Murphy didn’t have a chance to move. He sat in his chair and stared. He had the same expression on his face as when I asked him about The Pornographer. I bent down and pulled a pocket knife from Jordan’s pocket. I took off his shoes and tried them on. Despite his massive size he had dainty feet so his shoes didn’t fit me.
As I tossed the shoe away I noticed Murphy broke out of his shock and was picking up the phone receiver. I flicked open the knife and quickly cut the cord.
“Now give me your cell phone,” I told him.
Obediently he slid it across the desk. I picked up the desk phone and smashed the cell phone with it until they were both destroyed. I leaned onto the desk.
“Now tell me, Murphy, have you ever met your other-dimensional self? He calls himself The Pornographer, he sometimes walks around in one of those leather pervert suits, but most times he dresses like you, but better. Yes or no?”
Murphy quickly shook his head.
“You’re not lying to me, are you?”
Another shake of his head.
“Okay, well…shit. I was really hoping you’d help me out. Alright, I’m going to go. First, give me your wallet and shoes.”
“Why…why do you want my shoes?” Pat was nearly to tears.
“I’m sick of walking around barefoot and Jordan over there has little girl feet. Now toss them over.”
He bent over to untie his shoes. He was obscured by the desk, but I wasn’t worried about him trying anything now. He was appropriately cowed by this point. Even if he jumped up with a gun he was shaking so bad that he’d miss. No doubt about that.
He popped back up and slid his shoes over the desk. They fit just barely. They would be okay for a while, but I still had to find a pair that I could wear comfortably. As I laced up Pat slumped back down in his chair, pale and sweaty.
“I told you to give me your wallet.”
“Wh…why?” he croaked out.
“Give it.” he reached into his back pocket then handed me his wallet. Inside was a fair amount of cash. I took that and left his credit cards. I slid out his license and showed it to him. As pale as he already was he went a shade whiter.
“I know where you live. Keep that in mind when you talk to the police.” I motioned to Jordan’s body.
Before I left the building I told the receptionist that she should bring Pat a bottle of water. She dutifully did so. While she was gone I grabbed her cell phone off her desk. Outside I dropped it down into the sewer. This wouldn’t help a whole lot, probably everyone else in the building had a cell phone, but it would cause some confusion before they could call the police.
I drove around in Isaac’s car aimlessly for about an hour. There was so much I should be doing. I needed clothes, shoes, weapons. Not necessarily in that order. I flipped on the radio and stabbed around the preset buttons looking for news. I wanted something, anything, that indicated this world contained any super-powered people. Without them I was screwed. I needed a super-scientist to get me back. I didn’t know what type of life Isaac lived beyond a sedentary one, but I knew I wouldn’t fit in it.
I thought about starting a new life. It wouldn’t be that hard if I still had my powers. It might actually be easier since I wouldn’t have any real competition. My contacts were probably the same guys I knew. The clients didn’t matter, I’d find them. Big businessmen, mafia bosses, dictators. Those still existed. They all needed people dead.
I didn’t even need my powers. I still had all my training and knowledge. If they were gone I’d just have to concentrate more. If I still did have my powers…then I would be the best fucking assassin anyone had ever seen.
Except…did I really want to do that? It would still be a hassle. It took me years to establish my reputation and clients. I worked hard for a long time in my world to have the esteem I had. I didn’t want to go back to low-paying, low-level kills without any respect. In my universe a mad scientist blew up Saturn and I was still considered one of the scariest people to walk to Earth.
Money was also a problem. Between Isaac and Pat’s money I still didn’t have much cash. When I started up originally I still had my money I’d saved during my time in the Marines. Now I didn’t even have the money to buy the ammunition for the guns I didn’t have.
Christ, I needed a gun.
For peace of mind.
I could do without my body armor, the fancy surveillance gear or any of the other tools I used, but I needed a gun. I pulled over to the side of the road and counted the cash again, trying to will it to be more. With what I had I considered what type of gun I could afford. Even if I found the most unscrupulous pawnshop I probably wouldn’t get better than some shitty .38 special. I wasn’t going to be able to set the world on fire with that. I cursed that everyone carried convenient, traceable, credit cards now instead of cash.
I was about to set off to pointless driving when I saw them in the alley. A gang. They were milling around drinking out of paper bags, others were hunched down tossing dice. One of them was on lookout. He lazily glanced around back and forth, not really seeing anything.