Hey guys. Just stopping to say thanks for taking the time to read this story. Whether it be praise or criticism, I really encourage reviews. Those keep me going more than anything else when it comes to posting work here, so I'd really appreciate any feedback you've got. You can tell me anything you want in a review that you think will help me, EXCEPT for any suggestions that could potentially alter the plot. I've got this whole story outlined; as I write this I know exactly how this is going to end and everything that's going to lead up to that ending, and nothing you say will convince me to change what I've planned.

In addition, please keep reading after this first chapter ends, because afterwards there's going to be a sneak peak at the next story I'm going to post after I wrap this one up.

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The dark night loomed over the entire city. There were no signs of life that had been flourishing there over the day. All that could be seen were the dark, empty streets and the tall buildings that stretched up to the sky. Lights in the multi-story buildings' windows created patterns and glints of light for the night, but overall, the premise still remained deserted, enshrouded in the night.

A lone figure disturbed this peaceful and quiet scenery, breaking the fragile silence that the night was creating. The figure was dressed entirely in black to blend in with the environment and to avoid detection-a black sweater, black sweatpants, black gloves, black shoes, and a black ski-mask to restrict the image of his identity. He slowly made his way through the streets and avoided any detection. The last thing he wanted to do was to be spotted while looking like the way he did.

Then he saw it: the building he was looking for. It was a large, yet luxurious apartment complex. It was one of the taller buildings in sight, and the figure looked up at one particular window in the building.

"That's the one," he thought to himself. "That's the one I'm lookin' for."

The figure snuck into a dark alley between the building he was looking at and the building a few feet next to it. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a gun that he had carefully prepared before going out into the night.

Aiming the gun carefully, the figure pointed it at the window that had caught his attention. After a few seconds of aiming and squinting-making sure he hit the exact right window-he finally pulled the trigger.

Out of the gun's barrel came a chord with a plunger-like object attached to the end of it. The weapon made a pew sound after the trigger had been pulled, and the attachment that went soaring out of it attached to the window the figure was aiming at.

Without a word, the figure tugged on the chord he just fired at the window a few times just to make sure it was secured. After several tugs, the figure deduced that it would take a lot of muscle to pull the chord and its sticking end off the window; it wasn't about to snap loose.

Not needing to take a deep breath or hope for the best, the figure got a grip on the chord and started climbing up the side of the building while holding onto it. He was careful to stay between all the windows so no one would spot him.

He continued climbing and saw all the windows scroll down and passed him as he ascended onto higher floors. Two…three…four…five…the figure kept climbing. Nine…ten…eleven…twelve.

The figure was finally at the end of the chord and right outside the window he had attached the chord to. He took a glass cutter out of his pocket, but didn't dare look down at the ground. He didn't need to get any more nervous by looking down and seeing how high up he was. Taking the glass cutter out, the mysterious man tried cutting out a perfect circle that would be big enough for him to fit through.

After a few seconds of hearing the screeching sound of the cutter going through the window, the circle was finally formed. Taking the side of his fist, the man punched the circular glass cutout out of the window, soon hearing it thump on the carpeted floor in the apartment.

Without even making a sound, the figure crept through the large hole he made in the window and was now inside the apartment. He took out a flashlight from his pocket. It wasn't anything big; just something small enough to fit in his pocket and make a tiny beam of light that could effectively illuminate wherever he was.

Using the tiny pocket flashlight, he found a lamp sitting on a night table. He promptly went over to the lamp and turned it on. Instantly, the whole apartment lit up.

The figure saw a large bed that looked incredibly comfortable on a mahogany frame. Underneath it was a periwinkle carpet, with large dressers all over the place. There was a large screen television mounted on the wall, as well as several comfortable looking pieces of furniture scattered about. There were bookcases all over the place, most of the books on it being non-fiction and based on political mishaps or histories.

There were several other rooms in the luxury apartment that included a kitchen, a bathroom, probably an entertainment room, or some other random rooms. The intruder honestly couldn't care less about what was in the apartment; he had a mission to perform, and that was that.

The figure went over to some drawers and opened them up. He began digging through them, hoping to find something that would give him a source of identity, just to confirm that he was in the right room. (Not that he would really care too much if he wasn't) After a while, the figure saw some papers scattered about that turned out to be epistles written to a man named Thomas Lervasio. That was who he was looking for, all right. He had the right room. Now all he had to do was wait.

The figure went over to the bed and began to lie down on it. As soon as he found a position that would be comfortable to wait in, he pulled something else out of his pocket. It was another gun…this time, not one intended for grappling to higher places, but one made to fire bullets. He screwed the silencer on the end of it, just in case there was someone next door who could potentially hear the gun being fired.

After sitting on the bed for about fourteen minutes and being able to do nothing except wait for the owner of the apartment to come home from work, the figure jumped up when he heard the sound of a key clicking in the doorknob. He prepared his gun to fire a shot…and waited for the main show to begin.

Sure enough, the owner of the apartment walked into the room. He walked in looking fairly happy and content to be home from work, but when he saw the figure in his bed, the grin instantly faded. He let out a small, yet clearly horrified gasp. His thin, graying hair stood on edge, and his brown eyes widened into a shape that showed genuine terror.

The apartment owner took a step backwards, but didn't take his eyes off the intruder. But it didn't matter too much, in the end.

In less than two seconds, the intruder held up his gun and aimed it at the owner of the room he was in. He pulled the trigger and fired two clean shots, both nailing the man in the chest.

The man stumbled backwards a little, and then he fell on his knees. He let out a few last moans and stutters, and promptly fell forwards and flat on the ground after that.

The intruder sprung up from the bed and went over to his latest victim. Using his foot, he pushed the man over on his back just to get a clearer look at his face. The blood from the bullet wounds to the chest had stained the carpet and the fibers on his shirt, and his eyes were closed and looked surprisingly peaceful.

The intruder reached into the murdered man's pocket and pulled out his wallet. He opened it up and started digging through it until he eventually found the man's driver's license. It had a picture of the man who was just shot on it, and towards the top in bold print, it read: THOMAS LERVASIO.

Yes, the intruder had killed the person he was after. He took Lervasio's I.D. from his wallet, as well as some money. Then he took out a small camera and took a picture of the body, just to prove the person was dead. After taking a quick snapshot of the corpse, the figure put all the recently obtained items in his pocket and went out the window. He promptly climbed back down the chord until he was safely on the ground again. He'd let the police find the body and take it from then on, but he had a pretty strong feeling he wouldn't be caught. He had committed several murders already, and he managed to get away every single time.

Then the murderer started walking away from the building where the deed was committed. He was walking for a while before he finally found the building he was supposed to be meeting at.

This building was nothing more than a standard sized house. It had one floor, but looked big and spacious enough to satisfy someone living in it. The figure walked up the wooden steps and knocked on the door a few times. He then promptly took off his black ski mask, revealing the face of a young man who didn't even look like someone who had finished being a teenager. The static from the ski mask barely had any effect on his already messy, yet spiked blonde hair. His pale eyes stared at the door impatiently as he waited for the person who lived there to open up. He licked his thin lips a few times when he heard the footsteps approaching the door.

Finally, the door opened up, and the blonde-haired man was greeted by another man who appeared to be in his mid forties or fifties. His hair was brown, but had obvious streaks of gray in it. It was a tad on the long and shaggy side, but he looked like he could have been a great athlete in college.

"Oh, it's you," the man said after opening up the door and seeing who it was. "You get him?"

"Sure did," the blond hit man said.

"Proof?"

Letting out a small sigh, the hit man reached into his pocket and pulled out the man's I.D. and the picture of the body he took right after he killed him.

After looking at the I.D. card and the photograph taken numerous times, the man in the house gave an "okay, then" look at the hit man. He promptly shredded the photo but stuck the I.D. card in his pocket.

"Yup, that's definitely Lervasio, all right," the man said. "Great work."

"Hey, what about my money?" the hit man demanded, sounding like the person who hired him had just forgotten the most important part of the deal.

"Ah, right," the man snickered. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a checkbook. He wrote an amount on it for 2500 ryre, the currency for the country they inhabited.

It was a very different world that this civilization lived in. It was surprisingly like Earth in the sense that there were men and women, various types of animals who could be allowed as pets, and even the technology was the same. As far as everyone was concerned, it WAS Earth with some major geographical differences and customs.

The hit man took the check and scanned it. The name on the top left corner of the check indeed matched the name of the person who hired the hit man for the job: Cliff Knemus.

"Spend it wisely, kid," Knemus said as he got ready to close the door to his home.

Without saying a word back to him, the hit man took the check and started making his way back home. In just a few hours, he was hired to do a job to kill someone; he snuck into an apartment and killed someone, provided proof the murder happened, and was paid a fairly generous sum of money for the deed, despite how horrible it was.

Just business, as usual.

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There it is, the "pilot" chapter for Before It's Too Late. Hope it at least slightly caught your interest. And now, as promised, the sneak peak at my next story after this, Morality.

It's a beautiful day at a lake. Three teenagers are sitting by it and just relaxing. Two are boys, and one is a girl.

One of the boys, a sixteen-year old with gelled black hair that was flipped in the front and a mysterious silver chain hanging from his neck, is just searching through the sand and looking for rocks to skip. He sees something strange and digs it up. It doesn't appear to be a rock, but more like a claw or something of the sort.

"I've seen this claw before…" the boy says as he looks at it. "It couldn't be…"

"Hey Ross, whatcha got?" asked Alicia, the girl sitting a few feet away from him.

"Er…it's nothing."

"Come on, it's got to be something! Why you hiding it?"

"It's nothing!" Ross said, inserting the mysterious, yet all-too familiar thing into his bathing suit's pocket.

Four things beyond our control. Emotion. Time. Physics. Life itself.

"How could a few kids like that have destroyed so much of our work? Including one of us!"

Ross and his friend, the other boy at the lake, Mike, are in a dark building. They see silhouettes of three people, all who seem to be wearing some sort of light coat that hangs beneath their waist and lightly flutters.

"So, it was YOU guys that did it, huh? Over four years ago?" one of the figures asks.

"Hey, it was either us or him!" Mike said. "And to be honest, I'm pretty happy with it being him."

How can one go on a new journey, and not be forced to visit an old one?

Where is the fine line, between what is logical and useful, and what is right?

No longer many smaller stories, but rather a larger and connected one…

Ross and Mike are seen running through a surprisingly complex relic-like place with many stairs and many structure supporters that seem out of place. Succession is showing through the stone and marble supports.

They both stop running through the strange relic when someone appears in front of them. He is a man in his mid-fifties and looks very lanky. He has shaggy gray hair and some unclean sideburns of the same color running all the way down his face to make a short beard. He's wearing a lab coat.

The man raises his hand and snaps his finger. Instantly, loud thumping is heard. Fearful of what it is, Ross and Mike begin to step backwards as the thumping gets louder and louder

ROSS AND MIKE RETURN IN THEIR TWENTIETH ADVENTURE, MORALITY

JUNE 2007