Thursday, 31 December 2009

#FridayFlash: Assassin's Future

by Maria Protopapadaki-Smith

Loki Treize had traveled a long way in both space and time to fullfil his mission - from his home planet millions of light years away to Old Earth, at a time a few centuries before he had been born. He had managed to escape his war-ravaged world in a stolen Chronambulist-10, and had landed in one piece on the mother planet. His mission was unsavoury, to say the least, but he knew there was no alternative. The boy could not be allowed to live.

The traveller eyed his target as he walked across the park towards it. Tommy Smurthwaite looked like any other twelve year old boy - textbook early Twenty First Century, in fact: baggy trousers, scruffy sneakers and hair messed up more through affectation than through play. Loki had to remind himself that Tommy's open, innocent countenance belied the legacy he would leave when he grew up. The hitman pictured the state of the world he had left, hundreds of years from now, and steeled himself further to finish the job he had started.

Tommy continued to play, oblivious to the threat he faced. Loki carried on walking towards him, slowing down more and more the closer he got. The hitman felt his stomach churn at the idea of what he was about to do. He is only a boy... - before the thought could take hold in his head he reminded himself of the preacher this boy was to become and of the seeds he would plant for the holy war that was to rage across the galaxies a few centuries hence.

Loki brought one more memory to the forefront of his mind as he lifted his weapon and advanced on his target. He saw his wife's lifeless body as he had found it that day, seven hundred years from now, eviscerated and branded, like other unbelievers, with the mark of the Prophet Thomas. The boy had to be stopped.

Tommy looked up from his game to see a man dressed like something out of a Science Fiction movie bearing down on him and aiming a weapon at him, the like of which he'd never seen before. He froze.

"Please, no", he said in a hoarse whisper. Loki squared up in front of him and pointed the gun at his head.
"I am truly sorry for what I am about to do, but I cannot let you live."
"But why? What have I done?" His eyes were welling up.
"It's not what you have done. It is what you will do." The hitman took one step closer so that the gun was touching the boy's forehead, between the eyes.

Loki braced himself to pull the trigger but made the mistake of taking another look at the child. Tommy's eyes were wide and he was crying silently, in shock. A wet stain had appeared at the front of his trousers. He looked even younger than his twelve years. Loki knew then he would never be able to go through with the hit. He lowered his weapon, his own face now streaked with tears. Better to be a failure than a monster, he thought as he turned and ran back to the Chronambulist-10 before the boy could raise the alarm.

Tommy never mentioned the incident to anyone, but would always refer to it obtusely as the moment he realised God had a plan for him.

38 comments:

  1. ... and THAT, dear children, is why you Do Not Mess with the timeline!

    Nice one.

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  2. Very Nice! Sort of a Terminator meets Moses . . . Very unique.

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  3. Oooh, cracking story! Personally, I reckon Loki should've shot him and been done with it.

    It's always the kids, eh?! ;)

    Happy New Year!!

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  4. The terrible consequences of time travel - I love them!
    Chronambulist-10, perfect name. Great story, Maria!

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  5. An unsavoury mission indeed. Makes a New Year's Eve party seem a bit like small fry really...

    Have a productive 2010

    marc

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  6. I really must upgrade my Chronambulist-9.

    Who knows what worse fate might have occurred if he had pulled the trigger? Darn those time travel paradoxes!

    Wishing you and the Friday Flash crowd a happy new year!

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  7. Geeze *smack the forehead* He should have said something like "I came to warn you if you even think about becoming a preacher, your head will pop off!" Nice one :-) Happy New Year!

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  8. A nice take on this theme. I like how the boy accepts it as fate ensuring the future the hitman remembers.

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  9. SHEESH!!! What Tony then Shannon said.

    Time travel makes my head hurt.

    Loved the chronambulist 10.

    Happy new year Mazz!

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  10. I wonder if in another timeline, Tommy grew up to be a lovely boy with no religious megalomaniac tendencies whatsoever. Poor lad. Should've blown the f**ker's brains out! Cool story!

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  11. It was well written, and I loved the name of his ship. But I have to confess that I don't like time travel stories. I'm possibly allergic to them :P

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  12. Oh Wow! I love this paradox! So many great details - the ship, the preacher, the scifi fun!

    That hitman needs to reprogram his time travel machine to the time when this boy is older and just starting to get obnoxious! But no story there - just death!

    What a great twist your version took!

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  13. Great stuff - loved this story. It has such a TERMINATOR kind of feel to it. Last line - perfect. Nice set up for something larger perhaps? HNY! Peace, Linda

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  14. a gripper for sure. NEVER disappointed mazz

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  15. When will time travelers learn? You don't travel back to when the bad guy is a little kid. Everyone knows you can't kill a kid. Go back to when he's around twenty and acting like a douche. Really a cautionary tale, this.

    Cheeky remarks aside, this was really fun to read and well written. You do sci-fi very well.
    ~chris

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  16. out in the forest hidden under leaves I have a "Chronambulist-10" waiting for me.. Thanks for the fun story... good read

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  17. I love your stuff. Fantastic as usual, you make great use of the small space afforded by the Flash requirement. Not a word in err...great stuff.

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  18. I love these sort of stories and that was a great one!

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  19. When will people learn? Crush the infamy, always! (damn you're good)

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  20. Huh, damned if you do... An aptly named Chronambulist-10 should be in showrooms this year.

    Cool story, thanks. And Happy New Year.

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  21. Wow! I'm really enjoying your writing. Riveting! And love that name: Chronambulist-10..makes me think of both time travel and sleeping. Apt name for a space ship. :)

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  22. Tony said exactly what I thought Mazzz. Perfect last line - unexpected and bringing the story full circle. Love your work.

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  23. I love time travel stories. This is perfectly done. You can NEVER mess with the timeline because it always works out the way it was originally! Foolish Loki...obviously, he hasn't read nearly enough science fiction. :)

    Great, great job.

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  24. A very tightly written story.

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  25. He needed to find Dr. Who to help sort everything.

    Failure or monster? Sometimes it's hard to choose.

    Perfect last line. I know someone who says that when explaining why he became such a fanatic christian. *Shudders*

    Great story!

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  26. "... Better to be a failure than a monster..." - wonderful line.

    Oh, I love time paradoxes. They get you every time. Well, well done Maria. Great title too.

    You made a very neat circle with this story.

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  27. very imaginative and well written

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  28. Well written! I was hooked from the start. Great time travel piece, unique and perfectly paced.

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  29. Very good. Don't mess with the timeline, it's nothing but trouble. Nicely written, Maria, and a lot of fun.
    ~jon

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  30. I really enjoyed this! It was really easy to get into, and worked perfectly to get you thinking about the bigger picture. I, too, felt sympathy for the boy, and was left wanting to know more about the war.

    Rich.

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  31. A nice time travel tale that’s tight and works well. The last line is quite chilling.

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  32. Time travel is my one great love in fiction. I like that fact Loki came from another planet and traveled back to old Earth. But I think if I watch my wife die and the kid was the cause, I would have pulled the trigger.

    http://timremp.blogspot.com/2009/12/aftermath.html

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  33. Oh no! Excellent tale. I love a good paradox. I agree with Christian, that last line gave me shivers.

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  34. Most of my stories involve hit men, so naturally I was riveted. I love this one. Excellent tale!

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  35. wow... All i can say is. wow. Truly brilient.

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  36. Yay for time travel. He should have went through with it.

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