Carlos watched intently as the man with dark sunglasses emerged from the coffee shop. His movements were calculated; there was a somewhat delicate precision about the way he walked. As if he were the master of his world, his purpose intricately apparent.
The man stepped out into the biting Zurich chill, paused for a moment, and then began to set-off at a considerable pace. Carlos stood up, tightened his black hooded sweater around his lithe frame, and, keeping a safe distance behind the other man, started to follow him.
This was the moment he’d been building up to over the past six, agonising months. The Agency was leaving nothing to chance; this assignment would be the culmination of his training. Of course, he’d been warned of the dangers wrought in this mission – yet he’d agreed to it more so on his burning desire to show his worth. His target was what The Agency called a Nightstalker: highly dangerous, and most desirable.
His target turned into an alley, and, swiftly moving through it, stepped onto a bustling main road. Cars streamed forward, crossing each other in a delicate dance of the machine.
Carlos relentlessly followed. His orders were clear: establish the enemy’s movements, and The Agency’s more experienced operatives would act on his reconnaissance. It was textbook stuff, really.
According to The Agency, and what Carlos himself believed, nothing could go wrong.
The man with shaded eyes suddenly stopped. He stood motionless in the centre of the pavement, causing pedestrians to jostle around his statue-like form.
Carlos halted, pretending to browse the items displayed in a storefront, all the while trying to stifle the surge of blood rushing through his ears. His target couldn’t possibly have discerned his presence… could he? Carlos wracked his mind for any missing fragment of information he may have stumbled over. No. Being a cadet fresh from The Agency’s gruelling training, he had pedantically followed every protocol in this delicate art of espionage.
Now the target seemed to be talking on his mobile phone… then the phone was stowed – securely – in a jacket pocket.
The agonising seconds ticked on, contesting Carlos’s efforts to calm his nerves.
But the rookie agent, clouded in the delusion of ambition, failed to realise the true nature of reality.
The target swivelled in a single, fluid motion. Staring with piercing accuracy into Carlos’s eyes, he began to walk toward the young man. Carlos retreated, preparing himself for the expected chase. But closing in on all sides were men dressed in dark jackets, their concealed hands surely gripping black Colts.
There was no-where to go. No place to hide.
Was this what his life was to be about? A futility brought upon by the tides of delusion? Was it for this moment in space and time that he’d toiled through the miserable institution of life?
The target stopped. His gaze fixed Carlos to the pavement.
Before the young agent could even blink, his torso shattered into a thousand fragments of crimson, his very life wrenched from his body not unlike the recoil of the deadly Sig.
Descending upon the fallen soldier, moving rapidly, and ignoring the building tempest of fear quickly engulfing them, the men stepped forth to retrieve their prize.
©2011 Rahul Dowlath.