"Commala-come-ki,

There's a time to live and one to die.

With your back against the final wall

Ya gotta let the bullets fly"-Sai King, The Dark Tower

Comes a knockin'

They were following him. He couldn't say how many, but his training had never failed him before. He was definitely being followed. He increased his pace. It was a pleasant summer evening, and the main street in this little NorCal town was unusually busy. People shopping, eating out with the family, shooting the breeze. Cars puttering past the crowded sidewalk cafes. A strange overlay for such a deadly game. Two men in sportcoats headed his way. Quicken the pace. Turn down an empty side street. Parked cars, storefronts. He caught his reflection in the glass. A tall, lank man in khakis and a tropical print shirt. Black backpack. Nondescript in this environment. And there, behind him he caught sight of his pursuit. Barely trying to conceal their murderous intent. His lips clenched.

He turned again. The storefronts gave way to warehouses, loading bays, and grain elevators. The true heart of this place. Its past and future. The street was completely empty and fast darkening in the twilight. His footsteps soft in the sanctum of silence. They hadn't even bothered to send low men after him. Just Sombra pawns. There, at the far corner. Two of them on a bench. They were getting up.

He risked a glance behind him. The two that were tailing him rounded the corner, jogging and breathing a little too hard. They saw him and reached beneath their jackets. No time. He broke into a hard run. He had started running in high school and kept it up. Boston Marathon. Heck yeah, baby. There was sharp crack from behind him and something flew past his air with an angry hiss. There was the warehouse. He rammed the door with shoulder and hip, his hands working the rusty doorknob. It gave and he ducked inside. Cool darkness. He grabbed a piece of rebar from where it lay and jammed the door with it.

Then he pulled leather from beneath his bloused shirt. A 1911. Nine rounds .45 ACP. No low man's gun. Roland, he thought idly, would be proud. Footsteps, shouts. He backed away into the crowded darkness. Crates and forklifts. He circled the room. No entrance save for the loading dock and another rusty door. Locked from both sides. It would end here.

The door he had entered by shivered under repeated blows. Shouts from outside. He knelt behind a tarpaulin-shrouded bundle and centered his sights on the entryway, steadying his hand. There were more of them than he thought. This would be his end. A pang shot through his heart. He had bought Nicole's ring only yesterday. There would be no bride for him. The grim reality of it fell upon him like a mantle of ice. He had felt this way a few times before. It was a concentration as cold as ice and unshakeable as iron. The sights on the pistol were suddenly much crisper. Inhale. Fingers tighten on the trigger. Exhale. The firing pin impacted the primer at the same time the door gave. The first Sombra goon died instantly, his blood staining his fancy threads as his head whipped back from the impact. One. Shift sights. Chest. Head. Two. Bullets clawed the air around his insensate head. He was become death. Three.

The door behind him gave suddenly. A single man, coming in low and hard and fast. He half rose, half turned, swinging his sights to bear on this new threat. Too late. The prick had the draw on him. Staggering impact. The life of his legs and the light of his eyes fading. He stumbled, trying to bring the gun up. More shots. The pistol fell from nerveless hands. He fell.

Something warm and sticky was oozing across the skin of his torso. The far off roof of the warehouse. Girders. Cobwebs. Dead lights. Why hadn't he turned on the lights?

The man in the pin-striped three piece suit kept his piece out until he was sure the target was no longer a threat. He goose stepped daintily forward, carefully keeping his Giorgio Armani loafers clear of the spreading blood. His grin was sharklike as it twitched at the corners of his thin lips. Delicately, oh so delicately, he crouched over the dying man, tilting his head to hear what last words the target might utter in its dissolution.

"I...I have not forgotten the face of my father. Hile...Hile Roland..."

The grin died stillborn.