Caleb steadied his glasses on the bridge of his nose as he pushed open the glass door of his apartment complex. For an autumn night, the air was cold, and he was glad that he was wearing his heavy jacket.
Monty the security guard gave him a curt nod from behind the desk. "Where you been all night, m' friend?" he asked, his words slurring slightly.
"Oh y'know… doing so and so and such and such. Menial little things," he said nonchalantly, rubbing his hands together to try to get the scent of gunpowder and blood off them. "Can you page Becca for me please? Tell her I'm coming up, if you would be so kind."
Monty nodded and took his feet down from the desk with a quiet thud. He pressed his finger down on the intercom. "Becca, Becca? Y' There? Yeah… Well Caleb's here." There was some static-y muttering on the other side of the line. "No, yes…?" Caleb answered back. "Yes, I know how late it is, and I'm sure Caleb does too." He shot Caleb a look. "He told me to tell you that he's coming up now." He took his finger off the button and waved his hand towards the elevators.
Caleb gave a small smile and stepped into the lift, pressing the button for floor eight. Some faint muzak droned out of the ceiling speakers. He stuffed his right hand into his coat pocket and pulled out one of the three empty bullet shells. "Oot dee doot dee doo…" He sang to himself, twirling the casing between his index finger and thumb. "Three shots, three targets, now that's precision, m' friend." He muttered to himself, patting himself on the back. The lift gave a faint ding, and the doors slid open, exposing the blue-light washed walls of the apartment hall. Long-fronded plants stood at attention between the doors. He hummed to himself as he moved towards apartment 308. He fumbled in his pocket for his keys, nudging aside bullet casings and caffeine pills. The lock clicked silently as he inserted the key and twisted it to the right, pretending he was disemboweling some fat-cat CEO.
He hung up his coat on the closet hook and stretched his shoulder blades. "Becca!" He quietly crooned. He moved out of the entry hall and slid into the small, almost hotel-like apartment. Becca, his sweet Becca lay stretched out upon the bed, a soft pink bathrobe wrapped around her. She scowled. "Y'know what time it is? It's five o'clock. AM."
Caleb rolled his eyes and clasped his hands behind his back. "Oh come on love… Can you really blame me?" He rocked on his heels. "Murder is a very precise business." He fluidly ran his hand through the air like a paint brush. "It's like art. If it means that I have to live on top of a water tower for three days in the blazing Australian sun, just so that I can put a three-inch-long round into someone's head, then so be it my dear!" He slid forward and took her face in his hands. "And believe me, I think of you every second as I push the round into the chamber of the rifle that will cause some corporation to collapse."
She looked down and smiled angelically. "You're right. I shouldn't be angry… After all, for every life you end, the world gets a little better." Her smile turned devilish and she whispered in his ear. "But who knows, murder may not be the only good thing that you do tonight." She touched him under the chin. Her words rolled out of her mouth, soft and smooth like velvet. "But first," She shoved him back. "Brush your teeth, dear. Living in an abandoned watchtower for a day and a half and peeing in a jar has done nothing for your oral hygiene."
He gave a small, annoyed laugh and walked to the bathroom. His face in the mirror was not what most considered classically handsome, but the hard, long lines of the cheeks and nose were taut and straight for a man of his age. He had a large pair of yellow-tinted glasses that made him see a little better, protected him from UV, and most importantly, made him look like an action film villain. He fumbled with the toothbrush and put on a dot of paste. He brushed for about a minute and then bent over to spit.
A sudden pain in his chest caused him to cry out in pain and wince. He noticed that blood was mixed with his saliva in the sink. He rolled himself up and stared in horror at the reflection in the mirror: a bloody butterfly knife was thrust through his chest; the gory splotch was a sharp contrast to his stark white shirt. But no, it was not the knife that terrified him, so much as who was clutching it: Becca. She stood diagonally, one arm outstretched: the hand wrapped around the knife handle. She grinned maliciously.
To his horror, her flesh and robe began to smoke and burn, and her skin fell to the ground like charred paper. Standing there, was not his beloved Becca, but a tall, lean man dressed in a dark blue pinstripe suit, his face obscured by an equally blue balaclava. He brought a gloved hand to his mouth and lit the thin, tapered cigarette that hung from it. "What… You really thought that the only place that I could kill you was in reality?" The man asked in a vaguely French accent. He laughed, a dry, evil laugh that seemed to echo and rebound as Caleb's vision went dark and he slumped to the ground, the taste of iron in his mouth.
Caleb awoke suddenly with a start. He looked around in confusion before remembering where he was. He had never gotten quite used to the Complex, to the idea that he was fighting in gladiatorial combat every single day. Nikolai, the Heavy, snored from his own cot a few meters away. Caleb ran his hand across the floor beneath his cot and grabbed his glasses. Becca's not here anymore, he gently chided himself. You've been here what, a year now? You should know better. His heart still thumped in his chest like a jackrabbit from the outback. He ran a hand through his sweaty hair and slid off the cot. Shakily, he got to his feet and padded to his relieving cubicle. The polished chrome toilet sat silently in the corner, but instead he shut the door behind him and went to the mirror. Nine Polaroid photographs were taped down the left side of the mirror, each one with a small red "X" in the corner. That is, all except for one: The Blue Spy. His deadpan sneer hit a nerve in Caleb and he angrily punched the side of the sink. "I've gotten every single one of your teammates," he whispered, his head down. "I'll get you one day, I'll get you."