Déjà vu

Updated: Sep 14

Yet to be updated.


The assassin landed in the middle of the corridor with a puff of dust. He has been through the Quantum bridge a thousand times before, but his head still reeled from the impact. He looked at his watch. The time read 9.9.2032 1137Hrs. He stopped his humming ARK and placed it in his pocket. He walked to the door of the room, cocked his handgun, and wrapped it in a package. He knew he couldn’t break in. The instructions given to him were clear. “Enter the zone. Extract the asset. Kill the rest.”

The man knocked on the door thrice, paused and said “I have the package. Just like you wanted”. There was some muffled conversation inside. Then somebody walked up to the door and opened it. The assassin walked inside the room holding the package up in his hand. While he was being frisked, he looked around. There were six armed personnel (black robes) guarding another six unarmed people (white robes). He looked for his asset and spotted her lying down on the floor with a guard standing against her. The whole place looked ragged and was lit by a lone window on the sidewall. The guy finished searching for him and asked for the package. The assassin smiled, unwrapped the handgun and shot him in his head. The room erupted.

The assassin used the dead guy as a shield and shot two other people dead. Bullets whizzed past him from both sides. It was mayhem. He shot the chandelier hanging above, killing another guy. He then grabbed an M6 automatic and made short work of the guard standing near his asset. There were two more armed guys emptying their magazines at him. He ducked behind a couch and held his asset close for safety. Just then, he noticed something moving from the corner of his eye. There were a couple of white robes attacking him. The assassin moved swiftly to gun one down and used his knife to cut the throat of another one. Before he could understand what was happening, his asset moved suddenly and stabbed him with a shard of glass. The shocked assassin gathered his senses and knocked her unconscious. This moment exposed him to the black robes and he was hit by a couple of rounds. He grimaced in pain and tried to catch his breath. He then shot the gas line on the opposite wall and the explosion made the black robes duck. The assassin used the moment to slide across and gunned the black robes down.

The man dragged himself near the window. His lungs were punctured with bullets and blood was oozing out. He was gasping for air and knew he was dying. He used his watch to send an SOS message to his unit. There was no response. He didn’t want to die here. He wanted to go back and see his little girl. He then did the unthinkable. There was one basic rule his handler repeatedly told him during his missions, “Never use the ARK if you are close to death”. He wondered what unspoken horrors await if he did that. But he made up his mind. What could be worse than dying alone in the future? He removed his ARK and plugged in the current date and place. He was counting his breaths and held the ARK firmly and it kicked into motion with a loud whirring sound and started pulling him into the bridge. When he was about to pass out, he noticed that the room came back to normal as it was, when he entered. Then he heard a knock on the door with a familiar voice calling out. Suddenly, all surrounding sounds drowned out making the heartbeat get seemingly louder. It was HIM who was back again. He tried to yell loudly but it was drowned in a vacuum. He died or so he felt.

The man knocked on the door thrice. He felt a sense of déjà vu at that moment. He ignored it and brought his focus back to the assignment.He said “I have the package. Just like you wanted.”… (After a few minutes)... He was gasping for breath and knew he was dying. Then the ARK whirred into motion by itself and sucked him into the vacuum.

The man knocked on the door thrice. He felt a sense of déjà vu at that moment.He ignored it andsaid, “I have the package. Just like you wanted.”

He was stuck in a time loop for an indefinite period.

The man knocked on the door thrice. He felt a strong sense of déjà vu at that moment. It was pulling him back. It was a weird feeling. He wondered what unseen dangers await him on the other side of the door. Fear and doubt got the better of him and he decided to give in to his impulses. He retraced his steps back into the corridor and outside the building. He knew the consequences of his actions. He will be labelled as a deserter and will be hunted down. He came onto the sidewalk and saw a couple of cars coming and stopping on the other side of the road. Armed units got out and the assassin got ready to fight. But then they turned to the other side and aimed at someone else. For a moment he thought he was dreaming. But he recognized his daughter who is 10 years older now. She was walking toward him and the guns were aimed at her. She saw him and froze. The assassin placed himself between his daughter and the attackers and rained bullets on them. He was hit several times, but he continued fighting till he killed everyone. He gave out a primaeval yell and dropped onto the floor. He saw his daughter running towards him and smiled. He knew there was no coming back this time. Light shone on him warmly and the assassin was dead in peace.



This contribution is edited by R. S. Chintalapati & Tarun Chintam.



This short story is available in a paperback & ebook.

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