King of Killers
King of Killers
Before The Killer met Jane, he’d been colder, cleaner, more pure, but he didn’t have regrets.
When Jack was still prowling, he’d been a selective strain of Ebola to The Killer’s rex morti.
He woke up, on a concrete floor by the feeling against his finger tips. It was dark. He checked his face. His veil was missing, and he couldn’t remember how he’d gotten there. He ground his teeth.
The lights came on, but with none of the clunk heard in the movies. It was a warehouse, the walls reinforced with welded plate steel.
He wasn’t alone. A dozen men lay on the floor around him. He sat up, and a pistol slid off his chest, hitting the concrete with a clatter.
“You awake yet?” a voice asked from the ceiling. Drama school by cadence, The Killer thought, but that was inconsequential.
Supported by a frame of heavy I-beams, an office hung a floor above them. A man stood in the office window with a mic at the lips of a china doll mask he wore over his face.
The last of the stragglers jumped to their feet, pistols clattering to the ground, which they dove for, turning on each other like snarling alley cats.
He recognized a few faces, Edward Chang of the Feathers, for one, and Shango of the Juju Riders, looking like Superman made from black licorice. They’d never gotten along and had their pistols trained on one another.
“So, this is how it works,” the man in the china mask said, “Through the door behind you is a labyrinth-”
The Killer aimed up and pulled the trigger, but his gun was empty; he should have known by weight.
“The ammo’s in the maze, if you’d let me finish…. The one who comes out on top will, inarguably, be the king of killers.”
“Who the fuck are you to name a man king?” The Killer asked. “You God or something, ’cause you look like a guy in a doll mask.”
“Yes…. The ammo’s first come first serve, so get going.”
A few men headed for the door behind them. He would find them later.
The Killer shot forward, climbing the I-beams hand over hand with the pistol in his teeth. He swung himself up and walked the beam tightrope style.
The window was in front of him, with the masked man, just feet away, on the other side of the glass. He gripped his pistol like a hammer and swung, but the glass jiggled rather the shattering.
“It’s bullet proof you silly shit.”
He wound up, trying to keep his balance, and struck again. The pistol came apart in his hand, the pieces clanking off the beam and tumbling down to the floor. But there was a crack, the kind a pebble makes on a windshield. He wound up again, this time striking the glass with his skull. The crack grew, his head spun, and the masked man stepped back.
The Killer threw himself at the window shoulder first and crashed through, heralded by a thousand bits of safety glass. The masked man ran for the door, but The Killer caught up in two steps and knocked him to the ground.
“Wait,” he said, as The Killer delivered his first kick.
The mask shattered. He was human and bloody underneath, disappointing. With three more kicks he was dead.
The Killer searched him, finding a long knife, a chrome parody of what psychos were supposed to wield, and a Luger, a Black Widow, with lightning bolts on the black bakelite grip. It was a cheap replica, and not to his taste. He left the pistol on the dead man’s chest and returned to the window.
He leapt out like the office was on fire, hitting the ground on his feet. Edward Chang, Shango, and the rest who’d stayed, might not have known him without his veil, but that didn’t matter.
“Now for the rest o’you fucks,” he said, raising his knife.