Everyone he told about his plans to move to Seattle had the same reaction – “won’t you get tired of the rain?” Truthfully, after more than a year in the arid Arabian desert testing munitions for shady third-hand dealers, he swore he’d move somewhere wet, the streets permanently slicked with dew, fog, or pouring sleet.

He liked Auburn enough, but there weren’t the kinds of high-rise buildings one could find in downtown proper. The city looked so different from up top, a vantage that made him pause and reflect every time he beheld it, job or no job. Luckily for him, tonight’s work meant a lot of people-watching, waiting for the go signal.

Some people were just born to work alone, he shrugged, briefly considering his lot. Twenty-five floors up, tucked into a small alcove, cradling a sleek rifle against the whipping wind. He had a team tonight, but not one he had worked with before. He knew his place, knew his role. He was a professional and that was good enough, in his mind. 

Men and women of all talents found their way into the shadows; whether they’d been chewed up and spat out by the megacorps, ignored and tossed aside by civil society, or just loners who could think on their feet, at some point each of them had not only made the decision to enter the big leagues, but survived the transition long enough to establish a reputation.

“Calm and quiet,” his few friends and associates described him. “Professional, if a bit aloof.” He wasn’t in this gig for conversation, companionship, or camaraderie, and made sure to follow through on all of his promises. Nothing more, nothing less.

In truth, he just liked the rain. The sound, the feel, the very smell of it. How it transformed a city and the population therein. Anchored to a building nearly three hundred feet off the ground, he was free to let go of what other stress tried to pull his attention and just relax. He could feel the pitter-patter against his durable camouflage, smell the petrichor between gusts, and share a moment with thousands of others walking the street, no matter how far away or insignificant to the job at hand.

A small chirp brought his focus from the overarching and general to the minute and focused, hands bringing the large gun to bear with practiced grace. “Zero-one, you are green for take out. Confirm.”

“Confirm,” he mumbled, taking one last breath of the moist air before looking down the scope.