The Crossroad of Destiny

Don't look down, don't look down, don't look down! I chant, trying to convince myself that nothing's going to happen. It doesn't work; I look down.

I gasp, seeing rocks crumble down the side of the cliff where I hang, disappearing into the expanse of fog over the land. My fingers are barely able to hold on, and I feel myself slipping. Storm clouds appear in the dark sky, warning of the rain that will soon follow. This journey was not meant to be easy, definitely not for the faint of heart.

I boost myself up onto a narrow strip of stone, that's wide enough to walk along, if you're careful. The water starts pouring. Fortunately, the area where my feet shuffle along stays relatively dry. Unfortunately, my hair and clothes do not.

My heart rattles inside my chest. The heavy rain has dissolved the layer of fog that blocked my view of the ground, and the high elevation is clear. And terrifying. As I reach a fork in the makeshift path, I force myself to look up. About fifteen feet up is the top of the mountain. Knowing what awaits me up there is even more blood curdling than this alarming height. Deep down, however, I know that I must complete this mission.

I go into stealth mode. The enemy is not waiting around for me to come and attack him. If he were, then my strength alone would not be able to complete the job.

I climb up to the windy peak, my fingers numb from having to support my body weight for so long in the particularly low temperatures. I made the wrong choice to wear fingerless gloves.

There he is. The Monster.

He is a dark figure. He wears a black trench coat, soaked with the icy acid rain. He sits in a cross-legged pose atop a plank of wood, balanced on two posts. He's twenty-five feet in the air. The roaring wind sways the structure, but doesn't knock him unsteady. That is the amazing balance of the Monster.

I crawl around the side of the mountain. The diameter of this one flat peak is about thirty feet. I must get to opposite side of the direction the Monster is facing.

The shrill of the wind blowing through mountains hides the sound of my rubber boots squeaking on the wet dirt, and I'm thankful. I simply can't afford to screw up this mission. I can't.

I straighten up. The Monster doesn't stir.

My mission is simple; find the Monster and blow him up. But it's not that easy. The Monster has incredibly acute senses. I have trained for months and days to become this quiet. He has eyes like a hawk. The only reason my cover wasn't blown earlier was because his eyes were closed. He can feel the slight shift in wind when someone is approaching. He can smell his prey, and taste other's auras from miles away. But I know what position he's in. He's meditating on his evil spirit, and all connections to the outside world are blocked. I remember the task at hand. I silently reach into my right pocket on the thigh of my pants. My fingers, now moderately thawed out, hit something cold and hard. The bomb.

I slide it out of my pocket, making sure to not start it. My hands shake with nervousness, afraid to make the slightest mistake. The bomb slips out of my hands, and falls onto the ground. My heart stops for a second. I hold my breath.

The numbers on the face of the bomb start counting down. All the blood drains from my face as the Monster shifts. A quiet ping emits from the device. 3:38, 3:37, 3:36, 3:35… He has turned around all the way now, a nasty grin plastered onto his dark face. My breathing quickens, and I shudder. Crimson blood drips from the Monster's mouth, and dabs of it protrude from his tear ducts. I can feel vile rising up my throat as I try to contain my fear. This was never part of the plan.

The Monster hops gracefully off of his post, landing with one hand in front, a perfect Marvel landing. Right in front of me. I immediately assume a martial arts defensive stance, out of habit. In my mind, I struck myself on the forehead, knowing that it sends the message that I am willing to fight. That's the last thing I'd want to do right now.

I'm too late.

The Monster sees fear in my eyes. He lunges at me. I block his first throw, but barely avoid his second. He kicks me in the stomach, and I double over. I reach for his legs. He slips out of the way, and smashes a finger between my shoulder blades. A tingling pain spreads throughout my body. I can't give up. 2:43, 2:42, 2:41, 2:40. The bomb is ticking down faster and faster. In my head, I can imagine the Director commending me on a successful mission. But how will I possibly get out of here alive?

The Monster doesn't have great stamina. He takes huffs of breath, swinging his arms sloppily over my head now. I duck, and aim a quick uppercut to his jaw. He becomes angry. I can feel a sliver of hope that I might be able to surpass this Monster, and still live to tell it. Time does not stop, though. The bomb continues to tick. I grab the Monster's ankle, and use my foot to chop his face away, knocking him over. My handcuffs are handily at my belt, ready to restrain even the deadliest of monsters. Satisfied with my victory, I call the Director. Thirty seconds to detonation.

I am trapped. With twenty five seconds until this whole valley explodes, and nothing but the training gear at my disposal, it is my fate to die here. I rummage around in my pack and find one of those collapsible hang gliders they use when jumping out of exploding airplanes. I press a button on the handle, and strap myself in.

The microscopic camera attached to my contact lenses take a picture of the Monster in perfect HD, as I glide away.

Half a mile away, I hear the sound of a muffled explosion. The deed is done.