“Are you sure about this?” Clarinda asked as she leveled the pistol to the back of my head.
“It’s the only way in, and besides, dying is the easy part, it’s getting back that can be tricky…” I replied.
Even without facing her I knew she closed her eyes. Her hand was shaking too. I heard the shot a moment before the black took over, and I was falling again.
It was always a barrage of sensory input despite the fact that there were no real senses to barrage. My energy traveled through the never-ending grid, seeking the place where it was supposed to ‘rest.’ The flashes of light started in the usual rainbow fashion before transitioning to an infinite number of shades of each.
I knew I was close to my target when I heard the sound. It was always the sound of it that told me where I was. Somewhere between a Semi and a baby’s laugh. That’s the closest I can get to describing it.
In the next instant I’m standing in a room with millions of being from all over the universe, each dealing with their respective process clerk.
I shook my head watching the various creatures getting sorted.
“Pretty fucked up, right?” A familiar voice said from behind me.
“Even in the afterlife, bureaucracy has a way of finding us.” I replied with a smile as I turned around.
“Damien, you piece of shit, I told you to look after Clarinda. She’s not here is she?” He said.
“No, no, no, she is in my safe house. She’s hopefully just getting sick seeing my body and retiring to the living room like I told her to, but you know how she is sometimes.” I replied, “You ready to blow this Popsicle stand?”
“I can’t, Damien. I told you before I left that it was my time. I’m tired. I was ready to go a long time ago. I miss Elizabeth, and Julian, and all my other friends I’ve seen go over the years. I-”
He stopped talking suddenly as a bolt of pure energy shot through his chest, narrowly missing me, and alarms sounded throughout the entire room. The doors all turned red and had various ‘entry barred’ signs on them. I caught the old man and lowered him to the floor gently.
“Damien, what’s happening?” he struggled to get out. The hole was already beginning to close. The shot had missed his heart.
“Illegal technology, you’re lucky, an inch lower and we wouldn’t be having this conversation,” I muttered as I scanned the gathering crowd for the would-be assassin. “This trip just became more interesting…”