Chapter 1: The past and the surpassed…

Mathilda reached the roof of the old apartment building, it seemed peaceful as she walked across to the north east corner of the roof, and laid down her mat. A solemn, cool evening breeze blew her short, dark hair across her face as she looked over the streets below. Leon's voice echoed in her mind like it was the only thought in her head.

(Leon)"Position…"

Now 25 years old, she had finished school what seemed like a lifetime ago, she promised herself and Tony that she would stay at school and that she would finish, and came by Tony's restaurant like clockwork to collect her money. After she left, she pleaded with Tony that she was still eager to walk in Leon's shoes and take up cleaning as a profession. Heck, in between doing homework and school she would constantly exercise and test herself, becoming stronger, quicker and more cunning. She'd been doing this since she was twelve and for her it was like a religion.

She familiarised and mastered a large array of weapons from pistols, to shotguns, rifles, garrottes, knives and even her bare hands, which she found was always handy if she had her weapons removed. Her goal was to match Leon in every way possible, and then some more, to try and become as skilled, silent and ruthless as possible. Cleaning was all about proficiency, taking out the target with minimal disturbance and then becoming a ghost, disappearing into the crowd. No one was better at that than Leon but now she would surpass him. She had to if she wanted to live to see another day

Still, just because she wanted to be better than Leon didn't mean she didn't still look up to him if anything she owed everything to him, for keeping her alive, the cleaning lessons and of course he sacrificed his life to save her. He was a real hero for her, for a lack of a better term and it gave her strength that she couldn't build from working out. She followed his "rules" to the letter, like they were written in some holy book.

"No women, no kids"… Leon's voice echoed. That rule always stayed in her head, as if Leon was somewhere around, reminding her of one of his most important rules.

Finally after she turned eighteen Tony finally gave her a job, to take out some bastard who was supposedly selling weapons to some of the gangs near her home in little Italy. She was a bit careless at first, but she did better on the next job and the next, until there really wasn't a way to further herself without actually becoming a ghost. By twenty one, she was exactly where Leon was all those years ago, she was a cleaner and she was good at it.

She knelt down on the mat and laid her seemingly innocent, large briefcase down and opened it up, hearing the somewhat satisfying clicks of the locks opening, revealing its deadly contents. Leon's old rifle was locked into the case with worn, black leather straps. She never could throw it away. It was the only rifle she'd used and it became a part of her, she treat it like it was some connection to Leon like he was there with her when she took her shots, guiding them to the target.

"Come to think about it, I've never missed with this rifle yet, and I don't intend to… Ever."