#085: The Interview

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

The elevator chimed telling her she had reached her floor, and more importantly, her big interview. After two years of reporting, she had apparently landed the big interview that would get her the recognition she deserved. She straightened her shirt, checked for her paper and made sure her pen was still in her front pocket. No mistakes in this interview.

Room 1620 was up ahead and to the right. Approaching, she could see that the door was open, but no lights were on. She slowed down a little and before reaching the door took a quick look around. Nothing seemed strange or out of place so she stepped up to the door and knocked lightly.

“It is open.” came from within.

Her hands trembled a little as she pushed the door open a little and peered into the room. The silhouette of a man stood poised against the far wall, looking out on the city below. She closed the door behind her and took a tentative step into the room. Not knowing what to do she stood there for a minute trying to study the features of the man in front of her.

Another second passed and he turned to face her. Reaching out, he turned on the light hanging near him, and pulled out a chair from the table underneath. He quietly sat down and looked at the woman standing before him.

“Please have a seat so we may begin.”

After a nervous sigh, she moved to the seat opposite of the man and sat down. Pulling out her paper and pen she tried to study his face but found it difficult. His penetrating stare made her uneasy to say the least. She flipped open the pad, and removed the cap to the pen as she set her mind to the task ahead. This was her time.

“Lets get a few basic things out of the way before we begin. Of course, you don’t have to answer any questions if you feel they are out of line. It isn’t often your profession is interviewed you know!”

She let out a nervous laugh trying to east the tension she could feel. Apparently he wasn’t nervous at all, but he smiled at her remark. She used this time to get a better look at some of his features. Seemed to be about six and half feet tall, about two hundred pounds, well built, but otherwise featureless. She couldn’t really consider him handsome, but he couldn’t be considered ugly by any standards. Everything about him seemed to set him as another face in the crowd. Black button up shirt tucked into blue jeans. No distinguishing marks, features, or anything else that would make him unique from what she could tell.

“Lets see, the basics; name, age, where you live, and official title.”

“Wil Johnson, 27, Washington DC, and Assassin.”

A look of doubt crossed her face upon hearing this. Even though he had told her that over the phone, it seemed more a ploy to get her here for another reason. No one in their right mind would admit to such a thing. But what if he wasn’t in his right mind…

“Assassin you say. And who do you work for?”

“A number of agencies. Occasionally an individual. It is a case by case basis.”

She jotted a few notes down before looking back up. At this point, she didn’t know where to begin. Hell, she didn’t even know whether or not to believe him. Guess we’ll have to take it one question at a time.

“Hmm. Agencies. Would you care to elaborate on that? It sound as if you are suggesting you work for the government or something!”

She let out another brief laugh and quickly quieted down when she saw he didn’t think it was funny.

“Of course it is the government. Who do you think gives the orders for over 70% of the assassinations in the world? I have been hired by the CIA, NSA, and occasionally the FBI because their snipers can’t shoot worth a damn.”

Disbelief registered on her face and it was quite apparent to the man before her. For him to suggest such a thing, and maintain that face, she didn’t know what to believe. Certainly the U.S. Government couldn’t do such a thing and as often as he said.

“Can you prove any of this? Some documents? Witnesses?”

A sly grin stole over his face as if he were expecting this question.

“Of course. Here are the orders for my first assignment. I was to eliminate a general in Phoenix who had been stealing classified documents from a military base. The nature of the papers demanded that he be dealt with quickly and quietly. He planned to take these documents to the press for general publishing.”

He reached inside his shirt and withdrew a folded piece of paper. Across the top of the paper stood the letterhead for the Pentagon. She quickly read through the letter and gasped as she finished. Even after reading the document she couldn’t believe what she had read.

“You said this was your first assignment? How many have you had? I guess I am asking, how many people have you k…killed?”

Fear ran through her knowing that she sat just a couple of feet away from someone that had killed several times and obviously had no problem with it. She tried to calm down a little before listening and jotting some more notes.

“I have been asked to do 103 jobs by the government. That is where most of my work comes from. Of those, I have 102 confirmed kills. I will complete my 103rd three days from now.”

Will repositioned himself in the chair and leaned back a little, as if he was relaxing, but nothing on his face showed he was relaxed. That was part of his job.

“102? There is no way. Someone would have noticed all these and linked them together. The police would be onto you or someone for those!”

There was just no way he could have done it. He was lying to her for some reason that she couldn’t figure out. Certainly if the government had him kill that many, he himself was a liability and could not live. CIA? They were chartered for world wide affairs, certainly they wouldn’t do business with a sniper. And the FBI? Domestic affairs. That meant that they had hired him to kill mostly Americans. And the NSA? Weren’t they the people that monitored communications between countries and here inside the U.S? What would they be doing hiring this guy! It just didn’t make sense!

“No. Evidence from these cases are almost always tampered with. They know that I will get the job done on the first try, and they need me. They will help me in any way I need. Everything from money, to destroying evidence, to providing alibis. Basically, I can prove that I wasn’t there, and that I didn’t do it. Works out nicely that way. That is one way I can sit here and tell you about all of this without having to kill you.”

Her eyes went wide upon hearing this, and realization hit her that he was right. She may have heard enough to warrant her own death. Needless to say, she was quite nervous at this.

“So then, why are you telling me this? Some sick game? You tell someone and then kill them too? If this hits the press, you are guaranteed to be dead!”

He thought about that statement for a second before replying.

“No. You are the first I have told. And I only kill people that have a contract on them. I came to you today because the government has done this for years. Probably as long as you and I have been alive. They will continue to do this, and continue to get away with it regardless of who knows about it. I figure that since they will continue to do it, the public should be aware of ‘big brother’ and what he has been doing. And even if they know I spoke, they can’t afford to kill me. Most of the agencies know I have detailed reports of every job, and more than enough evidence linking them so that they have to keep me around. If I should not check in with certain friends across the seas, that evidence gets released.”

“That makes sense. It is hard to believe that you are that well protected though, seems they could do something to get rid of you. And besides, you keep referring to them needing you. Aren’t there others like you?”

The expression on his face turned to a smug smile as he sat up. Clasping his hands in front of him on the table he continued.

“There are others, but they will only use me. I am the best there is.”

“Seems you have an ego Mr. Johnson.”

“It isn’t ego when you ARE that good.”

“I see. Lets get back to some more details about other assignments or whatever you want to call them.”

She turned the page of her notepad so that she could jot down a few more notes. As she did this Will leaned back in his chair again getting a little more comfortable. Without warning, a crack split the silence of the room. Eyes wide, the reporter looked up quickly, and slumped down on the table. Blood flowed freely out of her back from a bullet wound.

Seconds after she hit the table there was a knock at the door. Standing up, Will straightened his shirt, put the gun up that he had drawn from instinct, and spoke.

“It is open.”

The door opened slowly as a figure entered hesitantly. Looking near the window he noticed the body of the woman and the blood flowing down her back and onto the carpet. The gentleman closed the door and took another step into the room.

“I hope this doesn’t become habit Mr. Johnson. Everything you said about needing you was true, so lets keep things professional between you and our agency. No use in alarming the public about our activities.”

“Ok. I had to try though. We both know you can’t do this forever.”

“I think we can.”

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