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He sits in the van’s dark cargo area listening to the engine’s low hum. The others are with him. He can smell their sweat and he can hear their prayers. They say no words of encouragement or give any further orders.
There is no need. He knows them by heart.

As the van slows to a halt, he reaches up and feels the small glass vials that are concealed in his breast pockets. Their fluid is tainted blue and to the uninitiated it could pass for perfume or perhaps Kool-Aid. Of course, he knows it’s something far more lethal.

The door slides open bathing his compartment in light and he immediately turns to exit. His feet fall on the pavement and he hears his first words in an hour, “Make them rot.”

He doesn’t reply. He listens to the door click shut and the van pull away. It is his time to act. He can feel bile in his stomach for what he is about to do. Pulling his wallet from his pocket it opens to a picture of his daughter. Assassin’s never, ever carry pictures of family, yet today he needed this picture.

Her picture reminds him of the promise he made to her on the day she was born. A promise that he would never let his business affect her. Now with her being held, God knows where, he wasn’t even sure he could save her life. He would try though. He would do the dirty job they asked of him.

He moved towards the clinic passing the usual protesters, their brightly colored signs waved at him urging him to “Choose Life”. As he approached the front of the clinic a large Security Guard stepped in front of him.

“Excuse me sir, can I see some identification?”

“Certainly.” He said

Pulling out his drivers license, the name on the license said Phil Turner even though his name was John. The Security Guard began checking the name on the license against a list.

“Thank you Mr. Turner, go right in.”

“Thanks.” John said

John would never have known it was an abortion clinic. Although he had never been in one, he hadn’t pictured it quite this way. The brightly colored walls, the rainbow laden mural on the far wall. It seemed to nice a place.

John’s stomach rumbled again, in all his years of killing he never felt so wrong about a job. It wasn’t exactly that he agreed with abortions, but doing jobs for the Government, their had always been a bad guy that needed killing. It always seemed somehow justified.

Now standing here watching the two Nurses in their brightly colored uniforms having an animated conversation while drinking their morning coffee’s, the lines seemed blurry.

John tried to focus on the babies that had died in this clinic. Tried furthermore, to picture his daughter and the wacked out assholes in the van holding her hostage.

“Can I help you Sir?”

John looked up at one of the Nurses who was smiling in his direction.

“Yes, my name is Phil Turner, I’m here to see Dr. Wenden.”

“Funny, you don’t look pregnant.” The Nurse’s smile widened and she shot a quick look to the other Nurse who returned her smile two fold.

“It’s about my wife.” John said

“Of course Mr. Turner, the Doctor will be with you shortly.”

“Do you have a bathroom?”

“On your left.” She said.


John stepped inside and into the stall. He bent and felt for the incendiary device he had planted the night before. He hit the clock without even looking.

He could have done it last night, John thought. But, that wasn’t good enough for the nuts in the van. No, they wanted the Nurses and most of all the Doctor to die. Destroying the clinic wasn’t good enough.

As John stepped from stall he saw his face in the mirror. He was white as a ghost. Leaning over the sink, John threw up the bile that had been eating at his stomach. Thinking of the Nurses outside, he retched again. He rinsed his face, cupping the cold water against his skin.

He would have to make this fast, he couldn’t take much more. He grabbed a paper towel, drying his face he headed for the door. He turned and headed down the hall to where the Doctor was waiting. Opening the door, John pulled one of the blue veils from his breast pocket.

“Can I help you?” The Doctor said looking up from his desk.

John tossed the blue veil onto his desk and watched as it broke. The Doctor winced. When the veil broke open and nothing happened the Doctor looked surprised.

“What is the meaning of this?” He said

“You’ll see.” John said

The liquid began to run together and move towards the doctor. John didn’t understand exactly how it worked, but he had received a short dissertation back in Assassin training when they introduced him to the stuff.

The liquid found itself and human flesh like oil floating on water. It beads together forming larger pools until it finds flesh. It then enters the pores and effectively dissolves all calcium in the body. Bones, teeth, just turn to mush. Left with no frame, the body crushes itself.

As the Doctor’s eyes rolled back in his head, John saw the liquid moving across the floor towards him. It sought out all flesh. As the Doctor began to cave in on himself John closed the door.

Walking back into the lobby, he saw one Nurse. He scanned the room, then saw the other one pop up from behind the counter. He couldn’t look them in the face. As one of the Nurses asked “Is something wrong Mr. Turner?” John flipped one of the veils in their direction. He heard a gasp as the veil broke. The nurses started speaking frantically back and forth, then silence.

John turned to see a young lady sitting in the waiting room. An innocent, he turned to her and said one word...”Run!”

As John exited the clinic just behind the frantic woman, the Security Guard approached him.

“What the hell is going on?” he asked.

“I wouldn’t go in their.” John said. As expected the Security Guard turned and ran inside. John continued to the street and the van pulled up. The door opened and he stepped inside.

“Is it done?” the man asked.

“Yes.” John said.

The driver of the van watched out the window, then said. “I see flames.”

“Let’s go.” Said the other man.

“All right, I’ve done what you asked, let my daughter go!” John demanded.

The man pulled out his cell phone and made a call.

“It’s done, deliver the package safely.” The man said hanging up the phone he turned to John. “Your daughter should be with her mother in two minutes, as we promised. Now, we kept our end of the bargain, I just need to ask you one more thing?”

“Which is?” John asked.

“Which is, join our cause? We can use a professional like you. We never wanted to hurt your little girl, we’re about saving children, not harming them. We can compensate you nicely?”

“I need to make sure my child is you mind?”

“Please do.” The man said

John pulled his phone from his pocket and dialed. “Sharon? Is she safe?....Good. Tell her Daddy loves her and I’m sorry I broke my promise, tell her I’ll make it up to her and someday she‘ll understand.” John hung up.

“So what do you think, will you join us?” The man asked.

“I think I’ll have to decline.” John said. He pulled the last blue veil from his pocket. Instead of smashing it, he pulled the stopper from the top. The blue liquid crawled from the veil and onto his skin. He threw the rest of the liquid at the two men.

As the van began to swerve and the commotion ensued, John reached for his wallet. He opened it again to the picture of his daughter and said.

“I promise, it will never happen again.”

It wasn't my fault...I fell asleep and missed my stop.

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The following comments are for "Write Off: Assassin's Promise"
by Jeff

to Jeff
Minor spelling errors, really great story.

( Posted by: Furius [Member] On: May 6, 2002 )

well written
It's a well written, easy to follow story. But in my opinion, it's pointless.

( Posted by: seanspacey [Member] On: May 6, 2002 )

Jeff, Hmmm, this was in fact a very good short story in that it was easy to follow. I liked it. Later, Dras

( Posted by: Drastine [Member] On: May 6, 2002 )

My vote
I was tempted to give you a 10 just on the merit of the bone disolving liquid. A great idea that I wish I would have thought of.

Good job.

( Posted by: Ahze [Member] On: May 11, 2002 )

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