The Assassin had spent a number of months moving unseen among the troops on their way North. His stolen papers identified him as a lieutenant, which gave him enough leeway to not have to slog the whole way, and a few perks in down time.
He’d joined them in the organised confusion of the staging ground, waving a packet of orders that suggested he was to join another unit when the troops reached their destination. It was enough to discourage questions, or attempts to bond too much.
The war towards which he was travelling was yet another of the interminable border conflicts that had been boiling across the area for the best part of a generation. Strategic mineral deposits and transport routes remained at the heart of the dispute that had ground all progress in the area to a halt.
The Assassin didn’t really care all that much. It was neither his job or in his nature, which made him extremely valuable to his employers, and rather frustrating for those who tried to appeal to his better nature.
That night, they were hunkered down in the ruins of an old set of bunker fortifications. Nobody was quite sure whose they had originally been, or what had prompted their being abandoned to nature’s advance, but they seemed sturdy enough despite the impact marks from projectile weapons and scorches from other higher energy sources. It was solid enough to keep the rain off, and heat in, and that was what counted.
The coded message on his satellite line, in the small hours of the morning, that informed him his target was now back where he’d started from seemed somewhat unfair under the circumstances.
The impulse to kill everyone in a fit of pique could even be considered unprofessional, but he did it anyway.