Ring. Ring. My phone - it was going off. I pulled it out and was startled at the number - it was HQ, after they'd said there would be no contact for the duration of the mission. It had to mean something had changed.
I answered, "Yeah?" Pretty casual for a soldier speaking to his higher-ups, but I figured they'd understand. I was in public, after all - I couldn't really pick up the phone and say, "Hello, sir. What are your orders?" in the middle of a busy street.
"Circumstances have changed."
"Changed how, exactly?"
"You are going to have to assassinate a high-ranking official at Jiyu: Miss Allison Bishop-Petrov."
"Are you aware of who you're speaking to?"
"Listen, Jonathan, I don't make the orders, and believe me, if I'd known you were going to have to do this, I would never have chosen your unit."
"But you did."
"Yes, and now you have no choice. Obey your orders or be terminated."
And then they hung up. I thought about it for awhile - I was ready to face termination, or death. But then, again, Allison would still die either way. It didn't matter. It wasn't like I hadn't done worse things - like kill innocent children, or at least bring their killers to them.
But, at the same time, I just couldn't. She was my ex-wife.
I followed her. I learned her schedule, every minute of it, in just a few days. She always went to work at Jiyu at 5 am, went on break at about twelve, and left work for home at eight, even though most of her co-workers left at six.
The next day, I continued following her. I set up my rifle on the roof of the building across the street from her office - a large office building, like the one my target was in. I watched her all day, until she returned from break. I had come up here prepared to take my shot.
But, I couldn't.
Instead, I went home and discovered Christian sitting at the kitchen table, and immediately, the questioning began.
"What did you need your rifle for today?" The question was completely emotionless, almost free of inflection.
"I was contacted by HQ. They told me that we have to take out a Miss Allison Bishop-Petrov."
"And? You took care of it, right?"
"Christian," I said, looking at him, "She's my ex-wife."