The Lion, the Ghost and the Mathematician.
Story #1: The alley
Pitch black. As though the heavens frown upon my deadly intent tonight, a partial eclipse of the moon casts a dark shadow over all of Tallinn. Omen, perhaps? Now that is one perspective, but I prefer to think the angels, themselves, have sanctioned this act, a hit, because why else would the darkness play so well to my advantage. Stalking a man is very similar to stalking wild game for the kill. The primal nature of the hunt heightens your innate abilities and fears. My senses are at their highest levels of alertness. Every sound is magnified, from the chirps of the crickets to the ramblings of the rats in the dumpsters to the occasionally audible drunken argument of the occupants of the 5th floor in the six story building next to my hideout. I am alive, as alive as an animal on the hunt. In all honestly, we humans are a lot like animals. The only difference is that we think we are different.
My thoughts are rudely interrupted by the aggressive stench of rotten garbage, overflowing from the large trash dump by the alley. An hour more is all I can take tonight, two hours clocked is already an hour too long for a hunt. The hunt can continue tomorrow. I wonder why the delay tonight. He typically is out for his nightly smoke, by now. Wait—someone is coming. The street lights on the adjacent street had a momentary dim that can only be explained as the cast of shadows approaching the alley. My heart begins to race as the gravity of my task begins to set in. This is by no stretch my first job. I have executed more than twenty-three jobs, but there is something different about this one. This is for a big fish. The biggest fish there is Oscar “The Merciful” Kuusk, the second highest ranking member of the Vennad Roim, the number two to the founding father of the Vennad Roim, Olev “The Wise One” Leok. The magnitude of this cannot be understated—-Oscar is a King. No one has ever killed a king of the Vennad Roim before. It is a task so important that a lieutenant was tasked with such an assignment. I have not been a hitman for about two and half years now but despite my new rank, I was handpicked for this job.
This job is a lot more personal to me. Oscar is a mentor to me. The circumstances that have led up to this point are hazy to me, but regardless of the circumstances, his sin is well known and is the greatest any brother in the brotherhood can commit. He knows there is but one price—-death. Despite my reservations, my absolute loyalty and obligation of duty is to the brotherhood and my father, my surrogate father, Olev Leok. He raised me since the age of eight after my parents passed, I owe him everything. I can make out three pairs of footsteps in the distance, I am certain that this is my target, Oscar and his two soviet guards. It has been the same routine for the last two days. Humans are predictable. We truly are creatures of habit, and in my craft I prey on these habits for my end.
As the footsteps get louder, I pull out my firearm from my coat, which has been concealing my weapon of choice, a pair of Soviet manufactured Makarov PB, with secondary suppressors attached. Each measures about 310 mm in length and holds eight rounds of 9x18 mm shells, perfect tool for a quiet kill. The two Soviet guards flanking Oscar carry the standard Soviet issued Kalashnikov 47, also known as the AK-47, which has a thirty round capacity and fires at an astonishing rate of 100 rounds per minute. I am clearly out gunned in this encounter, but I have one advantage, the only advantage that counts on a hunt, the element of surprise.