Parallel Man 9
By. Richard Rester
Copyright March 20, 2015
The Interchange III
Kay was taken by complete surprize. Suddenly she was standing in a half dark room holding the hand of none other than Anders, the guy she had killed just the previous day. It only took a second for her trained brain to fully assess the situation. She was back in her reality. Some tall asshole had a gun pointed at her, with the other hand holding a phone. Kay let go of Andy’s hand, grabbed the wrist of the gunman and twisted the gun sideways and out of his hand. The move took less than a second and the gun was aimed at the masked man’s head, which cocked backward when she centered a hole above his eyebrows. The shot rang out loudly, and Kay knew his partner heard the shot. He would be doubling his speed now.
Andy was stunned, he had never seen Kaylyn perform so… lethally. He realized that he managed to only slip Kaylyn back to her reality, and he did not slip with her. “Holy shit!” was all he got out before she interrupted.
“Shut up and follow me!” Angrily, Kay led Andy out of the offices and back into the main corridor. A quick look right and left had revealed the black truck at one end. The girl swore and grabbed the young man by the scruff of the shirt, yanking him in the direction of the truck. “This way, move!” With Andy close behind, the girl ran to the end of the hallway and turned to peel off a shot behind them. The bullet, slammed into the wall near the door. The large man had arrived and paused a moment before peeking around the door frame. It bought Kay and Andy a few seconds.
As Kaylyn rounded the truck to the driver’s side, she rested her pistol hand on the hood and fired two more shots, both of them tore into the office door, keeping the large man behind cover. She counted and estimated about twelve shots left. “Get in!” Kay pulled off two more shots, to keep big man back, and got in the truck herself. Kay grabbed Andy by the hair and pulled him down to the seat, making him squeal in pain. “Keep your fucking head down if you don’t want to lose it.” She pushed the gun into his hand. “There’s ten shots left, shoot in the direction of that asshole every few seconds.”
“But, I’ve never…”
“Do it!”. She demanded, fumbling in the ignition for the key and didn’t find one. After hearing Andy start shooting, she pulled out her phone. Eight shots. Kay opened an app and touched a few spots on the screen. Two more shots were fired. Six. The glass on the passenger side shattered and glass rained down on Andy’s head, as big man managed to get three rounds off; the other two ripped into the roof of the truck. Kay remained calm and stabbed the screen of her phone again. The truck started and the computer treated her phone as the keyfob, giving her full control of the vehicle. The girl grabbed the gun from Andy’s hand and popped up, Andy just kept his head down. She pulled off three more shots and hit the accelerator, the truck lurched forward, squealing it’s tires as they sped off. Andy hyperventilated in panic.
Almost disgusted with the cowardice of that version of Anders, Kay slapped the back of his head. “Get the fuck up! I can’t believe I killed the cooler of the two of you.”
He obeyed, rubbing the side of his head, and realizing why he didn’t slip. Andy glared, but said nothing. He knew better. This chick, this Kaylyn, was pretty scary. This version of her was more than just abrasive, she was nasty. She dusted a man with little more than whatever mechanical thoughts normally run through the head of a professional killer in the performance of a killing.
As the assassin drove she held the gun to the young man’s head. “Tell me everything that happened, and if you leave anything out I’ll spray your brains across Feesburg!” Andy quickly stammered the first few sentences. He told her everything; from when he first remembered slipping, to accidently slipping into her reality, displacing her in an alternate version – which he apologized for repeatedly until she threatened to inject him with lead at high velocity if he didn’t stop. He finished by explaining what he and Kaylyn did in Kay’s reality.
The last part made the assassin swear… loudly and at length. The string of profanity that met Andy’s ears made him wince on every other word. Kay finished, and lowered her gun. Andy hesitated a few seconds before saying anything. “I’m s… you gonna kill me?” He asked, fearing his death imminent for the second time in twenty minutes.
Kay sneered in disgust. “If I was gonna kilI you, I would have five seconds ago.” She drove a main road around a gentle arc. “I still want to and just for the sport of it. But, your skills may be useful.”
Andy felt guilty and struggled to think of a solution for the girl. Slowly, the young man sat up, the danger passed for the moment. “I can tell Dagle the truth… “ He offered, helplessly.
Kay roller her eyes. “Don’t you fucking get it?” She glanced quickly at him then back at the road. “That was Dagle’s personal hit squad, he knows you’re still alive and thinks I blew the contract. Even if he believed the multidimensional crap, and forgave me for putting a bullet in one of his dogs, he still has to kill both of us to save face for his superiors… and those assholes you just don’t disappoint.” Kay spat out another f-bomb and turned a couple corners before parking the truck behind a wall of pallets, beside a wholesale food warehouse. The pallets didn’t conceal the truck perfectly, but did enough to pass the casual eye. She shut off the truck by tapping her phone screen, and sat in thought for a timeless moment. The young girl could not believe the chaos this one man authored by slipping into a reality he didn’t belong. She couldn’t fathom how effectively this alternate Anders Truman destroyed her life. She hated him for it. She wanted to kill him for it, but knew it wouldn’t make a shade of difference, for there was an infinite number of him. It didn’t matter how many of him she killed, there would always be an infinite number more. Alternatively, why was it that she was risking her own skin by keeping Andy from getting killed? She could have left him there to slow the other hitman down and got the hell out of town. Surely his life was not her responsibility to preserve, and he certainly wasn’t her contract. She forced herself to calm down. “So, you can move between realities?” Andy nodded. “Do you have any control over where you go?” She turned a corner, eyes moving constantly, never settling on any one thing for more than a second at a time. It was possible that the contract on her was now live, and every soldier would be out there looking for top money.
With a shrug Andy replied. “Some… I guess I can target to a limited extent, which is why you’re back here.” After a few seconds he added, “I guess that’s more of a transposition than a slip, really.” What the young man found odd was that he didn’t slip, or rather, he didn’t transpose. He stayed right where he was.
“Maybe you can fix this. You can find me another reality, someplace where I can live well, with no one wanting to kill me.” That would balance out what he did. “You can bring me along until I find a reality I like, then I’ll call us square.”
Of course I can, he thought. No matter how he looked at it, both good and bad shit was going to happen, it was just a matter of deciding in which version of reality you wanted to be in.
“You’re gonna do this for me because you owe me. You seriously ruined my life here. Not only is my credibility shot, but, I am now a contract. Any number of assholes would gladly collect the bounty on my head right now, dig? If it wasn’t for you, I’d be lounging on a tropical beach with hot native guys playing volleyball, and some shitty little hispanic kid taking a polaroid of me for money.”
Yeah, yeah, it was my fault her life is screwed, Andy thought to himself. No matter how darkly motivated her way of life would be relatively unchanged if he didn’t transpose with himself. “I can’t promise anything, I don’t know how far my control extends or how many times I can try in a given timeframe. It may take a lot of random slipping to find you a place. It depends how picky you are.”
Kay wasn’t entirely happy with the answer, but it had to do. “I’m not much of a nine-to-five, stickman family on the back window, kinda chick. As long as no one wants to kill me, I’ll make do.”
Andy had to center his mind, but his worries kept nagging at him. What if it fizzles? What if he had to wait for another eight to ten hours to try again? Kay couldn’t wait that long. He couldn’t wait that long. If he did have control over the slip he would have to concentrate on multiple variables at a time. He wondered if he would have been able to prevent Kay and Kaylyn from transposing if he was just a little more careful. But, then both he and Kaylyn would be dead or worse. Though transposing Kay in definitely did the trick, the young man was starting to realize the complications his ability presented. Kaylyn was right. Each choice he made added a near infinite number of possible outcomes. It followed that there must be one reality for every possible outcome, so why should he personally take any blame for anything? If it wasn’t him, some other version of himself would make that choice. Reluctantly Andy grabbed Kay’s hand and concentrated. The scene shifted, changed…