I got out of the car, moving like a ghost, gun down at my side. In three strides I would make it over to the fence where I would take quick aim and shoot. She would go down and I would be gone.
I was one stride away when it happened.
A golden sedan pulled out of a parking space in a hurry and slammed right into Alana, knocking her to the ground. She screamed as she went down, tires screeching to a halt, and people started shouting from the shuttle.
The sedan reversed then sped around Alana’s crumpled body, not stopping to check on the woman they had just hit.
I’ve been in a lot of situations before that smack you square in the face – abrupt and brutal scenes that change the course of the day, the course of a life. They come out of nowhere, but you adapt, you roll with them. You refuse to be shocked. I should have been able to collect myself better than I did.
But seeing that car speeding away toward the parking gates and crashing through them as it fled the scene, well I seemed to lose all logic. Before I knew what I was doing, I was getting back into my car and driving after the hit-and-run sedan.
As I passed the broken gates to the parking lot I could see people – employees – emerging from the shuttle, one of them pointing at me. I had been spotted. Maybe as a witness, maybe as someone that was a part of the crime.
Only it wasn’t the crime they thought it was, but the one I didn’t get to commit.
I was fucking everything up for myself and I knew it. But seeing that car gun her down then keep going, as if the driver thought they could get away with it, brought back every debilitating moment from Afghanistan. I watched a lot of people get killed before I became the killer.
I would like to tell myself that I was going after them because they fucked up my potentially perfect assassination. That would make more sense than the truth – that I felt like a helpless soldier again, watching the world around him crumble from senseless acts. I was angry, angrier than I had been in a long time.
I’d snapped. I guess I had it coming.
I drove the beat up car I’d rented from a cheap agency right on his ass, following him in heated pursuit. I wasn’t thinking, I wasn’t even breathing, I was just reacting to some long-forgotten, deep-seated need for vengeance.
The sedan screamed down the road, tires burning on hot asphalt, heading for the highway. I was going to stop him before that. I didn’t know what I was going to do after that, but I had an idea.
I pressed the gas pedal down as far as it would go and willed it to catch up, muttering expletives as it shuddered beneath me. The rental car was a pile of shit to look at, but it turned out the engine worked well enough to let me catch up with the sedan that was sputtering erratically, a tire having blown out as it fought for control on the rough road.
I couldn’t get a good look at the driver, but through the dust I could see him thrashing around in his seat, panicking at the wheel. He wasn’t a professional by any means. Then again, I was supposed to be one and I was trying to kill his fucking ass for no reason at all.
No reason except that it felt one hundred percent right.
His car suddenly shifted right and I took that moment to gun it until my front end clipped his back. The headlights shattered, and with a screech of metal, the car went spinning to a stop.
Before I could comprehend what was going on, I was jumping out of the car, gun at my side, and running to his door. I threw it open and aimed it right at the man’s head.
The dust blew around us, and through the haze he looked at me, mouth open, the whites of his eyes shining as they stared at me with fear or shock or regret.