Kraig sat on the rooftop. His sniper rifle aimed directly at the window of room 1505 at the Jeanette Hotel. He had been waiting there for 8 hours, only taking his eyes off the window to relieve himself. Kraig wasn’t sure why they had picked him for this mission, he was nowhere near as good as the other guys in his contract killing squad, nor had he had as much experience. His boss, Tonya had insisted that it was him who carried out this mission though; and no one goes against Tonya.
As he sat thinking, he noticed movement in the room that he was watching. Kraig was given no description of his victim, other than a name of course. He was told that they would all be wearing nametags, because of some conference or something. Kraig was also told to look for the name Konner Isaacson. He was given no other details.
He looked through the scope and scanned the room. He saw a Betty, a Tony, and a Jack. He aimed to the corner of the room and there he was: Konner Isaacson. Kraig aimed his rifle away from Konner’s chest and slowly inched up toward his face. That was when he saw it. It was like looking into a mirror. Konner had the same light brown hair as he did, he had the same bright green eyes. Everything was the same, right down to the wrinkles in their foreheads. It was uncanny, and strange. Kraig was told he had a brother, though they had been separated at birth, but he didn’t know they were twins! All he knew was that they were split up at birth when their parents gave them up for adoption. And here he was, about to take his life.
Kraig tightened his grip on the gun. He wanted to get to know his brother. He wanted someone to share a common bond, but, he also had a job to do and the first thing they taught them in training was to not let your feelings cloud your judgment. He struggled to pull the trigger. The sweat began to drip from his brow, his hands got sweaty. But just as he was about to pull the trigger, he felt a sharp pain in the back of his head and his vision faded to black.
Kraig awakened in a brightly lit room with his hands firmly tied behind the chair in which he sat. There was a woman standing directly in front of him in a black suit. She stood out against the white walls of the sterile looking room. She had bright blond hair that was tied up in a bun. Her eyeliner accentuated her large eyes, and her slender face and frame added to her toughened demeanor.
“Hello Kraig,” she said.
“What the hell is going on Tonya?” Kraig said.
“Oh, nothing special, Kraig. Well, nothing except your possible execution.”
Kraig’s pulse quickened. “What the hell do you mean execution?”
“Well, the dictionary generally defines execution as the infliction of capital punishment. I trust you know what that means…after all you don’t get anywhere in this business without knowing what that means”
She walked in a circle around Kraig. The click-clack of her black six-inch heels made Kraig nervous. He had good reason to be. Tonya was a fearsome woman. Kraig heard so many stories over the years about her days as an agent. He was once told that she scared off an entire squad of FBI agents with only a look.
On her second circle around Kraig she stopped behind him and yanked his head backwards by his hair.
“That’s a nice little scar they gave you,” She said as she walked back around him to stare into his eyes. “I told them not to hurt you too much.”
She motioned to someone behind Kraig and whispered something in his ear. He scurried out of the room and returned seconds later dragging a rather large man by his arm. She turned to him.
“I explicitly gave you instructions not to damage him too badly! Now he has a scar on his head and it’s all your fault!” she screamed. “You idiot!” with those words, and a quick lunge of her arm, she left her knuckle prints on the man’s right cheek. She then tidied her suit and her fixed any stray hair in her bun.
“So, let me introduce you,” she said to Kraig. “This imbecile is Barry. He’s worked for me for 12 years and in case you didn’t ascertain it from our little conversation, he was the one who left you with that nasty head wound.” She gave a piercing gaze to the man who brought Barry in, and nodded her head approvingly.
The man pulled out a pistol and shot Barry in the head. Kraig let out a scream, but managed to contain most of it within himself. His heart was racing now. He began to sweat. He could feel his hands start to sweat.
“What the fuck, Tonya!” Kraig said “What the fuck is going on! Why am I here? Look I’m not really that good of a killer, Tonya. Just let me go; I don’t have anything for you!”
“Au contraire, Kraig. You have exactly what I need. So you know your brother, now don’t you, Konner? Well, you see, he happens to be the highly reclusive CEO of Sector 5, INC; one of the richest firms on the globe.”
“What does that have to do wi-,”
“Shut the hell up and let me finish!” she said “He was diagnosed with cancer and is expected to die within the next 2 months; because of this he set out to track you down. He found you of course, but the dumb bastard left all of his money and control of the firm to you. You can see why I have a problem with this.”
Kraig was reeling at this revelation. Why would his brother, whom he had never met before leave billions of dollars and control of a firm to him? Kraig was never good at anything, hell, he couldn’t even kill someone properly half of the time.
“So, let me guess, you want me to sign it over to you when I finally meet him?” Kraig said
“Aren’t you the intuitive one,” she said. “But no, you’re wrong. I just need you to make all the decisions I tell you to when you actually gain control of the firm.”
“Sounds simple enough.”
“Good,” she said “that went a lot easier than I expected. You’re exactly the weakling that I thought you were.”
Tonya gave a quick nod and one of the men standing behind Kraig untied him. He grabbed him forcefully by the arm and began to lead him down a long hallway. Throughout that long stretch of hallway, Kraig knew that he couldn’t just blindly follow her instructions. He had to do something. He had to find a way to shut Tonya down.
The long stretch of hallway finally came to an end it seemed when they reached a dark door with the word ‘exit’ carefully painted on it.
“End of the line, Kraig,” the man said. As he pushed him out of the door he felt something slip into his back pocket. What it was he didn’t know yet, But he planned on figuring that out as soon as he got back to his home.
Kraig slipped the silver key into his apartment door. He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a small piece of paper and placed it on his small wooden desk. He debated on opening it but feared that it would be some trap set up by Tonya. Soon, he found himself slowly unraveling the worn, folded edges of paper. Inside there was an SD card and a handwritten message that said “play me”.
Before he played the message, the pain from his head, begged for his attention. He carefully bandaged it up and returned to his desk. He slipped the SD card into his laptop and a video began to play. His brother’s face flashed on the screen.
“Hi, Kraig!” his brother said with a smile. “When you get this message, you should meet me at the Jeanette Hotel, room 1312. I’ll be waiting. Make sure you’re not followed. ”
The message ended and Kraig was yet again astounded. He had a way out…or at least he’d hoped so. His brother had apparently known about Tonya and all of her plans. Kraig grabbed his jacket and left his apartment.
His trip to the hotel was one paranoia filled journey. He imagined Tonya’s lackeys at every street corner with their piercing eyes watching his every move. He told himself it was his imagination. Tonya wasn’t that smart enough to foresee this, he thought. Even so, he kept his head down, didn’t look at any one spot for too long and walked briskly. The quicker he got there, the better off he would be.
He arrived at The Jeanette. He told the front desk he was there to meet a friend. He walked up the stairs to the 3rd floor, and walked to the twelfth room. He knocked on the door a few times and it wasn’t long before his brother opened the door and rushed him in.
“Hey, Kraig,” he said. “I’m Konner in case you hadn’t figured that out yet. But listen, we haven’t much time. You’ve got to get started on learning everything you can about me, and from me. You’re going to take over the company and Tonya is not going to control you like a puppet. First lesson is in basic management.”
The next few hours were filled with charts and graphs and vocabulary he had never before thought of. While Kraig had never before excelled in anything in his life, he understood these concepts as easily as if he’d known them his entire life. It excited him.
“Alright,” Konner said “Meet me tomorrow at the eagles bar. It’s an ethics lesson”
The next few weeks passed by and every day he met Konner at a different location for a different lesson. On this particular day, he was supposed to meet Konner for coffee at the nearby Starbucks. He stepped through the door, ordered a cappuccino and sat down at the table with Konner.
“It’s graduation day, Kraig,” Konner said as he slid him his ID, social security card, car keys, and credit card.
“Does this mean that I’m going to have to pretend to be you for the rest of my life?” Kraig said.
“Yes. It’s the only way I can keep my customers from leaving the company, and get you out of this mess you’re in. To the public it’ll look like I’ve just made a miraculous recovery; to Tonya, it’ll look like you ran away.”
“Konner, this, what you’re asking me to do, it’s…it’s insane.” Kraig said
“I know Kraig, it’s gonna be difficult. But there are a few people who know about this. I won’t tell you who they are, but, they know; and they will do their best to help you every step of the way.”
Konner stood up from the small table. He began to walk towards to door, but he suddenly stopped and returned.
“Oh, one other thing. When I die, my obituary will be under the name Carlos Lobo. You can attend if you’d like, but be aware that reporters will wonder why the hell you, Konner Isaacson are at some stranger’s funeral. Also, inside your office you’ll find a set of documents. It contains my personal memoir for you. Read it, and know it like the back of your hand. After all, it is your life. Goodbye Kraig,” Konner stood up from the table for the second time, but this time he actually left.
Kraig watched through the window as Konner slowly walked down the street. He finished his cappuccino and heard a boom of thunder and saw a flash of lightning outside. He grabbed his new car keys and stepped outside just as it began to rain. It was a cold rain, one that Kraig had no interest in standing in any longer. He got into the silver Porsche and sped off. Soon he found himself staring at his old apartment building. He knew he shouldn’t be there but he had to see it one last time before he went to live in Konners’ miniature castle. He glanced at it, and sped off toward his new home.
He arrived at the Isaacson Manor. It was 200 acres of pure aesthetic beauty. There were awe-inspiring glass windows, marble columns and a huge yard. It kind of excited Kraig a bit, but he quickly dismissed this excitement when he remembered how he got to be here. While driving up the long driveway, he could see the huge pool in the background. He parked his car in front of the door and stepped out.
He walked past two dangerous looking men who were posted at the front door. Upon entering the house he was struck by how wonderful it looked. It was perhaps the most amazing house he’d ever seen. But he knew he couldn’t linger for too long. It had to seem as if he’d been there many times before. He recalled the floor plans he and Konner had gone over on day 5 of his training. Upstairs and 5th room to the left he repeated to himself. He would find the memoir and immediately start reading. He had to know everything about his brother…absolutely everything. Right down to everyone he’d ever slept with.
He found the room and pushed open the door. Tonya was standing there, hands on her hips, blond hair in a bun just like always.
“Who the hell are you?” Kraig said, feigning his knowledge in the best way he knew how
“My name is Tonya, but then again, you probably already know that. Where the fuck is Kraig Summers?”
“Don’t play dumb with me! Your twin brother! I know you were looking for him. I also know you found him! He is my agent, and he needs to report to me right now! So where. The fuck. Is he?
“Look…Tonya?” Kraig said “I talked to him, but he said he wanted nothing to do with me or my company. So I didn’t fight that, and I let him go”
“Bullshit. I can see it in your eyes. You’re lying. Tell me where he is, or my associate here will blow your brains out.”
“Alright, let’s calm down. You want to know the truth? I got him far away from you. You’ll never find him. I gave him enough money, so that he could go wherever the hell he wanted and relax for the rest of his life. He didn’t tell me where he was going; but he did mention a few places. Tokyo…Hawaii…Barcelona? If I were you I’d start there.
Tonya looked around the room for a bit. Then she paced back and forth and gave Kraig an inquisitive look. She chuckled to herself a bit.
“Blow his brains out, Tommy,” She said.
Tommy cocked his gun and pointed it at Kraig. Kraig turned around and pulled the handle on the door. Something was blocking it from the other side. Kraig couldn’t believe it. After all that he’d gone through he was going to die anyway. He closed his eyes and prepared for death. He heard the gun fire and then he heard a thud on the carpet. He opened his eyes to see Tonya lying on the white carpet in a pool of her own blood.
“You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do that,” Tommy said. “lucky for you, you were smart enough to know something like this might happen. That’s why you hired me, right?”
Kraig breathed a sigh of relief.
“Yep, that’s why I hired you.”
Suddenly Kraig understood. His brother knew not to place all his trust in one plan. He had backup after backup after backup. His brother was determined to make sure he made it out alive.
He left it to Tommy to deal with the police and explain the situation. While Tommy was downstairs sorting everything out. Kraig returned to Konner’s office and retrieved the memoir. He took it to Konner’s bedroom and laid it on the bed. He had to start as soon as possible despite his near death experience. He gave his statement to the police and began to pore through the pages.
He read page after page after page. He learned about Konner’s ex-fiancé, he learned about how they lost their baby. He learned that Konner had known about Kraig for 10 years, but the onset of his brain cancer led him to actually search for him. He learned how it took him a long time to come to grips with the fact that his brother was a contract killer. Kraig had become enlightened about his brother’s life, and how much more different it had been than his own.
Every day for the next two weeks Kraig read the obituary section of every newspaper in the morning. He scanned the pages for the name Carlos Lobo. He found it on September 18th. It said Carlos Lobo, orphan and loving brother. It gave details about the funeral date and time: Saturday, September 22nd, at Onyx Non-Denominational church. Kraig was going to go. After all, he had to. It was his brother. He’d only known him for a few weeks, but he had done so much for him.
Saturday arrived and Kraig picked Konner’s finest suit to wear. He had his driver take him to the church. It was a small place. And the room was very nearly empty. There were 2 people sitting in the front row. Kraig took his seat next to them. The pastor began to speak.
“We have been gathered here today to acknowledge the passing of Mr. Carlos Lobo,” he said. “He was a solitary man and stipulated that his funeral be short and to the point. To that end, I stand here to read you his personal letter of passing.”
Kraig’s eyes opened wide. His brother always had something up his sleeve. He was a trickster that one.
“And it reads “Dear everyone, I know there will not be many people attending my funeral as I was an orphan, and my brother and I weren’t the best of friends; regardless I would like to say that my life was a remarkable one. If there are any who knew me, do not grieve, for I am no longer suffering. To my brother: I know you are not here, but if by any chance you are, I would just like to say that you must stay strong on your path, do not fret. When the going gets tough, don’t be afraid to ask for help. When times get hard don’t do what I did, and retreat. You should branch out, make connections, and have yourself a family. You’ll thank yourself for it in the end. Don’t be like me and regret that you didn’t, it’ll haunt you.”” The pastor finished the letter and continued speaking.
Kraig didn’t know what else the pastor had to say, but he had heard what he needed to hear. He would take the lesson from his brother and make sure his brothers’ wishes were fulfilled. He got up from the pew and walked out the door to be met with a slew of reporters. They were asking questions about why was he there; who was Carlos Lobo to him? He responded to none of the questions, and instead continued to walk to his car. He opened the car door and gave a smirk, looked at the church and thought: so it begins.