Faris' Revenge

Faris silently hummed along to the song on his car radio, drumming his fingers on the steering wheel in accordance with the rhythm. He peered into his rearview mirror for the hundredth time and sucked his teeth loudly in annoyance. He'd finally spotted the person he'd been waiting for. Seconds later, a hand tapped gently on his window. The door swung open almost immediately, and a man wearing a long, black trench coat slid into his passenger seat. He shut the door quickly and turned to look at Faris, who was already drilling holes into his soul.

"You're late." He simply said, maintaining the icy eye contact with the stranger. "Got called up to troubleshoot a missing person's case downtown," the man said rather unapologetically. He reached into his coat and pulled out a manilla-coloured file. He stretched it towards Faris. "I got what you asked for." Faris turned the music down and handled the file slowly. He scanned through medical records, multiple photocopies of visas bearing different aliases, a dog-eared parking ticket, and multiple mug shots of a sketchy blonde-headed fellow. "His name is Lukas Baltasar," the man began, taking off his big, dark shades and setting them on the dashboard.

"A native of Düsseldorf in Germany, he was drafted into the army in his early teenage years. Just a few years later, he was already one of the best soldiers the Germans had at their disposal. War Machine was the moniker he bore due to his efficiency and potency on the battlefield. He was soon recruited as part of a special force that specialized in underground missions that were kept under the radar of the media. Rescue missions, spy assignments, search-and-retrieve . . . And everything in between. After a couple of years, he decided to put all the years of fighting and brutality behind him. Seems like he'd finally seen the light. Had his resignation letter signed and stamped, and the path to a new life began. Or so it was thought."

Faris had his gaze concentrated on a particular picture. It was a photographed view of the criminal. Faris noticed a spiral tattoo on the man's neck, with what looked like a small eye in the middle. Faris' eyes narrowed at the inked design. He'd seen that somewhere, hadn't he?

"About three years ago, a 33-year-old Turk under a witness protection program was found dead in a safe house. A single but fatal bullet to the brain. Definitely from a sniper's rifle. Fast forward to 7 months later, the president of an automobile company in Monaco was shot dead while in the middle of a golf match. Just days before his company's new product launch. About a year before you got attacked, cartel leader San José Santos was assassinated in his multi-million dollar hotel in Las Vegas, USA. Again, a single bullet to the brain. With a neat little hole in the window in his room as a sign of admittance."

"Why are you telling me all this?" Faris asked, his patience finally snapping. "How does any of these link to me and Laila?" The man turned in his seat, facing Faris. "We have reason to believe that all those killings were, or are connected. You see, Lukas didn't really retire from the force. He just joined a new, more brutal one. He became the person that rich, powerful men turned to whenever they wanted someone to disappear. Six feet under, specifically." Faris frowned at the officer. The gravity of the man's words created a vacuum in his chest, and suddenly, he felt a little light-headed.

"You're assuming he was sent to assassinate . . . my wife and I?" "Lukas did dirty work for some really powerful people, Mr. Faris. We were able to uncover huge sums being transferred to his hidden account from unknown scrambled sources. And it seems like he's still pretty connected. The story of his escape didn't surprise me one bit. Regarding the attack on you and your wife, it is our belief that it was an assassination attempt. A failed one, at least."

Faris shifted his gaze from the officer to the man in the picture. He could feel his blood pressure rising, blood pounding in his ears. Scowling at the photo, he asked: "How do I find him?" The officer laughed. A short, forced outburst of amusement and disbelief. "You must be joking, Mr. Faris." He was still chuckling. "You can't find a man like this without getting yourself killed in the process. It would be better if you left that part to the authorities." Faris forcefully smacked the base of his palm on the steering wheel. It was so spontaneous the officer ceased his laughter immediately. Faris, on his part, breathed like one who partook in a marathon. He turned to the officer slowly, and if he were the fanciful type, he would have imagined smoke emitting from Faris' nostrils.

"All you animals did was probe someone who was meant to be given a life sentence from the very first day he was caught. Now he's running around freely while you're sitting here in your raincoat, telling me to leave it to you and your group of inefficient imbeciles!" The officer squirmed in his seat, nervously fiddling with his hands. "Even if you could find him, he'd probably be thousands of miles away from here. It makes no sense to assume he's still within Greece."

Faris shook his head and put it down on the steering wheel. He should have known this entire ordeal was a waste of time and resources. As much as he didn't want to admit it, the officer could be right. But, then again . . .He never got to finish the job. If truly his job was to assassinate, then he failed. He and Laila were still alive, which meant he was definitely going to try again. He took another look at the tattoo, and it all came flooding back to him."I know how to find our assassin."

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