the smuggler’s bible

Cotillion

Cotillion, the elite assassin, squares up in the hallway. A security guard stares back across 20 meters of expensive carpeting. He smiles wide under his jaunty red cap. Sous-vide looks up from his console. “90 seconds,” he says.

“No guns,” the security guard calls down the hallway. “The boss is sleeping.”

“What’ll it be then?” Cotillion says.

“Knives, if you please.”

Cotillion leans his rifle against the wall and takes off his jacket. He rolls up the sleeves on his black turtleneck. “That pleases me just fine.”

Later, they find a tattoo on the man’s neck. Two small numbers: 17.