Déjá Vu All Over Again
By James Strait
About the book:
IT HAD LONG BEEN DEBATED THAT THE END OF DAYS FOR PLANET EARTH WAS SET IN CONCRETE AS DECEMBER 21, 2012. Mathematical savant Ana Christensen was merely following her instincts when working a theorem in a direction and style that could have never been accepted by traditional mathematicians. As a result she stumbled upon an ancient Mayan creation, a time loop beginning in 3114BC and ending on the long contested twenty first century date. In a dynamic race against time, Ana and her male compatriot battle the forces of individual evil, bureaucracy, paramilitary mercenaries, and most powerful of all…destiny.
Visit Beauty Brite for the first part of Chapter 5. Here is the rest of Chapter 5.
I’d only get one shot at making it work successfully, and I didn’t have the luxury of a dress rehearsal. In less time than it takes to blink, I assessed that if I hit the short one on the back of the head with the pitcher of iced tea, knocking him unconscious, that the taller one would be shocked into in-action for a fraction of a second.
Those kinds of operators are pretty quick to think on their feet, and adapt during a fluid event, so I’d not have long to follow through and take care of him also. To do that meant that once the short one started to go to the floor that I’d have to move beyond Ana to apply force to the taller one, but Ana stood between me and the taller one—so I decided that I’d just apologize to Ana after-the-fact.
Playing it out in my mind motion by motion—in slow motion—I accelerated my gate the last two steps while I brought the pitcher of iced tea up to shoulder level at arm’s length and swung it at the short thugs’ right ear as if I were attempting to remove his head from his torso.
The sound of the heavy pitcher hitting his head made a sickening dull thud and produced much more feedback through my arm than I had anticipated—I had expected the pitcher to break. It was good for my immediate need, but it was bad for him. All of the pitchers kinetic energy had transferred through the dense skull of the professional bully, creating so much movement of the brain inside his then fractured skull that vital arteries were torn loose from their connective placements, shutting his brain down instantly.
He dropped like I’d turned off a light switch.
Committed and motivated, and not then knowing that the first one was out for the count, I continued forward without hesitation. In one continuous motion I pushed Ana aside where she fell into an adjacent booths bench seat. Then, while carrying my momentum towards the remaining vertical bad guy, I anchored my left foot to the floor as I raised my right leg as high as possible with my knee bent at a ninety degree angle, effectively cocking my leg and making the sole of my shoe the next thing to make contact with the slim framed operatives’ chest.
Moving forward and doing my best to accelerate all of my actions, I kicked my right foot into the six footers solar plexus and tried to envision my foot exiting his back. He too went down without hesitation but was still conscious as he fell and he instinctively extended his arms to break his awkward backwards fall. Knowing that I had to hit him a second time, I kept moving forward and took advantage of that split second moment when his arms were still in the process of absorbing energy as he hit the floor.
With a small leap I became airborne above his body and again brought my right thigh close into my chest, this time bending the knee so that my calve folded up against my hamstring, effectively creating a blunt force weapon out of my knee cap. As I descended towards the supine bad guy I could see in his face that he had accepted that my next blow was unavoidable. His arms couldn’t reach me in time to prevent my knee hammering into his already wounded solar plexus. When my knee sank into his chest I could feel internal structures buckle, and in that same instant his face went calm.
Ana would later tell me from her referencing quantum space data, that his heart had stopped on the thirty-third second, of the twelfth minute, of the twentieth hour, of the one hundred and third day, of his forty-eighth year on planet earth.
Death of the bad guys was not part of my plan, but it was too late, the action was now in the history books—or maybe I should say, quantum space.
Not knowing for certain that the first bad guy was down for good, I rose and turned quickly to see if he had started to regain some composure. Seeing that he was still down unconscious I grabbed Ana by the hand and pulled her along with me as we stepped over the body of what used to be a pretty effective field operative for the Internal Security Division of the NCCS.
“Goddamn it, I thought to myself.
Whoever owned those two was going to be pissed, really pissed, and now far more motivated to track us down—and they won’t underestimate us a second time.
Exiting the restaurant rapidly, I pushed down a dire sense of dread.
“Now they know there’s two of us,” I said to Ana.
Ana was too busy trying to wrap her mind around all that had just happened to answer my statement about the obvious.
As we walked towards my car I found that my keys were not in my pocket and realized that they must have fallen out during all of my lethal acrobatics. Ana’s car was next to mine so we jumped in, started the engine, put the car in gear and drove away with the same fluidity of motion that I had used inside the eatery while neutralizing two bad guys.
I looked over at Ana hoping to see in her expression a sense of relief, but what I saw was fragility.
“I’m sorry that things happened the way that they did in there”, I said to Ana sincerely.
Those two were going to take you, and if you’d have left the building with them it would have been the end of the game for me, and maybe for you”, I said, trying to both explain and justify my actions.
“I realize that”, Ana replied, “it’s just that I’ve never been near any kind of violence before—it’s disturbing—I’m shaking inside.”
“Yes, I understand, but I really had no attractive alternate choice. When I saw the short guy grab your arm and then tell you to not resist—well—from that point forward I was going to remove them from the equation, at least for that moment in time” I said, explaining my actions.
Ana was still holding onto her Blackberry and she scrolled through a couple of pages and then looked over at me with a look of anguish on her face.
“They’re dead,” she said flatly with all of her air exiting her chest in one big shoulder dropping exhalation.
“You mean those guys in the restaurant are both dead?” I asked not wanting to believe that I’d just killed two Federal agents.
“Well yesss—those two guys” Ana said exasperated.
Ana looked at me for a moment, and I was suddenly uncomfortable being scrutinized by the woman that I ‘d just saved from a potentially lethal kidnapping.
“Who are you?” Ana asked, “I’ve never seen anything like that other than in a movie.”
“Ana, I’m that same guy who came to you this morning looking for understanding about seeing an old code on his laptop. I had no idea that you were who you are, or that you are doing the kind of work that you are doing. I didn’t know about quantum space, or DEEP, or the Internal Security Division of NCCS. And I sure as hell didn’t wake this morning thinking that I’d wind up the killer of two other human beings today, even if they were bad people—and Federal contractors no less!” I explained with controlled animation.
Ana was justifiably upset, but I too had just been involved in an action that was going to forever alter my life. Both of our lives were now far more complicated than when we woke this morning, and trouble was now promised at every corner. If nothing else, it was important that we keep the air clear between us.
“And I’ll tell you what’s also disturbing”, I said to my new partner in intrigue, “when I dropped my knee onto the tall guys chest and watched his face go slack—I felt a sense of déjà vu—a really strong sense of déjà vu—and to be honest, I feel slightly nauseous because of it.”
“But what’s most disturbing is that I sense that you fear me now, and that would be unfair to me—and to you, because I’d take a bullet for you. I can’t explain why, but I’ve felt close to you and protective of you from the first moments we spent together”, I confessed hoping for understanding.
Ana continued to sit quietly, but soon broke her silence.
“Me too”, she said in a calm, controlled voice.
“Me too, what?” I asked.
“I felt that same closeness to you”, Ana said, looking me directly in the eyes, and weakening my knees in the process.
“Well, we’re into it now”, I said again, stating the obvious.
“No matter what the reasons were prior to a few minutes ago, soon, all the stops are going to be removed in an effort to reel us in. How can that Blackberry help us out?” I asked.
Scrolling through her data she turned to me and said, “Drive north, we’re going to Philadelphia.”
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