I would like to thank Lightning-Strike-808 for correcting the name of this for reading and reviewing!

Prologue

I zoomed in onto the target with the scope of my sniper rifle. Just as my fellow assassins told me, twelfth floor, third window on the right. My target, the head of Shinra Corporation, was pacing in his office, probably irritated by another worker's failure to do his work.

I was on the rooftop of another building, the Umbrella Inc. famous for its work on medicine and biochemistry. My group, also known as the Silent Killers, not a creative name if you ask me, were hired by this corrupt and rich company to assassinate their rivals and to kill anyone who discovered their darkest secrets. I myself have earned the name of 'Phantom Assassin', because of my ability to escape after every assassination. After the incident when I was the only one out of five to escape a heavily fortified structure after killing the twelve heads of Galbadia, the strongest military organisation intent on taking over the world by force. However, after all the twelve men died, the military disbanded and was never heard of again.

My target shuffled away from the window again and I pulled my eyes away from the scope to give to allow my eyes a reprieve. My eyes were already weary from staring at the scope too long, waiting for the order to kill. My superiors told me to wait for their order until they have confirmed something. I waited for a long time; still focusing on the Shinra head, and impatiently tapped my finger repeatedly and lightly against the trigger of the rifle.

"Zzzt… Order has been confirmed. Fire at will, and remain where you are until further orders." The voice suddenly crackled over the earphones I was wearing. However the transmission was cut off just as suddenly as it came and was replaced by another voice.

"Do not kill him! Escape instead. Your superiors plan to get you killed and has betrayed you. They have made an anonymous call to the police and they are after you now. Get off that building now. Hurry!"

The voice was metallic and sounded distorted. I was feeling annoyed. I was the team's trump card! How could they betray me and plan to get me killed?

"Who are you?" I snapped, aiming at the head, just about to pull the trigger.

"Don't!" The voice hissed urgently. "If you want proof, look down."

Distracted, I looked down away from the scope of my sniper rifle. Indeed, there were many police cars blocking the area.

"Damn, I cursed. "Time to get this over and done with." I targeted the head again. I might as well kill him before I escape."

"It's a trap!" The voice snapped. "Look, get out of there now. You are known for your resourcefulness so I have full confidence in you that you will get out of that situation. Take the sniper rifle with you. I will contact you later when necessary."

"Damn," I cursed, scanning around for an escape route quickly. There was no way I could make a jump across to the next building and survive. The only way out was to go through the main entrance. But how?

Quickly placing my sniper rifle back into its case, I hurried down from the roof access into the building interior. I ducked into the emergency stairs and hurried down the stairs. I knew that they might try to seal off this route of escape as well, so I wasn't planning to just get out of there into the first floor. Instead, I headed further into the basement.

It was restricted but I had the access codes. Quickly typing my identification into the panel, I got inside immediately just as the door opened and closed it.

The research laboratories were empty, which was unusual. It was usually filled with people twenty-four hours a day, seven times a week. They were probably evacuated just to arrest me.

I turned on the lights and explored the laboratory. I've never had the chance to go inside the laboratories even though I had access to it because of my duties as an assassin.

I walked silently through the laboratory. Giving a sideward glance at the door, I walked deeper into the installation. I just keep going deeper, and deeper, until-

"Oh my gosh!" I gasped as I saw many large capsules in one of the rooms. Inside them were living specimens that were humanoid, but not quite human. I got closer to one of the capsules and read the notice next to it.

Specimen name: X-103 Shredder

Subject was deemed as failed to serve its purpose

Only instinct is to eat; no way of using it as a weapon

Subject to expire on 21st May 2006

It was red in colour, as though it was just muscle and red flesh – there was no skin. Even the brain was shown, but if examined carefully, there was a transparent layer of something covering the brain.

I flipped through a file found on top of that same capsule. After glancing through it, I dropped it in horror. The 'Shredder' was originally human! What exactly were they doing? Creating bio weapons and selling them to the highest bidder? Is that why they made so much money?

BOOM! I heard an explosion in the building. It sounded as though they blew up the main entrance into the laboratory. Looking at the specimen in the capsule, I had a sudden idea. Fiddling with the controls at the back of the capsule, I set it to release in five minutes. Should be enough time for the soldiers to get here, I mused. Then they will have a pleasant surprise.

I quickly made my way to the other end, scanning around for an escape route. I knew that Umbrella Inc. was not stupid to have a building with only one mode of escape, especially during an emergency. When I finally reached a dead end, I felt disappointed. I could not find any means of escape. Angry with myself for not having a backup plan, I slammed my fist onto the table.

It was then a drawer caught my attention. It was marked 'weapons'. I pulled the drawer open to find only a handgun, with some clips next to it.

"Better than a sniper in this scenario," I muttered, taking the handgun, stuffing the clips into my pocket. "I'll need all the ammo I can get to get out of here alive."

Sounds of gunfire and screams echoed throughout the entire place suddenly. I smiled in spite of myself. I quickly moved to the door and opened it a peek, seeing the police firing repeatedly at the Shredder. There were no dead bodies yet, but the Shredder was slowly advancing towards the police despite their constant firing.

I held up my sniper rifle and zoomed in on the Shredder. Aiming at the exposed brain, I waited for the Shredder to get within range of the police. They were turning around and trying to flee, just as the Shredder lunged at the nearest police officer, who was about fifteen feet away.

The claws were about to tear into the poor chap when I fired at the Shredder. The bullet embedded into its brain, killing it immediately. That tough layer could have held against handgun bullets or even rifles, but not against a sniper rifle. The Shredder died before it hit the ground.

I have scared the policemen out of their wits, and they shouldn't be in the right mind to immediately chase after me. As I had predicted, they cautiously approached the Shredder, with guns trained at the corpse. I silently closed the door and looked around again for an escape route.

"You should have let the Shredder kill them," I muttered to myself. "That was pretty redundant. Now you've only brought yourself more time, but they will still go after you. I'd better find a way out, fast."

Right on cue, my eyes spotted a ventilation duct on the ceiling and another partly hidden vent on the floor behind the desk. I quickly removed the grating on the ceiling vent, but crawled through the floor vent, placing the grating behind me. Then, I crawled through the vent.

"It's dark in here," I muttered, fishing my pockets for the lighter my brother gave me years ago for good luck. Though I have no idea what happened to him during all these years, I had the impression from him that he was a mercenary.

Holding the lighter in front of me, I crawled through the vents easily and without trouble. When I finally saw the exit, I closed my lighter and kept it, before slowly edging towards the exit.

Thoughts suddenly flashed through my mind. What if they are waiting there in ambush? What if they shoot me like a sitting duck when I emerge? I would be completely caught by surprise. I'll have to beat them at their own game, but how?

I gripped the handgun tightly; ready to blast my way out once they have cornered me. I took a deep breath, and then slammed the vent open and dived out of the vent, pulling myself up and preparing to shoot anyone there. However, it was empty.

"I work for myself now," I muttered, walking away from the place. "I'll be sure to bring Umbrella Inc. down."

A voice came through the headphones, but it was a girl's voice this time.

"I want you to meet me at the Orchid Diner at 1800 hours. Do you understand me?"

"Who are you? What do you want?" I snapped, though I knew that she was the metallic voice of before. "And why should I listen to you?"

"Because I just saved your ass," she replied. "Meet me there, and don't be late. We have business to conduct. If you do not turn up, you will have two forces after you. Do you understand the situation?"

"I understand the situation all right," I replied. "But not the seriousness of it. You realise that I'm an expert at escaping?"

"Not if it's a trap," she replied evenly. "Not if you are being betrayed by the people you trust."

"Listen lady, I work for myself now. You don't tell me what to do." I retorted. "I can avoid detection if I want to."

"I can easily have you killed where you are standing right now," she replied placidly. "If you make any more smart remarks, I'll have a bullet through your leg."

"Oh, you mean the two snipers up there," I jerked my head towards the construction site. "I've spotted them long ago. Go ahead, I dare you to tell them to shoot me. Then we won't have any business to conduct."

"You are playing a dangerous game, Mister Michael Redfield." She replied. "I will only have you shot if you do not come later." Then only static was heard after that.

"Looks like I don't really have much choice," I muttered. "Besides, I'm interested in what they have to say anyway."