Tobias Roote

Science Fiction Writer

The Body Dropper

The Body Dropper

Adjusting his watch he pressed a small flattened button on the side of the gold bezel. The see-through section of his timepiece flashed once within its cogs and wheels to signify that the timer had started its countdown.

He had allowed sixty seconds to traverse the room taking into account that the contract called for minimal intrusion which meant perfect timing was essential.

He had no concerns about being anticipated as being a private club within the casino there was minimal surveillance and the security more designed around keeping people out than monitoring people within. These people liked their privacy.

As he walked through the room he took in the location of everything and everyone around him. Keeping himself as inconspicuous as he could, he negotiated his way towards his target. Rissek reflected briefly on the contract detail.

The target, thirty four year old Frederik Longhi, a prosperous gunrunner and arms dealer had been negotiating a deal with the wrong people.

As a result he had crossed the line that his people considered to be the point of no return. The result was he immediately became a contract for Rissek.

As a Body Dropper, Rissek was no ordinary Assassin. His employers were very selective and aimed at maintaining the status quo. He never questioned his superiors so long as he could follow his own line of research and verify their decision. His conscience, in the main, remained clear.

This guy was actually a nasty piece of work and there was evidence of a lot of bodies along the way to his current success.

Angling his wrist slightly the action automatically depressed the catch holding the concealed dark blade. It quietly snicked as it released and slipped into a natural hanging position for his hand to enclose the shaft,

Rizzek felt the dimpled handle of the razor-sharp ceramic blade in his hand and took a professional’s pleasure in the feel of the custom made grip and the knowledge that the blade was sharp enough to cut through the toughest flesh without an ounce of resistance.

Manufactured specifically to his exacting requirements it was not only very slim and black as obsidian it was deliberately hazed to ensure minimal reflection. He had no trouble passing by any metal detectors and its close fitting sheath strapped up his sleeve ensured it was missed in spot-checks.

It was a close-up weapon of personal choice and could take off an arm, leg or head in a single sweep. It was an Assassin’s tool and one of a pair, his other forearm contained its equally perfect twin.

He walked deftly through the dimly lit room that held the baccarat tables, avoiding the smartly attired players and their bejeweled and coiffed lady companions who were concentrating on their game. The dull thud of dice hitting the felt and the clicking sound from the nervous sliding and playing of casino chips contributing to the heightening tension of the room.

Slim clouds of cigar smoke hung in the air reflecting back light from the dark green shaded bulbs hanging over the tables added to the atmosphere of the excited proceedings. The rich and indulgent aroma of the fragrant tobacco leaves contributing to the overall sense of the moment; that special and deeply satisfying and addictive smell of money, and power.

People moved between tables as they sought out their preferred game, or took pleasure in the losing and winning occurring around them. For them it was not about the money, they couldn’t care less about that. It was all about the winning and radiating one's individual success and power, the tables were their way of promoting their personal credentials as winners amongst their peers.

It was a dangerous game and as one of them was about to find out, sometimes fatal.

He had only a few seconds now as the target came into his peripheral vision. He quietly swept his left arm up to waist height in a perfectly natural movement and angled the blade outward as he turned to pass the tall man in the dinner suit, he subconsciously noted the hand-stitched lapel and the gold and diamond encrusted brooch pinned to its center; an emblem he had come across before that reassured him of the correctness of his action.

His arm tensed imperceptibly as he negotiated the fleeting contact. The perfect blade smoothly did its work without snagging on the fabric of the victims clothing. Slicing through everything as though it was warm butter. Then he was past the target and moving indirectly towards the main door.

Behind him the man stopped looking puzzled and turned as if in half recognition while putting his hand to his side. He seemed about to speak out, then suddenly looked down to where his hand was pressed against his cut tuxedo and confusingly noting, but not yet believing the darkness seeping through his fingers.The black of his tuxedo hiding the truth of what he instinctively knew, but stubbornly refused to believe.

There was no pain yet and he looked surprised as he felt the sudden heat of the blood running down his groin and leg as it poured from the wound that had severed him from front to back along one side of his body. He didn’t know it yet, but he was already dead.

Rizzek again angled the wrist that held the knife and relaxed his hold on the blade as the mechanism took over and it slid up his forearm and disappeared back into the concealed sleeve of his jacket. Nobody had noticed, but he only had seconds before someone paid attention to his victim and raised an alarm. He remained cool and mentally counted out the seconds without looking at his timepiece.

Too soon to approach the door. He dallied without being obvious and smoothly checked out his exit. Just the one guard scanning away from him. He needed to focus his attention on him just at the crucial moment, a few seconds yet.

He turned slightly towards the wall where mirrors adorned the rich tapestry of the room decor and put both hands up to his lapels and adjusted them as he looked at his reflection, the grey flint eyes of the man looking back at him had a relaxed air, one that belonged in the room, that could relate to the others as an equal.

His mid forties features and greying hair styled in the longer cut that was the current fashion gave him a look of quiet professional success and the rugged handsome features, softened further by the lighting and surroundings added to his sense of relaxed belonging.

He turned slightly to take in the reflected scene behind him and noted that the man though still standing had now belatedly begun to realise his predicament and the lady poised by him who was his consort had turned to him and was showing the concern of one who knew there was something wrong but, had yet to achieve that sense of alarm.

Rizzek timed his walked to the double doors as calmly as if he was walking up to the bar to order champagne. He nodded briefly to the security guard posing as a doorman who immediately took his gaze from the room and concentrated on Rizzek.

The guard opened the double doors leading out of the private room, as yet oblivious to any problem within.That would change in a few seconds.

Rizzek walked calmly out seemingly ignoring the attendant who, like all well-trained servants, was trained to be invisible. In reality the guard was paying close attention to his body language and any change in stance that might be associated with a reaction to what was occurring within the room.

The doors closed behind him as he detected a rising volume of discordant voices coming from within the room he had vacated. Rizzek knew it wouldn’t be long before the external CCTV was reviewed, so determined to be elsewhere within the next five minutes. He looked at his watch. Fifty nine seconds.

He had it covered so long as he got to his predetermined locations within the timescale he had set.

All hell was about to let loose.

© Tobias Roote


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I write Space Opera SF and books that encourage the idea that a future world with AI is not necessarily a bleak place.

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