SIX MONTHS EARLIER; 12.15pm
The pain is excruciating again but momentarily
I cannot feel it because I know I'm going to live!
I got out of the machine and strode to the car.
THREE looked worried: ‘Well? Did you find one?’ I nodded: ‘Yeah, no problem. It worked out quite neatly actually.'
I felt good and confident about the whole thing.
It was all going to work out fine.
Being shot was a small price to pay for a life of luxury and now I knew I was going to survive.
But as we drove I couldn't help thinking about the extreme pain I would have to endure, and the closer we got to the office, the lower my mood fell. Something happened in the car, and there was a lot of shouting, but don't ask me what; the whole journey's a blank. When we arrived, it was all I could do to actually get out of the car.
I was glad that THREE seemed to be taking charge. The next few moments seemed to pass in a haze and my fear grew so much that THREE had to physically help me down the stairs to the vault area. My legs gave way and I sat on the stairs and cried.
I cried for all the indignity that life had thrust upon me. I cried for the parents I had never known, and the child they left on the Orphanage doorstep and the pain I had inflicted on all around me as some form of revenge.
I thought about the family I had tortured only the other day and realized the pain I'd inflicted on them was about to be visited upon me. Could I change that? Could I undo what I'd done? or at least go back and release them? I must do something to redeem myself? I must call this off, before anyone else gets hurt. 'Shall I call THREE?'
I thought but then I replied to myself out loud:
'It's not going to make any difference'
Out of the smoke emerged a figure.
Was it THREE? No! I fired before I could raise my gun properly and the figure fired back. We fired again and again into the murk, shot ricocheting from the walls. Flesh ripped from splintered bone and blood spattered the ceiling. Pain flooded my body and I fell to the floor, finding myself lying face to face with my injured adversary. I wiped the blood from my eyes and glanced at the guard. He too was gasping for breath, wincing with pain and losing a lot of blood. He looked familiar. There was a set to his eyes: The way he looked at me out of the corner of his eye.
I looked down at the guard's wounds and noticed that his leg was almost blown away and suddenly it hit me.
'Are you a doctor?' I asked.
'No,' said the guard.
What do you think?