Parallel Man 7 – The Interchange I

Parallel Man 7
By. Richard Rester
Copyright March 20, 2015

The Interchange I

Several hours had passed and the two young people still had no better plan than to hide until they could slip out of that reality. Kaylyn whispered harshly as they walked the back streets, while occasional people passed them by. “Then where the hell are we going to hide so Dagle can’t find us… and for how long!?”

Talking in a calm and quiet voice, Andy admitted he didn’t know. He was afraid to try to slip them, incase they were both correct and just by trying, the time they had to wait would be reset. He was still not entirely certain this was true, however. Other ideas started playing around in his head, messing up his thoughts like a gaggle of bratty kids, and calling every idea he entertained into question. “We’re near the old industrial quarter just north of here, maybe we can find an abandoned warehouse. Surely it’ll take some time for him to find us there.”

“Me, you mean…” she countered, still whispering. “He’s no longer concerned with you. You’re dead, remember?” Still, there seemed no other choice, no better idea. “The sun will be up soon, so we’d better get off the streets.”

By the time they reached the industrial quarter dawn was greeting them ominously. However, what they found were not abandoned, rundown buildings and warehouses, but those still actively used. Windows weren’t smashed, walls that were known to be crumbling were intact, trucks of all sizes were parked or being loaded, and traffic started flowing in as people arrived for the day’s work. “This isn’t good.” Andy mumbled, as he looked around nervously.

“It’s even worse…” Kay urgently said, grabbing Andy’s arm as she spotted a black pickup truck slowly round a corner a block ahead, then stop, then accelerate rapidly. Without hesitation both of them sprinted out of sight between two red brick warehouse buildings several storeys high. The alley between them was wide enough to accommodate a large garbage truck. A number of red, industrial, garbage bins lined the alley on both sides, with sets of double metal doors near each garbage bin.

After the two of them managed several paces into the alley the truck drifted into a turn at the entrance, squealing it’s tires and leaning wildly. It then lurched forward to run them down. Out the passenger window of the truck a heavy set man leaned and pointed something at the young adults.

In sheer panic Andy grabbed the handle of one of the double doors to their right and yanked it open, shoving Kaylyn inside before he himself dived through, narrowly avoiding two gunshots that broke the early morning and slammed into the metal frame of the door where he just was. Adrenaline coursed through both of them, as neither of them had ever been shot at before, let alone chased down an alley in a strange world.

With large wooden doors evenly spaced on both sides, the two of them ran down a long corridor, and hearing the truck squeal to a stop. Two doors slammed shut. By the time the two men from the truck entered the building they were already through one of the many doors in the corridor.

Two men dressed in black with black ski masks rushed down the corridor after them, one large and holding an automatic pistol and the other tall and slender. The two of them were quick enough to see the door that Andy and Kaylyn entered click closed. The tall man finally pulled out an automatic pistol from the back of his pants, and slid a bullet in the chamber. Because the two of them expected professional killer Kay, and not innocent Kaylyn, they paused a moment to get ready, then nodded at each other before tall one opened the door with one hand.

Andy and Kaylyn went through a couple more doors to inner offices not yet occupied by people and found their way into the warehouse section of the building. Quickly they ran around a few large metal, heavy duty shelves, several sections high. On the shelves were various automotive parts; oil filters, spark plugs, clips, belts etc, nicely organized. Each shelf had stock numbers with barcodes. When it seemed they had a moment to think Andy breathed rapidly and tried to catch his breath. “How the hell did they find us so quickly?”

Also panting, Kaylyn leaned against one of the shelves. “I dunno… they’ve probably been looking for us all night. It was probably just a matter of time.” After a moment she urged Andy on. “We gotta keep moving, they won’t give up.” The two of them pushed on.

When they reached the end of the isle a short stubby, balding man stopped them. “Hey, you ain’t supposed to be here.”

With no time to argue Andy tried to shove the little man out of the way, but baldie resisted. It only took a moment to slow them enough for the large man chasing them to see them from the other end of the aisle and cap off a shot. A split second later Andy and Kaylyn heard a crack and saw the little man’s head snap back and to the side, a bullet hole in his cheek. Blood and pieces of the little man splattered on Andy’s face and chest, instantly urging him to get the hell moving. The two of them didn’t have time to fully absorb the fact that a person just got killed beside them, they simply bolted down the central aisle toward the other side of the building. The big man followed, cursing his bad shot.

Andy had arrived at the exit on the other side of the warehouse area, Kaylyn a second later as he pushed the crash bar to open the door. When his companion tried to go through he pulled her by the arm down a different aisle. In a moment they reached another door, on the same side of the warehouse area, wedged between two shelves. There was enough room to conceal both of them. He yanked the girl in with him. Andy held a finger to his mouth and waited. As expected, the big man pushed the door back open before it clicked shut, and he was through it. Kaylyn smirked and whispered. “Nice.”

“That was only one of them.” He replied whispering between breaths. “There was a shooter and someone had to drive. They must have split up to cover more area.”

“What’s the plan?”

“We double back and steal the truck, that’s what.” He winked. After a quick look to be sure the coast was clear, Andy gently pulled Kaylyn with him the way they had come. “This way.” He felt tension in Kaylyn’s arm, and sensing she was questioning his sanity for going the same way back, he explained whispering quietly. “The other one will be following a different route. The way back should be clear. Hopefully, by the time they meet up we’ll be long gone.”

Kaylyn nodded reluctantly. “I hope you’re right. If we die, I’ll fucking kill you.” She only half joked.

The two of them walked as quickly as possible, knowing that if they ran their footfalls could draw the attention of the other assailant from the truck. They rounded the corner where the little man was shot and both of them sidestepped by the pool of blood that had formed. Once they got to the door they entered the warehouse area, Andy slowly pushed it open. The inner offices seemed clear and they quietly entered.

A voice from beside them demanded they stop. “You even twitch I’ll drill you a hole.” While holding the pistol on them the tall man pulled out his smartphone and speed dialed a number. After a few seconds of holding the phone to his ear he spoke into it. “You were right, they did try to double back… I have ‘em here.”

With desperate panic Kalyn shot Andy a pleading look and squeezed his hand. Andy got the message. It was now or never. He had to try and slip them. So he closed his eyes and concentrated. Nothing happened. The young man felt that this was the end of his brief adventure through realities.