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The missions were always the same: ascertain target, eliminate target, and egress, preferably unseen. Twenty-plus years, a file cabinet full of successes, and only now was she faced with her first possible failure. 

She'd known him all her life. Same primary school, same secondary. Military service in the same regiment on parallel tracks. They'd shared birthdays, babysat each other's children, were best people at each other's first and second weddings. She knew him better than she knew her own self, and now she had orders to kill him. 

She'd never questioned orders, before now. There'd been no cause. The dossiers she received gave enough intelligence to know that what she was sent to do was righteous in an unjust world. But this mission - him - she couldn't believe the why, even though it was laid out for her in black and white. 

She had a decision to make: Queen and Country, as she'd sworn to uphold and believed in with her very being, or stay true to a lifetime of friendship. 

He greeted her with a familiar, easy smile when she came for dinner.

She shot him between the eyes, and mourned.

 

 

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