes the level.
Yuri dashes through the shady alleyways of Tokyo, leaping from side to side as bullets stream everywhere around her. She jumps up and grabbing a pole above her, swings herself around and leaps back. She lands gracefully on her feet behind her pursuer, who spins around, shocked. He fires again and again, but Yuri grins and leaps forward, dancing around the bullets and around him, her hidden blades flashing again and again in the moonlight.
Yuri freezes, then suddenly does a series of backward flips, the floor tearing at her feet as bullets crash into it. She sheathes her dual swords and pulls out a razor sharp shuriken. She crouches down, waiting for the second assailant to show himself.
Foolishly, the man steps out of his hiding place, a side alley previously hidden from sight. There is a small flash of light, and the man clutches at his throat, gurgling as blood pours out the spot where the shuriken pierced his throat. Suddenly all sound ceases, and before the corpse can even hit the ground Yuri is gone, as if never there.
Sooyoung tosses the grenade in her hand. Up and down. Up and down. Up and down. In the distance there is the muted sound of a large explosion. Sooyoung catches the grenade, and this time does not throw it up again. She pulls the pin and whips it down the hall to her left before pulling out her RPG. She turns and runs in the opposite direction.
"There she is!"
Sooyoung hears the shout behind her as waves of soldiers erupt into the hallway, guns raised, oblivious to the danger right in front of their faces. She covers her ears. The grenade explodes and bodies fly as the corridor is transformed into a raging inferno of blazing flames.
Sooyoung continues to run till she reaches a staircase. Here she pauses to place a small box on the wall. She flicks a switch on it, and on it the multitude of lights turn green. Satisfied, she resumes running up the stairs. At the top is a door. She opens it, blinking at the harsh daylight on the other side. Without pausing she runs out of the building and dashes across the grass, taking cover behind a dilapidated shack, and waits for her target to appear.
No less than 10 minutes later, a completely black limousine enters the compound, surrounding on every side by what Sooyoung knows are armored SUVs. They must have been informed that there is an intruder in the facility, and so are guarding that man in the limousine.
Sooyoung smiles. They might as well have put a red X on the car, with the words Shoot Me! painted on the side. She lifts her rocket launcher to her shoulder and takes careful aim at the small gap in between two SUV's.
She fires and is almost thrown back by the force of the rocket exiting the launcher. Immediately she jumps up and climbs the fence surrounding the compound and dashes into the Brazilian jungles beyond.
The rocket flies right in between the SUV's, smashes through one of the limousine's back windows and right into the man's face. At the same time, Sooyoung presses a button on a small black device in her hand.
The lights turn red.
The whole compound erupts into flames as the limousine and all of the C4 Sooyoung placed in the building explode at the same time. Sooyoung hears the explosion from where she is running, and she smiles.
Yoona clasps her hands together and bows in the customary way. Her opponent does the same. She senses rather than sees what is coming next, and skillfully tilts her head to the left a bit. The elbow strike aimed to hit her hard on the head goes straight by, missing completely. Yoona grabs the arm, pulling the girl into a powerful knee jab in the stomach causing her to double over, breathless.
Yoona shakes her head disapprovingly. "When you are in a fight that is not to kill, fight honourably. Follow the rules."
The girl's head is hung down shamefully. "Yes Master."
Yoona smiles. "Keep in mind that in a fight to the death, anything goes. After all, you're opponent won't be alive afterwards to complain."
A man wearing a long white robe shuffles forward and bows, handing Yoona a cell phone without looking at her. "For you, Master."
A look of annoyance flashes across her face. "Is it him again?"
"I believe so."
She takes the phone in her hand and puts it to her ear. "Yes?"
The voice she has been dreading answers. "Why hello, Yoona noona."
"I believe I told you not to call me that. What do you want?"
"Well noona, I have another assignment for you."
"Call me that one more time and I'll make it my assignment to take you out."
The man laughs. "That's what I love about you Yoona. But anyways, I need you to fight someone for me. He's a master in Taekwondo, Karate and Judo. He'll accept a challenge from anyone. But the problem is that for most of his fights he captures helpless people and forces them to fight him, even if they know crap about fighting. He's getting dangerous, and worst of all, big headed. I need him to be shown a lesson. I'll be paying you, of course."
Yoona sighs. "You can't possibly make me believe that that's the real reason behind this. Don't worry, I've got him. Send me the info and the money, and you can be guaranteed that he's already dead."
He chuckles. "You know me too well, Yoona." Then he hangs up.
She turns to her student. "I've got an assignment to complete. I'll be back soon." She puts on a light jacket, grabs her phone and steps out of the building.
Following the directions given to her, she is standing in front of a towering skyscraper. She enters into the revolving doors and goes to the desk. She hands over a piece of paper to the woman sitting behind the desk, who reads it and points to a door on the side. Yoona turns and walks to it, her bare feet making no sound on the floor. She reaches for the door handle, but it opens before she can grab it.
She steps in and is confronted by a massive man with bulging muscles.
"You're the challenger?" He stares at Yoona's small and skinny body, confused. Then he smiles. "Well... if you insist on fighting me..."
Yoona politely smiles back. "You do know what overconfidence can do to someone, right?"
The huge man suddenly launches himself forward, throwing a blur of punches and kicks everywhere. Yoona leans to the right, then the left, then back, dodging everything coming at her. He steps back, already sweating fiercely. Raising his fist into the air, he leaps up. Yoona takes one step forward and he completely misses and comes crashing to the ground behind her. Before he can do anything, her foot slams into his neck, throwing him to the wall.
Yoona turns around and faces him. "You need practice."
The man defiantly stares back as he studies Yoona's pretty yet fierce face. Realization dawns on him. "No way. You're... her." His surprise turns into satisfaction and he leans back. "My dream to be able to actually fight you one day... has come true." He bows his head. "Go ahead."
Yoona clasps her hands together and matches his bow. The man closes his eyes and accepts his fate. There is only a blur of movement as her hand comes crashing down into his neck, ending his life permanently. Yoona stands and studies his body for a little while, before sighing and leaving back for home.
Tiffany is bored. She taps her fingers on the desk, again and again and again and again and again...
"Well Ms. Hwang, since you don't seem to have anything better to do, can you explain what I just said?"
Tiffany yawns and looks up at the professor standing over her. "Potassium cyanide can be produced by treating hydrogen cyanide with aqueous potassium hydroxide, and then evaporating the solution in a vacuum."
The professor looks mildly surprised, then overcomes it. "You know what, Ms. Hwang? If you are going to be rude, you can just leave my class!"
Tiffany yawns again and stands up. "It was nice being here, professor." She lightly taps him on the arm, then proceeds to leave the lecture room. When she steps out, she closes the door, then places her ear on it. The muffled voice of the professor floats out.
"Now that all distractions have been removed, we can resume our class. So, we all know to be careful when handling all types of cyanide, as it is highly toxic. It is important for our line of work. But..." Suddenly he shouts in pain. Tiffany imagines him rolling up his sleeve, and seeing the red spot where Tiffany injected the cyanide into his body and crying out in pain and falling and dying... She giggles as a loud crash sounds through the hall and students are screaming. Running, she hurriedly escapes the campus.
Seohyun examines the knife that she is holding in her hand. The blade is made from pure platinum, with a gold hilt intertwined with veins of ruby. Set in the middle is a stone that Seohyun has never, ever seen before, and that is saying something, considering the fact that she has over 250 antique knives made from precious materials in wondrous designs. She sets the knife carefully in its special shelf. She has already analyzed it thoroughly with the equipment she has — but it is not enough to determine if it is a yet to be discovered stone.
Seohyun checks the inside of her jacket for the two fighting knives she keeps at all times. Finding them there, she exits the room, ensuring that it is properly locked, and descends the stairs to the main floor of her apartment.
Immediately her senses tell her something is wrong. There are only slight disturbances here and there, but Seohyun has an eyesight as sharp as that of a hawk's. She pulls out a knife in each hand, and cautiously enters the living room.
There is no warning whatsoever. A barrage of bullets rips the air in half, directly from her right side. Seohyun dives to the floor, but not fast enough to avoid a bullet embedding itself in her right arm. It hurts. It hurts beyond comparison, but Seohyun doesn't care. She stands up and faces the source of the bullets.
A woman, perhaps in her late 30s. Holding a semi-automatic machine gun, frantically trying to reload.
Seohyun whips the knife in her left hand and there is seemingly no delay between it leaving her hand and it burying itself in the woman's throat. She falls, gurgling, to the floor.
Seohyun stares at the resulting pool of blood as she uses her remaining knife at hand to pry the bullet out of her arm.
Sunny sits on the edge of the protruding remains of a wall. She holds her flamethrower almost reverently, observing the burning building in front of her.
A panicked man stumbles out of the building, his clothes black and covered by ash. Seeing Sunny, he tiredly drops the gun that is in his hands to the floor, raising his hands in surrender. And does not see the incendiary grenade clatter to his feet.
There is an eruption of flame and the man falls to his knees, screaming in agony. Sunny observes her handiwork one more time, then turns away and does not look back. She does not like killing a defenceless man who even dropped his gun in surrender, but her orders specifically stated that no one was to be left alive. And since she wants to stay alive, she must follow orders.
Hyoyeon screams in pure exhilaration as her jet speeds through the air, tearing clouds apart at an overwhelming 3500 km per hour. She spins and rolls and flies, her plane feeling like an extension to her body.
There is a beep as the radar detects another aircraft heading towards her. Hyoyeon checks it, muttering to herself. "Either that's my target, or it's some crazy drunkard who doesn't know that if he crashes into me we'll both die." She flicks a series of switches, activating missile launchers, then slows her speed down dramatically.
She presses a button and the jet rumbles as two homing missiles are released. She sees them launch forward, through the cockpit windows.
The enemy jet is still advancing towards her, either oblivious or actually a drunkard. Actually, maybe not. Hyoyeon sees a wall of missiles heading towards her, and she chuckles with glee.
The first missile is meters away from her jet when she acts. She pulls the plane sharply up, easily dodging it. Then down, then right, then up again, then a loop, then a barrel roll... the missiles crash into each other or lose their target or head in the completely wrong way. "Haha! That'll teach you to mess with fly against ace pilot Hyo!" She zooms ahead to check on how her opponent is faring.
Within seconds, the opposing jet is in view. Its movements and dodges and flying in general is just pathetic. Hyoyeon sighs. "That pilot can't even deal with only two missiles. Well, I'll help him." With that, she presses another button, and a third missile fires from the bottom of her jet.
The pilot is struggling with the controls and he only sees the third missile at the last second. His face mirrors a look of shock before it is wiped off, forever.
I know what you must be thinking right now. Something about how awesome or bloodthirsty or crazy they are. Or you may even be thinking that they are dishonourable, considering their line of work.
I assure you, they are noble people. It is just the circumstances that have arisen around them that have caused a slightly dark side of their personalities to emerge. You will see the lighter, better and warmer side soon. I will tangle and tie their fates together, even further than they already are. All you have to do, my friend, is observe.