TerrCore: A Tale of Deception

Today I woke up in my apartment. It was very strange since a green light woke me up yet was no where to be seen when I opened my eyes. At least what looked exactly like my apartment. Yet things seemed to be just slightly off. I know for a fact I wouldn’t have but my bookshelf on the opposite wall in my sleep. Same with the brand of television being entirely different. Something off had happened last night and it was completely beyond me.

As I gathered myself, I noticed a figure walk into my room. A gorgeous brunette woman with a slender build sauntered into the room and casually leaned on the wall.

“Notice anything different, Roger?”

It was right around here I assumed I was in a dream. Weird that I’d dream of having my room slightly rearranged but some would say that’s my sub conscience trying to get me to be more organized. I figured I’d play along with my dream, seeing where it went.

“Yeah. A few small things.”

“Well,” She whispered while staring at me, “I can tell you this. I’ve pulled you into the future by one year. The issue is that you become a master assassin in a year. I know it sounds far fetched, but you’re the only one capable of thinking like him. We need you to track him down and kill him. Then we’ll send you back to your time.”

I raised an eyebrow and chuckled at the absurdity of my brain. It felt like I was in a very strange action film.

“Alright, I’ll bite. How do you expect a self defense teacher to out class a master assassin even if we think alike? Also, why would I help kill myself?”

“We would like to help, but he’s tracking nearly everyone on the planet. Your best asset is the fact that he is unable to track who you are since you’re not from this world. Be warned that as soon as you make it clear what you’re doing, he’ll come for you relentlessly.”

At this point, she slowly walked over and sat next to me. Her eyes looked tired but full of hope when she looked into mine. Eventually, she muttered, “I know we’re asking you to do the unthinkable, but trust me when I say the world is better off without Roger. I’ll protect you from this first trap, considering it’s set to kill me, but realize that you’re going against the world’s best. Good luck.”

With that, she took out a small circle and tossed it to me. A small red orb illuminated the area around where I was sitting and emitted a small buzzing noise. Suddenly, two large men burst into the room and charged at us. Before I could comprehend what was happening, the orb screamed and the apartment exploded. I was sent rocketing towards the ground.

At this point I realized I would have to fulfill my dream mission if I was going to wake up in peace. Why not enjoy the fantasy? I pocketed the red orb, now considerable smaller and without any light emitting from it.

In order to think about things clearly, I decided to refer to my future self as Roger+. It was the only way to really dissociate myself from the fact that I had to kill this version of me. The first step I took was quickly leaving town on a bus. If I was still in town, I bet he’d become aware of my presence too quickly. I had to have the element of surprise or Roger+ would most assuredly track me down first.

I knew this dream was going to be a very long journey to find myself. At least that’s what I’ll tell people to sound introspective when I wake up.

I found a nice small town that seemed decently relaxed. The first thing I did was walk into a local diner and ask for a job using a false name. The town was small enough that they didn’t even require me to do an interview, they just said to come by whenever they were open and they’d pay me in cash after every shift. Seemed perfect.

Next, I found a nice place to crash. An old farmer nearby said he’d rent out his barn. I just needed to get a blanket and pillows and it would be enough for me to get by. Now that things were settling in, I had to start planning. I saved up my cash from the diner for a good month before buying a laptop. The barn became my home base.

Without much thought, I started doing research on how to track someone down. It took a bit of learning but I found out how to properly conceal my traces and get around firewalls. I’d say this process was my daily routine for 4 months. Soon I found out that my name had been completely out of all traceable registries. Seems that I knew exactly how to go under.

So I decided to take up practicing with the locals. They all seemed quite knowledgeable about how to aim the rifle properly, including taking into effect wind speed and distance. It is truly strange how intense these country folks get about hunting.

During this period, I began to practice going under cover. Nothing over the top that would make your head spin. Small stuff like wearing a suit and getting onto a businesses rooftop. It was a lot about looking like I belonged there. After 5 months of becoming the best shot I could be, learning how to track through advanced firewalls, and blend in at will, I knew that the window I had come close to closing to find Roger+.

There were days when I had to remind myself this was a dream. The things I’ve learned felt like ingrained knowledge to me – as if these skills would transfer to my muscle memory when I left this place. Sleeping in this world was also a surreal feeling to me, but I got used to it eventually.

The time had come for one final check in my psyche. This would truly be what I would use to lure out Roger+. I decided to go skydiving. As I went up, I could feel my heart race rising. Heights have never been my deal but this was like the ultimate in terms of fears. As we hit the point where I was going to jump, I couldn’t stop shaking. Good. This is the last bit of information I’d need.

I jumped from the plane and fear overwhelmed me. I felt panic coursing through all my veins, but if you saw my face you’d see a smile. This is the answer I needed.

Even now, deep down, I was afraid of death.

That much couldn’t have changed about me even if I became an assassin. I knew that if Roger+ still had this fear, he’d track me down and do all the work for me.

Over the next month I did extensive hunting on any information about assassins. It turned out that at this point, the best assassin in the world went by a name that his clients only whispered. Dios de la Muerte. The God of Death.

His work was mostly in the southern hemisphere dealing with corrupted government officials. I knew he would have to have some idea of where Roger+ was in hiding. Especially if he’s the best in the world.

During my studies, I found that he was often found of killing his targets near churches to show the purity of his “cleansing” acts. Well, I’ve deduced his next target is a gang leader who implemented a harsh imposing rule over a small village’s income. It was the best logical step for him to take. So I positioned myself on a tall building a few miles away from the church.

It felt strange, this dream. I would have to take human life for the first time. Even if I knew this was all going to dissolve, something like this would stick with me. I rationalized it by convincing myself I’d be helping the village and the world. Above anything, I couldn’t hesitate in front of Roger+. He’d kill me before I drew another breathe. With all of this in mind, I raised my sniper rifle and took aim. As soon as the leader turned the corner, I took my shot.

The blood confirmed more than anything that I had hit. I clenched my fist. This was the first kill. All so that I could lure out a god.

“Quién? Who the hell took my justice?”

Looks like he was better than I expected. He appeared within moments of the kill, so he must have been very close. I took this as a sign that my positioning was close to perfect.

“Someone who wanted to talk with you personally.”

“Well, I don’t know who you are but don’t take my work. Or I’ll take you.”

As he finished, my trap had sprung. He was caught by his leg and his machete was sent flying across the room. A slur of Spanish swears come flying from his mouth. Before he could get his knife across the rope, I disarmed him quickly.

“Tell me what you know about Roger.”

“I don’t fucking know about any Roger’s.”

I picked up his knife and held it to the thick of his back.

“Now is not the time to lie, my friend.”

He spit on the ground next to me and grimaced angrily.

“You know you’re the first mother fucker to find me and take me on like this. I’d say if anything,, I should be asking you about things. I’ve never even heard of you.”

Of course. Another dead end. I figured I’d see about the first girl I met.

“I met a girl who was capable of surviving an explosion with this red orb. Do you have anything on her?”

For the first time in a long time, I pulled out the red orb. It seemed to be dull and inert at this point.

“Of course. She’s the recruiter for TerrCore. They find and train assassins, but they’re very exclusive. I’ve never been contacted, so I’m a bit fucking pissed. Is this a recruitment pitch or something?”

Things didn’t add up quite yet. I decided to cut him down since he seemed to be impressed with me thus far. I, of course, kept my eyes on where his hands were at all times. No way was I going to lose to this guy.

“What technology is in this orb?”

He slowly took it from my hand, inspecting it intricately.

“Seems like a time travel piece. The red one they have sends it’s people back a year. I heard a green one sends them forward. With that, they’re undoubtedly the best assassins in the world. That’s my lifetime of research there, so consider me impressed you have one on you.”

What a joke. My own dream had tricked me into becoming an assassin to hunt myself down. Speaking of which, when was I going to wake up? These details were all so specific and I felt pain on multiple occasions. Somehow I began to allow myself to realize this may not be a dream. Now I was angry.

Working with the God of Death, I was able to piece together three founding members of TerrCore using the symbol on the red orb. There was the veteran, Ryker, who was able to successfully avoid my interrogation through a cyanide pill. Then there was Lion’s Claw. He tried to build a reputation as an awful assassin but in reality just wanted it as a blanket so he could work under no pressure. He was a bit more difficult since we found out he had the green orb on him.

Death and I knew we had to get him before he was able to use the orb. It seems that they only have one use, so there was a chance he’d be able to escape to the future. Unfortunately for him, he had to keep up his appearance as a bad assassin for the community to continue believing his ruse. We set up a huge spiked trap in the sewers of London and hired him to go kill a worker who “knew too much” down there. He showed up and we ambushed him in our trap, causing him to use the green orb to flee.

Lastly, we knew where Sting was going to be. Her mysterious profile would have left us completely dumbfounded. But it had been almost a year now, and we knew where she was going to end up.

We arrived a bit early to see the outside of my building had completely changed. It seemed like an apartment complex, yet it was much larger and extravagant with it’s design. We took on different identities and rented the apartment across from the one I used to own.

Looks like the one I did own was being leased out to a woman named Sara. Seems like we have a positive ID. We explored the apartment and noticed that she had furnished it to look exactly like my old place. This is how we’d strike.

Exactly one year had passed since I had been woken up and thrust down my path. I had long since given up hoping this was a dream and instead wanted vengeance for this awful path I had been sent down.

The morning of, I heard myself arrive in the green orb. Sting had given me the quick run down of what was to happen. As we burst through the doors, my past self was teleported into the past.

“I see you’ve found the famous assassin, Roger.”

“You sent me on this path, knowing I’d mistake it for a dream.”

“We did what we had to do in order to create the best assassin possible. It did require setting up our military trainers and workers at that town. I hope my father’s barn was comfortable enough for you.”

She was playing with me the entire time? My anger exploded and I charged her. The God of Death made sure her exits were blocked.

“Don’t get so angry,” she choked out, “you managed to elude us immediately after leaving that town. I knew you were the right one for the job.”

“Why did you do this to me?”

“Because TerrCore was made when we found out what you could become. A man who uses his abilities to murder at will. To cleanse the earth of corruption by purging it of humans. No one could stop you. All you needed was a little… push.”

I felt the anger of being manipulated flare up. This was just a joke to her, nothing more than an idealistic means to an end. Drawing a knife, I looked into her eyes.

“This world is better off without Roger, because this world is better off without people.”

At a boiling point, I angrily slashed her throat, watching her drop in front of me. Without missing a beat, I tossed the knife into the skull of the unsuspecting God of Death. Now, it seems, I am his god.

The absolute filth in this world needs to be cured. I won’t let anyone else bring such awful ideals into the world. I’ll use my powers to cleanse humans.

It will start in the sewers of London. I sit down inside the trap we set up earlier this month. After all, my friend Ryker will be showing up soon.

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