All four of us gape at the set of double monitors, both showing the same information from two unique sources. Googling my own name turned up a pile of unclaimed cash.

“Do you think there’s another person with the same name as you?” Adam asks, looking between the two open tabs like they’re a tennis match.

“Leopold Asaret isn’t exactly a common name,” I argue, sitting back to think about what to do with this new revelation. “You think there is a way I could walk into some bank and try to withdraw 1.6 billion?” I laugh, but behind the joke, the idea starts to sound interesting.

“No need to get greedy,” Bryan argues, opening another tab and typing away at a few more quick searches. “Don’t go for all 1.6 billion. A million or two can go a long way. Besides, someone that rich probably won’t even notice a few mil going missing.” We all laugh again, but it is less like a joke and more to mask the nervous tension in the room.

“Well, this room just got too rich for my blood,” Jared says, picking up his coat among the heaps of other clothes and assorted junk around the apartment. “Remember us little people when you claim all that money. In the meantime, I have an Organic Chemistry test tomorrow.”

As the door clicks shut behind him, Bryan breaks out in another low chuckle. “One less person to split the money with.” He opens two more windows onto the screens, short biographies of this other Leopold Asaret.

“That’s weird,” Adam jabs a meaty finger at one of the screens, “he even has the same birthday as you, except 10 years earlier.”

We’re all pouring over the details on the screen so we don’t bother to look when the door opens and closes again. “What did you forget, Jared?” I call over my shoulder.

“He forgot to lock the door behind him,” says a familiar voice I can’t quite place, but definitely doesn’t belong to Jared. The three of us start and immediately turn to see a man with dark hair, green eyes, and stubble I know from experience comes from about two days of not shaving. Guessing from my seat I would say he was about my height, but I have a suspicion that if we measured, we’d be exactly the same height.

“But that mistake did save his life.” From inside his jacket, he pulls out a compact gun with silencer already in place. He takes quick aim and shoots both Adam and Bryan before they can shake off their shock and jump up from their chairs.

“What the–” I yell, but the rest of the sentence is choked off by a half-scream, half-whimper that makes the rest of the words unintelligible.

“God, I did sound like an idiot that day,” he says putting the gun back inside his jacket. He takes a measured step towards me and I flinch.

“Are you going to kill me too?” I say, barely able to scrape the words into more than a whisper.

He just exhales loudly and makes a few quick shakes with his head. “Idiot.” He grabs me by the elbow and guides me to my feet. “I can’t kill you. You’re the one person I can’t kill.”

“Then why did you kill them?” I ask, planting my feet to avoid going any further with this man.

“You don’t have good taste in friends,” the man says, relaxing his stance a little but not letting go of my arm. “They were my last assignment before I can retire.”

“Assignment?” I say, trying to wrestle my arm out of his grasp. “You’re some kind of contract killer?”

“The good kind,” he answers with a grip like a vice. “Based on future information about crimes and atrocities some people will later commit, I’m dispatched to resolve the issue before any damage occurs.”

“Then where are you taking me?” I ask as he pulls me out from the room again.

“As I said, I’m retiring. I’ve completed my ten-year commitment and now I get to pick up my life where it left off.” He says, moving me towards the door. “Don’t fight. You probably don’t want to draw attention to the fact you’re coming out of an apartment with two dead bodies in it.”

“But where are we going?” the fight somehow draining from me.

“My term is over, but yours is just about to begin. There’s a car waiting downstairs that will take you for the start of training.” He gives me a sideways grin, “But don’t worry, it’s not too bad. And there’s a 1.6 billion dollar payout waiting as soon as you finish.”

Image by Reimund Bertrams from Pixabay

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