Shelby descended the rope and landed atop the copier with the grace of a dancer. She hit the ground, readying the Benelli M3 combat shotgun and retracting her grapple-rope in a single, fluid motion.
She was here in the pursuit of truth. A truth that would not be denied. A truth that she would bring about.
Her every move was efficient, elegant, flowing. Lethal. Silent.
Silent, despite the novelty sized bells attached to her ridiculous harlequin costume and mask. The outfit annoyed her, but her mission brief was inflexible. Everything was listed down to the smallest detail. The order of each death – listed. The manner of each death – listed. The timing of each death – listed.
She understood the importance of timing. In her line of work, timing was everything.
Timing and lists.
How did I get dragged back to this? she thought. I’ve been gone for ages. I don’t even work for them anymore! Why call me?
But she knew the answer to this. She owed everything to the organisation, and what they gave, they could take away. What else could she do?
Shelby spat out her chewing gum, and wedged it into the inner workings of the photocopier. A red light started to flash and a long, drawn out beep sounded. Jammed.
She mentally counted down. Four… Three… Two, and…
Right on cue, the photocopy room door opened.
A single blast, right to the chest of the poor intern who walked in, expecting nothing more than a misaligned staple. Shelby’s shotgun knocked him backwards into a water cooler, where two overweight and balding men were arguing. They didn’t even have time to drop their coffees before two more shells ended their conversation. Then screaming started, and Shelby commenced the dirty task of working the room.
As she executed the staff, the interns, and the various contractors and hangers on of the digital media company, Shelby took the time to reflect on her mission. Was this really truth? she wondered. Am I killing to defend the truth, or am I working to make a falsity true by my actions? What is truth?
In the end it didn’t matter. She had her mission, and she had to work to the list.
It didn’t take long to finish killing the employees. The directors died even faster. Planting the EMP bomb in the server room to wipe out their entire online presence took slightly longer than expected, as some bright spark had changed the room’s passcode recently. She would have harsh words about this shoddy intelligence with O’Brien on her return.
Finally, grimacing in distaste, Shelby dipped her fingers into the blood of a woman she had just murdered, and wrote on a dry erase board:
AREA JESTER MURDERS ENTIRE STAFF OF THE ONION
She had only just finished when her phone rang. “Shelby here.”
“It’s Soren. Is it done?”
Sigh. “It’s done. I did it.”
“Excellent. Get to the roof. It’s time for extraction.”
“On my way.” Another sigh.
“It must be true Shelby, remember that. It must be true even if we must make it true.”
“I understand. Shelby out.”
I understand. I do.
But as Shelby looked at the battered, out-of-date writers card, that read ‘CRACKED: AMERICA’S ONLY HUMOR SITE SINCE 1958′, she wondered.