That song is still going through my head as I watch the bullet do the same. A strange sensation really. The bullet moved towards me in slow motion as my body began to dematerialize. My hand rose up reflexively and I watch my blood explode.
Funny thing it is to watch blood erupt and then dematerialize instantaneously. The bullet emerged not long after the blood and it too atomized right before my eyes, literally. I think I closed them at that point but I can’t remember as…………..zing…………………….
everything went blank as my body did the jump through the superficies………………….zing……………….
But I suspected that it was the end for me. It was surprising that out of everything my very last living thought was of an awkward girl at a party that I felt guilty not speaking to. I gave a mental shrug at the strangeness of life as I prepared for mine to expire the instant I rematerialized, together with the bullet…………..zang.
Bells trumpeted a cacophony in my ears as I felt myself falling, falling, falling………..with a thud.
“What are you doing Carter? Are you still drunk! Get up. Will someone turn off that alarm, I can’t hear myself think.”
I lay there blood seeping from a wound in my hand looking up at the boss in bewilderment. Brice is bent over me with a joyous smile on his face.
“What’s up buddy? Wicked night last night hey? What’s wrong with your hand?”
“Mallium, it’s Mallium. They broke into my apartment. They shot me. How?”
“So that’s what set the alarm off. Never fear, we’ve got top of the range threat detection. The bullet was dust as soon as it appeared on our side. But I told you, you had to move it. If you’d had answered your holocom…….”
“Yeah, yeah, sorry boss.” I interrupted rising to my feet clutching my hand. Someone passed me a towel and a re-gen plate.
“So where is Sympathy?” I looked from the boss to Brice and back again.
“We’re hoping you can tell us.” Brice answered scratching his head.
“You said you had her location. You said she left a note.” My hand was throbbing and I was getting fed up with Brice’s cheery nature. It was just not right to be that cheery after a gallon of American Honey.
“Yeah, she left you a note. But I didn’t say it said her location. She’s just given you a clue that’s all.”
“A clue, what’s that supposed to mean?”
“Well Tobes my friend, you better just read the note.”
“Unfold it on the desk, let me read it.” My voice was urgent, desperate even.
The letter is read and I scratch my head, bamboozled by what to do.
“We don’t understand what this poem means Carter, do you? Did she give you any clues when you spoke to her last night?”
I remove my hand, fully healed from the re-gen plate and look at Brice. His confusion mirrors my own. I look once more at the letter and slowly shake my head.
I’m about to speak remembering something she said when the alarm starts to blare. A computerized voice echoes ominously between the sharp siren sounds.
“Proximity warning, proximity warning” was the message it droned out.
“Quick run, it’s Mallium, they’ve breached building security. Run Tobi, run. Take the letter and find her.” the boss yells at me. He pushes the letter into my hand as he draws his gun.
“C’mon Brice we’ve got to save her. Quick buddy let’s run.”
“Right you are, we’re taking the Falcon and I’m driving. Let’s go” Brice runs to the transporter bay and urges me to follow.
I squeeze the letter in my hand, trying to ring answers out of it as I hear the sounds of explosions.
“Go now, quick Carter, now. We’ll hold off these scumbags.”
I nod my foggy head and run towards Brice. Bullets begin whizzing through the air as SPP headquarters turned into a warzone.
“Let’s go Tobi, the spaceport awaits, let’s get off this planet, it’s not safe here. Once we’re in space we can outrun the these agents of Mallium. Ain’t nowhere my Falcon can’t go, be way too fast for those scum. So where we going? Has the letter given you a sign?”
I shrug as I step into the transporter bay. Before me, once more is the same mean looking dude from my apartment, taking aim at my head again. What is it with this guy?
I see his dark eyes beneath his black cap his stare full of bloody murder. So I did what I had to do as we dissolved before him. I gave him the bird.
Brice and I spill out of the busy transporter room at the spaceport at Kalgan Central. We quickly blend into the crowd.
Upon reaching the dock where Brice left the Falcon my heart and hope of finding Sympathy plummet. Not only am I at a loss about her letter, but the Falcon is crawling with Mallium assassins. Luckily Brice had his wits about him, unlike last night, we barely avoid being seen.
Whilst I’m still lost in a daze of confusion about my sweet Sympathy I allow Brice to tug me along. Soon he runs and I stumble behind, like a ragdoll. Suddenly we stop.
“There, go Tobi, go.” I look up and Brice is apologizing to a woman as he pushes me rudely in front of her and her children.
“Sorry madam. Urgent SPP business, this officer needs to board.”
I look at Brice in surprise.
“It’s a sector passenger shuttle Brice, Mallium will catch us. What are you doing?”
“Don’t worry, I’ll lead the bastards here on a merry dance while you slip away. Here, there’s one more thing we found in her hotel room. It’s not addressed to her so it probably is nothing. It’s some letter from this guy Zachariah. It’s pretty old, fancy writing and all that. Just a soppy love letter. Sounds like the guy was ready to top himself. Anyway, good luck buddy, I’ll ping you when the coast is clear.”
The last thing I see as I board the shuttle bound for who knows where is Brice’s big head bouncing away through the crowd, he was actually waving to the Mallium dudes as they joined him in pursuit.
I look down at my hands, clutching two letters now and still no clue of where to find my Sympathy.
“Excuse me sir, do you mind” it’s one of the kids I pushed in front off already getting impatient before we’ve even taken off.
With a feeble smile of apology I stagger on board thinking of luscious red lips on fire and a hole torn in my heart.
I unfold Zachariah’s letter on my lap as I take my seat, trying to look inconspicuous. Outside the bustle of life in the major tourist port that is Kalgan Central goes on.
As I settle in for the journey, not knowing where I’m even headed a cold shiver runs up my neck. Fleetingly, through the crowd of people taking their seats on the shuttle. Those eyes. I shake my head dispelling my fears and hope that inspiration will guide me as I head off into the unkown……..
…………..somewhere in Brett’s Future
This is the final episode of ‘Sympathy for the Devil’.
But join Tobi is his race to save Sympathy from the evil clutches of Mallium in the new series……
‘Demons & Wizards’ coming soon………
…………….assuming Tobi can work out what that damn poem means. If you can help please post your thoughts in the comments, Tobi needs all the help he can get, I think he’s a bit too love struck to think straight. Oh, and don’t forget to shout out to Brice, it was a brave thing that he did.
End Credits: Lyrics: The legendary M. Jagger and the unstoppable K. Richards Brice: Inspired by the man behind this blog - Flashlight City Blues. Do yourself a favor, read some of his awesome poetry - especially this one so obviously called: American Honey The Falcon: In homage to Star Wars and Han Solo, still the best space ranger in the galaxy. Kalgan: In homage to the one and only, the maestro Isaac Asimov Ol' Georgie: In homage to David Mitchell and his fabulous novel Cloud Atlas Mallium: Who? Don't know what you mean, moving right along..... Sympathy: Can you solve the riddle? Where can Tobi find her (post comments)?