The following excerpt is unedited and subject to change.
Adam Golden, the newly elected CEO of Carrion Company, sat alone in his new fifteenth floor corner office, poring over the most recent quarterly reports. Behind him, a warm fire crackled as the only sound on the empty and otherwise quiet floor. Though all the other employees of Carrion Company had retired home for the evening, save the overnight cleaning crew, Golden had decided to remain long past his scheduled time; he had other business to attend to that his employees, along with most of the Board of Directors, needed no knowledge of.
After the floor’s janitorial crew had come and gone minutes later, Golden placed the reports in a manila folder and pushed them to the side. In their place, he set his patent leather briefcase and popped it open. Inside were a dozen letters, most sent from third world countries.
One letter, a large eight by eleven inch envelope, with URGENT stamped across it in big red letters, caught his attention immediately.
Using a silver letter opener, a birthday gift from his younger brother, he tore the envelope open and dumped its contents onto the desk. On top of the pile was the glossy picture of a boy, who appeared no older than fifteen, with dirty blond hair, turquoise blue eyes and a tanned complexion. On the back of the picture was a sort of resume followed by a short hand-written note.
I found this boy wandering the streets of Kelkin and came to discover his parents were dead. A fine specimen, no? He has much experience with that pretty little mouth of his, as you can read above this note. He is five foot eight and weighs in at one forty-nine. Oh, and did I mention he is a virgin?
Golden caught himself salivating. This boy will make me a very nice sum. Of course... He glanced at the last line again. I think I should break him in.
By the by, he will be joining you this evening. He is so spectacular; I imagined you’d like to personally examine him. Expect him around midnight.
Robert A. Juno
“Midnight?” Golden said out loud. “How will he get in?” He glanced at his watch. “Only two minutes till... Perhaps I-”
The oak doors to his office opened, shining florescent white light into his dimly lit space. A small silhouetted figure stood in the doorway.
“And you are?” Golden asked, gathering up the letters.
The figure came closer, closing the doors behind him. Golden glanced at the photograph and smiled wickedly.
“Right on time, I see. Come, step closer.”
“I’ll come wherever you want,” the boy said suggestively as he pulled off his black and green hoodie. Underneath was a fitted black t-shirt that stopped just short of his low cut fitted jeans. Golden allowed his eyes to travel down the boy’s slim frame and thought he seemed poured into his clothing.
Gliding towards him, the boy pulled off his shirt and straddled Golden’s lap. Golden stiffened.
“I take it you like?” The boy whispered, running his hand over the bulge. “Go ahead; you can touch me if you like.”
Golden ran his hands along the boy’s smooth skin and pulled his body against him. The boy moaned and wrapped his legs around Golden as he, in one quick motion, slammed the boy onto the desk and tore off the skin-tight jeans. Just as quickly, Golden was naked and on top of the boy.
“You’re a man who knows what he wants,” the boy said with a naughty laugh in his voice.
Golden slid his body between the boy’s thighs. “And I always get what I want.” He kissed the boy hard and forced his tongue into his mouth. His hand slid down the boy’s body.
“I love virgins...” Golden moaned as he pressed his body harder against the boy.
“So do I,” the boy whispered. “Of course, the people I do only die once.”
The boy grabbed Golden by the hair and pulled him into a gentle kiss as with the other, he shoved the letter opener into his neck. Golden fell off the boy onto the floor, clutching the wound tight.
“You know, its gross enough fuckin’ twelve year old boys, but you jus’ had to go that extra fuckin’ mile,” the boy ranted as he slid off the desk and pulled on his jeans. After pulling on his shirt, the boy fell down on one knee and dropped his face within inches of Golden’s ear. “Your baby brother told someone…” He ripped the letter opener out of Golden’s throat and laughed at the pained scream. “Me.” He jabbed the opener back into Golden’s throat and dragged it across his bloody flesh, nearly severing his head from his body. He grabbed his photo off the desk and tore it to pieces before throwing it into the fire.
- - - -
In the fifteenth floor men’s room, the boy retrieved his customized Phoenix .45 handguns and thigh holster. He slid on his black leather gloves as he went over the mental map of the building he had created earlier that evening.
Three doors down. Open office. Windows.
He dashed out the door and ran down the hall, turned into the office and launched himself out the window.
As he fell towards the dark street below, he reached his right arm out and pressed his ring finger into his palm. A thin pointed wire came rushing out from the top of his wrist and shot into the top ledge of a nearby building. Like a vine, it swung him safely across the far below street.
Once against the brick building, he pressed his finger into his palm and this time the wire retreated and raised him up.
From the building’s roof, he could see directly into Golden’s office. Lying there, lifeless and in a pool of his own blood, he could never again harm an innocent.
“Damn I’m good.”
“For a cool two mil, I should hope so.” A crackled voice laughed in his ear.
“I thought I turned that off,” the boy said when he realized the two way communication device in his ear was still active.
“Unfortunately for me, you didn’t. I got to hear everything. Did you really have to say all that? I mean, c’mon.”
“I was just having some fun, Code-man.”
“Dylan, you’re sick. He’s like, thirty.”
“Correction. He was like thirty. Now, he’s worm food. Too bad, too. That fuck had one hell of a body. Dirty pervs don’t deserve rippling pectorals like that.”
“Um, eww. Whatever. Time to head back. Colorsite wants to see you.”
“What the hell I do this time?”
“He didn’t say, but I wouldn’t be too worried. He didn’t sound angry.”
“Not angry? Okay, now I’m scared. I didn’t think he did not angry.”
“Maybe the bug was finally dislodged.”
Dylan laughed. “Alright, I’m heading home now.” He looked back towards Golden’s office as he spoke. There was activity in the office now. Guards had appeared and swarmed the floor; he could see dozens of flashlights moving frantically in the dark.
Golden’s body had been discovered.
Dylan Jacob Bradshaw was only fifteen. By the age of ten, he had been orphaned. By twelve, he had become the Order’s youngest assassin. Though he did not choose his path, he had come to accept his fate and recently to even receive a twisted sort of pleasure in his work. He was good, one of the best.
Because he looked nothing like the typical assassin, he was able to enter places that an adult never could. Pedophiles, drug pushers, child enslavement camps... If a mark had a child, Dylan had a new friend. If a mark enjoyed the pleasure of young boys, Dylan would seduce.
Whatever it took, Dylan did. And he enjoyed every moment of it.
For him, it was all a game, one he had honed to perfection in the few short years he had been with the Order of the Three. As soon as one mark was eliminated, he demanded another. Without the kill, Dylan had nothing to live for. Death was his life.
Though there were times when he wondered, albeit briefly, what it would be like to be normal; be just a boy. Go to school and stay out late and throw up on beggars after a wild party in the city...
Normal boy stuff.
Every time he imaged a life away from the Order, he made himself stop. Dreaming of an alternate existence was not a luxury he could allow himself. His life was what it was. He was a killer. He accepted that. He loved that.
He thought back on the assassinations he had carried out since first being handed a gun. He still remembered every moment of his first hit.
A fifty-seven year old retired car salesman and grandfather to more than twenty children had been found not guilty of the rape and murder of his third wife, an elderly woman of vast wealth. Two days after the verdict was announced, Philip Colorsite, the Director of Psi-Ops, the branch of the Order of the Three that employed young Dylan, called him into his private office for the first time.
- - - -
Dylan’s stomach was afire with nerves as he walked the long hall towards Colorsite’s office. He had been hearing rumors for months that he would finally be given his first assassination assignment. The thought of taking a life filled him with dread.
As he came to the door, he considered turning around and running as far in the opposite direction as his legs would carry him. Though he had been involved in unethical and illegal activity for more than a year, no one was ever injured. Being sent to kill someone was something Dylan had never imagined himself doing.
He simply did not want to commit murder. He knew what it was like to lose someone you love to violence. His own parents had been killed. And the killer had escaped the authorities. How could he put someone else through the same pain he had been subjected to?
“Turn around and walk away. Now, before it’s too late,” he whispered to himself. “Sneak out through the old servant’s entrance. Then just go.” He listened to his inner-voice and turned around but before he could take more than two steps, the door swung open and Colorsite stood behind him.
Dylan swallowed hard. “Master Colorsite.” He turned back around slowly. “You called for me?”
“Yes. Please, come in.” Colorsite led him inside and directed him to a leather chair positioned in front of his mahogany desk. “Now, Agent Bradshaw,” Colorsite began as he took his seat and picked up Dylan’s file. “I see you have done exceptionally well with your training. And your cat-burglar skills are unparalleled. Impressive, especially at such a young age.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“And so respectful.” Colorsite smiled and cleared his throat. “I think you are ready for the next level of fieldwork. I have a mark for you. It should be a simple enough assignment.”
“I know this may seem a bit... overwhelming. Believe me; everyone feels the same way with their first. You will move past that, especially if you desire that sweet revenge...”
Dylan sat back and sighed. Colorsite was right. He did want revenge and Philip Colorsite was the only person who could give him the answer he prayed for every night: the name of his family’s murderer.
“Okay. What’s my cover?”
“Make friends with this boy,” Colorsite said, handing Dylan a picture and a file.
“Thomas Hertz, thirteen. He is your best way inside.”
“It is the easiest way into his grandfather’s life.”
“I’m using him to kill his grandpa?” Dylan had flipped open the folder and begun reading.
“Yes. The elder Hertz has no pedophilic tendencies, so that is not an option.”
“We look into all possible entry points.”
“So I might have to...”
“Depends on the job.” Colorsite cleared his throat again. “Now, as I was saying, he also has no drug habit and drinks only in moderation.”
“So his only bad habit is an ugly knife hobby. Yea.”
“So to speak...”
“You make it sound so trivial. Like murder is nothing.”
“I never trivialize death, especially within these walls. It is more than nothing. It is our livelihood.”
“Will I become as desensitized as you? One day putting a bullet in someone’s brain won’t bother me?”
“If you want to find her.” Colorsite smirked. “That is the deal, remember?”
“Yea.” Dylan stood, folder in hand, and walked silently out of the office.
- - - -
Staring up at the Charlatan, the mansion he had called home for five years, Dylan wondered how he had ever been so innocent. Not even old enough to drive yet and he was already one of the Order’s top assassins. While back then, he shook at the mere sight of a gun, now he reveled in the game he played with every mark. He smiled at the cruelty he showed.
Dylan walked up to the iron gates that separated his world from everyone else’s and pushed down the call button.
“DJ.” He rolled his eyes and flipped off the camera. “I know you can see me. There’s like a hundred cameras pointed right at me.”
“Alright, come in.”
The mansion was simply enormous. Three floors above ground, each split into three wings: east, west and south. Two hundred bedrooms, a massive great hall, three industrial-sized kitchens, ten unisex lavatories, a theater and three dining halls. Below ground were four more levels. The first, a hundred car garage. Below that, the Order’s official quarters: training areas, briefing rooms, medic lab, and computer labs, personnel and weapons storage. The Order was its own army.
Dylan walked up the mile-long driveway. All around were hidden security cameras; one-hundred and eighty-six in all. Inside the house itself were seventy-five, the rest inside, though none were in the bedrooms or private bathrooms.
He stopped a few feet from the entrance. In the middle of the house on the third floor was Zachary Fintine’s office. He was the man who ran the entire Order of the Three. When Fintine had begun with the Order, he had just turned twenty-three. He began his career as a Handler; the person that bridges the assassin and the client, or the one paying for the assassination. Over the years he had worked his way up until he had been appointed Superior Chief of the Order of the Three. It had been he who had begun the Psi-Ward, a branch specializing in training assassins blessed with certain mental gifts.
The Psi-Ward was the branch Dylan was a member of; it was why Colorsite, who had been named Master Chief of the Psi-Ward division upon Fintine‘s promotion, had agreed to the deal with him in the first place. Due to his unique gifts, Dylan was able to read his mark’s deepest desires and thus get closer than the average assassin.
He thought back to the day his gift had manifested. It had been his ninth birthday. Most of the guests had already arrived but he was anxious to see his cousin Luke. And it was while his family sang “Happy Birthday” that Dylan had broken down into hysterics. When his mother had asked him what was wrong he told her that Luke was dead. When his mother called her sister, she was shocked to find out that Luke and his father had been killed in a car accident on the way to Dylan’s party.
One year later his parents were murdered and he was brought to live in the Order’s Eastern Head-Quarters.
Pulling away from those unhappy memories, he looked up again at Fintine’s window. Squinting, he could just barely make out a woman’s silhouette. Who are you meeting with this late?
“Hey, DJ!” Cody’s voice screamed over the earpiece.
“Yea?” Dylan sighed.
“Colorsite’s still waiting.”
- - - -
“Thank you for coming at such a late hour.” Philip Colorsite, a fit man of forty-seven, had been running Psi-Ward since its inception nearly ten years prior. “I am sorry this cannot wait until morning.
“You see, your mark tonight was part of a much larger ring of pedophiles. So much so, the government has now commissioned us to take out other high-priority targets.”
“What? The last time the government hired us was…”
“The Second World War, yes. Now, they have yet to divulge their stake in this and as they are the government I doubt they ever will, but they are paying us triple our normal rate.”
“So they want you and Tech-Agent Markus on this one. You are both highly qualified… and young. You two can move about the group freely.”
“As fuck puppets.”
“Of course, you do have the option of denying the request, though if you refuse the contract I am not sure we will still receive it.”
“Are you trying guilt?”
“Good. It wouldn’t work coming from you. What did Cody say?”
“He said yes.”
“Fuck.” Dylan dropped his head. “Well I won’t let him go alone.”
“So you will take the contract?”
“Yes. But,” Dylan stared Colorsite directly in the eyes. “If anything happens to hi-”
“Every precaution is being taken. You will be accompanied by a body guard at all times. He will act as your…” Colorsite scanned the file in front of him. “Daddy.”
“Oh, the guy who pimps us out.”
“Forget it. I’ll go in myself and leave Cody to monitor and hack. I’ve dealt with these sick baby-fuckers before. Hell, I handled one tonight.”
“So Agent Markus informed me. And that is why your are perf-”
“I’m going. Just let me know when its time to leave.”
“One week from yesterday.”
“And where are we going?”
“There is a BoyHeart retreat just south of here. They will be renting out an entire hotel for the weekend. You go in posing as your bodyguard’s sons bu-”
“No. I’m not involving Cody. And I’m not allowing my bodyguard to loan me out. Get me all the intel we have on the area and I’ll play townie.”
“Agent Markus is doing research in sub-basement three as we speak. And before you decide on a course of action, come see me. Just in case things go awry, I want to be sure we can pull you both out.”
Dylan Jacob Bradshaw is a special boy. He is a telekinetic and telepath, able to manipulate the world around him with a thought as well as delve into the deepest parts of a person’s mind. He is also one of the deadliest assassins of the Order of Three, an ancient fraternity of the world’s elite killers. At fifteen, he is also the youngest. Along with his hacker partner, Cody Markus, he is sent out to kill the drug pushers, the child molesters, the sweet old grandfathers. He embraces his dark side, and that dark side could be the end of not only his career, but his life.
When he is sent to infiltrate, and kill, a group of especially twisted pedophiles, he cracks, and goes on a killing rampage. When the Order of Three discovers how much blood he had on his hands, they bar him from their walls; the only home he knows...
They send The Three, the deadliest assassins of the Order, to properly dispose of him. He seeks sanctuary with a power telekinetic and telepath and her son, who teach him how to effectively use his special abilities in ways the Order never did, who themselves are hunted by a mad sociopath bent on destroying them.
To survive, he must learn just how powerful he is and use everything he has at his disposal to make his way back to the Order and uncover truths he never knew were out there.
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