I’m in the break room when it happens. I’m whining like a little girl to Corine about the coffee we get around here and how I’m going to bring a French press to work when I hear a gunshot.
Incidentally, I don’t mean to sidetrack things here, but the coffee at my office really does suck. I have actually brought this up in meetings – we need to trade up and spend a couple extra bucks on some decent coffee and keep the little people like me happy. The coffee is total swill; bitter and acidic, and it seems to cool twice as fast as normal coffee so after five minutes you’re not only drinking bad coffee, you’re drinking lukewarm bad coffee. It drives me fucking insane.
Anyway, the gunshot.
Corine screams and spills her coffee and I whirl around. I’m switched on.
I hear Todd yelling and I peek around the corner of the break room door. He’s up on his desk, waving a revolver. Everybody’s on the floor; I see a few hunched backs and hear crying. I can’t hear what he’s yelling, I’m just thinking which one of my co-workers is going to get it in the back.
I take a breath, check myself. I've got to take him out, but it can’t look too slick or superhuman. On the other hand I can’t fuck it up. I’d never forgive myself if I let Wookie or Surfer Dave get killed.
Todd turns toward me, waving his gun, screaming. I catch a little of it: “—goddamn it, but they wouldn’t listen to me. I’ve got a house! I’ve got a fucking house –“
I wait for him to turn, wait for him...
He shoots again.
The explosion is deafening in the office. I hear the bullet ricochet up into the ceiling. Somebody screams in pain, a guy. He just shot somebody.
Fuck this, I’m going.
I launch myself out of the doorway towards Todd. I take one step, two steps, a third, then hurl myself into the air over a few desks and some cowering co-workers. Todd sees me coming at him, and his eyes go wide, and he brings the gun around, and I fucking slam into him. We both smash into the overhead lights, sail over some desks, and crash into somebody’s cubicle. I make sure I land on top.
He still has the gun. With a quick squeeze of his right hand I take the gun from him and incidentally break his fingers. I throw the gun aside. He’s screaming good now.
I lean in close. “Settle down, Todd. We’re going to get you some help.”
He screams and bucks. Keith, the guy from Margo’s group jumps in, pinning one of Todd’s arms.
“Settle down, Todd.”
People start getting up, realizing that the drama’s suddenly over. It looks like everybody had their heads down during my whole flying through the air thing. Looks like I’m off the hook…
Except for Corine.
Corine is standing in the doorway to the break room, staring at me.
She saw the whole fucking thing go down.
I hear sirens. I fight the urge to run away.