How good is life?
I fall to the ground, catching my breath back
'Ow, I'm in pain' I look at my cab, man. I hope I can get a new one. I see granules of shattered glass, and then Vincent's briefcase, with a PC inside, and it's still on, miraculously surviving the crash. I see two faces on the screen; one is the Korean guy and a lady 'Annie Farrell. Assistant U.S Attorney' Shit, I totally get it now, Vincent was killing people for the bad side, he was killing witnesses, and the fifth stop, the lawyer who was in charge of the investigation or whatever, was going down. Should I call the cops? No! They are out to kill me too. But I gotta go and save her, I never had a choice before, I was scared in the beginning but now, a fire is burning inside me, and it won't go out. Next to the brief, I see Vincent's gun, I know I'm gonna get my fingerprints on the gun that killed everyone but I don't care anymore.
I start running, I'm not a trained assassin, and hell, I don't stand a chance against Vincent. But I'm purely operating on instinct. The gun in my hand, it's been a long time since I held a gun. The city is quiet; I only hear the sound of my feet hitting the pavement, as I race up the middle of the street. I take out my cell phone, I keep running and dialing the number I got from the PC.
'Damn!' no signal, great. I stop, gasping for air. I realize I'm standing near a parking structure, I dash towards it, my legs in pain, and I feel a throbbing sensation in my left shoulder, must've been from the crash, great it's gonna be as useless as ever. I run up the stairs, taking two steps at a time, hopefully I'll get a better signal.
I see the federal building across the freeway. Dark offices. Only a few have lights on. Except three floors that are completely lit. I hold the cell phone to my ear
'C'mon, go through, go through' I hear static and then ringing. YES! I'm through….
Meanwhile, in the Federal Building, Vincent uses a card to gain access to the elevator lobby without setting off the alarms. The lobby beyond Vincent is vacant, that it looks sinister. Vincent enters the elevator, and rides up, watching the numbers climb.
I'm waiting, my heart is pounding, I scan the windows, and I then see a figure on the uppermost well –lit floor, through the south windows, cross an office to grab a phone. That must be Annie.
In the US Attorney's office, Annie lays down some files, and grabs up the phone, bleary from exhaustion. It truly was an all-nighter.
'The lawyer?...' I seem to be out of breath
'Yes, it is, erm this is a strange time to be calling'' confusion at this sudden call
'Look! This is gonna sound crazy, but a man is coming to kill you'
'Okay kid, not funn-'
'Seriously lady, he's coming to kill you, his name is Vincent!'
'Is this a joke?'
'It has something to do with people in Culiacan and Bogota' I try and remember everything that happened tonight
'You saying this is all connected to Felix?'
The elevators doors slide open. Vincent emerges onto the floor, using the master keycard to enter the office. Vincent's at a wooden door in the wood and glass office interior, and kicks in the door at the lock. It slams open. He's through, H+K up. Empty. No one's home. Vincent steps in…
Annie tries to decipher what Raven is saying through the cell phone
'How do you know about my case? I don't understand..?'
'He's killed four people already tonight, I think they are witnesses, the fat guy, the penthouse man, the jazz man and the Korean guy. You're the last one! He somehow ended up in my cab and I was forced to drive the dude around, but then I crashed and he we-'
I look across the freeway, no way! Vincent is looking through an office.
Vincent knows she's still here, what with the purse, take out, coffee cups.
'He's two floors below you'
'In my office!'
'He doesn't know you're there'
'What's your name?'
'Raven, where are you?'
'Me? I'm on top of a car park, across the freeway'
Annie looks out of the window and sees the parking structure below and a speck – the one who is on the phone to her now.
'Where are you then?'
'Floor sixteen, Law Library and Files'
Vincent pauses from examining offices. His eyes going to a desk phone. Three banks of extension. All dark, except for one. Next to it is the extension's location.
Files Section, 16th FI.
Vincent looks up. He knows where she is….
I keep an eye on Vincent, and then I realized that Vincent knows where she is…
'Shit!' as I see him walk out
'Looks like he knows where you are, call 911, and hide somewhere, and don't worry I'm on my way'
'Hello? Where are you going?' No use, she's gone, there's no reason to come here, where there's obviously danger. I punch a clear line, and dial 911.
I gotta get to her fast! I glance over the edge of the car park and see the grass slope below. There's no time to think. Fuck it! I jump, clumsily falling, rolling all the way down; I'm going to meet a lawyer in such a messy state. I push myself to my feet, my ankle twisted, I half race, and limp across the bridge over the Harbor Freeway to the office building….
Annie listens to the 911 recording
'call will be answered on the order received. If this is not an emergency….'
I enter the federal building, still limping. The lobby is strangely vacant. No security guards, then I see a long smear of blood across the white stone…..
Annie finally hears a click on the line as
'911. How can I help you…?
'There's a man in the building! He's trying to kill me. I'm….
However in the utility room, WHACK, Vincent swings his axe again, instantly severing the 16th floor's power and telephone truck line. Sparks emit from the bundled cables in the thick conduit. He tosses the ax, exits into the hallway, jabs the elevator button….
Annie finds herself talking to a dead line….
I follow where the blood goes and see it's a dead night watchwoman squeezed behind the security desk. I look away and try to get through the glass doors that need a card to get in. I attempt to hurl a steel trash can at the glass wall with all my might but my shoulder burns with pain and I drop the can. I think for a while, I'm stopped by a glass door, just great! I realize there's an H+K in my hand. Duuh! I aim, brace myself. Squeeze the trigger. Nothing. Is there a safety on this thing? Found it! I try again. I fire two shots into the glass door. The gun almost kicks out of my hand. But the door disintegrates. I walk through….
Annie, frozen with indecision. What to do? Stay or go? The corridor's dark. Terrifying. She forces herself to move, to cross the office, run now…for the door to the…but she only gets teen feet before she's stopped by a door opening. A soft footstep. Somebody's there. She backs up, against the floor to ceiling windows. Frozen, her heart pounding, listening. She backs up further towards the windows, back into the files section. There is nowhere to hide.
Annie crouches under a table and crawls backwards. She can't hear a thing. Her heart pounds. The silence makes her want to scream. A shadow? Did she see a shadow pass against the murky darkness out there? A soft sound. But did she hear it, or is she imagining it? The breath catches in her throat. Eyes wide.
The shadow, in a bullpen by a corridor. It lurks, silently. Waiting. It's Vincent. Then he moves, softly. Quietly.
Annie is on her hands and knees, trying to crawl away soundlessly, not realizing that walking upon her, silently, from the back is Vincent. She doesn't know. He's a shadow in the dimness.
Annie senses. Stops. Turns…and sees the shape of Vincent, the stolen gun comes up.
'Please, don't kill me' Annie begs
Vincent's eyes are cold, unsympathetic. His finger squeezing off the slack on the trigger.
Annie closes her eyes, waiting for the end.
Vincent senses something and turns.
A silhouette in the doorway. Aiming a gun. Vincent can't bring himself to believe it.
'Let her go' my hand holding the gun steady
'Let her go?' He smiles, it's ruthless, almost canine
This kid is gonna die; there is no where she can stand a chance against me.
'What are you gonna do, shoot m—'
BLAM! A flash. Vincent goes down sprawling.
Raven rushes up to Annie, grabs her arm, and running for the door. I hear a groan.
Vincent gets behind cover. Sitting up, eyes glittering, hand clasped to the side of his head, blood coursing through his fingers. Jesus. Raven. You shot my ear off.
He looks at the fleeing Raven
'Okay Raven, get ready for the Polish cavalry!'
I hear Vincent calling my name.
BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM! Gunshots punch through the glass, inches from me and Annie. Yeah, I didn't really think about what to do if Vincent chases me. We enter the elevator.
The glass wall explodes into the corridor, by a chair, crashing through it, followed by Vincent, I hit the ground – floor button, and 'close', the doors are taking forever to close, before they do I see Vincent nearing the elevator, with his gun getting higher. I grab Annie's hand and pull her to the floor. I hear bullets punch through the metal doors, but the elevator starts moving down.
Vincent is left behind, he darts for the stairs.
I get up, breathing hard, leaning on the wall of the elevator before sliding back to the floor
'Phew, that was scary'
'He knows you pretty well I think, he wasn't expecting you to shoot him and was surprised when you did' Really? How the hell did she get the time to analyze Vincent?
'Heh you could say that, he became my love councilor and met my family'
'Eh?' looking up to Annie, who has a genuine smile on her face.
'I would of died, If it weren't for you' Annie's blood freezing when she remembers the gun, and the cold hard stare from Vincent.
'Its fine' I smile back
The doors open, and we race across the lobby for the exit.
Vincent careens down the steps, the entire side of his head bloody. He slams through a door into the lobby. He finds the elevator standing empty. He hears a door alarm, turns, runs across the lobby. He goes through the door and races down the frozen escalator.
Holding on to Annie's hand, we enter the MTA, and race towards the boarding area. There's no train, I don't know what to do. We run down another staircase to the Blue Line, there's no train here, either! Man we need to get away, before that scary bastard comes and gets us.
Vincent sees Raven and Annie seventy five yards away, racing down the stairs. It's a difficult shot, I aim, take a deep breath, and….
BOOM! BOOOM! BOOM! Three rounds are fired from somewhere; bullets are chewing craters in the ceramic tiles, barely missing us. Huh? A train! Where? Damn! It's upstairs!
'Annie, we are going back upstairs'
She nods, very out of breath. We run down the platform for the stairs back up to the Green Line.
Vincent running sees the train arriving on the opposite platform. He looks down the stairs to the Blue Line. A train pulls there too! Heh decision time.
We get onto the fourth subway car, crawling and staying low on the floor, waiting for the doors to close, the train pulls out. I pray that Vincent hasn't followed.
I need to decide, I need to second guess Raven, where would she go? The train takes fucking forever to leave. The doors start to close, sliding permanently shut.
Then he knows. With no hesitation, he leaps off the platform onto the rails as the train starts to pull out.
I crumple into a seat, I know I shouldn't relax but I just need a moment to rest.
'Are you ok?' Annie says in a tone of concern
'Yeah, just need to-'I sense something menacing, and turn and I see Vincent standing in the fifth car, staring at me. If looks could kill, I would be dead already; he does not look like a happy man. Well I did shoot him, yeah….things don't seem to be improving when I rebel against him
I grab Annie and race into the second car as bullets pound through the metal and glass. Vincent is approaching. Why the hell do I feel as if the terminator is coming after me? Ah shit!
We reach the first and final car. We slide the door shut, yes this is as far as we can go. Annie is panting hard, terrified. My back against the wall, arm keeping the door handle wedged tight, my head just below the door's window.
The train goes black, then the light return, stuttering, great now the train is against me! I look up, and peer through the window, ready to duck if bullets start flying. Shit! Here comes fucking Vincent, he just entered the second car. He sees me, and shouts, barely audible.
'YOU CAN'T WIN RAVEN! I DO THIS FOR A LIVING!'
I take out the H+K and slide the clip, and see I have one bullet left. Great. Annie sees this and bites her lip; her eyes accepting that we are gonna die.
I look through the window again, he keeps coming, a .45 at his side, a sheet of blood down his face, he's scaring the shit out of the early morning passengers, and I can't help but smile. But I know what I want to do. I clutch the H+K, take a deep breath, and step to the side to face Vincent. I aim, the train enters a tunnel and then I close my eyes…
BLAM! BOOM! Two flashes, glass shatters, then silence….
Seems like I wasn't the only one who had one bullet. I slowly open my eyes. I do a quick scan of my body, I'm...I'm okay. I look at Vincent, he's okay too, a look of surprise on his face.
The train stops and I look at where we stop, and without thinking I go through the door and grab Vincent's wrist and drag him out of the train. We walk briskly in silence; I guess we are both in shock. I didn't kill him and he didn't kill me, is this a messed up friendship?
I stop, and let go of his hand and turn around, I hold my palm out. Vincent looks down, confused as ever.
'Ahem, my five hundred dollars, I went to all the stops and I've brought you to LAX' A plane flies over head.
'You…You're letting me go'
'I'm doing my job'
An evil smirk on his face 'You know, I could come back and kill you'
I'm taking a gamble, I must be stupid, this guy will come and kill me, but it doesn't feel right to let him go to jail or kill him.
I look away and see the motorway with taxi cabs driving here and there.
She takes a deep breath and looks at the motorway; she knows I could come back, jeez; this kid changed a lot tonight heh I guess it was because of me, and hell I'm supposed to be an indifferent bad guy. Not gonna lie though, I do like her. Somewhat.
'I know, just stay away from my family, and come straight for me, I'll be ready'
She looks straight at me, and smiles, weird kid.
He smiles, and limps away into the darkness
Then I black out and crumple to the floor.