Prologue Betrayal

Cain Bousche wrapped his coat around him tightly, against the evening chill. This was one of the things he hated about his job – constant exposure to the elements. Despite that, he rarely caught a cold. Cain liked to boast that it was his constant exposure that had helped him build immunity to the cold and potential sickness. He didn't know if it was true, but he liked to think it was.

Whatever the reason, it worked out for his benefit. Cain spent most of his time in cold, windy environments, such as the rooftop he was on tonight. Cain pressed the button to light up his watch – 8:45 pm. It wouldn't be long now. Cain moved closer to the tripod on the roof. Atop the tripod lay a sniper gun, for Cain was a sniper/assassin for hire.

He knew his was a hated profession; Cain really didn't care. As long as he received his pay and got away clean, he didn't complain. He was good at it, and as such, his skills were in high demand.

Which brought him to this latest job. It was really a strange operation. Cain had been hired by an anonymous employer to take out a Martin Reis; that was the target's name. Nothing unusual about that. What was unusual was that his current 'boss' was willing to pay double the normal rate for him to take this guy out – as long as there were no questions asked. That was strange. It was fine with Cain though – whatever business or vendetta this person had against was none of his concern. He laid down against the edge of the roof, out of sight, a tiny silhouette against the pink sunset.

8:58 pm; a car pulled to a stop on the street below. Cain inched forward, and put his eye to the eyepiece, waiting with eager anticipation. A minute later, a few figures in black suits stepped out of the car. Cain ignored them; no need to waste unnecessary bullets. A door opened on the near side and a stocky, balding man in his mid-forties stepped out of the car. The gun's crosshairs lay superimposed over the man's head, and Cain began to tighten his finger around the trigger…

Suddenly, one of the black suits shouted, and another shoved the target back into the car. Cain quickly dived behind the awning, but wasn't exactly quick enough. He felt something small and hot slash through his left shoulder, and he clutched his wound in pain. Peeking over the top, he saw the car speeding away from the building. Clutching his wounded shoulder, Cain moved towards the stairwell. He left the sniper rifle; this one had been provided for him. He needed to hide before the black suits found him. Cain was convinced they would check the building. Cain entered the stairwell and descended the stairs as quickly as he could. Suddenly, he heard footsteps below. Cain ducked into one of the doors and closed it quickly but quietly, and waited. He heard footsteps reach the landing where he was – and keep on going up. Cain grinned. Obviously, no one figured he would have gotten this far down yet. Waiting until the footsteps were out of earshot, he continued.

Finally, Cain reached the basement door. His thoughts were as to his next move. Obviously, his employer wouldn't be happy about the failure, but there would be other chances. The target had already known he was in danger; it didn't make a second attempt any different. Grinning, he opened the door to the basement – and gasped.

A figure stood in the doorway, with a gun pointed straight at his head. Light from the stairwell poured into the doorway, allowing Cain a good look at the man's face. It was his employer.


He got no further. A gunshot rang out, hitting Cain square between the eyes. He collapsed on the ground. As red filled his vision, he heard the man's voice speaking, already seeming far away.

"You failed, Cain. Now you face the consequences, fool."

That was the last thing he heard before blacking out.