"L'amor che move il sole e l'altre stelle"~ Dante Alighieri
Akmal Choriev didn't consider himself a bad person.
Not that he considered himself a good person either.
He held the strong belief that there were neither good nor bad people in the world.
There was no such thing as a righteous person, just like there was no such thing as a truly evil person.
Because, after all, even mafia bosses loved their mothers.
People were just opportunists.
Religiously speaking, Akmal would say he prescribed to the notion of the uncommitted in Dante's Inferno but not the other circles.
So, due to this moral ambiguity which had plagued Akmal most of his life, he chose a career which paid well.
Very well, in fact.
That tended to happen when one was an assassin. And a good one at that.
Akmal wasn't exactly sure how many subjects he had eliminated through his career as a killer. Because he didn't care enough to remember, not that he couldn't count very high.
In school, he had actually excelled at mathematics.
But nobody pays mathematicians millions of dollars for a single job.
He glanced at his watch and then at the slinking sun. The light was disappearing quickly but not before casting the land in a veil of gold. It streamed through the trees and pinked the sky.
Akmal paused to admire the view.
So what if he was a hardened killer?
The sky was beautiful.
Hefting his rifle in one hand, Akmal slunk onto the ground, lying on his belly. A mixture of mud and snow threatened to soak into his clothes. If he stayed there long enough, he might get hypothermia.
He wouldn't want that. It would impede his ability to perform his job to the highest degree.
But. . .
On second thought, his in-laws were due to visit this weekend and if his germophobe mother-in-law caught wind he was battling a cold, she would stay far, far away.
Akmal sunk deeper into the snow.
Leveling the scope of his rifle to his eye-line and bracing the butt of the weapon against his shoulder, Akmal looked through the sight.
He could see the winding mountain road in front of him, tire tracks marking the mud.
A vehicle was slowing, inching its way down, veering around every pot hole and ditch. Akmal squinted to read the license plate.
The black printing stood out on the white background.
As the car got closer, he got a glimpse of the interior.
Late 20s to early 30s.
It matched the description of his target to a T. He had been given specific instructions to only target this man. Not the woman with him.
It had been stressed in great detailed (under the pain of death and torture) that no harm should come to her by his hand.
Someone else, someone a lot more powerful than the Valyutchiki, had plans for her. Akmal wasn't about to get in the way of that.
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