Author’s Note: you can catch up on the rest of the series here.
It’s midnight and the water is pitch black, even with the infrared goggles on. I can hear my breathing in the scuba suit as I swim under the waters of Lake Austin towards the yacht floating in the middle of the river. A heavy bass, some kind of techno music is vibrating from the boat hit my body. I take more slow deliberate breathes.
As I surface I try not breathe out give away my position, but the music is so loud that it might not be an issue. As I peek over the side of the boat, I fire my first bullet at a man wearing sunglasses who spots me coming over the side. The gun recoils for a moment as the whisper quiet of the silencer makes my gun sound like muffled whap and his death a soft thud.
I catch the spare shell in my left palm and pocket it. The sky is dark, no lights, no sounds except the bass coming from the main cabin. I kill another man. Whap, thud, catch, pocket.
I see the white container on the bow of the yacht and I open it. Towels, these are what I’ll need. I open my hit kit and I see the lighter fluid. This will do just fine.
“Hey, Tom is that-“
Whap, thud, catch, pocket. I breathe deeply. I allow the let the medication take control. It’s better now. The voices inside me are no longer distracting me, but I still have nightmares. I wonder if there’s a pill that can keep me from dreaming.
I open the cabin. The heavy bass that I have been hearing is getting louder. A woman who I’ve seen before is surprised to find me here. She is the target and she knows it. Her eyes widen. Whap, thud…pocket. She tumbles down the stairs after the bullet exits her. The recoil is easier now. My body is not shaking anymore. More deep breathes.
It’s so bright inside the cabin that I have to remove my goggles. I hear a man screaming as the woman’s body rolls down the stairs and onto the floor. I sleuth down the railing of the narrow, white stair case and land in the cabin. I see a man digging into a drawer for something. His movements are slow and awkward. His face as he looks up at me seems to confirm something for him that I can’t understand. I fire at his chest twice and he falls to the ground.
I look in the drawer and see that he was going to grab a pistol. It looks bored sitting there. I look at the body in front of me as it flops around. I’m getting bored with this. I can’t feel anything anymore.
I watch him struggle. He rolls over and continues to bleed as he takes out his phone, but he drops it twice. He can’t even dial for help. A part of knows I should end him now, but I can’t help but be entranced by him and his struggle. His eyes are green. He has large green eyes. I can’t tell if it’s me or the medication that’s doing this to me. After about a minute of this, he movements start to get slower and slower until he finally stops. I then remember what I have to do. I soak the towel in lighter fluid and I light it on fire using the man’s zippo. I toss the flaming towel on his face and walk up the stairs.
It’s still pitch black outside. The lake is dark, the sky is dark, the coast and trees are dark. The white yacht rocks back and forth as I wait for the fire to spread to other parts of the boat. The light is all there is to see. I can’t help but find it fascinating: the fire growing larger and larger. I then get a phone call from my employer.
“Hello?” I answer.
“I saw your progress, tonight,” she tell me, “very impressive.”
“How were you watching me?” I ask, suddenly paranoid.
“Surveillance drone,” she answers, “the pharmaceutical branch within my company is liking the test data. They can use it to argue the medication’s military applications.”
“But, you wanted me to wipe out the competition here in Austin, right?” I ask her.
“Yes, that too,” she confirms, “as soon as you’re done, meet me back at the Austonian. We have other matters we need to discuss.”
“Yes, ma’am,” I tell her, “is it another competitor?”
“No, a possible employee,” she says, “have you heard of a man by the name of Logan Webb.”
“I’ve heard of him,” the name vaguely registers.
“We’ll need to do a background check on him,”
“Will do,” I answer back, “see you soon.”
I hang up the phone and continue to watch the fire engulf the yacht. I watch it until it sinks into the lake.
Copyright © 2017 Philip N.R Hauser