Wednesday, September 14, 2011
The First Time Assassin, Part 1 of 2
Marnix checked his weapon and checked his concealed body armor one last time before entering the Worm-erator. That was an inside joke. This time machine was the first one to navigate the shady room from tight government control to the unsavory elements at the other end of the black market. Eventually, government scientists need money. They need money bad enough to risk life imprisonment. Or even secret execution. Marnix would admit that he was unsavory. Not quite as unsavory as his anarchist employers, though. The Worm-erator untangled a bunch of theoretical physics and opened nice, discrete wormholes into the not-so-distant past.
So, what good was the not-so distant past? The High Minister of Finance had given a press conference in this very hotel yesterday. Government security was impenetrable. But impenetrable from physical intrusions only. No one protected against temporal assault. They didn't know they had to. Not yet. The Minister would be speaking not more than ten feet away at that empty podium. Marnix would be in the kill radius without walking a single step.
The Worm-erator hummed.
Marnix stepped into position.
The two techs engaged the machine. Marnix kept his hand on the pistol, ready to be drawn.
The room wriggled, like heat over a baking road. Voices erupted. Commotion. Many faces, suits, and ties. The room was buzzing with shop talk a few minutes after the press conference ended.
Marnix. Right in position. Close and clear.
In one practiced motion, he reached for the gun and began extending his arm. Just two strides forward to achieve point blank range. The man's brains were about to have a very bad day.
Marnix aimed just above the Minister's ear. However, just as he pulled the trigger, another man flashed into view from the left. The wrong head came between his aim and the Minister. The shot coincided with skull thumping into the end of the gun barrel.
Brain did fly. Oh yes. But the wrong victim.
The anonymous man fell. The Minister blinked in shock. Unhurt.
The room wriggled again, and Marnix stood with the techs in the empty room.
"Fuck!" Marnix yelled. "A reporter got in the way at the last second! Reload the system! Send me back thirty seconds earlier!"