Margaret was watching me her eyes showing her hunger and thirst. After sitting alongside her we shared everything. The food had an odd taste like it was synthetics created from anything but true food. Back home we had both real and artificial, but both tasted authentic. What we ate now, from its appearance, was beefsteak, greenish potatoes, and soft corn kernels mixed with a sauce which when combined with everything made it passably palatable. The liquid was flavored water, and I could not decide the flavor.
At least we both had enough sustenance to function, I hoped since I had no way of knowing what I’d confront when the damn elevator finally stopped rising. There was a small toilet in a recess in the corner, which was used with a total lack of privacy.
We went through the cycle six more times spaced out several hours between. I was bored and angry by the time the elevator stopped. But I was not ready for what happened with the doors slid silently open.
At first we were alone in a hallway that looked like it belonged in a mansion. There were statues set into recessed about every fifty feet. I assumed they were sculpted to represent important people to those who lived there. As we passed the last of them we stood in a dead end, then the wall before us dissolved. My hand went to the laser pistol, grabbing it flipping the power on and automatically adjusting the setting to stun.
“Well Stanton Wilson, I was not expecting you. Normally we get a heads up on new arrivals, but I wonder why not with you.”
I was facing a man whose life was once mine to take or not. At the time I chose not and now wondered why.
“I didn’t know if assassins would be allowed here,” he said ignoring the laser pointed at his chest. “I do know that no one from her time,” he jabbed a thick forefinger at Margaret, “Can be here and free.” He waved over his shoulder and three uniformed women joined him, and then surrounded Margaret.
“You can leave her,” I said. “She is my responsibility.”
“No she is not.” He stepped aside and with a quick movement had a long deadly looking knife pressed against my throat. “Be stupid so I can tell everyone I killed America’s most ruthless and successful assassin.”
Shit, I thought. Didn’t see that coming.
Margaret looked terrified. “Stanton?”
I shook my head in warning. “I’ll find you.”
Then she was lifted and carried away as if she was nothing by trash.
“Monroe,” I said to my companion. “My orders were to kill you slowly and as painfully as possible.”
“Perhaps you should have.” He was a squat barrel chested guy with broad shoulders and arms and legs to match. His complexion was darker then mine with black hair and eyes that matched. He was also deadly a leader of a force of marines breed and trained to be invisible. He was their leader, and I had found him.
I had no idea how anyone on this side of the portal knew my past secret, identity. I was among a group of street kids living off panhandling when I was scooped up and brought to a training center deep in a mountain somewhere in what was left of the Rocky Mountains. There I spent the next ten years becoming a living weapon, an expert with every armament, including my body, hands, and feet.
By the time I was 28, I’d killed hundreds of what our government considered enemies of the state. I escaped after allowing Monroe to live and with the aid of a friend, created an entirely new identity for me.
Now, the urge to kill was boiling just beneath my flesh. If I lost control, but I knew I couldn’t so didn’t.