Next morning, the newspaper brought good news. The senator’s death had made a headline, which always insured higher pay. He sat for a moment, admiring his handiwork. It had been ingenious, really; a bruise brought on by CPR would cover the only mark on the body. Plus, the rubber bullet that had induced the fatal heart attack was now stuck in the bottom of someone’s shoe and halfway across Canada by now. At least all the evidence was gone.
However, Max was still nervous as he walked out the door on his way to “work”. Max didn’t mind, though. It kept him alert. To him, there could have been any number of his own kind watching him from the high rooftops. This was the iron jungle, and there were potential tigers everywhere he looked. To date there had been three attempts on his life, but the assassins had been careless and he knew his own trade too well to be caught by others that practiced it.
But there was always that one percent.
Still, however, he was happy. After today he could go home and leave everything behind. After today he could stop lying to his family, his friends. After today, for the first time in ten very long years, he could finally relax.
Max stopped in a slum street and stepped into a teal Metropolitan Water jumpsuit. Removing a steel pry bar from his Samsonite, he pulled the nearest manhole cover off of its hole and descended downward. Switching on a battery powered caving lamp he glanced at his watch. 30 minutes, exactly.
A map of the sewer system bought off of a drunken pipeworker led Max quickly through the concrete labyrinth to the south end of Hunt St. Overhead; the collective thumping of marching feet pierced the concrete, accompanied by two cars and an antique military halftrack.
Wheels bumped over a nearby manhole cover and he climbed quickly up the ladder, putting his shoulder to the steel disc and sliding it away. The car above him, as planned, was moving very slowly, encumbered by the army platoon that it was following. Dipping his fingers in a jar of tannish putty from his briefcase, Max used the car’s movement to spread the putty along the undercarriage and stuck a small electronic detonator in place. It blinked slowly as he hooked his fingers into the manhole cover and pulled. It slid, with a tortured, grating sound, and dropped heavily into place. As Max dropped to safety, there was a concussive *thump*, like a massive drumbeat, and chunks of stone rained from above and splashed into the water.
Max turned east and headed home.