The lecture had gone well. There weren’t too many stupid questions today. Sure, there was the occasional know-it-all, but they were out of their league and were easily dismissed. The real geniuses wouldn’t come out of the woodwork until Friday when this leg of his public speaking tour wrapped up in the larger, metropolitan city.
I’ve been on the lecture circuit for a few months now. It is a necessary nuisance. My research needs funding. The tricky part is tantalizing the taste buds of these so-called academics with something cutting edge, without revealing the true nature of what I’ve discovered.
It is exhausting.
I’m back in the small office the university set up for me. A copy of my book, Diamondsional (by Dr.Raymond Cassar), sits on the table. Next to it, my bag.
There is a knock at the door, and a voice, “Ready to roll, Doctor?”
“I just need a couple minutes.”
I unzip my bag and reach inside. The handgun is heavy in my hand. It was a risk stealing it, and a bigger risk bringing it here. I perform a check of the weapon before replacing the mag and chambering a round. I hold it up at arm’s length, relaxed, thinking of the number one rule of the shooting range I frequented back home: “Never point the muzzle at something you are not willing to destroy.”
I lower the weapon, remove the safety, and tuck it into my waistband.
Another risk, but a calculated one.
I remove an 8.5 x 11-inch piece of paper from the bag. It shows a grainy image from one of the university campus’ security cameras, but it’s easy enough to make out the faces of “the twins”. The timestamp on the image reads just over five minutes from now.
I shove the paper and book in my bag, zip it up, and sling it over my shoulder.
I bang on the door and holler to my driver, ” I’m all set in here.”
My driver, who doubles as my “bodyguard” holds the door open for me. As we leave the office we are joined by two campus security guards. We walk through the corridor toward the parking lot.
My heart is pounding, but I take a breath and relax, remembering that I have the advantage.
It’s time to close this fucking loop once and for all.