He had no name.  It had been taken from him over seventy years ago, along with his family, home, and life.  Alone on the darkening street, he tried to remember the pain of that loss, but couldn’t.  Emotions were irrelevant, now.  There was neither love, nor hate, need or want.  There was only the plan, and his part in it.  Walking to his rental car, shoe soles clopping on the brick in a regular rhythm, he reveled in the thought of the long drive back to the airport in Frankfurt.  In the car, away from the others, the voice in his head was his and his alone.

An old woman stepped onto the sidewalk from the stoop of a building, and he stopped to allow her to pass, holding the door for her as she smiled up at him.  He adjusted the hat on his mostly bald head, pulling it lower in front to shade his face.  There were lines there having nothing to do with age, and he had always been a private man, regardless.

He didn’t enjoy his part in the plan, but neither did he shy away from it.  Enjoy held no meaning, anyway.  I do what I do, because it is necessary, he thought.  That phrase became a mantra from the first moment he could form complete sentences.  Shoving a gloved hand into his coat pocket, he felt the device there, and it’s presence comforted him.  In the other hand he carried the patient file retrieved from the hospital, decorated with a fine spray of blood.  He had read just enough to know it was the one he sought, since reading and evaluating information was not his job.  The copper taste in his mouth had already faded, and he breathed in the crisp, clean air to rinse the stench of death from his nostrils.

The plan proceedsAs it always has.

He opened the car door and folded in with a smoothness defying his years, started the engine, and pulled into the early evening traffic.  There was no luggage, or even a toiletry bag in the vehicle, as he had everything he needed on his person when he traveled.  The road was damp from a recent rain, giving it an red-orange sheen under the nuclear fire of the setting sun.  The same life-giving sun which would one day engulf the earth a billion or more years from now, boiling the very seas from the crust to fling the ash into the ocean of night.  But he wouldn’t be alive to see it.

He hoped.

 

Read the rest at Channillo

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