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His vision was clouded as he came out of the trance. The pink scar on his left forearm tingled mysteriously and he shook his head. The hanging bulbs pierced through his eyelids. No. It wasn’t possible.
“Well, what the h--- did you see, Bradford? The Eiffel Tower exploding, the Statue of Lib dropping her torch on civilians, the-the Pizza Tower finally falling over?” The man sitting across from Bradford had a look of annoyance sat on his thin lips. Tremendous pressure and work stress seemed to have worn him out over the years.
“No.” Bradford swallowed. His head shook from side to side. His hands felt clammy. “No, I-”
“No, you what! These are our people at risk! Our world! And you can make it right! Now tell me what the hell you saw or else-”
Bradford’s raised hand stopped the babbling man across from him.
“I saw smoke… and it smelled acrid, like ash on your tongue,” he paused to lick his lips, “the taste was… so foul and the sound… like sandpaper to the ears-”
“So what, Bradford! Do I warn the President, the UN, the… the Mafia?” the man bit his large cigarette, fingers punching in the password code on his computer. His brow rose.
“Sound the alarm.” Bradford coughed. He rose from his chair and pushed it in behind him.
“Yes, we sound an alarm but which alarm? There’s more than fifty billion alarms in this world, one covering every freaking person who decided to live on this freaking planet-”
“Not any old alarm, my friend.” Bradford leaned in to clap his mentor’s shoulder. “This one. We’re doomed to blow in five. You’re leaving with me.”
“Sh--.” The man cursed. He sounded out of breath. “Years of savings and investments in this lab so we could track down the freakazoids destroying our planet. And for what? To have it blown right up in our faces?”
“Not if you leave now with the rest of us. Come on; there’s no way to stop them.”
“Not yet.” The man grunted.
Bradford let a sigh escape his lips. “Come on, D. We’ll figure it out later.” The man opposite looked doubtful. Bradford tapped his wrist-watch twice. When he spoke, his voice was soft. “We’ll find a way to stop them eventually.” The countdown till the explosion began with the sharp ticks of his watch. Bradford looked out to the bleak sky and started down the stairs. Each step was colored a fierce scarlet. He swallowed. They had been so different in his vision. “We’ll stop them, D. I swear.”