Hunter and Prey
Felicia Hajra-Lee — a sensitive visionary who in the past has offered detailed, insightful windows into hidden moments in the world of Ingress — has emerged once more. Her latest vision: A prey. A hunter. A murder in Washington.
His prey didn’t stand a chance. Tonight wasn’t going to involve a simple order fulfillment. This would require a delicate balance of time, place and method to elevate his art.
It came in as a typical work order, but he could see through the vanilla wrapping. He knew who the client was, and he realized that she knew he would see through the subterfuge. This wasn’t a hit, it was an art installation disguised as odd street crime.
He probably could have accomplished the elimination and staging without the tech and the images of his prey being projected into his brain. He could probably have done it without the ‘evasion simulations’ being superimposed on his field of view in AR, predicting the ways his prey would try to escape him, but it was fascinating to see an AI reduce huge amounts of data into the pieces of insight he knew instinctually.
The art wasn’t in catching and killing his prey, it was in herding him to the exact place and time he wanted the death to happen for maximum effect.
The Assassin did not know what the motivation was and didn’t think about it. That wasn’t his problem. He didn’t ponder ramifications. Too messy. Messy had no place in his art.
Herding only works if the prey sees the hunter at certain decision points — and knows that it is being hunted. He let his prey see him not far from Ford’s theater. The first glance was as expected. Recognition, followed by curiosity, followed by concern. He herded his mark to Foggy Bottom where the hapless prey cut through hotels and restaurants, only to see his pursuer emerging again. Now, the prey knew what was happening. It couldn’t be a coincidence anymore. He had been marked. It was time to run like hell.
There’s a thrill in the hunt. The mark was fit, so an exhaustion kill wouldn’t happen. He would have to lure him across the Potomac River Freeway, forcing him to risk death like a giant game of Frogger. It worked. His prey ran track in high school and still had some moves. His actions were so erratic he probably would have been picked up by the DC police had their cameras been working properly, but they weren’t. Despite the fact that Washington D.C. is one of the most monitored places in the world, there would be no video record of the hunt. This was the one way in which his overseer had proven useful.
The mark was breathing heavily when he neared the Kennedy Center sculpture, and it was then that he realized the purpose of the chase. He’d been frantically texting as he fled, but his phone wasn’t working. Now, he stopped. He knew he’d lost. The master of manipulation had fallen victim to a machination not unlike one of his own. A series of diversions and ploys and misdirections designed to force one inevitable outcome.
He stopped. He turned to face his hunter.
And it came with a double tap from behind. Ken Owen’s last thought was, “What!?? How the hell did he get behind me?”
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