” Right behind you.” That’s all I need to hear.
Alec’s leather suit is creaking, as he leans over to deactivate the master inhibitory signals on our implants. Protocol, protocol. My babysitter-in-time is a babysitter-by-the-book, complicating my plans.
He is annoying as hell, but he’s the best. Never lost anyone. Nevertheless, I managed to set new coordinates to more fun. Alec is going to be so pissed off. My vest is sitting tight, again checking jacket, ammo and boots. Green light.
Let’s get started. Fingers tingling, hair standing on end, popping a chewing gum. The adrenalin sings in my veins. I can’t stand the waiting in the log-tunnel. Come on, come on. Come on!
„Remember safety training. Hold your breath, when the vortex appears. Medical staff is on stand by. Emergency pull-out in max. ten seconds. Try not to get shot.“ Blah blah blah. I nod. Stop patronizing me! I don’t need to look, to know he is flashing a smile. Someday I’ll smack that grin out of that face. The air starts fizzling, the guns heat up. Finally! Yes!
„Countdown T minus fifteen. Buffering location and timeline. Safety locks disengaged. Proceed to marked areas.“ A mechanical female voice chirps over the humming of the walls. Awesome! The CPU accepts the new coordinates I’ve programmed. Goodbye Columbo, hello L.A.! Anyone can shoot a small fry armed only with a shotgun. How bout some bigger fish? How bout UCIs, how bout more players?
„Nine.“ A moment of silence before I’ll be shitting death. Hell, yeah.
„Seven.“ At the end of the tunnel trouble awaits. Blood and pain. Yeah.
„Six.“ Patience. Keep cool.
„Five.“ Keep cool.
Good things come to those who- „four.“
„Three.“ I don’t give a fuck!
„No! Wait!“ He can scream all he wants. Lights out. Get going. The pale blue vortex forms a hole in space, an arm length in front of me. Behind it, a sprayed door appears. No number on it. No peephole. Trash lying around. Yeah, let’s play some music!
My kick blows the door off it’s hinges. „Open sesame!“ Time stops, comes back crashing down, as I pass fully through timeline lapse. Gasping. Two men. One on the couch, one in the doorway. Shouting. TV yelling. Spanish. Dog on a rug -left corner of the room. I hate dogs. Barking. Take it out first.
Things happen so fast that I’m actually not sure who’d I hit first. Dog. Man on couch. Man in doorway. What surprised looks! Stomping feet coming my direction.
Alec´s hand falls down on my shoulder. Shit! He’s got me too fast. I charge forward, anyway. We’re here to fuck over fate!
„Back!“ Time stops. Exhale. One. Two. “Now!” Alec yells. THREE!
The pale blue light grows in our direct line of movement. Too soon! Dammit! A warp opens, sucking in the front wall and windows of the room. The electrical frizzle on my skin creeps up my spine. My implant screams at me! In three seconds it will be taking over, blocking all deliberate muscle movements. Shitshitshit!
The stomping sound comes closer. I aim at the wall. Pull the trigger. Ammo eating through the wall. A thud. I hit! I hit!
“Jump!” Alec grabs my collar throwing me off balance, right into the warp.
Shit! I land on my knees in the receiving room, blinded by the lights. Everything’s white. My gun locks automatically. I hate being tossed round like that! I don’t need a babysitter. Never did!
“WHAT THE HELL?!” Alec screams at me. Ha! He’s really pissed off… But hey, why should I care? I do what I paid for. “If you want to be a serial killer, I suggest you take a one-fucking-way ticket to the last century! Bloodthirsty idiot!”
The door slides open and staff members flood in. “What happened? What went wrong?” All of them looking baffled at Alec. He only points at me.
„I tell you what! That idiot changed coordinates! They were set to the outskirts of Columbo, Columbia. Drug wars, with confirmed kills, five minutes later. No family, no big causalities. Not to Los fucking Angeles! These were not confirmed kills! You have no idea, if you started a chain reaction! You are in serious trouble. Call security. ASAP!“ Now they all stare at me. Fine!
“Wartime-tourists are real jerks.“ muffles one of them.
Can’t stop myself. “Shut the fuck up! I know what I’m doing.“ Maybe that’s not only the adrenalin – but I really don’t care!