Meet the most skilled assassin in the world as he "eliminates" another political problem. Later, he is offered the ultimate hit contract by perhaps the most beautiful agent one could imagine.
The Ultimate Hit Contract
Part I:Initial Contact
The Limousine cavalcade crawled into the circular drive like an oversized worm. Before the first one stopped, pairs of men identically dressed in black, stepped from its right front doors and began scanning the area. Over half a mile distant, lying prone on a tarred roof, between two brick posts, the sniper took all this in through his 3-9X40 scope attached to his M24 Remington Sniper Rifle. It was the bolt action, single shot model, not the M14 semi automatic. Its owner never sided with anything preceded by automatic or labeled advanced because usually all the glitches and kinks hadn’t been recognized and eliminated. Like his life style, he sought perfection and continuity.
Once all the vehicles came to a complete stop, he centered on a bald headed brute whose bullet resistant vest made him even stockier. He used him to make simple adjustments to his power selector ring, then the wind adjustment. The shooter waited, carefully wiggling and scrunching his separate body areas until he was more settled and the Harris bi-pod was moved ever so slightly to level his view. Then he did a final elevation adjustment, fitted the Knight Armament suppressor, which he still called a silencer, and waited.
The late afternoon sun was behind him, which was the major reason he’d picked this particular conference. There was a slight wind blowing east to west at three miles an hour. Every detail was exactly as he planned. The sniper ignored the first double stepping from the second Limo as he turned right moved under the entrance portico, then retreated to the last Limo and disappeared. The next one emerged from the target car and was surrounded by security. This one got the same attention as he strolled across the short space between the Limos and the covered entrance to the Federal Academy of The Arts. His saluting and smiling at supporters waving flags, for the television cameras got hardly a glance.
The shooter’s attention was centered on the inside door of the third car. He nodded as his target slipped out with a single guard and quickly moved toward the second smaller entrance. The attraction the double’s posing and waving created was almost a perfect cloak of invisibility.
A deep breath, half-exhaled, and a minute shift allowing the cross hair to bisect on the target’s head and then a gentle he squeeze on the hair trigger. Even though he was using a .50 caliber cartridge, there was only slight upward recoil. He levered a second round into the chamber, readjusting and centering his eye on the target. The initial bullet’s force had driven his victim backward as if someone had given him a playful shove. Then his knees buckled and he fell face down.
The guard spun about, Uzi sub-machine gun drawn, vainly seeking the slug’s origin. The scope’s super magnification centered slightly favoring the left eye on the crater created by the exploding round. One more glance confirmed that there was little or nothing remaining of his target’s head from the eyes up..
He drew the bolt back ejecting the new round, picked it up along with the spent killer round. Keeping his body below the low retaining wall, he crawled back to the stairwell door. Concealed behind it, he opened his gun case and in a few seconds disassembled the M24. Next he stripped off the coveralls and shoved them in a second case after pulling a sport coat, sun glasses and a false moustache free.
The last item he extracted was a Glock forty caliber semi-automatic which he shoved in rear of his waist band beneath the coat.Even though he was concealed from anyone on the street, he still crawled through the open door. Then he stood and descended fifteen steps until reaching the fire exit stairway. The baggage slowed the fourteen floors descent slightly longer than the time table preferred.
However the target was not the ground floor. Instead of going out on the chaotic insanity whirling through the plaza, he entered the third floor concourse. One turn to his left brought him to an unoccupied office. The key unlocked the door and a shove deposited the weapon, and the bag containing the gray coveralls. The lock took only one continuously smooth motion. Then he hurried to the cocktail lounge and began blathering along with everyone else. The massive security details never invaded the bar
The following afternoon, he poured a second cognac and toasted the fleeing runway as the Leer Jet pushed its nose up, reaching for enough altitude to clear the mountain range ringing the international air port. The headlines in the national news read: Elected President Assassinated!
In a less than six hours he stepped out of the taxi, and allowed his muscles one great long stretch as the driver removed his two suit cases. “It’s good to be back home,” he told himself tipping the driver just enough so as not to arouse any suspicion, then he headed for the small single door which designated the impromptu office of the Hotel Del Sol. They key to his private cabana hung limply in the oppressive humidity. The hotel owner was just as limp, sprawled across an unmade single bed and snoring like a bull in heat. The key came away without disturbing Don Manuel’s slumber. Once in his quarters he stripped decided not to shower and fell into bed. Since the cabana was cooled by the window air conditioner, sleep came almost instantly.
He had a nice spicy Ranch Egg breakfast, three cups of super strong black coffee and two hot fresh rolls smeared with plum preserves. Then he gave a long stretch, rose and headed for the beach and what he hoped would be a two or three hour morning snooze. That was the only part of his plan denied him.
He was straightening his hammock so he was entirely out of the tropic sun when he got his first glimpse. He hadn’t witnessed her arrival, late yesterday afternoon, but Juan, the Beach Boys leader, stopped while he was having breakfast and told him, “There’s a Ten, and I mean a positive Ten staying at the hotel.”
When she stepped from the shade the huge dense palms provided and started toward him, he almost agreed with Juan’s rating. As if Nature disputed his slight reduction to a 9.6, a huge breaker pealed, it’s crashing echoing off the low but steep line of hills half a mile down the beach. Even from fifty yards he could see her long legs quiver. She was wearing a yellow thong and a matching wide brimmed hat. Her thick soled shoes must have absorbed the searing heat the sand hoarded, because her gait across it, toward him was unhurried. The gait matched her long legs. He discovered her off colored brown hair as she headed right for him. As the sun consented to drift a bit to her left, Clifford Dickerson decided if she asked him not to use another alias. She waited until she was directly opposite his shelter before speaking.
“When does it rain down here? Or is this heat eternal?” There was nothing unique. No deep tone. No deep breathing. He judged if she sang she was probably an alto.
“Starts in May and goes through most of October. But it’s usually only for an hour in late afternoon.” He paused then added, “Except for the three or four yearly hurricanes.” That got a slight smile. She had normal teeth.
“Well, that makes drying clothes outdoors easy.”
“No problem with what you got on.” She shrugged slightly, ran a tongue over her lower lip then smashed a back hand return to his serve over the net in the far corner.
“At least I put on underwear when I’m not on the beach.” Her return fell just beyond his reach but he managed to stay on his feet.
“Okay.” He sat down, leaned back but turned so he faced her. “That was set but not match point.” Dickerson ignored her puzzled frown.
“So how the hell did you ever find a paradise like this?”
“Pie de la Questa ain’t no paradise madam. That’s why Don Manuel, the owner and ex bull fighter supreme, told you not to come out here after sunset. There’s lots of corrupt and horny police looking for easy marks.” He paused, and decided to add, “And good looking gringos they can rape before they drown ‘em.”
“It’s still a paradise at least visually.”
“Yeah, guess that’s right. Wide white beaches aren’t the rule on Mexico’s West Coast. And we got some great palms that make it look like something out of South Pacific, not some worn out fishing village twenty or so miles north of Acapulco. Which it actually is.”
She eased down, sitting with her legs still pointed toward him. She was deeply tanned.
“The hotel’s so quaint; I wanted Ernest Hemingway to get up from sipping a Cuba Libra on the patio and come out to greet me.”
“Only if you’re over forty and well read.”
“Well read I am,” she paused, her gaze fastened on the largest wave of the morning just as its weight began to pull an azure fuzzy apron over its light green wall. “A guy named Juan told me you two body surf those things. Did you actually?”
“Yeah, they aren’t usually this high this early. But by afternoon they’re ten feet or better. Best time is five days before full moon. Then they get up to as high as fifteen. And a couple of times I’ve seen twenty.
“How? ‘Seems impossible.”
“And you consider this fun?”
“No. It’s … a man thing, and that’s mainly bull shit. The place is world famous and come to think of it some of the best body surfers I’ve run into are women. So maybe it’s not a man thing, it’s just testing yourself.”
“That one just curling looks like it would rip my suit right off me.”
“The Beach Boys would applaud.” He paused, decided he didn’t care and ended, “And I’d be leading them.”
That brought a genuine smile as she leaned slightly toward him. “I’m Lorna. And who are you right now Cliff?” His face refused to react. But he did sigh and his attention shifted from her to her words.
“How did you find me?” He said it with deep etchings of resignation. She ignored that.
“I was told Lorna was the only password you … “
“Okay. But get this. I’m tired. No … I’m fucking exhausted..\”
“You haven’t got that right.”
“No? Why not?”
“You kill people. There’s no vacation for anyone who kills his fellow man for money.’’
“I kill politicians, not people.” He waited vainly to see if that got any sort of reaction. “Once and a while I do one gratis.” Cliff was about to rise as he offered, “So let me buy you a drink, get you a cab and wave goodbye okay?”
“Okay is your favorite word Mr. Lambert? You are Phillip Lambert down here, aren’t you?” Clifford Dickerson was almost amused. Her next offering amended that to ‘annoyed.’
“This one’s for five million, Mr. Lambert. Half up front anywhere you say, plus all expenses in advance.”
“I don’t go after Presidents or Popes.”
“Too much security, I guess?”
“No, too much red tape. A nice way to say, too many bribes and post assassination considerations and commitments.”
“This isn’t one of those. And it’s five times six zeros, plus all expenses.” He let the silence go on until she broke it.
“Okay. Maybe I’m too abrupt.”
“Actually, you could be pretty close there.
“I didn’t think I had to play games. Not since I just left your profession.” She waited until he shrugged.
“How many female assassins have you met?”
“No more than a dozen or so. But none of ‘em could wear a thong and look terrific.”
“Seriously. How many?” Cliff gave a grunt and she assumed that meant none. “That’s what I did. Just a little differently.” She said this very calmly, with about the same emotional level someone would mention after just swatting a bug. He fixed his eyes on another fairly large set of waves and kept still.
“I was trained by The Corps. I’m told I’m the only female Marine assassin in it’s history I was an experiment, the whim of some two star general. When I was best in my class, I got assigned to a Wet Section working out of the Funny Farm.” When he still stayed mute she offered, “Any questions so far?”
“Nope, I did the Crotch. Four years. Hated it. Go on. See how big a whopper you can make up.”
“I had almost two years with them mostly in Central America. I fell off a chopper and busted one knee so badly I got discharged.”
“Just for the record, they did a hell of a job fixing it. You gotta be the best looking assassin I’ve come across.” Cliff gave her a nod but there was another long silence.
“Worked in some really shit boring jobs for almost another year, then the people who want to hire you contacted me, and I gave them the next five.”
“So you got enough money you can drop out of killing?”
“Exactly. But, I’m also really good at organization and details so I do the contact work.”
As the fifth wave began a long easy, but noisy curl, Cliff saw a large Manta Ray skimming along its crystal green crest just outside of what the Beach Boys called The Killing Zone. It was where the undertow was too strong even for the best swimmer to do anything but float out until they were free and wait for a wave to take them in.
“So what’s the skinny on the mob who wants to give me five million?”He finally turned his head. She was stretched out, smoking a long slim Cuban cigar. He couldn’t detect a single hair on her body below her eye brows, which ran uninterrupted across both ridges. They were thick; thicker than he’d ever seen on a woman her age.
“Well, Mr. Lambert or whatever your real name might be, I work for an international group of industrialists who want to prevent anything like that interfering with their bottom lines.
And I want to take you to meet someone who will fill you in on what they want you to do to get that five million.”
“Really? Boy Scout Honor? And if I agree, do we travel as man and wife with all the lovely privileges that entails?”
“I’m so relieved! I was afraid you were some kind of monk. Maybe even a closet Gay?”
“When do we cut out? Hope it isn’t till morning, now that we=’e husband and wife.”
“Might be a couple of days. You wouldn’t mind that, would you? I feel like there’s a pretty good chance I won’t.”
The thin black cigar was tossed in the sand. Her smile slowly shifted to a grimace as she swung upright and stood. “You know, this is a really stupid move for a guy as cautious and careful as yours truly?”
“Mr. Lambert. Not bragging, but you’re about to become one of the luckiest killers this side of the Pacific.”