Tiffany stares at the empty cockpit of the jet resting on the landing strip. Why is it empty? She takes a closer look and on the floor beside the jet she sees faint tracks left behind by something, most likely a motorcycle. She follows the track with her eyes, squinting with suspicion as she sees that it would have led to the same path that she had taken to get to Jessica.
Behind her a door opens and Tiffany turns around. Hyoyeon steps out of the building, smiling as she advances towards Tiffany. “Done, I see?”
Tiffany nods, a fake smile plastered on her face. Hyoyeon walks past her and climbs into the jet. “C’mon!” She yells out. Tiffany follows and gets in. Hyoyeon fires up the engines with a roar. She pushes the throttle forward and the jet lurches forward. Within seconds the jet is lifting up and into the sky.
Tiffany discreetly slides her eyes sideways and turns her attention to Hyoyeon’s face. She can tell that this is where Hyoyeon feels the best, the most at home. She sighs and returns her gaze. What should she do? Does it matter that Hyoyeon followed her? Should she kill her? Tiffany shakes her head to clear her mind. If she is going to kill her, she at least needs to wait until they make it back. And even then, it would be difficult with all of the guards that would be around…
“Something the matter?”
Hyoyeon’s words snap Tiffany out of her reverie. “What?”
Hyoyeon leans back into her seat after punching in the coordinates for the autopilot. “You seem to be thinking about something.”
Tiffany shrugs in response. “Just about what I want to do after I get back.” A sudden idea comes to her and she sits up, her eyes flashing with excitement. “Hey. Hyoyeon?”
“We’re supposed to go back to that guy’s mansion, right? You know, the one we’re both working for right now?”
“Uh… yeah we’re supposed to…”
“Well... what if we didn’t?”
“What?” Hyoyeon looks at her in surprise. “What do you mean?”
Tiffany sighs. “I… well… my mission didn’t… really go so well…”
Hyoyeon watches her with interest. “In that case you probably shouldn’t go back.” She leans forward again and furiously types away at the keyboard. The plane swerves to the right as its directions for the autopilot change.
“Wait. But why are you helping me? You have to report back too.”
Hyoyeon shrugs. “That’s exactly why. If I brought you back with me then we’d probably both get in trouble. And I intend to stay alive. So…”
Tiffany smiles and settles back into her chair. “So where are we going?”
“My personal airstrip.”
“Whaddaya mean by Northern Canada? Isn’t Canada already North enough for you?”
Hyoyeon laughs, her teeth flashing in the light. “I’m staying away from the Canadian-American border.”
The plane suddenly shakes violently with turbulence and Tiffany, slightly shocked, grabs the armrests. Hyoyeon mutters something inaudibly to herself as her hands flip switches and input commands at a rapid rate. A beep sounds and a red dot appears on the radar scanner. Hyoyeon glances at it quickly before suddenly wrenching the steering to the left, just in time to avoid a missile that whizzes past inches away from the right wing.
Hyoyeon straps herself securely into her chair. She instructs Tiffany without taking an eye off the cloudy skyscape ahead. “Put your seatbelt on. Things are about to get exciting.”
Tiffany slips the seatbelt over her shoulder and clasps it in. Apprehension and excitement rise cohesively in her stomach.
Hyoyeon pulls up and rises up and out of the monstrous clouds. A squadron of fighter planes materialize from the clouds just a few kilometers to the left. Hyoyeon swears and pushes the throttle, nudging the speedometer to a higher number when she sees the insignia on their wings.
Tiffany strains her neck to get a glance of the planes, with no luck. “What is it? Who are they?”
Hyoyeon swears again. “The Americans. I’ve put up the Canadian insignia on our wings because we’re heading into Canadian territory soon, but now they’ve seen us. No idea why they’re so far out in the Atlantic—” She cuts her sentence off to dive downwards back under the cover of the clouds, as a stream of bullets rip through the air above them. She continues to drop until they come out below the clouds themselves and the rolling waves of the ocean come into view.
The jet drops so low that Tiffany can see water splashing against the glass of the cockpit. Hyoyeon pushes the throttle even farther and the jet zooms forward as bullets crash into the water behind them.
Hyoyeon takes a quick look back. “I think we have a higher max speed, we should be okay.” The squadron of planes is already out of sight, far behind. “That was a close call.”
Tiffany frowns, a little disappointed. “We didn’t even take any out.”
Hyoyeon shakes her head. “Trying to be a hero in a dogfight doesn’t work. If the odds are even 3:1 there’s only a slim chance that you’ll be able to destroy all three and survive. And we were facing at least ten other fighters.” Hyoyeon shakes her head again. “Our chances of victory were negligible.”
Tiffany shrugs. “We still could’ve taken out a few before running.”
“Bloodthirsty, aren’t we? I thought you worked for the Americans.”
“I don’t work for anyone specifically. I just happen to have most jobs from them.”
“Don’t you ever feel a sort of… loyalty? Like, to the country you were born in, or the country you work the most for, or…?”
Tiffany shrugs indifferently. “Not really. My only loyalty is to myself.”
Hyoyeon laughs. “Sure, sure. Well, we’re near the Maritimes now, so not too much farther to go.”
Tiffany looks away from Hyoyeon and focuses her gaze on the coast looming just ahead. She still hasn’t decided what she is going to do when she gets there, but that isn’t really a problem. She is an expert in improvisation, after all.
Sergeant Ronald Smith strolls down the hall of the CIA headquarters. At the end of the hallway he is walking is the spying district, this particular room called the Assassin Police HQ. He opens the doors and steps into a room filled with both people and screens, all doing various jobs.
Smith looks up at the voice. “Yes, Private?”
Private Roy Simonds stands up from his screen and throws a salute. “Sir! I have something you should see.”
Curiously, Smith walks over to him and looks over his shoulder at the screen. On it is a list of names.
“I’ve obtained the criminal data of the ten most dangerous and effective assassins in the world right now from as many criminal databases as possible. I’ve ordered them based on amount of jobs completed, damage in both lives and money caused, the amount of money that they make, and the level of threat they pose to us.”
Smith studies the list, recognizing all of the assassins listed there. “Give me a rundown of all of them.”
“Yes sir!” Simonds clicks on the first one. “First up we have a woman who goes by the name Hyoyeon. She has been noted as an expert pilot of both jets and helicopters and is a genius mechanic. The reason she is at the top is because she organized and executed a mass-killing solo mission where she bombed a military base in Maine, resulting in the deaths of 57 officers and the injuries of 179 others. Estimated damage costs were around $5.2 million. The employer she most frequently works for is most likely located in Canada or Mexico, possibly even the government.
“At Number 2 we have…” He returns to the original list and goes to the next name. “Sooyoung. Her typically targets are bases and people renown for having high levels of security and defence, due to her skilled usage of explosives. She is thought to be behind a bombing in Brazil that killed a prominent politician, as well as the destruction of the entire base and surrounding rainforest. The death toll and damage costs have been hidden by the Brazilian government; I couldn’t gain any access to them.
“Next is… a man who uses the code name Ace. He was recently captured and put into a maximum security level penitentiary, which he escaped from only a few days after being imprisoned. He is thought to be behind the assassination of the previous Russian President.
“Then a woman named Jessica, a notorious hacker who in total has cost the US a total of $8 million dollars in damages, never mind other countries. We recently sent an assassin who we regularly employ to her secret hideout that we located in Ethiopia to take her out, but we’ve had no further news of that mission as of yet.
“Fifth we have Seohyun, a knife specialist last located in Switzerland. The Germans were about to stage a raid on the place she was known to stay at, when she destroyed the building with high power explosives and escaped in the chaos. Her current location is unknown.
“Sixth on the list is Jonathan, another professional hacker like Jessica. The two were known to actually have collaborated on a few jobs, but just recently we managed to capture Jonathan and he is currently imprisoned. The only reason he is still on the list is because before we captured him he released a few hundred so called ‘Spider Bots’ which carry deadly viruses and roam the internet, destroying anything they come across without sufficient security. So far, only about a third of them have been found and destroyed.
“At seventh place is Yoona, a martial artist who owns a dojo in Tokyo. At first we did not know that she worked as an assassin but just recently we obtained information that she in fact had, and still does. She does not pose much of a threat to us as her missions are mostly only in Japan and China.
“Eighth we have Taeyeon, am ace sniper with pinpoint accuracy who is known for never having failed a mission. She is quite low on the list only because she usually takes out single targets, without causing much destruction. Otherwise, she is the most effective and efficient of all the assassins on this list.
“Second last is Sunny. She is known for using incendiary weapons. Her work has her primarily in South America and Europe, as well as the occasional job here in North America. She has been quiet without any sign of aggression over the past few weeks, for what reason I cannot say. This has caused her to drop on the list.
“And finally we have Spectre, a Russian assassin who is known for using poisoned blades to attack unknowing victims at night during their sleep. He currently seems to be hiding somewhere in Russia, perhaps an attempt at a cooldown on surveillance.” Simonds closes the list and stretches his arms. “Of course we also have Tiffany, who I’m sure you know and I think you’ve met. She’s the one currently out to assassinate Jessica.”
He suddenly frowns as he remembers a thing that he forgot to mention. “Besides that there is one more, who I haven’t included on the list due to a lack of information. For some reason there is an absolute blank on her. All we know is that she refers to herself as Black Pearl, which I stole from Japanese records. That could also mean she is located in Japan, but we don’t know for sure.”
Smith rolls his tongue over his lips, suddenly feeling tired. “Good job, Private. I’ll send this info to all the big shots out there who might benefit from it. Don’t worry, I’ll tell them who gathered it all.” He winks at Simonds, who grins back.
Smith turns around and begins to walk away. He calls over his shoulder to Simonds. “Print a few copies of it, Private, and I’ll send it under top secret cover to the other officers.” He continues to walk, grabbing the pieces of paper spat out by the printer as he walks by.
He opens the door to his office and stalks in, locking it behind him. He falls onto his chair and looks at the piece of paper again. “Well, well… I wonder where you might be, Tiffany. It has already been long enough for you to have completed the mission and come back…”
He pulls an envelope from his desk and, carefully and neatly folding the paper, places it inside. He it closed then stamps it with the words TOP SECRET in blood red. He does not like mailing a piece of paper when he would much rather send a quick email, but emails have a high chance of being read by people you don’t want reading them. A letter would have to suffice, mailed under tight security.
He is about to throw the letter into the outgoing section of the mailbox on the wall next to him, when he decides against it and instead takes the letter to the mailing section by himself.
He approaches the officer at the desk and hands it over. “Make sure this doesn’t get into the wrong hands, or I won’t think twice of throwing you out. Got it?”
The officer salutes and throws a quick nod. “It will be done, Sir!”
“Make sure of it.” He turns around and returns to his office, collapsing onto his swivel chair as soon as he closes the door behind him. He closes his eyes for a moment.
A small beep sounds but in his peaceful state he doesn’t respond. Again there is a beep louder this time and Smith leaps up with a startle. He frantically searches everywhere around him for the source, and is relieved to see that it is just his computer turning on.
But wait… why was it turning on? He had left it off before…
He sits back down onto his chair and slides closer to the computer, puzzled. There is definitely something wrong with it. The screen pulses every few seconds as lines of binary stream from left to right in an endless line of 1s and 0s.
Smith is on the verge of panic and is about to smash the power button as hard as he can when the screen fades to black once more.
He sighs with relief and is about to stand up to go get a cup of coffee when the screen flickers to life again. In the center of the screen is a small window housing a video player. In the video is a girl’s face.
A voice floats out into the confines of Smith’s office. “Hello, Sergeant.”
Smith stares at the screen as if he has seen a ghost, which would perhaps not even be as scary as what he has actually seen. “W-who are you?!”
“Me?” The girl pouts. “You’re the leader of the so called Assassin Police, and you don’t know who I am?”
Smith takes a closer look, focusing on the face and trying to match it with a picture from his memory. “You’re…” He blanches as he realizes. “...Jessica.”
Jessica smiles, pleased at the recognition. “I am.”
Smith sits up in his chair, knowing that Jessica could easily destroy his computer and all of his files in a matter of seconds. He secretly slides a USB into his hand. “What do you want with me?”
“I just wanted to… thank you.”
“Thank me? For what? I’m the one who—”
Jessica grins. “Exactly. No one had come after me for so long, I was getting a little bored, and a little worried that maybe I wasn’t important enough to send an assassin after.”
“So I assume you’ve killed Tiffany, then?” He inserts the USB into the computer, and it immediately begins copying and transferring all of his files.
“Me?” Jessica frowns. “Nah. If I’m honest, Tiffany would beat me in a one on one fight.”
“Then she just let you go?”
“No, I escaped. I tend to consider every possibility when planning out my hideouts. But now I’m talking to you too much. I need to do what I came here for, before that USB of yours finishes copying all of the files. Goodbye, Sergeant.”
Smith swears and reaches forward to pull out his USB out, even if it is in the middle of transferring files. He yanks it out just as his computer starts to smoke. Quickly he unplugs it from the back before it can overheat and cause any damage.
When that is done he sighs with relief and takes his laptop out of his computer bag. He flips it open and turns it on. After logging in he inserts the USB and waits for the computer to recognize it.
A window pops up. Smith opens his USB files and stares at the empty screen, void of all files, for a while before swearing again and throwing the laptop lid shut. “Damn it! Damn you, Jessica!” He takes the USB out and tosses it into the garbage, still swearing crossly to himself.
The phone rings, loud and consistent. Sooyoung tiredly picks it up and places it on her ear. “Hello?”
Sunny’s voice responds, loud and urgent. “Come to the bar that we went to yesterday. Now.”
“What?” Before Sooyoung can even process the information Sunny has hung up. She slowly puts the phone down. Finally it registers in her mind and she throws her jacket on and slips her feet into her boots. Quickly she pushes the door open and rushes out in the direction of the bar.
Sunny sits at a table, waiting impatiently for Sooyoung. Her phone lies on the surface of the table in front of her. Her hair has been hastily shoved into a ponytail, her makeup forgotten in her urgency.
Finally the door is thrown open and Sooyoung bursts in. She pants, exhausted, as she falls into the seat opposite Sunny.
Sunny doesn’t give her any time to recover. “Look at this.” She slides her chair over so that she is beside Sooyoung. She spins her phone around and shows it to her. Sooyoung face changes from doubt to surprise as she reads the message on the screen through. When she finishes she leans back and takes a large gulp of air.
“Should we…?” Sunny falters mid-sentence, looking up at Sooyoung for help.
“I think it’s a good deal. Whoever he is, it looks like a good job.”
Sunny nods. “Okay. … oh wait a second. He even sent us online plane tickets,” Sunny squints at the small writing, studying them critically. “to… Tokyo, Japan.”
Sooyoung bites her lip. “How does he know we’re here?”
Sunny turns her phone off and lowers her voice, speaking covertly from the corner of . “We’re being spied on.”
Sooyoung pretends to yawn and stretch, while discreetly glancing at everyone around them. She stands up and pulls Sunny up with her. “Let’s get out of here. Quickly.”
They slowly walk out of the building as if they were simply leaving, but as soon as they get out they quickly dash into a side alley. Sunny crouches on the floor while Sooyoung watches the entrance.
Soon after a man dressed entirely in black, complete with hat and sunglasses, steps out of the building and heads in the direction that the girls had taken.
Sooyoung whispers to Sunny. “He’s coming. Get ready.” Sunny nods.
Just as the figure passes the alley Sooyoung leaps out, tackling him to the floor. The man cries out in pain and Sunny quickly follows Sooyoung, grabbing him by the legs and dragging him into the alley.
They push him to the wall and examine his panicked face. Sooyoung steps forward and grabs him by the collar. “Who are you? Who do you work for?”
To his credit, the man remains silent, even though he is shaking with fear.
Sunny coughs and pulls a knife from her pocket. Immediately the man begins blabbering. “The government! The government! I’m sorry, I’m sorry! Please, leave me alone!”
Sooyoung squeezes just a little tighter. “Which government? Brazilian?”
The man gulps visibly, knowing that he is betraying his employer by giving away this piece of information. Sunny throws the knife upwards and catches it, then grins and begins using it to clean her teeth. Without taking his eyes off of the knife for an instant, the man sputters a response.
Sooyoung lets go and the man falls to the floor. She looks up thoughtfully.
Some idea comes to her and she looks down at the man again. Frowning at him cowering on the floor with his arms over his head, she kicks him once for good measure, then turns and walks away. “Sunny…?”
“Right!” Sunny crouches beside the man, lifting his face up with her hands. “You wanna live, right?”
The man looks at her pleadingly, snivelling and with drool dripping from the corner of his mouth. “Y-y-yes!”
Sunny sneers at his patheticness and in one quick motion she slits his throat, watching as blood pours out and gushes over his clothes and to the floor. She cleans the blade on a dry section of his shirt, then kicks him away and follows after Sooyoung, already just a small figure in the distance.