Diary of an Assassin

Prologue: Shanghai Murder

The Bright, glowing midday sun poured down from the heavens making everybody's pores work overtime. Traders and merchants shouted at the throng of people streaming to and from the main street. Motorists leaned on their horns consistently as the wave of humans parted for them to get through. Outside a popular dumpling restaurant and under the pathetic shade of a red umbrella sat a stranger, those dark brown eyes boring a hole into the wall opposite. She was a thin, well-built figure with long, flowing black hair that was tied in a leather thong. The bottom half of her face was covered in a black shawl. The figure was silent as a feeble breeze swept through the sweltering crowd. Suddenly, those deep, merciless eyes narrowed like a hawk spotting its prey.

The target was a plump, middle-aged man with greying hair and dressed in an elaborate hand-crafted, white velvet suit, no doubt a multi-billionaire who would like nothing better than the whole world to get down on bended knee and worship him like an Egyptian god. The man's name was Jon Kleinberg, famous for the electrical goods company he owned named D-Code, and his 18million dollar self-designed super-car that was waiting for him just to the left of the masked stranger. It had thirty-two wheels and was no doubt the longest car to ever come into existence.

Every millimetre of the exterior was immaculate- mainly because it had been washed and polished so many times that even a millipede wouldn't have enough toes to count them. The black paint gleamed like a freshly cut obsidian crystal, all the pure platinum trimmings were glittering like fireflies in a windowless room. The interior (although nobody could see through the reflective, bullet-proof and x-ray proof windows) was just as amazing as the exterior. 100 cream leather seats (all 24 of them), full, fluffy red carpet coated the floor like a thick layer of jam. It also contained a one person bar, a one-person spa and pool… as you probably imagine there was only one person in Jon's luxury-filled life- himself.

Jon walked over to his multi-million dollar creation in his snakeskin boots and beamed from ear to ear. A large mountain of a man accompanied him; his burly bodyguard. The bodyguard was the best in the business… so Jon thought.

Just at that moment, the stranger thought that it was time to leave, and for good reason.

That's the moment when the bomb went off.

Jon Kleinberg hardly had time to arrange his face into a surprised expression before 5 kilograms of gunpowder was ignited, making his eyes rocket into their sockets and his guts blown all over the street. His beloved super-car was torn apart like a cloth toy. Tonnes of platinum, silver and lead rained down in lethal sheets onto surprised and panicked passers-by. Police sirens filled the air. There was no sign of the stranger. She was already a mile or so away. She didn't want the FBI, the police and various other agencies to catch her that easily…

Chapter 1: Wine and Money

"Dad? Where are you?" came the worried voice of an 8-year-old girl.

She walked on, her gasps of breath filling the silent, cold air. Her dad was here yesterday. She was sure he was…yes, she remembered saying goodnight to him last evening. She turned a corner and what she saw made her scream.

A severed head lay on the floor. A familiar head…her father's head. The eyes were open with shock and a trickle of blood ran down the edge of his thin, cracked lips. There were large gashes on his cheeks and insects were already starting to accumulate in the wounds.

The girl did not know what to do. Question filled her mind. Who had done this? Why had they done this? Why? Silent tears streamed down her face. She collapsed onto her knees and picked up the head. Her father had been her hero. So brave and strong. He had been her one and only friend, the one and only person to know her real name. A shaking hand touched the cold and unmoving cheek of the once handsome man. The other hand grasped at her own neck, at the snake's fang that her father had given to her on her first successful hunt. They had had so many wonderful adventures together. So many happy memories…so many…


Alliya sat up suddenly in bed, cold sweat dripping down her forehead, a hand outstretched in front of her. The dream dissolved, being replaced by reality. It took Alliya several minutes to realise that it had been a dream. It had happened so many painful years ago. The outstretched arm dropped feebly back to her side. Alliya's eyes began to water. She bit into her lips trying to muffle the sound of her own sobs. She had this dream every year, on her father's death day anniversary. Her father, the only person who had always been there for her, had been a noble man.

An odd ringing seemed to be coming from the living room of her small, messy flat. Alliya shook herself and focused her hearing on the ringing. She sighed. It was the phone. How had she been so stupid to not know that it was the phone? She stood up and walked lazily over into the direction of the ringing. She knew that the caller was Guy Hoff as she only gave her phone number to one person at a time, something an assassin should always do to prevent being caught that easily. When there was no need for the person to know her number anymore, Alliya would move house, therefore changing her number. She picked up the phone.

"You called?"

"Yes!" replied an ecstatic male voice from the other end of the receiver. "Yes, yes, yes! Wonderful job in Shanghai! Jon never stood a chance!"

Alliya sighed. Typical, power-crazed megalomaniac. "The money?"

"On the way to you now. All 5 million dollars. Should be there by tomorrow morning. Made it irreversible just so you know. When I saw the news I knew that you had succeeded, I knew…"

"Why?" said Alliya, cutting Guy off from the praise that was being showered down onto her.

"…I beg your pardon?" came the confused reply.

"Why did you want to kill him?"

Silence… then-

"I thought that it had been obvious. He was my main competitor; always getting higher shares than me, the devil. Why do you want to know anyway? You have your money…"

The line went dead.

Alliya leaned against the wall as she disabled the telephone line. Guy would have to be erased. Alliya never let somebody as greedy as Guy live, killing just because he could not beat another human being. She would have to prepare a little accident for him…and probably his staff as well. Alliya thought of the ways to do this. Nuclear? No. There had to be no trace… ah.

Bio bomb.

The bomb would wipe out all living organisms within a specified area. The best thing was that there was no trace after about 2 or 3 minutes.

Alliya smiled at the anticipation of an adventure. This was going to be fun. She started to pack essentials into a worn travel rucksack. She would be in San Francisco by tomorrow evening. Guy will be dead by the day after tomorrow. All according to plan.

The only things that Alliya constantly carried around with her were her snake's fang necklace, her credit card and a small piece of papyrus that her father had given to her before his death. The writing on the paper meant nothing to her even though she had done thousands of cross-references with hundreds of languages. Her father had asked her to use it well. It was one of the many mysteries of Alliya's life. Maybe in San Francisco there might be a clue? Maybe. Time will tell.

San Francisco

Hoff's fortress was in sight. From her hiding place in the forest surrounding the stronghold, Alliya could not help but gasp at the amount of work and planning that had gone into this spectacular creation. The mansion was an acre in size and had five floors. Glass lifts reciprocated up and down those five stories bearing powerful employees and politicians, though none of this came even close to the magnificent and futuristic roof…

The top of the building had been built in the shape of a giant glass pyramid form which neon letters in the form of Klik Enterprises (Hoff's electronics company) illuminated the surrounding landscape. The building was actually a beautiful Edwardian castle before Guy thought that it would make a wonderful basis for his company to dwell, and now it was a weird and wonderful mix of modern and antique. Guy was so paranoid about the protection of his research and products that his underground laboratories were built within a 5m wall of solid rock. The only entrance into them was through Guy's very own office. Alliya thought her plan over in her mind. Was it really worth losing years of technology and development just to erase another tyrant from this earth? Yes said a tiny voice in her head; you've already come this far.

Silently, Alliya slipped the pair of binoculars into her rucksack and produced a mini laptop. This was actually one of her own inventions. As most security and motion cameras had a unique set of entwining wires, Alliya had simply fed this information into the laptop and told it to identify them as red dots. She opened the programme and adjusted the webcam to view Guy's residence. The computer whirred as it configured the data. After several seconds, the words File Downloaded flashed up onto the plasma screen.

A swarm of red dots infested the screen on top of the 3d image of the fortress. There were over 3000 cameras. Alliya would have to think up a good plan to get past those. She analysed the information and soon realised that she had underestimated the target. He had every patch of ground covered. He also had the sky covered too, 3 bulky satellites rested on top of the glass roof, pointing toward the heavens. Alliya frowned. There had to be a way. After about twenty minutes of silent meditation in her deepest level of concentration, she had it. Guy could see all above the ground, so why not go below the ground? She quickly opened up the programme again and asked the computer for an X-ray blueprint. She smiled to herself when she saw that there was a vulnerable spot below the wine cellar. The rock below was fatigued and large cracks ran up and down its face. It would crack easily. A plan was beginning to emerge.

Alliya rummaged in her rucksack and got her mobile out. She dialled a number and put the phone up to her ear.

"Hello?" it was Numair, an old friend of Alliya's who knew about her 'job' and who specialised in big guns and other technology.

"How much would a large drill cost?"

There was a moment's silence.

"Depends on how fast you wanna get there."

Alliya looked up to Hoff's mansion and then down to her watch. She did not want to be here any longer than she had to.


"Okay. Meet me by the small café on Herring St. at 2:30am tomorrow. Bring a chequebook, we'll sort out the cost there. I'll have your demand there." And with that, the line went dead.

Alliya pocketed the phone. She was looking forward to tomorrow.

Alliya sneezed as quietly as she could as soil and dust particles wafted down to her nose. She was underneath Hoff's palace and clutching a giant Armadillo7000 which Numair had been kind enough to sell to her. The meeting had gone smoothly;

Alliya had arrived on Herring St. at exactly 2:28am. There were only three people at the café, two fat, French tourists sat in the corner, laughing and arguing as they played cards and drank beer by the gallon, and a tall, well-built man wearing a worn, denim jacket and a warm smile.

Alliya walked to sit opposite this man and surveyed him closely. He was 34years old and had tanned, walnut coloured skin. Long, black hair covered his large forehead and was tied up in a ponytail with a leather thong. A large, gold tooth gleamed at her in the darkness. This was Numair alright.

"How are you kid?" Numair asked in a warm, pleasant voice that washed over Alliya like a hot bath. She noticed that Numair was carrying a very large suitcase and was tossing a pair of large van keys about in his gigantic hands.

Alliya smiled and replied "What've you got there mister?"

Numair looked at the suitcase with pride and admiration. "This, kid, is the one, the only, the unique, Armadillo 7000."

There was a pause.

"…And?" demanded Alliya raising her eyebrows.

"And, it is the answer to your prayers. It can dig 100 times faster than a bunch of men with loads of shovels, and it can even dig through the hardest rocks like granite and limestone." Replied Numair happily with a distant, triumphant look,

"Intriguing, continue…"

"You wanted one helluva drill, and I got you one helluva drill. But I gotta tell you kid, this won't come cheap, its state-of-the-art and about 40 years ahead of present human technology." Warned Numair seriously.

"So, how much do you want?"

"How much are you willing to give?" said Numair with the faintest hint of persuasion and greed.

"I dunno, I don't want to be wasting my money…" said Alliya warningly. Thinking it over, she eventually said, "I demand a demonstration"

At this, Numair let out a snigger and said, "Which is why I'm coming with you kid."

"Shh!" hissed Numair in Alliya's ear. She indicated that she couldn't help it and that she was sorry.

He shifted the large Armadillo 7000 to a more comfortable position on his lap and whispered, "just a coupla' meters to go."

Alliya indicated that he should carry on quickly before guards come and get this job over and done with. She did this while trying to suppress another sneeze.

Numair breathed deeply for a few seconds and whipped his face, which was dripping in sweat, with his sleeve. His arms were smeared with grime and mud. He then got up and slid the drill into its supportive cradle and pushed the green button. A whirring sound filled the tunnel and the large, cone-shaped drill started to turn. Slowly at first, then faster, and faster. Numair got out a control pad and started to push random buttons. The cradle moved on its wheels toward the end of the tunnel. As the drill head made contact with the soil at the end of the tunnel, clumps fell away as the drill inched into the underneath of Hoff's castle. The two of them drilled for about 2 minutes when a loud crunching sound filled the tunnel.

"Quick! Turn it off! People are coming…" hissed Alliya grabbing Numair's shoulders to get his attention. Drilling ceased and the two of them crouched and waited…and waited, and waited.

Numair gave Alliya a questioning look, clearly asking her if she was sure there were people. Alliya replied with a shrug. He sighed and checked the Armadillo 7000 for any injuries.

Suddenly, a booming laugh came out of nowhere. It took Alliya a few seconds to stop panicking and realise that it was Numair!

"What the hell do you think you're doing? You're selling us out here!" hissed Alliya.

"Heh! Here's your so called 'guards'!" he replied pointing at the place where the drill had been when they heard the crunching. There, beneath the layer of brown, clumpy soil was a small patch of grey. Of course! The crunching sound that had made the two of them panicky was just the drill going into the stone!

Alliya looked up at Numair with a smile and let out a snigger. The snigger turned into a laugh, and before long, both were on the floor bellowing with laughter, tears in their eyes.

"You want me to keep drilling lassie or are you to scared of the scary noise that it makes?" asked Numair.

"Drill on!"

It took several more minutes before the drill was turned off and Numair was staring up into the basement of Hoff's dwelling through the large hole that he had just made in the floor.

"We're in."

Alliya climbed out of the tunnel first and brushed off the worst of the mud from her black camouflage suit. Numair then lifted himself out with a grunt. Alliya surveyed their present environment. The room that they had entered was definitely a wine cellar, and it was the biggest that she had ever seen.

There were hundreds of highly polished and varnished shelves, each containing about 20 kinds of wine in their very own velvet covered cases. The smell of quality wine hung in the air making her nose quiver with excitement. She heard a longing groan come from behind her and smiled. Numair was a total alcoholic.

"Stop drooling big man and draw your weapon." She demanded but her heart was deeply amused. There was no reply. "Numair?"

"He won't miss them…" he said gruffly. "I only took a coupla' dozen."

Alliya turned round quick enough to see that Numair was cramming bottles of wine into their cases and carefully lowering them into the hole in which they entered. There were three empty wine shelves next to him. Alliya sighed.

"C'mon dopey, I gotta plant this bomb."

"Yeah…okay, okay. Just let me…" he didn't have to finish his sentence. He was already opening a bottle of Australian wine and it was disappearing like a torrent down his gullet. After he had finished the whole bottle (and in less than a minute) he let out a deep sigh of pleasure followed by a large, hurriedly suppressed burp. "'Scuse me… wanna send Hoff to hell?"

Alliya smiled; glad to have such fine, entertaining company. "You bet." She drew out her mini laptop and scanned her surroundings. "Okay, we gotta plant the bio-bomb into the heart of the fortress and the most centre room is Guy's study and bedroom. It's gonna be tricky though as there isn't a single blind spot in the castle except here; dead battery in the camera. We have two options: one is to wait for about half an hour while I hack into the security mainframe and feed some loops or two is to go out into the open and wait for Guy to capture us. No doubt he will want a personal chat with me and will therefore send me to his office to gloat at me. So once we're there, I give Guy and his gorilla bodyguards a little bit of a nap by means of tranquilizer dart and we arm the bomb and use his little lift to get us out of there before we become little radioactive molecules. You choose."

There was a long pause. Alliya could almost see Numair sizing up the odds and seeing which option would allow him to get out of the castle and let him wallow in his stolen wine stashes. He was inevitably thinking of advantages and disadvantages of both options. The first option was good if you did not consider the fact that it takes approximately 30 minutes to set up the loop (feeding the same image into the security camera system over and over again to cover up what people are actually doing) and the technological advances in this building were probably the fastest in the world so the security staff may be able to break the loop. The second option however would be much simpler, just wait for Hoff's people to catch you and take you to your escape destination. Simple.

"What're we wasting our time for? Option two sounds so much more…appetizing."

Alliya winked, then she was all back to business. "Ok, we'll both go outside on my signal. You know what to do."

"What if something goes wrong?" asked Numair in an off-hand manner.

There was a few seconds of silence. "Then…we improvise."

As this stunt had to attract attention, they had to do something big and loud, and Numair had the perfect little gizmo in his pocket. It was a compacted bomb. No bigger than a fingernail and as effective as a dozen large Japanese sumo wrestlers on drugs and alcohol- which is quite a blow. He taped the device onto the door and took out a remote-controlled detonator.

"You ready kiddo?"

Alliya nodded, just once. In five very short seconds, the electrical signal travelled up the length of the transmitter and ignited the compacted gunpowder inside. Pressure in the titanium capsule built until the smooth surface began to buckle. Then, this capsule disintegrated from the enormously high temperature and the gigantic pressure that had accumulated inside it sending a large amount of explosive energy outwards in all directions. Anybody standing within the 2.5m radius was instantly dead, anyone within 6 meters was blown off their feet. Luckily for Numair and Alliya, the wine cellar was extremely large…

As soon as the initial explosion had finished, they got up from behind the wine barrels that they had shielded behind and ran to the door. Hoff's men were already sprinting down the corridor and shouting at each other, each with a lethal, fully loaded machine gun.

"Oy." said Numair lazily, putting his hands high above his head and dropping his weapon.