Judas sold himself for thirty pieces of silver.
Times and currencies change—sheckel, euro, pound, dollar, yen, cred.
"Thank you. Ladies and Gentlemen, I will be brief."
My price is four pounds. That's the trigger pull on the rifle I've got cradled in my arm, tucked up against my cheek. The scope shows a man's face, the crosshairs centered on the flat space above the nose and between the eyes. If the bullet drops more than I've calculated it'll still go through the cerebral cortex and turn him off light a light. He's moving his head too much, though.
As far as I can tell, the definition of evil is to cause harm where harm is not needed. To make someone suffer when is it not necessary for your own health and well-being, for your own survival. I fully realize there are times when hurting someone may be for their own good, such as surgery or shooting a perp, and I really can't consider stealing to feed your family as evil. But stealing for no purpose than to enrich yourself? That's evil. Killing for the pleasure of hearing screams and feeling the blood run down your arms? Evil. Taking over the city to give the lives of millions to an entity that wants nothing more than the obliteration of the entire human race? Well, I don't know about you, but...
"I invite all members of the AVDF to join the city's new initiative for peace and security - the Sentinel Watch. It is my intention to branch the Sentinels into a new arm of the government: the Ministry of Peace."
May God forgive me. I'm no zealot to believe 'I do the will of the Lord' as I tried that once before—and the sword went out, leaving me in the darkness. Perhaps I'm a martyr, sacrificing myself - certainly my career—for the good of the city. I smirk at the thought. No, I'm just a man who took an oath to "preserve, protect and defend the city of Angelus from all enemies, foreign and domestic", and may God forgive me, that means I must, no - will become murderer. There is no 'must' about this, as I am fully cognizant of my actions and I know there are other ways to fight city hall. Unfortunately, all of them take time. A gentle grunt escapes me. 'Ask me for anything but time.' Time we don't have, with the door opening, something growing in Omega and the city quite literally going to hell. Hart renounced the sanctity of his office when he ordered the Vault contents into Omega. He offered Gerzzie the souls of the entire city in a half-baked attempt to rescue his son, and as long as he's in charge the city faces imminent destruction.
No, I have no illusions—by pulling this trigger I will become a murderer. It will forever stain my soul and I will be breaking the very laws I've dedicated my life to enforcing. When this is over, I hope to have the courage to turn myself in. Maybe I'll get luck and won't come out of Omega.
"I now wish to introduce Angelus's Special Administrator, Councilman Roger Davies."
He's done talking, walking to sit down, leaning to talk with an aide. Come on, you bastard, sit still for a second. Well, a second-point-seven for the bullet to travel from the end of the barrel to the center of your skull. There we go—he's focused on Davies. Inhale, exhale, inhale, half out and hold it. Gun against the bone, finger on the trigger, and...
Motion! Gray and blurred, I nearly fire from reflex. I look up.
Concentration's shot—take a few and re-center. Inhale, exhale. Go over the escape route again. I'm in one of the ventilation shafts in a building across from city hall, looking out upon the square through a heavy metal screen. Step one, take the shot. Two, secure the weapon. Three, repel down the shaft into sub-level two. Four, take the spinner back to the garage, sterilize it and break down the rifle into the briefcase. Five, walk through the metro center and mix my trace with thousands of others and to my spinner. Six, head back to the Workshop and destroy all the evidence.
There shouldn't be much - I've put on new clothes and boots, wrapped myself in polythane and wearing a rebreather mask to avoid leaving trace, and I've already saturated the area with bleach. Modern forensics is frightening - I should know—and there's a chance they'll be able to get my DNA, but with the environmental contamination and the amount of industrial cleanser I've spread around it'd take weeks at best, and I should be dead by then.
"Today I will announce some of the new policies and initiatives we are putting into place."
He continues, and my blood runs cold as the words suddenly connect to a memory. I remember this speech. "As time has gone on the thought and practical life of our people have been led astray into ways that are unnatural to them and injurious. One of the causes which brought about this condition of affairs must be attributed to the fact that the structure of our State and our methods of government were foreign to our own national character, our historical development and our national needs."
That was a short man talking about the rise of National Socialism. It took 60 million dead to stamp it down.
"The invasion was an attempt to create a clade nation, ladies and gentlemen. A place where no human would find refuge."
I remember this, too. "It is not for men to discuss the question of why Providence created different races, but rather to recognize the fact that it punishes those who disregard its work of creation." He was talking about genocide then, too.
Think fast, Hemelshot. Removing Hart would throw the government into confusion for about ten minutes, the Davies would step into the power void and continue on the same track. Kill Davies and Hart loses his attack dog, and it sends a message to the *next* person Hart appoints.
"Now is the time for us to finish what we started and remove the threat once and for all."
That does it—he's as much a danger as Masada was, and I'm afraid I only have one solution. I quickly switch bullets. The one with Hart's name on it will have to wait for another time.
"Therefore, the Sentinel Watch will be taking any measures deemed appropriate by the office of the Special Administrator to secure the safety of our citizens. We will rescue our brethren from the terrorists in the so-called "Underworld." We will put a stop to the rioting and the madness in the streets. Angelus has been hit hard, but we will stand again... stronger than before."
That's it—stand there for the camera. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Half out and hold it.
Four pounds. My soul for four pounds.