Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Reports of My Death...

The Reports of My Death...

have been greatly exaggerated.

For a moment, maybe just a moment, I lost consciousness when Alex reached me lying flat on the stage. I remember him being there next to me, talking to me, and the next minute he was gone. My vision swam, my face, chest, and leg felt like I had been hit by a train. I groaned and rolled over on one elbow.

"Holy shit, you're alive," shouted Carrie, like a ghost had just sprung out my body.

"Yeah, well," I mumbled. I felt around the bullet holes. Both were clean, passing right through my body. That meant they only hit soft tissue, nothing that couldn't be fixed, as long as I got treatment in time.

I looked at the pool of blood beneath me, trying to judge how much I had lost. Enough to make my heart race trying to keep up with my dwindling blood supply.

"I can help you," said Carrie. "I have people. You don't have to die here."

I shook my head. "This place is as good a place to die as any other." Blackness crept along the periphery of my vision. My feet felt cold and leaden.

"Listen," Carrie insisted, an urgency in her voice. "We're up against something huge. Bigger than what I can handle. I've been trying to get inside. Maybe together we can do it. This is something bigger than the Singularity Matrix. People are involved at all levels. Elena, listen to me. I can get you inside. If you get me out of here, we can crack this thing together."

I sighed. "More of your conspiracy theories? Park, you've played that one too many times." I laid down, staring up at the chandeliers on the ceiling.

"Elena! Listen! This ship, who do you think built this ship? It wasn't me! It wasn't the Chinese! They have more of them, and not just converted freighters. Not just seagoing vessels. They're building an army of these things. This was just a test, don't you see? They didn't care if I lived or died. Why do you think I got stuck with such an incompetent crew? Why do you think they supplied me with the twin singularity? So I could destroy this thing when it was all over, and hide all the evidence. Ellie, these people are moving quickly, and we can't hesitate. By now Alex has armed the Matrix, and we've got ten, fifteen minutes tops."

I found the conversation hard to follow, but certain things didn't quite add up. After a moment, I struggled to sit up. "If you're lying, your next torture session will be far beyond anything I've done before."

"Okay, fine, just get me out of here. Ellie, you're my only hope to get out of this mess. I'm serious about what I told Alex: I want to change. Just give me a chance, please."

I didn't believe her, not for one second. I needed answers. Maybe everything she said was a complete 100% fiction. I had to know. None of this makes sense. I dragged myself along the stage, and hit the button to raise the cage. Carrie limped out, and picked up my gun.

She aimed it at me, and I closed my eyes. "Let's go, Galistina," she said, putting the gun in her waistband.

We helped carry each other to a door which led to a room with a large powerboat. We painfully flopped into the boat and Carrie hit some switches. A door burst open, propelled by explosive bolts. The boat roar to life and catapulted out on to the river. Above me I saw a helicopter leap off the deck and fly off to the northwest. I assume that was Alex and his friends. We raced East down the River, and in a few minutes the sky lit up behind us with the detonation. Fortunately we had covered enough distance to avoid the radiation and blast.

I'm now resting comfortably, essentially a prisoner of Carrie's, but not completely. More of a detained guest. She's still filling in some details, and so far it checks out.

I'm going to have to go far undercover now. Forget Elena Galistina. She doesn't exist anymore. My facial reconstruction will change my look a bit. I think I'll try to look a little more Southern European, if I can.

I've sent the bulk of my estate over to Alex as an "inheritance." My official estate will probably be held in court for years, but my private untraceable assets will become immediately available. I've also set up a trust for Julia, which she'll find out about in due time. I owe that kid my life.

Well it's been fun. I hope Carrie's "change" is real. We're more alike sometimes than I like to admit. Stay safe, and I hope we can talk again sometime.

Elena Galistina (soon to be...)

Posted: Sunday, November 30, 2008 @ 11:59 PM

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