He didn’t want to know details.
He had one stipulation whenever he was hired to do some pussy’s dirty work: the less he knew, the better. When he knew all the mucky details, he always ended up distracted and conflicted. No one who hired him would ever order a target eliminated for altruistic reasons. Ever.
So, as far as he was concerned, anyone who hired him naturally deserved the same fate as his target. In fact, as much as—if not more than—the target. Hell, in all likelihood he had to figure they deserved it more; he never allowed himself to know why the target came to be a target and therefore, why or if they deserved it.
See, this is why I don’t need to think about this shit.
Although it was a highly lucrative profession, his work wasn't a means to an end. At least, certainly not for him. Certainly not with his flavor of vices. He couldn’t, and didn’t want to, simply stop his career. Instead, he promised himself out of sheer delusional, ironic conscience he would hunt down and eliminate all his past employers, should he ever win the lottery. Or become otherwise independently wealthy. For that purpose, he even maintained a running list of all his jobs and half-heartedly kept tabs on his employers.
He loathed jobs for the government and military for the very same reason: there was nobody in particular he could vilify for hiring him. There was no one upon whom he could promise karmic-balancing revenge. However, those jobs paid the best and left him feeling more protected and plugged into something greater, some kind of larger purpose.
Corrupt as the government was, if they wanted someone eliminated, that must’ve been one damn evil bastard. Like Bin Laden or some shit. If a target got put on Washington’s hit list, they probably really fucking deserved it.
On a scale of one to impossible-to-eliminate, the Tsay job didn’t register a zero; the Tsay dude didn’t make it into the positives. The dossier included a lot of information he didn't need, which was completely opposite of how things usually unfolded. If anything, he was annoyed by the wait. He hated to wait, and the ease with which he could access and eliminate the target in question was negated by how long he would have to sit and wait for said target to arrive. The only amusing consolation was that he learned of some top-secret 13th floor in a well-known hospital in the District.
He couldn’t help but laugh at that, because he knew most people assumed his line of work was filled with top-secret labs. The kinds replete with high-tech, sci-fi security measures. Goddamn green laser beams and all. Those people probably imagined him rappelling from a rooftop with black rope, so he could shoot some faggot foreign diplomat in the neck with a deadly, poisonous dart. Mission Impossible type shit. However, that was the first top-secret lab he ever heard about, much less had one’s existence confirmed. And he didn’t do heights. Or poisonous darts. Or faggots, for that matter.
Gaining entry to the target’s lab did prove to be surprisingly impossible, though. The only way to enter through the lab’s door was with two keys that had to be inserted into an oversized deadbolt at the same time. That confused him, because he was informed there was only one target, and the target was alone in the lab every day from approximately 4:20 am until 7:00 pm. He assumed that, with the whole dual key dealio, the lab must’ve been built for at least two workers. Then again, who knew how long the lab had been in use and how many times it changed hands? Maybe the other dude died or something.
The lab itself was massive and took up the entire floor, although he wasn’t exactly sure what was inside of it or how much space the target actually utilized. Someone hand-drew the provided blueprints—if anyone could call them that—and labeled things like “makeshift hallway,” “box with wires,” and “some room we think he doesn’t use.” Because of the secrecy of the 13th floor’s existence, there was no way to get to it from above, underneath, or outside; it was completely isolated. There were no windows, and the ductwork was independent of the ducts in the rest of the building. Simply put, there was no way into the damn lab except through the single metal door with the two keyholes. Even that door didn’t have a window.
The only space he could actually access in order to complete the elimination was the empty 300 square foot entryway between the elevator doors and the lab’s windowless metal door. He figured someone could call it a lobby if they wanted. After all, the “blueprints” called it the “lobbie.” Then again, that diagram could’ve been drawn in crayon and the shit still wouldn’t have looked any more ridiculous.
The only two things in the lobby were a monitor embedded in the wall and a pair of buttons below the monitor. That monitor displayed the interior of the elevators; the buttons were used to call one to the 13th floor, after the target verified it was empty and safe to call. No one was supposed to enter or leave the 13th floor unless they were the only person in the elevator.
Apparently, once the target pushed one of those buttons, the corresponding elevator would go straight to the 13th floor without opening at any other floors. As he claustrophobically idled away in the lobby while he waited for the target to arrive, he did eventually wonder how anyone was expected to access the 13th floor covertly unless one of the elevators happened to be empty. Someone could get stuck riding up and down one of the elevators for a long ass time while they waited for everyone to get the hell off.
That’s gotta be fucking annoying.
He saw only one sensible way to eliminate the target.
He wasn’t about to trap himself inside such a small space with someone, so his only option was to perform the elimination immediately and swiftly. A bullet was the obvious choice. Guns came with their own obstacles, mainly noise and mess. Getting around the noise was easy enough with the right equipment, which he owned, of course. He decided the “mess” part didn’t necessarily have to be his problem.
Since no one knew about the existence of the 13th floor, no one could think to trace anything back to the 13th floor. If he could keep the majority of the mess inside the elevator, no one would have any idea where it came from or what happened. Hell, maybe they would decide it was some kind of sick prank; maybe they had no other choice.
Sure, it would cause quite a fuss and draw more than a little attention to the hospital. However, by the time they simply gave up their hunt for the source of the blood, pieces of brain, and skull bits, he’d already be in Baltimore. All he had to do was eliminate the target, send the elevator on its way, and use the target’s keys to open the lab. Then, he could make use of whatever tools and equipment were available inside the lab in order to address the larger problem of disposing of the target’s body. After that, he would make his way out of the hospital undetected, or at least unnoticed. Easy enough.
The only truly frustrating part he could foresee was the goddamn motherfucking wait.
He figured once he entered the lab, he would discover enough equipment he could use to dispose of the body. He banked on that and brought very little along with him. His elimination kit contained what he needed and only what he needed: Heckler & Koch tactical 9mm, Aimpoint Micro T-1 red dot optical sight, custom Brugger & Thomet sound suppressor, black leather gloves, plastic sheeting, metal wire, and the elevator key to gain access to the 13th floor.
Most targets required varying assortments of job-specific tools, not only to eliminate the target but also to access them. As he assembled his elimination kit for the Tsay job, he noticed he packed less like his usual self and more like Dexter Morgan. That didn’t sit well with him, so he chose to ignore it.
He envisioned himself not as some kind of random serial killer but as some kind of martyr. He gave up his life, morals, and conscience for some kind of greater purpose. Even if he didn’t know the purpose. Even if he didn’t give a damn about the purpose.
He did a job other people couldn’t stomach and that was why the work, his area of expertise, was profitable. It wasn’t because he was doing things that were so abhorrently, inherently evil other people couldn’t bring themselves to do them. Most people were simply pussy ass faggots and couldn’t do what needed to be done and had to be done. Sure, the people who hired him might’ve had their selfish, twisted reasons. Still, if someone in his circles wanted you eliminated, even if that someone was a sick bastard, there was a reason they wanted you dead. And, like with the military, their reason was probably, more often than not, valid. Probably.
Now that he thought about it, Dexter Morgan killed people for much the same reason, in his own way. For a greater purpose or something. Kind of. Maybe packing an elimination kit like Dexter would pack, sans all the knives, wasn’t such a bad thing after all.
Getting inside and preparing for the elimination didn’t take much time at all. He went as slowly as possible to waste time and shorten his godforsaken wait. He wasn’t too concerned about being noticed when he entered the building, at least not as concerned as he would’ve been on typical jobs. He parked a reasonable distance from the hospital and walked to the northern side of the building. When he got to the building, he turned and headed east. With one fell swoop, he picked up a rock and tossed it at one of the northern floor-to-ceiling windows that graced the entire first floor of the hospital.
He continued to walk as he flung the rock and his step didn’t miss a single beat between picking it up, throwing it, and continuing on his way. He tossed hard enough to make a loud clank but not hard enough to do any damage. As he continued along the northern side of the building and turned the corner that led to its eastern entrance, he could see the heavyset security guard through the windows. The guard was headed in the opposite direction, toward the source of the noise caused by the rock. He pitied the fat ass security guard. He pitied how easy and predictable people were.
He strolled through the hospital’s eastern entrance and felt superiorly cunning for how effortlessly he took advantage of such predictability. He sauntered across the lobby and entered the open elevator on the right. Recalling the exact instructions provided, he pushed the button for the 14th floor and waited for the doors to close. He inserted the key into the slot and turned it all the way to the right. When instructed to do so, he entered the security code he memorized and was transported directly to the 13th floor.
It was 3:17 am. He had a little over an hour to conduct approximately twenty minutes worth of preparations. Great. An empty room and nothing to look at other than a monitor, which displayed vacant elevators. He never brought any unnecessary items, so he didn’t have an iPod or anything. At least something to distract him from thinking. Or at least something he could use to look at porn. Same difference.
The only thing he hated more than waiting was being on a job and getting stuck without a distraction or anything to do other than think. He didn’t like to think anymore, although he used to like thinking, and he used to think all the time. He especially didn’t like to think while he was on a job.
However, outside of work, he never got bored. He couldn’t stand people who got “bored.” It seemed boredom was rooted in stupidity and a mindless need to be constantly entertained. People who let themselves get bored were pussies. He didn’t identify himself with those kinds of people; he simply saw himself as anxious in work situations.
Anxious to do a job: to get it over with, and resume his real life. Anxious to do a line and fuck some stupid slut inside out and backwards. He never allowed himself to rail up, line up, or even bump up when he was working or prepping for a job. It was too risky; his mind wouldn’t be clear enough and there were too many mistakes to be made. Besides, if he was tweaked and didn’t have anyone to talk to, he’d really start to think.
Anyway, if he thought about himself and/or his career too long—even if he wasn’t coked to the balls—he might start to care about those things. Or if he thought about them too long, he risked the realization that he actually didn’t care about anything at all. There was simply no reason for him to think. Thus, he didn’t want to know details; the less he knew, the better.
In order to perform an efficient elimination, the target would have to be immediately incapacitated. Sure, he could wait for the doors to open and hope he caught the target off guard long enough to shoot him right away. However, he was provided a picture of Tsay, and he wasn’t willing to risk the dude didn’t know Jujutsu or some shit. Or what if the little Asian twat could simply move really fast?
What he did know was that it was in his best interest to avoid a struggle. Although he had nowhere to hide in that empty space, he needed to get the upper hand, nonetheless. The target needed to be incapacitated. Thus the wire.
He fastened each end of the wire onto opposite sides of the elevator doorframe. He pried back the elevator’s metal framing enough to catch a knot he made on both ends. He did that to each elevator, because he couldn’t be absolutely certain which one the target would use. Although, his information and recon indicated it was almost always the elevator that was on the right when one faced them in the lobby. He made sure the wire was taut and figured it would throw the target off his game long enough to gain the upper hand. He took the folded-up plastic sheeting out of his pocket and placed it on the side of the elevator, so it was out of the target’s immediate sight when the doors opened.
The wait wasn’t nearly as bad as he expected. He passed the time by checking and rechecking the wire to ensure it was fastened securely enough, so it wouldn’t snap off when the target’s shin made contact. He pondered what the lab contained; what the lab’s purpose was versus what it might’ve been when the hospital was built; the organization required in order to build an entire floor and keep it completely unknown. That last part was mind-boggling. Not only the fact of the lab’s existence but the idea that the people required for its planning and construction could keep it secret for so long.
That was one thing that always bothered him about major conspiracy theories: people keeping their damn mouths shut. He couldn’t bring himself to believe that all the people necessary to pull off a huge, complicated conspiracy would keep their jaws from flapping. People simply weren’t like that. Someone would’ve talked. Probably more than one someone. He wondered how many people knew about the lab, living and dead. It made him feel plugged into something greater when he considered how he was part of a number that small.
Shit, it wasn’t that bad to think about.
Go fucking figure.
He intended to observe the target’s arrival. However, since the monitor was embedded in the wall between the two elevators, he’d be unable to view the entire approach. The plan was to be on the side of the elevator during the target’s ride up. After the doors slid open, he’d assume his position: he would situate himself approximately ten feet from the elevator, between the target and the lab door, well out of the target’s reach. As he moved into position, the target would step out, trip over the wire, and become disoriented. The target would be precisely where he intended by the time he planted his stance, so he’d take his shot to complete the elimination.
At 4:15 am, he closely watched the monitor until he saw the target quickly enter the elevator on the right, push the button for the 14th floor, and stare intently as the doors closed. The target then seemed to sigh, after which he performed the procedure to access the 13th floor. He continued to watch the target for a few seconds during the approach, and then he positioned himself as planned.
He waited—it was the thrilling kind of wait.
It was the I just did a bump kind of wait.
He detected the vibration and heard the drone as the elevator made its way up from below. He felt his heart rate quicken and the inevitable surge of adrenaline. They were feelings he was quite familiar with; therefore he remained quite undisturbed by them. He simply took notice.
The elevator dinged; its doors opened.
With the same agility and thoughtlessness he used to pick up and toss the rock earlier, he moved directly in front of the target, who just fell and caught himself.
His arm was already outstretched and aimed at the head as he positioned himself to tower over the target. With a precision that lacked any effort or hesitation, he pulled the trigger to complete the elimination. The target toppled over and landed on his briefcase. His hand was still latched onto its handle. Brain matter, bone, and blood spattered the inside of the elevator and landed with chunky, meaty splats.
He remained quite undisturbed by them.
He didn’t even take notice.
If nothing else, Jin Tsay would’ve been relieved that still, in his last moments, no one ever witnessed him in all his sheer, absolute giddiness. From where he was positioned, the gunman could not view the monitor and didn’t witness Jin’s childlike anticipation.
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