A Chance Encounter

Looking down at his hands they were covered in grease, bleeding at the knuckles, and straining to hold the large steel lever, Luke wondered how he’d gotten himself into this mess. The room was filled with massive dust covered industrial equipment from a bygone era that were now resting silently. Luke had no idea what purpose they had served but could imagine that when running this complex was extremely loud, something he could use right now to take his mind off the pain his muscles were feeling.

The silence of that large room seemed to act as a amplifier to his pounding heart. His ears were trying to listen to the other side of the heavy steel door while his body was straining to hold whatever was there at bay. Earlier that day while he sat at his computer debugging a data feed the last thing he would imagine he’d be doing right then was leaning into a lever thinking about everything he wished he’d done with his life.

Why did he listened his boss anyway? Go for a walk he said. Get out and see the sky, the clouds,the birds he said. Now he just wished he was still in the controlled secure confines of his pod in front of his clean bright 60″ 8K display. Instead he was standing in an abandoned complex of building, who knows how many mile from the city, covered in grease and sweat and regretting the entire day.

If only he hadn’t met her that afternoon. She was so rude to him cutting him off like that. Who just cuts someone off like that and doesn’t apologize? He sat there on the ground for about 10 seconds waiting for a hand up and an apology only to realize that she was already 50 feet ahead and oblivious to the entire incident. By the time he caught up to her to give her a piece of his mind he was too winded to say anything and instead he tripped into her and they both went tumbling down. Moments later they were both laughing about the whole thing on the wet cement curb. His knuckles were gouged and bloody from the two falls but he was happy to be laughing next to a beautiful woman.

After they exchanged some flirtatious words they decided to grab a coffee and just like that his day was beginning to looking up. What he didn’t realize was that there was a reason she was riding at that obscene pace in the first place, she was running from someone. He never did find out why they were after her but when she collapsed into his arms moments later he didn’t care. As she looked up at him he could see the sorrow and regret in her eyes.

Just like that she was gone in the blink of an eye. She wasn’t bleeding out but by the extreme heat of her back he sensed that someone had done something to her. He had thought about waiting for the authorities and maybe he should have but what would he tell them? Some strange woman bumped into him, they exchanged some choice words and then she died. Ya, that wouldn’t seem suspicious or anything. At least if he had waited maybe then he wouldn’t be in the predicament he was now.

His muscles were giving out from holding the greasy lever and his teeth were starting to chatter from the cold wet clothes he’d been wearing. Even with his heart pumping and adrenalin coursing through his veins he still managed to feel bitter cold. Was this what it was like to die? A chill spreading throughout your entire body despite the desire to be alive?

The desire to be alive, that’s it, he truly didn’t want to die today. He may not have lived the most exciting life but that didn’t mean he was expendable. There was no way he was going to just sit there any longer and die in this god for shaken warehouse. He was tired of running, and needed to do something to turn the tables and take them by surprise … and quickly.

Without completely thinking it through he relaxed his muscles and removed the heavy lever from the door jam. He picked it up and and felt the weight in his hand. Yes, he could certainly use this as a weapon. Assuming he was able to get in close enough to use it of course.

Just as he was about to find a more tactical position he was thrown back by the force of the door exploding outward toward him. He didn’t take the entire brunt of the explosive force but he did take enough to blast him back about 8 feet onto his back and to have his wind knocked out. As he was gasping for air he rolled under a nearby mechanical press of some sort and was now covered in even more grime and dust that before.

Fortunately for him the grime he was covered in and his low position on the floor meant that the people entering through the door didn’t see him. They burst through with amazing speed and seemed to bound through the room with military precision. As they flowed into the room, each covering the next, he realized he was seriously outnumbered. He counted 10 already and they just kept coming.

Putting his head down in defeat on the cold wet ground he let out a final submissive sigh and he reached into his pocket in an attempt to warm his frozen hands. There down in the bottom he felt something, something foreign, something he certainly hadn’t placed there. Pulling it out and looking at it closely Luke realized that this was exactly what he needed to turn the tables in his favor.

Word Count: 973

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