36. The Secret Agent

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Walking home from work, eating an apple. Nice weather. Warm, no clouds. Tough shift at the hospital. Didn’t sit down all day. Really need a good sleep tonight. Oh, at least my coms implant updated …

I’m a secret agent on a secret mission. I have to get the package to the top of the building; then I can escape on the helicopter. The package is in my hand. Can’t let go.

I run up the steps, through the door. Someone shouts at me but I’m already past. The elevator doors open. A woman is standing there but I push her aside and get in first. I press the button for the top floor. The woman screams at me. The doors close. Up I go. I can feel every heartbeat, every breath. I’m pumped. Ready for action. Ready for the enemy. Ready for whatever they throw at me.

I look down out of the elevator window. So many people. Can’t trust any of them. I’m out in the field on my own. It’s just me and the mission. Kill or be killed.

I pass the tenth floor. The twentieth.

I hear an alarm. The elevator halts. They’ve got me. Be ready.

The door opens. A man in a gray uniform stands there. An enemy operative. ‘Sir, you need to get out. We’ve had a report of an assault. Please come quietly, sir. Please step out of the elevator.’

I stay still, check my options. He reaches for his belt, pulls out a taser. I’m too quick for him: I grab the taser, shove him backwards. Before he can get up, I fire. His body spasms as the electricity courses through him. Threat negated. I drop the taser, keep moving.

It’s safer to use the stairs. I pound up the steps, floor after floor. I try to forget how tired I am, the pain in my legs. Must complete the mission.

At last I’m there – the twenty-eighth floor. I pull open the door, step out into bright sunlight. I’m still holding the package. It’s safe.

Before I can look for the helicopter, I hear someone one behind me. I move aside, hide behind the door. I wait. He climbs up, steps out onto the roof, moves forward. It’s not a he but a she: a female in that same gray uniform. Another enemy.

She turns as I strike but it’s too late. My shoulder slams into hers, knocking her to the ground. Her gun slides away across the roof. I run after it, grab it, turn. She’s on her knees, holding up both hands.

‘Please. Why are you doing this? Just put the gun down. You don’t need to do this. Please.’

Enemy. In my way. Enemy.

I aim at her chest, pull the trigger. She flies back, hits the ground hard. She doesn’t move again.  

I walk over, look down at her. Hole in her chest, leaking blood. Eyes are open, dead. I beat my enemies. The package is safe in my hand.

I walk across the roof, look for the helicopter. Nothing. Nothing but the sun. Golden, blinding light. I close my eyes. When I open them …

What happened? Where am I?

I’m holding a gun. A woman lies dead not far away. In my other hand is a half-eaten apple.

What have I done? What am I?