Fiction Fragment Friday
Well I guess this has become serial fiction instead of flash fiction at this point.
The first thing I noticed when I woke up were beeping sounds coming from the health monitors. I will never understand why they do that. I understand alarms, but they could have those just go off on the nurse’s tablets. Regular beeps for normal conditions though just do not make sense. I think it is just to let us know they are doing something. Keep you so frustrated you can’t think about why you’re in medical to begin with. I knew why I was in medical though. Someone tried to kill me.
After breakfast I was walking the corridors on my way back to the administration office. The longer I worked through the audit the more disturbing it was getting. There was so much obvious that I was starting to obsess about how much worse anything actually hidden could be. When you stumble across incompetence everything is typically as it seems, but this didn’t feel like that. This felt like corruption and Administrator Foster going to such effort to avoid me told me that he was involved. I suspected that he was the source, but I couldn’t figure out how he was profiting.
I was lost in my own mind and completely unaware of my surroundings. Lack of sleep due to stress was likely making it even worse. That is the only reason I can think of to explain why I didn’t notice that the corridor was empty. That time of the morning there should have been crowds on their way to work, but I was completely alone. I don’t know how they did it, but there were no witnesses around and the security cameras were conveniently off-line. As it turns out there are many corridors around the station with the cameras out where anything can happen.
As I went around a corner pain wracked my side. I screamed as my insides burned and the light above my head went out. My knees went out from under me, but I grabbed the wall on my way down. Nothing made sense, but I knew I had to move or I wouldn’t survive. The adrenaline hit and I had a moment of clarity to take in my surroundings. The corridor in front of me was clear, but every movement was excruciating. If someone was coming, they could easily overtake me before I could get to the end of the corridor.
I leaned up against the wall and listened to the sound of footsteps on the corridor. Running wasn’t an option so I had to fight and if they were running, they might not be cautious. It was a long shot, but I was desperate. I could feel the vibrations in the floor as they got close to the bend. I braced myself and the moment they rounded I lunged. It hurt so bad I knew that I would only have one shot with the element of surprise.
I hit the woman hard tackling her to the ground and grabbing the wrist of the hand holding a microwave pistol. I was larger than her, but not particularly strong and the pain from having part of my body cooked alive was not helping. We wrestled for control of the gun, but the best I could do was keep it pointed away from me. I was fading fast and knew that the longer we fought the weaker I would get. I let her think that she had control and gathered my strength for one last push.
When the gun turned towards me she moved to pull the trigger. At that moment I pushed with every bit of my remaining strength and swung the gun up at her face. The microwave gun went off unloading the full blast directly into her head. I will never forget the look on her face as her brain cooked from the inside out. It was one of sheer terror. That was the last thing I saw as I passed out from my own injuries.
“Welcome back to the land of the living sleeping beauty.” Janice was sitting in a chair next to my bed.
“What are you doing here?” My voice came out raspy and pained.
“Who do you think brought you in here? I was trying to nail Administrator Foster down for an interview and his new assistant mentioned you hadn’t shown up this morning. I was worried so I backtracked from there to your hotel. I and found you in the hall barely alive. More than I can say for whoever you were fighting with.”
“She tried to kill me.” The realization that someone had tried to murder me was finally sinking in. Auditing doesn’t make you any friends, but it isn’t exactly dangerous work either. My first fight ever and it was for my very life.
“You get used to it.”
“I certainly hope not.”
We both laughed for a moment, and it sent waves of pain through my body. She told me to rest and left me alone with my thoughts. Thoughts of what I had done in a moment of panic. I slipped away into fitful dreams. Nightmares where I was haunted by the face of the woman I had killed.