A Step To Far
Present day. Paris, France
Lamps on iron wall brackets lit the passages deep beneath the catacombs. The few doors I passed were shut tight, some locked, some rusted solid, hidden in dark niches until I was right on top of them. I saw no other people on the way out, the only sounds resonated from the pit I just left, tearing at my soul.
Considering I spent years doing all sorts of crazy shit to win this candidacy, the decision to exit this nightmare came surprisingly easy. Once the implications of what I was seeing started to unfold, I stood up, turned around and filtered my way through the giddy crowd towards the door. I could sense Mike watching me go. No doubt wondering how long it would be before he had to get rid of me. Not that I cared. I just needed to get out!
It was still raining as I emerged onto the streets of Paris. The city was looking tired and disappointed, with dark heavy clouds mirroring my mood. All the cafe’s, shops and offices were near empty, and with the rumbles of thunder threatening to take hostile action against the tourists and residence alike, the streets were clear.
“How could I have been so stupid”, I thought running across the road, while thumbling around my pockets for my car keys. “It was all in the details, the things you wouldn’t notice unless you saw them all together, like I saw them now”. Of course, the passing thought was a lame attempt of reassurance, to stop hating the foolishness of my actions, this madness. But all the time, the haunting, cheerful words of the grandmaster still echoed and tormented my thoughts… “All die at birth. But this one, this one survived.” All he needed was a deep evil laugh, and the crazy prick would be the full package! It’s one thing to manifest one of those things in spirit, but to give it a body was insanity.
They say time works differently when true fear encompasses your entire world, choking the air from your lungs. As I was sitting staring out the windscreen, damp from rain and sweat, gripping the steering wheel so tight my fingers and knuckles turned white. Time just stopped. Only one thought remained… Run! Yeah. Only one problem. There’s no such thing as a real hiding place. One way or another, they’ll catch up.
There was only one option left. “Kill them all!” I roared within my head, not quite as fiercely as I would have liked, but in my defence, it wasn’t as if I was expecting this today. My to-do-list wasn’t, have coffee, eat breakfast, kill a whole load of people, and a demonic hijacker. Oh yeah, and while I’m at it, burn everything to ash! Believe it or not, this isn’t how I tend to spend my Tuesday mornings. But at the same time, I can’t say I didn’t know it wasn’t coming.
I opened up the glove box and pulled out my Sig P229. Staring down at the gun cradled in my hands, I felt shame and anger. “Why does it always come back to this”. I checked the clips, unscrewed the silencer and pushed soft foam plugs into my ears. The noise in an enclosed space like that would create panic. With people running, pushing and trying to hold on to what little life they had left. Escape will be their illusion. With any luck, it would give me that extra second on Mike. It’s unlikely he will hesitate longer then that.
I stepped out of the car and took a deep breath while heavy rain fell hard around me. Neil Armstrong once said “one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”. I guess sometimes you don’t need to travel 384,400 km to change the world. I put one foot in front of the other… It was time to go to work.