They say death is life's only certainty. I assure you, I am.

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CJ Knight: The King of L.A. (Part 1)

"The name is CJ Knight. He's a marine in charge of L.A.'s ruling gang, the Rampage. They're well-structured and militaristic They're more dangerous than your typical streetgang. Come prepared." Bishop spoke on the phone with one of his L.A.-based contacts, Kiro. Bishop was in the process of arranging for backup with Kiro, as what started as a simple assassination became more and more troubling the more he researched CJ Knight and the Rampage.

Kiro was ex-Yakuza, a former enforcer among the best trained of their organization. Well-versed in the art of combat, Kiro now worked as a mercenary in some of the most violent cities in America, selling his skills to any and all who could afford them. But Kiro owed Bishop a favor. During a hit gone wrong, Kiro had been cornered by corrupt cop Michael Keller, who Bishop payed to let Kiro escape. That same corrupt officer would be accompanying them on the mission to kill CJ Knight.

Kiro was a middle-aged man of Asian descent, though his experiences had left him with a worn and aged look as well as many scars. He stood at about 6'3 and weighed in at about 230 lbs, with vibrant green eyes that seemed to glow in the dark. He wore a faded and worn black leather duster with a hood, a scabbard housing his katana slung over his shoulder and a Glock holstered on his hip.

Michael Keller was born in Canada, but moved to America at the first opportunity he got. He joined the LAPD looking to make a difference in the world, but quickly became corrupt as he rose through the ranks. He began taking bribes, working with criminals, and even working as a mercenary of sorts for the criminal underground, using information provided by criminals to raid rival gangs. Now, he would be in the employ of Bishop, happily working for free on the promise of bringing down CJ Knight, the King of L.A.

Michael Keller was middle-aged as well, though his skin was much paler than Kiro's. He spoke with a heavy Canadian accent, and sported shaggy, graying hair and a large beard. When not in his uniform, he often opted to wear a simple brown woolen coat and jeans with work boots. He kept his police-issued Glock with him at all times, visibly holstered wherever he went.

Bishop himself was a Texas-native killer for hire. A sociopath, he feels no remorse. He joined the military so that he could kill legally, but was dishonorably discharged due to a history of mental instability and violent outbursts. Now he uses the training given to him by the U.S. Marine Corps to do the one thing he's good at. He'll take any job, no matter how reprehensible, for the right price. He was the ringleader, the one hired for the assassination of CJ Knight. This was his job, and he intended to complete it. A mercenary's reputation is their most important asset.

Bishop, real name Dooley Frye, was the youngest of the three, as well as the most dangerous. He was quiet, only speaking when necessary, his few words coated in a thick southern accent. His hair was Auburn, slicked back under his hat. He sported a combination of mutton chops and a handlebar mustache, staring at the world through a pair of highly specialized mirrored aviator shades. He wore an olive duster with faded jeans, as well as a motorcycle helmet customized to look like an owl's head when he was working. He concealed a Glock at all times, often taking a double-barrel shotgun with him on hits, keeping it slung over his shoulder with a rifle strap.

"Keller. Kiro's en route. Meet me at the warehouse as agreed." Minutes later, both of Bishop's guests had arrived. They climbed into an inconspicuous windowless van, with Kiro sitting passenger. Michael opened the back door to find that the van was heavily armored from the inside, and the walls lined with a wide array of conventional weapons. "Whatever you need is back there. Take your pick." Bishop spoke into the rear-view mirror as he turned out into the crowded streets of L.A. on his way to the suburbs where CJ Knight resided. Little conversation was had.

CJ Knight's base of operations was an old textile plant in a suburban L.A. cul de sac. Only one way into the neighborhood, and only one way out. CJ Knight's HQ lay at the very end of the cul de sac, ensuring that any attempt on his life would bring the full fury of the Rampage onto the assailant's head. The trio in the van were counting on it. The windowless van rolled down the short road to the textile plant, Rampage gang members staring in silence as it approached their boss' headquarters. As the brake lights came on, the thugs began to brandish their weapons, and the trio braced for what was about to come.

On a count of three, they exited the van.