by Kevin Mercurio
Section 0: Welcome
Welcome to D.E.C.K. Corp. This is your manual to find all you need to know about our group. It contains our vision, company policies and procedures you will use to complete your assignments. Please keep this manual for your reference.
We have been watching you for several years. You have been selected by the Jokers because your skills and experience would be a great asset to the corporation. We are reaching out to offer you an opportunity. Attached to the end of this manual is your first assignment. If you do not wish to participate, please burn this manual and forget. Do not tell your family. Do not tell your friends. Do not contact the police.
There are six sections to this manual, followed by the details of your assignment. The first section will introduce you to the corporation and the intricacies of our networks. The second section will focus on our clients: the people and organizations that we cooperate with. The following four sections will describe the four factions of our company: the Hearts, the Diamonds, the Clubs and the Spades. We categorize you based upon your attributes and past experience. You will find what faction you are designated to in the final section with your assignment.
If you accept our offer, please continue reading. Know that any knowledge of our corporation and its workings will only be a hindrance on your conscience. Let the present determine the future you will create. We are watching.
Mors veniet unicuique nostrum (Death will come for us all).
Section 1: About D.E.C.K. Corporation
D.E.C.K. stands for Dangerously Egregious Collection of Killers. We are a group that provides our clients with solutions. We do not question. We do not judge. We do not decline. There is no individual protected from our activities.
Our history traces back centuries ago. Our founders, Lippo Bartolomeo Dardi and Guido Antonio di Luca, were inspired by the Sicarii and began the Dardi School, which developed into the modern day D.E.C.K. Corp. They were our first Jokers. Dardi was a geometry professor at the University of Bologna and wrote the first treatise on fencing and geometry in the mid 1400s. His work influenced di Luca to pursue the topic of fencing. di Luca’s most recognized work was his fencing manual written in the early 1500s. Both became the two most prominent Italian fencing masters of the 15th century.
However, fencing was only a guise. The true nature of the Dardi School was to train a small collection of gifted individuals in the art of assassination. Dardi and di Luca drew inspiration from a group of Jewish Zealots historically named the Sicarii, of whom evidence has shown to be the first people to adapt the cloak and dagger technique. These zealots despised the Roman empire and fought secretly to stop the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Stealthy fighters, who were virtuosos in their craft, could kill Romans and Roman sympathizers in the light of day while blending seamlessly back into the public, escaping detection. No mistakes. No witnesses. No traces.
The cloak and dagger technique was the first method of assassination. It provided covertness, maneuverability and protection from target restraint. Those that perfected the tactic were always successful. Other agents, familiarly known as “fencing masters”, included Achille Marozzo, Antonio Manciolino, Giacomo di Grassi and Giovanni dall’Agocchie. They were our first Four Aces.
Since their time, we have been the focal point of direction, influencing the course of human history. In the beginning, our founders sought for power and used their skills to perpetuate their beliefs. This is the one thing they had wrong. We at D.E.C.K Corp want to be perfectly clear that we are not worldly strategists. We do not participate in the meaningless routines of politics, business or culture. We will not bend to the will of morality, nor malevolence. Every individual is equal.
We have developed our procedures to fit the advancement of war and technology. Our most notorious work has led to impact ruling societies, with most having occurred within Western civilizations. The following are recent examples of our successes, and failures, organized by chronology:
- Faction denotation: Hearts (H), Diamonds (D), Clubs (C), Spades (S)
It is noteworthy to mention that most of these agents are well recognized due to the notoriety of their assassinations. This is a revelation you must have by accepting to join our company, and may occur depending on the assignments provided to you. It is your duty, as a D.E.C.K. agent, to conjure your skills to devise, manipulate and succeed in your assignments. Many of these agents could not accomplish their mission without detection and accepted the brutality of the consequences that followed their actions despite years of planning.
You will learn that we have our 54 agents in all levels of society, and can be chosen to fit the requirements of any assignment. Implementation of our assignments could occur at any moment.
The next section will have a brief overview of the company’s clientele. D.E.C.K. Corp is proud of the vast organizations we collaborate with, and range from individuals, other corporations, and even government agencies.
Section 2: D.E.C.K. Corp Clients
Here at D.E.C.K. Corp, we strive to meet the needs of our clients. Below is our promise, composed of three key elements of a successful assassination of which we will achieve. Known as the ESD Creed, these elements focus on the initiation, execution and conclusion of the assassination:
Efficiency in procedures.
Specificity in details.
Diversion in responsibility.
As mentioned, our collaborators range from individuals to groups, from businesses to governments. The diversity within our clientele is something we at D.E.C.K. Corp highly value and ensures that equality is properly implemented. Below are the clients we work with, categorized by type.
Type 1: Individual
Payment for Completion: $20,000 USD
These comprise of requests made by an individual. In most cases, these involve personal disputes that lead to feelings of vengeance, jealousy and grievance. Type 1 assassinations are the most common and simplest, as targets are usually ordinary people, unfamiliar to the public. Therefore, it is likely that authorities invest less time in the subsequent investigations, with most remaining as unsolved cases.
Type 2: Association
Payment for Completion: $50,000 USD
These requests are made by two or more individuals. Many of these requests are affiliated to gangs seeking to steal control of their rivals’ respective territories. Type 2 assassinations occur quite frequently. Due to the nature and environment, most authorities and the general public pay little attention to the incident. Our most known Type 2 assassinations were of the hip-hop icons Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace, leaders in the United States’ Westside Bloods and Eastside Crips gangs, respectively.
Type 3: Company
Payment for Completion: $250,000 - $500,000 USD
We collaborate with many businesses across the world. These requests ultimately involve eliminating the competition for company prosperity. Depending on the target, a Type 3 assassination can elevate the difficulty of the assignment significantly, as they often involve prominent members of a known organization. These requests are given to D.E.C.K. agents of Face Card status and higher only. An example of a Type 3 assassination was the the most recent request by Insystems B-Therapies. The pharmaceutical company aimed to aggressively market their leading opioid drug to patients in the final stages of cancer. Their request and our execution to assassinate the founder and CEO of their competing company, Machiavellian Therapeutics, led to the fall of their rival’s operations.
Type 4: Government
Payment for Completion: $1,000,000 - $10,000,000 USD
In addition to companies, we have partnerships with governments all across the globe. These requests are of high confidentiality, and targets are often prominent politicians, political activists or civil rights advocates. These arise due to many factors that range from control of resources to explicit acts of war. As such, Type 4 assassinations are the most difficult to execute, and are restricted to the Four Aces of our factions. Additionally, due to the countless resources likely to be invested in subsequent investigations by authorities, Type 4 assassinations often end in public recognition or death, and consequently, the termination of employment from D.E.C.K. Corp. Many of our most notorious assassinations are classified under Type 4. Examples were shown in the table provided in Section 1.
Type 5: Other
Payment for Completion: Variable
Type 5 assassination requests are from groups of individuals often associated to an ideology. These requests are usually from terrorist organizations, cults or hate groups wishing to make a statement to the world. Payment for completion of a Type 5 assassination will vary depending on the target.
Type 6: Ab intra
Payment for Completion: Promotion
In order to move through levels of your faction, agents of higher ranking must be either terminated from the organization, or killed. A Type 6 assassination would be requested by you, in the hopes of eliminating a higher level agent for level progression in your assigned faction. These are somewhat difficult in that information on each agent is only known by the Jokers, and no agent knows the details of another agent. Only two Type 6 assassinations have been successful, from a total of 66 attempts. However, there are certain rules to a Type 6 assassination that must be followed:
You cannot hire an agent from your faction.
You must pay $100,000 USD to the agent assigned to your request.
If assassination fails, the Jokers have the right to provide your personal information to the target.
Therefore, please use this service to your utmost discretion.
The next section will describe the first faction of D.E.C.K. Corp: the Hearts.
Section 3: The Hearts
The Hearts faction is a unique part of our corporation. They are the only faction that value cooperation during assassinations. Members of the Hearts are generally social, empathetic individuals that work well within a team. Most of the time, assassins are assigned partners based on compatibility attributes distinguished in your introductory personality tests conducted by the Ace of Hearts. With two sets of minds, assassinations are well-planned, strategic and utilize all weaknesses provided by the target.
The first Ace of Hearts was the great Giacomo di Grassi. He established many of the rules and stipulations of the faction, as well as the foundation of D.E.C.K. Corp. di Grassi was a skilled assassin, devising complex executions that would require the assistance of at least one of the original Four Aces.
Being part of this faction requires essential skills that all assassins should possess. Mainly, members of the Hearts follow a simple code: distract, divide and execute. As an army of two, you must gather intelligence through integration into the life of the assigned target. Communicate with your partner, along with the target’s closest company, to strategize an effective assassination without leaving behind a trail to yourselves or the corporation. You will be assigned to the Hearts if you possess the oxymoronic skill of this faction: manipulative diplomacy. Influence those who raise suspicion, and do not shy away from asking for the assistance of your partner. Find inspiration through collaboration.
Vos autem lupi nostri (You are our wolves).
Section 4: The Diamonds
The Diamonds faction contains our most well-known assassins. Most of its members are familiar faces in society: celebrities, politicians, athletes and the like. Members of the Diamonds are typically charismatic individuals that work well under pressure. Being so recognizable for their positions, actions or idiosyncrasies; their level of suspicion greatly diminishes. However, due to the many head injuries sustained by individuals in this faction, particularly those of sport, many members have gone rogue and have undertaken personal executions. This was the case with such infamous members like O. J. Simpson, Chris Benoit and Aaron Hernandez.
The first Ace of Diamonds was the fencing master Antonio Maniciolino, who’s oldest extant treatise on swordsmanship, Opera Nova, is still used in teachings today. Maniciolino was an eminent member of his community, and most of his targets were, by the end, in close relationship with him or fond of his works. He was a tactical assassin; usually using the element of surprise against his targets. Between his peers, Maniciolino was given the rightful nickname of "backstabber".
Being a part of this faction necessitates keen introspection and self-confidence. Additionally, it is to the benefit of the assassin with high social standing to leverage one’s resources before, during and after the designated assignment. It is key to eliminate any sources of suspicion in order to be successful in this faction. You will be assigned to the Diamonds if you possess the underlying skill of this faction: communal supremacy. Flaunt your assets to befriend and encourage targets to open up to you. Then, utilize those same assets to fully complete the assignment.
Vos autem aquila nostri (You are our eagles).
Section 5: The Clubs
The Clubs faction possesses our most feared members of the corporation. These assassins are typically powerful giants who will not stop until the assignment has been completed. Most of these assassins are sadistic individuals who participate in the acts of torture, thereby extracting invaluable information from their targets prior to the execution. Although this faction is not the most intelligent; give these individuals a hammer and three nails, and they will show you practicality, focus and absolute dependability.
The first Ace of Clubs was the odd-shaped Giovanni dall’Agocchie. This surprisingly skillful swordsman was also afflicted with hypothyroidism, a rare health condition which led to his enormous size and decreased mental capacity. With the help of the other Four Aces, dall’Agocchie was able to establish the foundation of this very important faction.
The Clubs faction is loud, destructive and terrifying. Like the Hearts, assassins within this faction also follow a simple code: seek, torture and destroy. As an army of one, you will find your target and bash their skull within the middle of a crowd. No one will speak, let alone make the slightest sound, due to the shock and fear you instil within them. You will be assigned to this faction if you possess the group’s essential skill: functional horror. Be not afraid of killing the target, nor the consequences that follow, for your mere presence brings their nightmare to reality.
Vos autem pistris nostri (You are our sharks).
Section 6: The Spades
The Spades faction is another unique part of D.E.C.K. Corp. These assassins are the most complex of them all, in regards to their personalities and strategies. Members of this faction possess a lot of the attributes found within the other three factions; whereby they are manipulative, adaptable to all environments and are extremely dependable. They are intelligent, confident individuals. Like the first Ace of Spades, the legendary Achille Marozzo, they are ghosts. This faction contains our most skilled assassins who are able to utilize any and all resources to complete their assignments. You will be assigned to this faction only if both Jokers unanimously agree that you are able to perform specific phenomena that will benefit the corporation. If you encounter a Spade, you are already dead.
Vos autem exspiravit nostri (You are our ghosts).
Section 7: The Assignment
Your assignment, which you have already accepted to undertake, will be challenging. It is a test, whereby we can assess whether the Jokers have placed you in the correct faction. Your target is a man of extraordinary influence in the modern world. Someone with a large, loving family and a flourishing multinational business. His success was the result of decades of dedication and difficult labour. In countless of occurrences, he suffered at the hands of injustice, bankruptcy and even disease. Your target is Muhammad Li, the renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Despite his accomplishments, Mr. Li is still an ordinary human being. To his core, he represents the flesh and blood that make up every one of us. Thus, he should not be thought of as special or significant. Rather, he lives, breathes and experiences life the way we do. We are one species, distinguished from others by many shared features.
The Jokers have decided to place you in the Spades faction. You must be content without the knowledge for the purpose of the assassination, as well as the client to which requested the assignment. This knowledge is for the Jokers and them alone. As a member of the Spades faction, you are the ultimate killing machine. A soldier, but not those of national armies. You are a different soldier, for modern combat soldiers would never fit within the objectives of D.E.C.K. Corp. You are one that thinks of opinions, one that feels emotions. A soldier that kills not because he is assigned the task, but because you need to kill in order to survive. Like a predator that needs to hunt its prey for food, our assassins kill to impact the world. We are fate. We are real destiny.
This is your task. You have 60 days to complete this assignment.
Mors veniet unicuique nostrum (Death will come for us all).
"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
- George Orwell