Wednesday, August 4, 2004

More VR story. Too tired to write more about my own life. Extremely busy week.

“We’re dead, aren’t we Kino?” said Karl.

The two thugs stood before a pair of massive red doors, each door fifteen feet high and five feet wide. On either side stood guards, dressed in business suits just like the thugs were. The guards held Uzis. Casually.

Karl nodded miserably and gulped. They heard a thunk that made them both jump, then the doors began to swing open, squeaking like a tortured rat.

They walked through the doors and down to the other end of the chamber, whose high ceiling seemed hundreds of feet above them. At the far end of the chamber was a raised dais, on which sat three ancient men in Chinese robes. The two thugs came to a reluctant stop a respectful distance from the dais. Kino flicked his imploring eyes from one stony face to another. Karl simply stared at the floor, like a child called before the school principal.

“You were ordered to kill Thomas Aznable,” rasped one of the old men, his voice slow and precise. “You had two opportunities. Why did you fail?”

Kino spoke with the care of a soldier walking through a minefield. “He was being guarded, Boss.”

“By whom?” said another figure with a voice indistinguishable from the first.

“He surprised us both times, Boss. Stunned us before we could see who it was.”

They were silent for a moment, unmoving. One of them said, “Why should we give you a third opportunity?”

Kino was silent. He wracked his brains for an answer, but everything he could think of sounded pitiful. He couldn’t have a reason.

“Because we won’t get a fourth one,” said Karl, raising his gaze to look at the three old men. His eyes no longer reflected fear; they reflected the determination of a creature that can see its own death and chooses to face it and go down fighting.

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