Beta by the wonderful cutecrazyice! Bow to her greatness! I know I am! :D

-1PROLOGUE

THE streets were empty, quiet and dark—only a few streetlights were put to use, and even they weren't enough to provide satisfying illumination. Some of the houses that lined up the streets had their porch lights on, probably by negligent husbands too tired from work and would get a tongue-lashing from their wives in the morning for leaving the porch lights on.

He was there, a figure crouched among the shadows, hiding from the lights—in case any of the neighbours cared enough to look outside their windows and see him hovering near the hedges. The last thing he needed was the police screeching in with their noisy sirens, looking for a man who was never supposed to be there.

It was probably a good thing that he wore an all-black garb—including rubber shoes whose soles he had rubbed until worn. All of these things, he just purchased at the nearest Wal-Mart, and can be disposed of easily. That was part of his job, really, including intractability.

The intruder jumped silently over the white picket fence surrounding the white washed house on no. 5, Mulberry Street. He gave a slight scowl as he remembered the name—Fire Country was definitely getting too comfortable, adapting weird foreign names and culture for his liking. He rounded at the back of the building, starting to disable the security systems and open the back door. He succeeded in both tasks and was rewarded by the soft click of the doorknob being opened.

He manoeuvred his way inside the house, past the spotless kitchen to the living room where his subject—an old man in his mid-seventies—sat on an armchair in front of a TV showing something only bored insomniacs would watch. He glanced around his surroundings, taking in the pictures of the old man—from his days at the Gulf War, down to the time the killer's subject was already bouncing a grandchild on his knee. He felt a pang of pity for the old man who was sleeping quietly in front of him, an upturned popcorn bowl at his feet.

As he was about to falter in his mission, a dull pain passed through his brain and it erased all doubt and hesitation. He pulled the string of his fanny pack, and immediately, a Beretta 9mm with silencer attached was soon firmly gripped in his hands. He thought of waking up the old man and letting him see the world a second time, but decided against it.

He fired two shots that were reduced to tiny spits—a sound that would forever reverberate in his ears. For a while, he stood there, watching blood spew from the two tiny holes on the man's forehead and looking horribly like a second pair of eyes. The killer woke up from his trance, shaking his head as he stared at the lifeless body. Silently, he exited from the place as fast as circumstances allowed. He got into his car, which was parked two streets away.

Then he left.

As he drove on through the winding roads that led back to the heart of the city, he could not help but feel a chill go up and down his spine, a feeling that always went across him every time he executed a job. But no—this was his job, and he couldn't escape from it. This was what he felt he had to do.

What he was born to do.

The man turned on the car's radio to hear some nightly news.

And slowly, he began to erase the latest event from his mind.