If you’re about to kill someone you see what the world would be like without them. As a
hitman you think you’ve seen everything, but this kill surprises you. [Link to Reddit post.]
I aimed through the scope to center his blond head in my crosshairs, then held my breath.
I waited patiently for the Warning. Over the years I’d been able to nail the timing down. It
happened the moment I decided to pull the trigger, but before I actually did. I learned to
stay undecided until it was time. The target seemed like a decent guy. I’d been burned once
and never took dossiers at face value anymore. I did my own research before I took a job.
At 18 he was the youngest target I’d accepted, but the money was worth it. If it wasn’t his
18th birthday, I wouldn’t have accepted. I didn’t feel great about it, but I managed to stay
within my own shitty code of honor. The kid didn’t seem to be anything special or
important. Average grades in school, he lived in a stable home with both parents. His
family wasn’t rich, but he never wanted for anything.
“Nothing personal, Regal. But, happy birthday.” I made the decision, and braced myself.
The Warning generally didn’t hurt, but it affects all senses. Everything seems so real, it’s
easy to get disoriented. My vision went black and I felt cold. Then, I felt nothing. Then, my
sight returned. The duration of Warnings varies, but I’ve never encountered one that
was less than 10 seconds. This one lasted two. I stared through the scope at the young man
sitting on the park bench and chatting with his friends. “What?” I said in disbelief. The great
thing about Warnings is they can be replayed every time you intend to kill someone. Again
I decided to shoot him. My vision went black, and a shiver ran down my spine. After two
seconds I saw daylight again.
I set the rifle down and backed away from it. Something wasn’t right. I took a seat on the
rooftop and thought about what it might mean. It wasn’t hinting at my death, I knew that.
Once I learned how to control the Warnings, I of course needed to test suicide. Those were
the worst Warnings, because they actually did hurt. Your body feels the pain of your death,
without you dying. This was different, this was empty. Nothing. Despite all my research, now
I needed to talk to him. I’ve never met a mark before, but I must have missed something
in my research. I left the rooftop, taking only my pistol with me. I made my way down to the
park and walk towards Regal and his pair of friends. Two other guys that I decided to kill.
Their Warnings were unspectacular. The one on the left would have been a successful
businessman. The one on the right would was destined to massacre a church. Overall no
big losses. When I reached them, they looked up at me.
“Hi,” Regal said.
“Hi. I need to talk to you,” I replied. “Just you.” I shot both of his friends in the head. Regal
screamed and bolted away from me. I was ready and tossed binder at him. The silver ball
hit his back and exploded into straps that surrounded him. He fell to the ground, and his
momentum kept him rolling forward. He kept going, trying to get away, and I needed to
walk quickly to catch up to him. I caught him face up and put a foot on his chest.
“What’s so special about you?” I looked down at him and asked. He breathed heavily from
exertion and just stared at me, silently.
“Your Warning. It’s nothing. Why?”
“Awesome!” He smiled brightly, and it surprised me. I stepped off his chest, and he stood up
with ease, even without using his arms for balance. “You just confirmed my destiny!” He
seemed excited and hopped up and down, while bound.
“What?” I clearly didn’t do enough research on this guy.
“You can’t kill me, so you might as well let me go.”
“Of course I can kill you.” I brought the gun up to his head, and gave a visible shiver. He
smiled, and did his best to shrug with his bindings.
“Obviously you *can* but if you do, it’ll be the end of everything,” he said. He became
friendlier, more confident by the second. I shook my head.
“No. I’ve been doing this for a while, you’re not a Hope.” I’d only seen a Hope once. People
that can prevent various apocalypses. The one I found was destined to cure a plague that
hadn’t even started yet. That Warning was horribly bleak. The world became a wasteland of
bones. Plants, animals, humans. All gone. Hopes were off limits, and government protected.
Not that they really needed it. No one wants the end of the human race. He seemed to
have some clues about himself, so I decided to let him go. I could kill him any time if I
needed to. I pressed a button to release the binder. The coils disappeared back into the
ball and it fell to the floor. He waved his arms around, enjoying the freedom.
“I didn’t say the end of humanity, or the world. I said the end of EVERYTHING. My dad told
me stories, but I didn’t believe any of them. Not until you saw my Warning,” he said. He
stuck his hand out in greeting. “My name is Regal. I’m a Sol, and I guess I’m destined to
save the universe.”