The Zone Assassins are a powerful, well-equipped trans-dimensional group originally head-quartered in Nexus City and now scatters throughout the Strange World tunnels.
The Strange World Yellow tunnels connect with many hundreds of thousands of reality, each at a different point in history. Once discovered, a reality begins to diverge from the original path. The longer the time since discovery, the greater is the divergence. In some cases, it has been tens of thousands of years since discovery and the divergence is great indeed. In other cases, divergence is still relatively minor.
This means that when timeframes overlap, specific individuals may exist in more than one reality. Up until the time of discovery, they are for all practical purposes identical.These duplicates are called "Echos."
For example, one door in Yellow could open to New York City in the year 2008. Another door might open to the year 2000 in Kona Hawaii.Upon discovery, both doors would contain an "Echo" of the author. The NYC Door would contain a 54 year old Author and the Kona Door would contain a 46 year old Author.
Human nature being what it is, there are many specific individuals that are despised by their fellows. For example, after 1945, hardly anyone likes Adolf Hitler. Every time a circa 1935 reality is discovered, there are invariably folks who think, "Wouldn't that place be nicer if Adolf had an unexpected accident?"
That's where the Zone Assassins come in. They specialize in making such accident happen. Sometimes they are subtle and the death seems random and tragic. Sometimes the death is intentionally public and brutal. It all depends on the contract and the preferences of the client.
Hitler seldom survives in any reality, but the Zone Assassins don't play favorites. They'll happily kill Winston Churchill and General Patton as well as Hitler and Himmler. They'll happily kill the echo of your Uncle Vinny, the one you molested you back when you were a kid. If you have the fee, they'll happily kill your own echo -- a surprising number of people are extremely disturbed when they realize a duplicate of them is running around someplace. They will also happily "obtain" valuable objects from newly-discovered realities.Do you want the magic jewel that is set in each and every set of the British Royal Crown? Do you want a Shakespeare First Folio in REALLY perfect condition? Do you want a duplicate of your poor wife, the one who died in a car accident last month? The Zone Assassins can help.
The Zone Assassins can afford the best technology, magic, reality rippers -- you name it. They include humans, aliens, and magic creatures. Some of the most effective Zone Assassins are Trodons.
About sixteen years ago, the Zone Assassins took a big hit. A seemingly inconsequential human named Donald Rieke infiltrated the group and convinced many of the assassins to split off and for a new organization with nobler goals. The new Zone Pioneers took over the Nexus City HQ, dozens of the Zone Assassins, and hundreds of their priceless Reality Rippers and Master Keys. Nobody knows how this was accomplished, or why the remaining Zone Assassins didn't seek revenge. Perhaps the story will be told some day.
One interesting fact his certain however. Every single known echo of Donald Rieke is dead -- purely by accident of course.
In any case, the Zone Assassins are still active. You can't just walk into their storefront and sign a contract anymore, but if you need them badly enough, you'll eventually find them. If they don't find you first.