Janus, the killer thought. A code-name, obviously. Was it a reference, he wondered, to the Roman two-faced God or to the moon of Saturn? Not that it made any difference. Janus wielded unfathomable power. He had proven that beyond a doubt.
As the killer walked, he imagined his ancestors smiling down on him. Today he was fighting their battle, he was fighting the same enemy they had fought for ages, as far back as the 11th century when the enemy's crusading armies had first pillaged his land, raping and killing his people, declaring them unclean, defiling their temples and Gods.
His ancestors had formed a small but deadly army to defend themselves. The army became famous across the land as protectors... skilled executioners who wandered the countryside slaughtering any of the enemy they could find. They were renown not only for their brutal killings, but also for celebrating their slayings by plunging themselves into drug-induced stupors. Their drug of choice was a potent intoxicant they called hashish.
As their notoriety spread, these lethal men became known by a single word... Hassassin... literally the followers of hashish'. The name Hassassin became synonymous with death in almost every language on earth. The word was still used today, even in modern English but like the craft of killing, the word had evolved.
It was now pronounced assassin.
Copyright Dan Brown. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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