Zoeiz took a subtle relaxed deep breathe. And held it just
for a moment.
Christ, by highest heaven adored…
The cold blistering air nipped at her exposed cheeks and the tip of her petite nose. A perfect atmosphere for the winters most important day, Christmas.
It was only 7:55 in the morning. Children throughout the modest town would be up by now, pouncing on their drowsy parents, eagerly anticipating on opening the wrapped gifts and stuffed bags.
She breathed out, the vaporous air revealing her breath.
Christ, the everlasting Lord…
Naturally, fresh flakes of snow began to fall from the cloudy heavens. Her emotionless steel-blue eyes, hidden by dim ashen shades, observed the sky curiously. She paid attention to a diminutive flake as it fluttered, gliding with the faint gust, until it alighted gently on her sniper rifle, at the edge of the callous black suppressor. At the near touch, it melted away, leaving only a speck of water. Zoeiz, realizing the distraction, peered back into her 4-16x 50 scope. With hurried adjustments, she focused it diametrically at her target, just 700 meters away.
She surveyed him as he trotted through the unsullied snow, taking large steps for the snow was too thick, even on the sidewalk. The target was heading to a large apartment complex; she already predicted this of course. In fact, Zoeiz knew his whole route. She has been noting his daily routines for a week now. Alas, he was clever enough to mix it up, the paths he took and the people he met with, knowing faithfully that she was coming for him. An assassin hired; liable to any corrupt monopoly empires towering over the pecuniary justice system. She did not like to think of the whole situation like that, however. Zoeiz loved the idea of being these sinners' savior, taking their lives for the good of themselves as well as the acquitted souls around them. It was only fair.
Late in time behold Him come…
How unfortunate, nonetheless, for the man, with his low-priced Santa hat and thick overcoat. He was thoughtlessly treading into an alleyway. Though it was not dark, it was perfectly secluded from the rest of the public. No one was even outside on the streets, perhaps blissful and resting favorably in their quaint homes. Very few cars steered by, few people were heartening in window-shops. The frosty morning was a lot less peaceful than it appeared to be, though.
She knew this moment was to come, and could not doubt the choices made to this point of time. Glaring at the target's bobbing red and white hat, Zoeiz tightened her muscles and steadied her sniper. First her feet, which lay effortlessly deep in the bitter snow. Her legs stabilized from the minor shivering, as well as her breathing. The extensive barrel of the sniper was securely revitalized between two poles from the porches railing; though icicles threatened to drop off at any given moment. Conclusively, her chest was only vaguely lifted from the porches ground, flawlessly keeping posture as the victim was fully sighted at her shooting range. Zoeiz shut her eyes, only for an instant, at the hum of absolute winter stillness. No breeze passed, no bird sung.
Offspring of a virgin's womb…
Deliberately opening her eyes into the scope once more, she took a fine-drawn profound breathe and paused. The target was halfway out of the alley.
An annoyed conception surpassed her mentality, interrupting the song, Just because it is Christmas, he assumes I would not eradicate him today? How unwise.
The clock tower, just west from where her post was, only ticked seconds away to 8:00, with which the church bells would chime. For on this day, they rang at every stricken hour. The song in her mind continued…
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see…
The undisturbed heavens sighed, a composed respire. Snow resumed to melodiously descend.
Hail th' Incarnate Deity…
Zoeiz had her index finger caressing the trigger all this time, and it flinched, a spasm of zealous demise. The trigger was unmercifully pulled.
With a trifling, discreetly muffled clink from the OSV-96 large caliber sniper, the victim collapsed instantaneously, the hat hurled off by some unseen force. She smiled, decisively resting her stiffened position, continuing the song, Pleased as man with man to dwell…
Her job was done. The clock tower struck 8:00, having a clang of bells from the church, far up north.
"Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings." Zoeiz whispered, her inherent Russian accent offsetting "vings" from "wings".
She rose, after lying there noiselessly in the snow for an hour or so. Her hooded bleached winter coat and mukluk boots gave her the façade of any girl in town. With this is mind, she unconcernedly disassembled the sniper, out of years of constant practice, and delicately placed it in the proper case. For reassurance, she arranged the casing evenly with some clothes wrapped within an outsized duffel bag. She finished the last song verse aloud as she headed out of the abandoned apartment, "Jesus, our Emmanuel."
Cautiously going down some spiral steps coated in sleet and ice, she was stopped by a rather aged looking fellow, "Nuori neiti?"
Young lady? Is what Zoeiz interpreted in her thoughts.
He was speaking the native tongue, Finnish. Zoeiz was prepared for an encounter with common people here in Finland, and replied in Finnish just the same, straining to hide her accent, "Can I help you?"
The man coughed for a minute, "You just came down from the third apartment room, yes? I'm sorry but did you rent that room? It's not on my records."
She frowned, foolish old man for becoming suspicious.
With one swift, yet somehow graceful, move of her left arm, she drew out her semi-automatic pistol from a coat pocket and shot the pitiable man bluntly between the eyes. The silencer seemed softer than his fall. She watched in irritated displeasure as the snow began to stain with his blood. A repulsive color, a pale crimson, or even pink. With a sigh, she headed out again, cursing to herself, an innocent life taken by my own hands… again. God, forgive me, for I have sinned.
Two bodies lay dead on the snow terrain of the meek Finnish town, Kannus, on Christmas day.
For an assassin, there is no such thing as a godsend act during seasonal holidays.
Zoeiz finished her call with the client, telling the woman in full detail what had happened and what was expected to come. The call was brief and straightforward, giving her plenty of time to rest at a local pub.
Her travel here was not the finest. She had to slaughter two naive teenage girls in order to obtain tickets for the nations train station, the return ticket still deep within one of her duffel bag pockets. And once more, another man became wary of her, which she penalized by shunting his face in a toilet inside the men's bathroom at the station, the closest stall on the right. His drowning was muted, and coincidentally she was wearing gloves at the time. Looking back at it now only made Zoeiz curse herself for a second time, pleading for amnesty.
The bar, down the street from a Helsinki cathedral in the large Finnish city, was undersized yet markedly rowdy today. It was only around six PM, the sky already darkened, but Zoeiz sought to wait before advancing to the cathedral. She requested white champagne, just a trivial amount. Three lads sitting left from her hooted noisily in laughter, whistling along to the open caroling just outside. Conversely, this group of boys was too drunk to comprehend their obnoxious performance. And as much as Zoeiz tried to relay that in her mind as she sipped her champagne, the laughing and singing lingered, her irascibility reaching its limits.
She was finished with her drink and seized her coat to leave, but one of the boys leaned against her, his breathe whelmed in alcohol, "Girlie, leaving so soon?"
Erratically, he spoke in Swedish. Zoeiz ignored him and got up from the stool. He persisted, "We could show you a good time..."
The other boys turned to him and gazed at Zoeiz as if she was some sort of divinity, blessing them with her mere presence. She shook her head, her blonde tresses lashing the air, and presumably left the pub. The boys followed.
They caught up to her in a few minutes, remarkably with their swaying stoned pace. One still held a bottle of vodka in his hand. She glanced at them and… smiled. She spoke, not bothering to hide neither her accent, nor her expression, "Boys, you said you could show me a fun time? Well, I got something better. Want to see?"
The boys, amazed at her intonation and attractive chaste smile, all nodded in eager temptation. She nonchalantly directed to an alley, "Great! This way! "
Zoeiz smile broadened, for she could feel her steel combat knife strapped on her inner thigh, only concealed by a fabric from her white cargo pants. They stopped middle way, and she coolly took off her thick winter coat, murmuring in Russian, "Бог дал, Бог и взял."
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away…
…The boys' shrieks could be heard from a mile away. Zoeiz was not concerned, but instead, exultant at the delightful amusement of splitting their bones and slitting any flesh of any man that strived to escape the alley. Despairing for them, no redeemer would be able to perceive these yelps for salvage from the intense agony; cathedral bells rang at the mark of 7:00 PM. That and further to the high-spirited carol singers amid jubilant hails at the pub.
Zoeiz, disappointed in herself once again, emerged from the alleyway, putting on her coat to secrete the blood stains.
Another sin has been perpetrated from the Sinners' Saint, how paradoxical.
With a yawn, she headed up the boulevard to the cathedral, the lights emitting stunning radiance.
She lingered outside the open cathedral doors. Harmonious choir voices resounded gaily to the song "Silent Night".
Out of tedium restraint and for a diversion from the icy rancorous wind, Zoeiz crooned melodiously with them, "Holy infant so tender and mild…"
The streets were idle. Zoeiz wholly omitted the fact that no one has encountered the corpses yet. Within the cathedral, the gospel choir resumed to resonate, and so did Zoeiz, "…sleep in heavenly peace!"
In reverberation, they continued the final verses. Irrevocably, the composition was over, and that ceased the chorus. Service was concluded, and after the appeals on Christmas prayers, people filed out the cathedral. Unmoving, she waited good-naturedly, only nodding her head in respect to every Catholic that ambled out the doors. Everyone was soon gone. Zoeiz, freezing and rather exhausted, walked inside the imposing cathedral, eyeing the Jesus Christ statue, a couple hundred yards away.
This cathedral was colossal, needless to say, and the city's people were gratified to behold it. Zoeiz strode on, overlooking an elder here and there, and specially the bishop chatting with a small family in the back. Her courtesy was only on the center display. She passed rows and rows of seats, filled with donation slots and secondhand unkempt bibles. The illumination was divine, countless timeless wax candles aligned along the front strip of stairs, arising in numbers as the steps ascended, as she noted.
There was nothing now, her ambiences holy and unheeded, only gazing up at her savior, Jesus. Endowed by resilient faith, she promptly got down on both knees and positioned her hands up in prayer. She fondly whispered, eyes shut, "Jesus, the Light of the World, as I celebrate your birth…"
The ivory and red themed cathedral was serene, nearly static. Only things that seemed to shift were the flicks of the candlelight's fire. She sustained the prayer mentally, may I begin to see the world in the light of the understanding you give me. As you chose the lowly, the outcasts, and the poor to receive the greatest news the world had ever known, so may I worship you in meekness of heart. May I also remember my brothers and sisters less fortunate than myself in this season of giving.
Zoeiz was about to say "Amen" but continued to another appeal, to the heavenly Father, instead, thank you, Lord, for the gift of Your love. May I be a shining example of that love to others. The mercy I bestow has lessened as the years past. Your ideal clemency and humanity has enlightened me, although I may have lost my way. Please, God, show me the light once more, lead me to victorious benevolence that used to be. I confess that some deaths went inessential. Your forgiveness and love proves to strengthen my faith and decency to serve you for this life and eternally.
She paused in her thoughts, a certain Christmas wish imploring to be requested to God. Zoeiz abruptly opened her eyes, "But I must ask one blessing from you, Father and Son..."
A wicked glint of immoral cast in her eyes, "I must ask that you guide me to attain cessation to a pitiful complacent soul…" she breathed.
She glimpsed up at the statue, His ever emanating grace sanctifying her vision. With an evasive smirk, Zoeiz Akuzel hissed, "Aide me to slay the infamous Asuka Zosime."
. . .
Zoeiz took a subtle relaxed deep breathe. And held it just
for a moment.