Hallowed be thy Name

Hallowed be thy name: Le Balle Sacrée

“Ave Maria

Gratia plena

Dominus tecum

Benedicta tu in mulieribus

Et benedictus fructus ventris

Tui, Jesus

Sancta Maria

Mater Dei

Ora pro nobis peccatoribus

Nunc et in hora mortis nostrae


Chapter 1:

        He had all the files, the blueprints, the specs, and most of the equipment.  His client had provided him with almost every piece of information he needed to perform the job.  The rest was up to him.  Reconnaissance, supplies (of which he had been provided an extra amount of cash to purchase, on his own terms), and ultimately, how it would go down, rested solely in his hands.

        He took out of the manila envelope a series of items, the first being a recent photograph of the mark.  It depicted a man of middle age, hair starting to turn grey, brown eyes, approximately five foot nine inches, with very distinctive facial features.  Matthew Reese.  49 years of age.  He took another item from the envelope which had written information, an address in Long Beach, and some personal information requested.  There was a list of the mark’s habits, his general lifestyle, information about his friends and family, places he frequents, and much more.

        Damien Zaytzev sat in his suburban home, smoking a cigarette and leafing through the files.  He knew that more studies would be needed in the following days, so he put everything back in the envelope.  He thought for a moment about the hit.  “Short or long range...” he said aloud.  He concluded that seeing as his target lived in a metropolitan area, a short range hit would be required.  He walked over to his closet and unlocked it; inside there were two safes.  One was a floor safe, hidden under oak boards and carefully placed carpet.  The other was a large combination safe, filling up the entirety of the closet.  He opened it and took out a nine millimeter Berretta 92 FS.  He had disposed of his last German military issue silencer for a nine on his last assignment (he had to travel over-seas to buy these baby’s... you get caught purchasing one illegally, your burned.  Even if you buy one in a legal state, legally, you’re on a government black list).  He would have to make a silencer.

     Damien went into the garage.  He placed the handgun in a vice grip, and inserted a drill rod nine millimeters in diameter into the barrel.  He had done this dozens of times before.  He took a ten inch section of brake line and began to drill holes in it every inch and a half.  Using masking tape, he taped off about six inches of the gun barrel.  He placed the brake tube around the steel rod, and then wrapped glass matting around the cylinder three times.  He mixed fiberglass resin, heated it, and coated it around the glass wrap.  Quickly, before it dried, he took it off.  He let it dry, and sealed any more holes in the tube with an eye dropper and resin.  He then placed a pre-made PVC pipe over the whole contraption.  He put strands of steel wool into the gap between the tubing and the pipe, spray painted it black, and cut a notch for the sight.  He stacked some magazines up against a box, and fired an entire clip into the stack.  The gun was perfectly silenced: it made the sound of an average air gun.

     He was to depart for his mission tomorrow night.  He made the final preparations by disassembling his gun, while wearing surgical gloves, and wiped down every part for prints.  He took 15 hollow point nine millimeter rounds and wiped them down, and loaded them in the clip.  The extras, he lay aside.  He retrieved a FED-EX package labeled “MACHINE PARTS: HANDLE WITH CARE” and put the pieces of the gun, wrapped in foam, along with the clip and bullets into the package.  He puts some clothes, and shoes in the box.  He knew certain channels of the U.S. postal service didn’t x-ray packages, but just in case, the package had an inside sealing line that would protect against x-ray.

     Damien collected the envelope, the package, and a duffle-bag containing more supplies and locked them in the safe.  Tomorrow would come soon enough.  

     Inside his bedroom on this cold winters night, soft and delicate prayers could be heard as Damien Zaytsev, an ex-Jesuit priest, now a contract killer, was praying a rosary before turning in to bed.



     He sleeps during the flight, long ago learning that no one will converse with a sleeping man.  The plane had left Texas at 11:15 P.M. and would soon arrive in California.  Underneath them, the beautiful landscape begins to fade into mechanical skylines of skyscrapers.  Upon landing, he awakes.

     Walking patiently behind the passengers, a well-dressed businessman makes his way out of the plane, and onto the landing docks.  He walks at a moderate speed towards the doors, enters the terminal, and heads directly for the bathroom.  Safely inside a stall, he waits for others to leave the restroom.  He opens the duffel bag.  He slips out of his suit and into a pair of faded jeans, a tye-dye tee-shirt, and a pair of sneakers.  He puts a panty-hose cap over his hair to conceal it, and then slips on a dirty blonde wig that passes his shoulders.  He puts on a matching beard and moustache.  The man standing in the stall now looks like an aging hippy, dulled by years of doing dope.

     He checks in through the airport security.  “What is the purpose of your visit here, sir?”  “Family.” Says Dim.  “Come again?” inquired the woman.  “Family.  I’m staying with family, and were planning on playing a LOT of tennis.  Ain’t no courts where I come from.”  “Very well, move along” she says as she closes his false passport.

     “Andy Wilcox” is carrying his duffel bag, wearing tinted sunglasses.  He leaves the security booth and goes to the information desk in the lobby.  “‘Scuse me maam” he says in a long, drawled voice.  “Yes?” a young woman answers.  “Is there an on sight car rental agency here?” he asks, already knowing the answer to his question.  She points him in the right direction.

     He waits patiently in line.  When his turn comes, he says “Yea, I would like a small car.”  The receptionist takes this to mean he wants a cheap car.  She knows this type of man.  “Well, we can hook you up with a gas-efficient Honda.  Would that work out for you?”  “Sure.” Andy refrains.  “I’ll be paying in cash”.  She comes back sharply with “You can do that, once you return the car, but I’m going to need to see some identification.”  He pulls out a North Dakota driver’s license with the name Andy Wilcox on it.

     From the airport, he drives to a small, out of the way motel.  He walks inside to the desk.  “Hello.”  “Hi.  How many nights will you be staying?” “Three nights.” he responded.  “If possible, I would like a room in the back.”  says Dim. “Not a problem.  Your name sir?”  inquires the clerk. “Maxwell Tsinger.”  He spells out the last name for her.  He pays in cash, and she hands him the key to a room... in the back, away from the pool.

     He checks out his room, places all of his equipment in the closet, and leaves.  He takes with him a map of the area, and along with the address he memorized earlier, he drives to a suburban area of town.  He drives slowly down the street to the address, takes a brief glace at the one story house, and keeps driving so that his interest is not noticed.  If required, he can survey the area from a park on a hill with his binoculars tomorrow, but he doesn’t think it will be necessary.

       He goes back to the motel, enters his room hanging a “DO NOT DISTURB” sign on the door, locks the door, and picks up one of the lamps.  He moves the lampshade at an angle towards the door, and places a pillow on the ground beneath the lamp.  He retrieves a six-inch combat knife from the bag, and places it under the pillow.  He removes an “Our lady of Mt. Caramel” scapular from around his neck, and places it on the dresser.  Tonight, he will rest, for tomorrow, the game is on.



         “Maxwell Tsinger” wakes up early the next morning, eats his continental breakfast at the motel.  Afterwards, he drives to the local Post Office.  In a well-learned Russian accent, he asks for a package addressed to Mikhail Vladimirov.  They didn’t even ask for his I.D.  He takes the package to his car, changes into his new clothes, and puts his hippie outfit in the duffelbag.  He takes the rest back to his motel.  He puts on a pair of surgical gloves, and carefully assembles his weapon piece by piece.  He takes the handgun and the silencer outside, concealed in his jacket, and places them in the trunk of his rental car.  He puts the duffelbag in the front seat.  Now, some reconnaissance work.

     Our man drives around town into a discreet parking lot in search of clean tags.  He spots a car with out of state tags, steals them, and replaces the rental tags with the out of state.  He examines the map be bought yesterday, and notes that there is a coffee shop several blocks away from the marks home.  He parks there, and in his jogging suit, jogs to the mark’s home.  Several houses away, he sits on the curb and removes his shoes, pretending to dig out rocks.  Then he cleans his glasses.  It’s about time for the mark to get off work.  He spots a mid nineties model Toyota coming down the street and pulling into the mark’s driveway.  It’s almost 8 P.M.  A tall, skinny man steps out of the car, scratching his face.  He yawns.  He glances over at out assassin, and glances towards his house.  

     Positive I.D.  Back in the car, he drives to the motel.  He empties the content of the manilla folder, giving it one last glance, and then proceeds to burn each item over the toilet, flushing the ashes.  He now has all the information he needs to proceed with a sucessful hit.  He has determined through the analysis of all of the places the mark tends to frequent (bars, restaurants, work) that his home is the best place to take the shot.  

     “Mark Madison” drove his rental car to the coffee shop.  In the guise of the darkness, Mark opens the trunk and attaches the silencer to the pistol.  He tucked it behind is back in his pants, and then retrieved a lock picking gun from the front seat.  He walked calmly in the dark, taking slow, deep breaths.  This he did to steady his hands.  He walked past the mark’s house, because of the front window, waited ten or fifteen seconds, and then preceded up the steps.  The lock picking gun was state of the art... it picked the cylinder lock in less than two seconds.  The T.V. inside was loud enough to cover the sound of the picking and the door opening.  Once inside, he drew the gun.  He snuck quietly behind the mark, not fifteen feet from him.  For whatever reason, the mark turned around in his chair, but it was too late.  Three shots were fired, in rapid succession, into his head, and the muffled shots weren’t heard by anyone.  Our killer retrieved the three shell casings, and put them in his pocket.  He walked calmly over to the mark to check his pulse.  He was dead.  A look of deathly terror covered the man’s face, and would for all eternity.  This man was a loner, and no one would be missing him for several days.  He closed the blinds, and dragged the body into the bedroom.  He took a single pillow and covered the blood that had begun to seep on the carpet.   If he hadn’t been using a silencer, the slugs might have exited the victim’s skull, but the silencer slowed down the velocity of the bullets.  There was no point anyway; they were hollow points.  Shatter on impact.  Not traceable, except by a metallurgical match.  Many days later, the police would find a man shot once in the right temple, twice in the forehead, no prints anywhere in the house, no shoeprints, no DNA, nothing.  It would seem the man was killed by a ghost.

     After the killer had checked the room for evidence, he asked himself whether or not to take a few items to make it look like a burglary gone bad.  He decided against it.  He calmly exited the house, strolled calmly back to his car, and changed clothes to his hippy outfit.  He drove around for a few miles, and found a trash can.  He disposed of the surgical gloves, and put on a pair of smooth leather driving gloves.  He found a charity clothing drop box, and disposed of the clothes he wore after checking them for blood.  He got on the nearest highway, and began disassembling his gun.  He started throwing parts out the window at random intervals, aiming for overgrown areas or drainage ditches.

     Andy Wilcox drove back to his motel.  He found the nearest payphone and dialed a Texas area code number.  “Hello?”  “Is Melissa Thorne there?”  “I’m sorry, you have the wrong number.”  He put down the receiver.  That was it.  Somewhere in Texas, a man had received confirmation that the contract had been fulfilled.  Dim expected payment to be made to his offshore account within 72 hours.  If not, the next hit will be his client.  $25,000 up front, $25,000 when through.  That was his standard pricing for a hit.  This was a normal hit.  If the mark had been a police officer, judge, or high status official, the price would have been higher.

     Damien had pre-booked his departure flight before he made the hit.  An aging hippie walked into the men’s room at a California airport.  A well-dressed businessman emerged.  On the flight home, he slept once again.  To all eyes, he appeared just another tired businessman coming home from the job.

     Arriving in his home city of Dallas, Texas at six-o-clock in the morning, he promptly got dressed in his Sunday’s best, and drove to St. Johns Catholic church in the mid-cities.  Early, before there were many worshippers, he dipped his fingers in holy water, crossed himself, and began to kneel in the pews.

     With tears coursing down his cheeks, and reverence in his heart, he whispered softly “Father, forgive me, for I have sinned.”

Author's Notes/Comments: 

This was actually going to be a novel, but I converted it into a short story.  Very Tom Clancyesque.

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