[OPEN] “I see your lights!” He shouts; But ours had long died out’

It had been quite some time since Deck had an operation like this. The last few he was sent on were standard corporate espionage or surveillance. Clarissa hadn't needed anyone dead since Capricorn Genetics had been formed.

But now that had changed. A rival business had been making some fairly aggressive moves on the genetics company: attempting to steal work-place data, coercion against employees, and in one case, murder of a department head. The Succubus had called the mercenary in to investigate the events, and he shared the conclusion with his employer: their rival had a wet-work operator of their own.

This could not stand. Gunnarsson was dispatched to deal with this rival operator in any way he saw fit.

So there he lay, perfectly still in the dark rain of night as he looked down-scope at a heavily-trafficked shopping mall plaza. The occupants inside were shielded from the rain by a great glass roof that covered the plaza, a central area where shoppers could rest their feet and grab something to eat while perusing the mall. He wasn't shielded, however, and a slight fog of rain formed around a large mass on the ledge of a nearby office building. It was the type of mist that formed when a person was being hit by rain, though there was no visible person within the cloud.

Johnathan Gilmore was a former CIA operator, with experience in the 75th Ranger Regiment and the US Army's Delta Force SPEC-OPS team. He'd been picked up by the CIA after his actions in Somalia during the Siege of Mogadishu, and was with them throughout most of the United States' actions in the Middle East. His service record was exemplary, and after retiring, he went into the private sector. He went back to Afghanistan a couple of times to secure foreign oil interests, but every now and then he took a job that was more local. It seemed his latest employers were 'Pederson Engineering', a group that was less-than fond of Capricorn's firm hold of genetic engineering in the Western Hemisphere.

But today was a holiday for John. Pederson had paid him well for that last job, so he decided to take a week off and celebrate with his family: Helen Gilmore, age 47, and Jackie Gilmore, age 17. Today was one of his last days off, and he decided to take them to the mall. Jackie had always had issue with her father, namely his absence for long periods of time, but this latest job had been great. She had been connecting with him well as of late, and had been contemplating if she should tell him about her new boyfriend. Helen was just happy that he was now at home, and seemingly working a simple security job for a Fortune 500 company.

Jackie would never get to tell her father about her boyfriend, nor would Helen ever get the opportunity to retire with John to Tibet like they always talked about.

As they sat in the plaza of the mall, enjoying fast-food as it was Helen and Jackie's 'cheat day', a yellow lance of light arced across the sky, almost like a bolt of lightning in the rainstorm that hung over Platinum Bay. The beam melted through the glass ceiling before traveling down and striking Johnathan Gilmore in his muscled chest. A softball-sized wound seared and smoked at the place where his heart once was, and the force made him tumble backwards from his chair before remaining still on the tiled floors of the mall.

The patrons screamed and began to run. Helen screamed over and over again but remained at the table, while Jackie fell from her chair before cradling her dead father in her arms as she wept.

News affiliates around the country would pick up the story of the hero former-soldier horribly killed by suspected terrorists while eating dinner with his family in a public place. He'd be buried with honors at Arlington, where his family and friends would weep and flinch as Honor Guard made their 21-Gun Salute.

But for now, Deck simply confirmed that he killed the target before standing and slowly making his way off the roof. He had long-since been damned. His light was dead.


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