Saturday, October 23, 2010

[Fiction] Friday Challenge #178 for Oct 22nd, 2010

How long had it been? It had to be 200, 300 years at least since the last official kill. “What the hell did they think they were playing at?” Jonathan mused As he deleted the encrypted order from his communicator and asked the car to close and merge with the general traffic. He almost couldn’t believe  the two short words that gave new  purpose to his existence.
It was a simple yet satisfying thing to merge with a population, after all, he was still classed as human on most of the worlds he commonly visited. All he had to do was maintain the behaviour expected of someone of the relevant class and profession; order the right things via his link, go to the right places at normal times, and generally conform to the multiplicity of local customs and bylaws governing the precinct in which he was ‘living’. Easy. The real challenge lies in disappearing at the right time, because with every part of your life under CC TV and recorded on the public record it took a great deal of forethought to subvert the system in such a way as to be undetectable or at the very least unremarkable.
It was not only that the authorities would be alerted by any subtle change in behaviour, because the human condition dictates that there will be aberrations and exploration no matter how strict code imposed upon it. Instead it had become a game in order to extract yourself from the mundane day to day existence without being noticed, and to resume the routine in such a way as to avoid the attention of the police.
On this occasion Jonathan chose executive clause # 325 whereby a citizen is allowed 7 minutes of unmonitored space for the purpose of toilet in any 12 hour period. Yes, I know, seven minutes is an unusual designation. The precise time was decided by a panel of 22 experts, and took an incredible 32 months of deliberation. Though rumour has it that in the end they just drew straws, but either way that is a bloody long time to decide how long it takes a man to take a crap!
On this occasion, seven minutes is all that was required to bring everything back online, dust himself off and get to work. They wouldn’t even miss him.
That is why they call him “the Hunter”. In the 32 centuries since he attained sentience there had never been a time where his abilities fell short. Unquestionably Jonathan was the master of his art. He would only receive a call when the keepers had no other alternative and all conventional means of resolution had failed. This in itself was most remarkable because the keepers were to most, god-like in their ability to manipulate time and space to maintain order, regardless of individual cost or localised concerns. Then they had been silent for such a long time. But enough about Jonathan. He would not appreciate this very personal scrutiny, and would certainly not condone any aggrandising of his abilities.
 Jonathan stepped out of the elevator into the seething mass of foot traffic flowing through the central business district. With cool precision he began matching data files in alphabetical order, cross-referencing faces and names. Bodies began to fall 30 seconds in his wake, their faces going blank after the silibent whisper of his concealed air pistol ended their existence with its fast acting neurotoxin. They never knew what hit them.
Deep in the Central Museum on sub level IV,  the school excursion continued.  12-year-olds William and Timothy  tossed the ancient mobile phone back in its display case. Some of these old devices were amazing yet baffling - the packaging said it was called an “iPhone” and the application was named “Assassin”. The boys could make no sense of the instructions and with a giggle  Timothy flippantly keyed-in the title of the obscure action film they had just watched in another area of the exhibit. “Kill Bill”. Their unqualified assessment of the device? “Harmless.”

This week’s prompt: Include this theme in your story… After a long night, a hunter sees something he/she cannot believe.

For more fiction Friday challenges go to


  1. creepy, delightful and for so many levels and reasons.

    I had to re- read this to gain a fuller understanding - so cleverly written Juz!

    loving how wide the scope has been for this prompt.

    visitors can see mine at

  2. Oh that was fantastic! Freaky for me on a personal level as a fan of video games, but also very clever sci-fi. Also, did I detect a hint of CYOA in there?!

  3. Nice world building in a very short space. I love the idea of a sci-fi assassin. Well done!

  4. I love the ideas in this, the regulated toilet break etc. And the iPhone controlling an assassin... I want to know what the deal is there! Is it just the game or does it actually control an alternate universe? Very cool!

  5. Weird knowing the iPhone will one day be a museum piece.

  6. It took a reread to connect that the main story was happening on the iphone. A very complex story that shows a lot of imagination. I enjoy these futuristic tales.

  7. I agree great world building in such a short time. Creative and complex scifi story.