Tempus Fugit

Brendan Lukomski


Time is the enemy of us all, and I only wish to be freed of it.

I am often left floored by the fickle nature of time. We are constantly reminded that time flies so we may savor every moment. However, to those in the midst of greatest distress, when their lives are a variable in an unsolved equation, time slows, and they would be able to testify that the mind has the remarkable ability of turning mere moments into a lifetime of thought.

So which is it, as both can’t be true?

As an FBI agent, you’d think I’d have a better grasp on time. But if there is anything I have learned in my twelve years as an agent is that as soon as you believe you have something figured out, the world decides to turn everything you thought you knew on its head. Even with something as certain as time; the minute you believe you have it all is the minute you lose everything.

In many ways, time is a trap. It traps us in our memories, many of which are sooner left forgotten, but we have no choice. Memories are what give our life, purpose, whether for better or for worse. And if sheer number of memories equates to purpose, then my life had purpose.  My adventures through the years had become stuff of legend, and the occupants of many cells can thank me for their incarceration. Maybe I think a bit highly of myself but speak the name Nicholas Blackwell in any federal prison and I guarantee you’ll find at least one inmate who owes their current living arrangement to me.

One tends to collect a fair share of memories from such expeditions, and I am no exception. Rather than set each case down at its conclusion, however, I like to thrive in their memory. It is no stretch for me to instantly call upon the minutest of details, reliving the cases which always seemed to leave me with a renewed sense of determination and pride in my work.

Now, I want nothing more than to be freed of them.

But I know I have no choice. Time is a fickle mistress, after all, who repays all debts.

I can feel the memories, flickering just beyond my conscious gaze, vying for my attention, but I won’t let them. I can’t let them.

Too late, I realize there is nothing, no willpower I can possibly muster, which will stay their approach. They burst forth, all hoping to provide an answer to a question I have not yet learned to ask. Suddenly, the target is set. One memory stands out among the rest. I know what it will show me, which is why I struggle against it, but in vain.

In an instant, I am taken back.

Back to the beginning.


“The way I look at it is either you love her or you hate her. There is no middle ground.”

“Now isn’t that a comforting thought?” Nicholas Blackwell replied sarcastically. “So, either I’ll love my partner, or I’ll hate her guts. Thank you for such a motivational pep talk, Hudson.”

Hudson’s face reddened. “I’m not saying she’s a bad person. I love Judy, but she can be a bit of an acquired taste.”

Blackwell rubbed his eyes and sighed as the pair made their way down the hall. All he was looking for was a little inspirational pep talk on his first day at the FBI, but instead, he got Hudson adding one more anxiety to the ever-increasing pile. He hadn’t known Hudson long, but he could already tell he failed to grasp the concept behind “little white lies”.

“Is there anything else you want to tell me about her, Hudson? From everything you’ve told me so far, I feel an involuntary urge to turn and run away.”

“Well…” Hudson began, hesitating slightly. “I process all the recruiting paperwork for the office, and I know for a fact you’re the first newbie who she has ever taken on. It could mean she sees something in you that she didn’t see in the rest.”

“Oh good. No pressure,” Blackwell said with a sigh. Hudson had tried, but even his attempts at instilling confidence in him only dragged him down lower. Receiving his first assignment would be stressful enough. Getting assigned to a legend like Judy Hanchon made it worse and having someone like Hudson around to give him all the wrong details didn’t make it any better.

He was assigned to Judy Hanchon. Even thinking about it now incited butterflies within him. At the academy, you couldn’t go ten minutes without hearing about her. Every professor loved her to this day, and she was at the top of every classroom she entered. Even though she was only a graduate of three years, you would be forgiven for thinking her reputation made her a seasoned veteran, and not a relative newcomer like himself. The very fact she was a newcomer made her even more of an inspiration, and a key role model throughout his time at the academy.

Many expected her to be offered a director’s chair as soon as she crossed the stage at graduation.  However, Judy chose a different life.

Giving up her promised seat of power, she chose the life of a field agent. Many wondered why, but she never offered an explanation, probably because she didn’t feel she owed them one. And from talking to Hudson, it was clear to Blackwell that there was much to learn about Ms. Hanchon that was kept from even those closest to her.

Hudson stopped walking. “Here we are,” he stated simply.

“The firing range?” Blackwell questioned, raising an eyebrow at the door they had stopped in front of. “I thought you were going to introduce me to Judy.”

“I am,” Hudson said. “When Judy’s not in the field, she’s either at her desk or the firing range. I chose the more likely of the two.”

“More likely of the two?” Blackwell repeated skeptically.

“You’ll see,” Hudson said with a smile. He opened the door, holding it as he motioned for Blackwell. The pair entered, emerging in an observation area which flanked the shooting range.

“Come on,” Hudson said, motioning forward. They entered the range, and Hudson immediately took the lead. Walking forward, he tapped a young woman on the shoulder. “Shooting well?”

“What?!” Judy said loudly, turning to face him. Hudson flinched slightly at her outburst, then motioned for her to remove her earplugs. Judy blushed slightly before doing just that.

With everything Blackwell had heard about Judy, he’d expected someone a bit more formidable. Someone physically intimidating, perhaps, or someone who could make people cower with a single flash of their gaze. What Blackwell got was neither of those things.

Judy was not physically strong, nor was she intimidating. She wouldn’t stick out in a crowd because there really wasn’t anything unusual about her. The only thing which really stuck out to Blackwell was her eyes. There was a kindness in them which was quite uncharacteristic of an FBI agent.

“What did you say, Hudson?” Judy asked in a much softer voice.

“I asked if you are shooting well,” Hudson replied.

Judy smiled. “Why don’t you be the judge of that?”

The targets at the far end of the range suddenly flew back across the room, riding on pneumatic hooks attached to the ceiling. When the target, which was a human silhouette, finally came to a stop, Blackwell’s draw dropped. He couldn’t tell how many shots she had taken, mostly because they had all formed a hole about the size of a quarter in the target. A hole located right over the heart.

“Now you’re just showing off,” Hudson said, seeing the target. “How many shots was that?”

“Ten altogether,” Judy replied. “One of them is a bit to the right though.”

Hudson scoffed. “Bit to the right,” he muttered. “Most agents would kill for a pattern like that.”

“I just know I can do better,” she said, examining her target with a longing look in her eye. Though some may see it as a conceited, Blackwell had the impression Judy was completely serious.

Seeming to remember why he was there in the first place, Hudson turned to Blackwell. “Judy, allow me to introduce Nicholas Blackwell. He’s…”

“My new partner,” Judy finished. “Nice to meet you, Nicholas.” She extended a hand, to which Blackwell hurried to shake.

“It’s a pleasure, ma’am,” Blackwell stammered, suddenly flustered. He didn’t know why he was suddenly so nervous but meeting his role model probably had something to do with it.

“Ma’am?” Judy scoffed, feigning offense. “How old do you think I am?”

“Again, with the quips?” Hudson muttered, leaning against the wall. Blackwell could think of nothing to do but chuckle nervously.

Judy rolled her eyes. “Quips give me life Hudson. You of all people should know this by now.” Returning her gaze to Blackwell, she smiled. “I’m just messing with you Blackwell. There’s no need to look so nervous.” She gave him a gentle jap in the shoulder. “Welcome to the FBI.”


Why did I believe this would be easy? Why did I believe time would let me slip quietly into history? But no. Time never forgives, and time never forgets.

My first meeting with Judy Hanchon would go down as the most significant event of my life, and for good reason. That day not only marked the start of our partnership, which would see us grow to become one of the best duos in FBI history, but it also began a lifelong friendship, a friendship which would grow to become more than mere coworkers.

I once looked back on the memory fondly. Now, it only brings pain, sadness, and grief.

The memories continue to swim in my mind, giving me glimpses of the past. I can feel their desire, their manic lust to provide me with answers before it’s too late. I only wish I knew the question.

With sudden vigor, my mind locks onto a memory, bringing it forth to the forefront of my conscious gaze. I struggle against it, but it is no use.

My strength is beginning to wane.




“You’re doing it again, and I won’t let us take my car next time if you keep it up. It’s a lease, you know.”

Still leaning up against the driver side door, he glanced down. A deep gash was visible in the car door, carved by the key laying in Blackwell’s outstretched hand. Any other day, he might have cared. This was not one of those days.

Judy sighed. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“Talk about what?” Blackwell replied with a forced laugh. “There’s nothing to talk about.”

“The car door would tell me otherwise.”

Blackwell, suddenly caught up in a wave of emotion, sat up and slammed his hand against the steering wheel. “Why are we even here Judy?!”

“That is the big question, isn’t it?” Judy replied, leaning back in her seat. “Why are any of us here? What is the meaning of life?”

Blackwell frowned, clearly not amused.

“You mean why are we staking out this warehouse?” she began again. “I was under the impression it was to make the world a better place and to combat the forces of darkness. Isn’t that our mission as FBI agents?”

“Yes, but why are we here, and not back in Washington?” Blackwell replied forcefully. “Any newbie can run a stakeout. There are real cases back in Washington which need us!”

“Real cases? In other words, your sister.”

Blackwell opened his mouth, but no words came out. Silently, he leaned back against the door and continued staring blankly off into nothing.

“Melissa was a good friend to me,” Judy continued, placing a hand on Blackwell’s shoulder. “I want her killer to be caught just as much as you do, but that doesn’t mean we have to be the ones doing the catching.”

“And why not?” Blackwell spat, causing Judy to jump back in surprise. “She was my sister! I don’t just have a right to catch this freak, I have the only right! If the director, Jackson, or anyone else thinks otherwise, they can tell it to my face and not stick me in some mundane task just to get me out of the way!” Blackwell took a deep breath, then said in a slightly calmer voice. “I don’t expect you to understand.”

“Then help me to,” Judy replied, leaning forward. “Jackson only has your best interest in mind. He’s the assistant director, and it’s his job to take you off the case if he thinks your judgement could be impaired. More than that, he’s your friend, and he doesn’t want to see you get hurt.”

“If he was such a good friend, he would leave me on the case,” Blackwell growled. “I don’t need protecting. I need to catch Melissa’s killer!”

“At what cost?”

“At any cost,” Blackwell replied, breathing heavily. His sudden outburst had brought the events of the past few days into sharper focus. For the past few weeks, Blackwell and Judy had been investigating several serial killings in the Washington DC area. As the pair worked the cases behind the scenes, Blackwell’s sister, Melissa, covered the cases in the public eye from her position at a local news station. Unfortunately, her publicizing of the killings seemed to have made her a target and led to her brutal slaying just a few days prior.

“Do you remember the Zerio case?” Judy asked.

“What?” Blackwell questioned, caught off guard by Judy’s sudden inquiry.

“The Zerio case,” she continued. “It was the first major case we ever worked on together. Remember, with the Soviet implants?”

“I remember,” Blackwell stated. Zerio was a former Soviet implant who was left in the United States after the fall of the Soviet Union. The pair eventually managed to track down Zerio, who had put forward former Soviet assets to fund the drug trade and grow his own power, but only after several murders, including a fellow agent. The case had left a black mark on the FBI and the utterance of the simple name still managed to create an air of unease whenever it was mentioned.

“Do you remember what you told me during the case? I’d been avoiding you for days, and you had finally cornered me in church of all places. Do you remember what you said?”

The memory was called up without a moment’s hesitation. “I told you not to be afraid,” he began. “I said you weren’t alone, and that I was there for you.”

“You won my trust that day, which as you know, is not the easiest thing to do. Now, I have the opportunity to return the favor.” Judy reached out, gently placing her hand back on his shoulder. “You don’t have to be afraid, Nick. You aren’t alone in this. We’re not just friends, but family, and family looks out for one another.”

She had said the magic word: Nick. Judy always called him Blackwell, save for exceptional circumstances, that is. If she used his given name, he knew what was to follow would be sincere.

“Judy, I…”

“He’s here.”


“The target’s here!”

A few seconds later, after the statement was clearly processed, Blackwell’s head jerked up, just in time to see a man disappear into the warehouse.

“Wow,” Blackwell said in surprise. “I didn’t think he’d really show up. Of all the things organized crime is known for, punctuality is not one of them.”

“You ready?” Judy asked with a comforting smile.

“Born ready,” Blackwell confirmed.

The pair exited the car, unholstered their weapons, and proceeded across the street towards the warehouse. There was nothing unusual which would differentiate this warehouse from any other on the block, but Blackwell knew the truth. He knew that beyond its bland and unassuming exterior, there was an arms deal going on within. A rather insignificant arms deal in Blackwell’s opinion, and hardly worth their time, but a criminal act nonetheless.

Arriving at the front door, Judy turned to Blackwell. “Standard play. I’ll cover the back. You flush him out. Got it?”

“Got it,” Blackwell replied, needing no further explanation. It truly was their standard play, having been performed successfully dozens of times before. There was no reason to expect that this would be any different. The pair parted ways, and Blackwell watched as Judy disappeared around the building, gun at the ready. He would never get tired of seeing her in action.

Focusing on his own task, he entered the structure. The electricity had been cut to the building long ago, leaving the grime coated windows and Blackwell’s own flashlight the only remaining sources of light. Though moving quietly to avoid detection, he still couldn’t hear anything from the facility’s interior to suggest anyone was inside. This fact alone caused Blackwell to tighten the grip on his firearm. He cleared the ground floor quickly, then with only the slightest hesitation, made his way quietly downstairs. He had barely cleared the bottom step before he heard footsteps echoing on the cold concrete just ahead.

“FBI!” He roared, bringing his gun up, followed quickly behind by the beam of his flashlight. “Get on the ground!”

A deep laugh answered from the shadows, followed quickly by the appearance of a tall man, seeming to materialize from the darkness itself. Though his hand obscured most of his face, put up to block the blinding light, Blackwell recognized him with ease.

“Make a move Ivan,” Blackwell growled, his finger hovering dangerously close to the trigger. “I would love an excuse to put a bullet through your head.”

“Why Agent, is that any way to act?” Ivan drawled, lowering his hand.

“It’s probably appropriate,” Blackwell replied. “After everything you’ve done, I doubt many would be sad to see you go. I might actually throw a party.”

“If someone cannot accept that there are people out there that want them dead, then maybe the business of crime isn’t for them.” Ivan admitted, taking a step closer. “I’ve accepted it, and you clearly have as well Agent. When you think about it, we’re not so different, you and I.”

“Not so different?” Blackwell questioned sarcastically. “If you kill me, it’s murder. If I kill you, I’m lauded a hero. How’s that for different?”

“Each side has its advantages. You have the law at your back, and I don’t have it slowing me down,” Ivan said, taking another step forward. Blackwell’s gun tracked him as he went, but no shot followed. A tense silence fell upon the pair as the stared each other down, daring each to make the next more. A cruel smile began to emerge upon Ivan’s features when Blackwell made none. “I’m glad you’re here: alone. Just the two of us together. No one else to sway you.”

“Keep talking,” Blackwell snorted. “All you’re buying is time.”

“You’ll be the judge of that, Agent Blackwell,” Ivan said with a smile, which only served to enhance Blackwell’s reservations.

“How do you know my name?” he inquired, unable to stay his curiosity.

“Oh, I know all about you Blackwell. Information is control, after all. Money and weapons may give the illusion of power, but true power comes from nothing other than knowledge.” Ivan said. “For example, I knew you were outside this facility since seven o’clock this morning, and I knew you would enter through the front while your partner staked out the back. It is your signature play, is it not?”

Blackwell’s gun wavered slightly, caught off guard by Ivan’s sudden show of knowledge. “You knew we were here?”

“Yes, and don’t worry. My associate is occupying your partner so she won’t interrupt us.”

“If anything happens to her Ivan…” Blackwell began, his voice turning sinister, letting Ivan know his threats were far from empty.

“I said not to worry Blackwell,” Ivan reassured. “I don’t wish to see you or your partner on a metal slab. You’re far too valuable for that.”

“What game are you playing?” Blackwell asked, his focus wavering for only a moment. “Stronger men then you have tried to throw me off, and none have succeeded yet.”

“That was not my intention, Agent. All I wish is to speak to you.” Ivan replied, his voice displaying a calmness that was greatly out of character for such a tense situation. “I’ve been following your career for quite some time, and I must consider myself impressed. However, I didn’t bring you here today to sing your praises. I brought you here to offer you a choice.”

“Brought me here?” Blackwell uttered, clearly caught off guard. “You didn’t bring me here. The FBI sent us here to bust a low-level arms deal that…”

“What you’re describing is a story I created and helped to perpetuate. Try to keep up Agent, as we have little time.” Ivan took a step closer. “It has come to my attention your sister was recently murdered. This saddens me to hear, as I was under the impression you two were fairly close.”

Blackwell visibly flinched. “How do you know about that?” He stammered, his tone suddenly rising. “What do you want?!”

“I told you already Agent. I want to offer you a choice,” Ivan began. “My line of work gives me the privilege of knowing information often kept hidden from the public eye. For instance, I know who killed your sister, and I am willing to tell you.”

“You know who it was?” Blackwell whispered, his voice eerily quiet as the weight of what Ivan was offering sunk in. “Why would you tell me?”

“Serial killers are bad for business. I deal in control, and they can’t be controlled. I would have had my men deal with the killer eventually, but I think it’s in both of our best interests for me to tell the name to you, then you can go apprehend the killer.” Ivan shrugged. “Or don’t. I’m not one to judge.”

Blackwell hesitated. “What do you want in return?”

“You’re quick. I like that,” Ivan replied with a small grin. “I merely want a small favor. I need a file buried deep in the annals of the FBI. No one would bat an eye if it suddenly vanished.”

Blackwell didn’t know what to think. On one hand, this man was a criminal, and represented everything he had come to hate about the world. There was nothing which could justify Blackwell siding with such a monster.

However, would the ends justify the means? Blackwell knew as well as anyone that this killer was good, and that they were no closer to catching him now as they were two weeks prior. And as long as Jackson held the assistant director’s chair, there was no way he would be assigned back to the case. If Ivan truly knew who the killer was, it could be his only chance to get his revenge.

Judy’s voice echoed down from upstairs. “Blackwell! Are you okay down there?”

“Time is key to a murder investigation,” Ivan said. “This information may not be around for long.”

Blackwell had made many mistakes in his life, but it was this very moment that he would spend the rest of his life regretting.

Blackwell lowered his weapon. “All clear,” he called out.


Ivan contacted me a short while later.

How he found me, I don’t know, nor do I care to find out. Despite the deepest desires of my heart, he never stayed away for long.

Ivan has his hooks in me, and nothing save for a miracle would pry them out. True to his word, Ivan provided the name. I didn’t realize it then while I was consumed with vengeance, but Ivan had laid a trap, and I, being the fool I am, fell right into it.

The first time Ivan called, I had the thought of my sister to sustain me. Information was all Ivan required, mainly files and documents, and though I was certainly acting on the wrong side of the law, I did what was instructed of me. The second time Ivan called, I succeeded again, thinking my debt had finally been repaid. By the time of the third call, I knew the relationship was not meant to be temporary.

I am powerless. I suppose I overlooked that small detail while I was consumed with vengeance, but it makes all the difference now. Ivan holds all the strength in our deal, and I can do nothing but comply with his wishes, or risk being revealed for what I truly am.

What am I? Despite every deed Ivan has forced me to commit over the years, it is this one question which has caused me more distress than all of them combined.

The passing years only bore this question deeper, and I suppose it is safe to say I lost myself along the path to an answer.

A federal agent by day. A hero of the country who represents all that society should strive for. The epitome of courage and strength. The moral center of a nation who keeps all from falling into darkness.

But what by night? A criminal. Even worse: a traitor. A mole within the Bureau itself. A passer of information to those who hold no ethics and who bring down society with their actions.

These conflicting halves of my personality seemed to fuel my own abounding insecurities. I’m not sure when Judy found out, but I shouldn’t have been surprised when she did. If there was anyone who could read my every thought, it was her. Personally, I don’t believe I want to know the exact details of when and how she found out. I will not have my memories of her soiled with the thought that she knew, deep down, who I really was.

Who I really was; I finally have an answer. The question has been without one for so many years, it’s almost appropriate that it be answered now.

I can’t be both the hero and the villain. I am no dark angel. I am a dirty cop, and nothing more.

Perhaps that’s the question that time is helping me to answer. How did I get here, about to die at the hands of a friend?

I suppose it could be seen as poetic to some.

I really don’t see it.


“Judy,” Blackwell asked hesitantly. “What are you doing?”

With a telltale click, the door was locked. Blackwell silently cursed himself. He should have known there was more to their little excursion into the backroom than just a discussion on the case.

“I could ask you the same question,” Judy said, her voice growing frighteningly icy. “What are you doing, Nick?”

“I don’t know what you’re trying to say,” Blackwell replied, apprehension clearly evident in his voice.

“Oh really?” Judy scoffed. “I’m smarter than you give me credit for, you know.”

“Judy calm down,” Blackwell said, inching closer. “Are you sure the stress of the case isn’t getting to you…”

“Save the act!” she cried out, her voice rising higher with each passing moment, catching Blackwell off-guard. “You may be able to lie to Jackson, but you can’t lie to me! After everything we’ve been through! After everything we’ve done, you threw it all away!”

“Judy, what are you…”

“You’re the mole, Nick!” she cried out, all composure now lost. “I’ve been trying to ignore it for a long time now, hoping I was wrong, but I can’t any longer. This whole case you’ve been acting like you wanted to track down the mole when it was really you all along! I hate myself for not accepting it sooner!”

“I can explain…” Blackwell began, trying in desperation to save the life which was now crashing down around him.

“Save your words,” Judy spat, tears now beginning to flow down her face. “They won’t make any difference to me.”

“Judy, you don’t understand,” Blackwell cried. “Ivan made me do it. He has a hold on me, and I can’t shake him. I’ve tried everything, and it’s impossible!”

“I understand plenty,” Judy said, wiping the tears from her eyes. Turning away, she made for the door. Stopping when she reached it, she turned around to look at the remains of what was once her friend. “I don’t think you ever loved me at all.”

With that to part them, Judy stormed from the room, leaving Blackwell’s shattered world behind her.


I now know the question.

Our final moments are not spent in solace, regretting our past and dreading the unknown. Our final moments aid in answering the question as old as time itself: what gave my life purpose?

My life had purpose, but it wasn’t due to the sheer number of my memories. My purpose was decided from the moment I became an FBI agent. It was decided from the onset of my first case.

It was decided when I fell in love with Judy Hanchon.

I know now what gave my life purpose. I only wish I could have figured it out sooner.


It was unknown to Blackwell how much time had passed, standing alone in Hudson’s office, until his phone buzzed in his pocket. He extracted it, only to find an unknown number at the receiving end. Hesitantly, he answered.

“Hello?” Blackwell croaked.

“You have failed me Blackwell,” came Ivan’s voice. “I left her alive as a service to you, under the condition she be left in the dark. It seems you could not succeed, even in that.”

Blackwell’s heart froze at his words. “It’s not what you think!” he cried in desperation.

“I’m sure it’s not,” he jeered back. “Did you honestly believe you were my only informant in the FBI? I have informants everywhere Blackwell. Ones who are much more loyal than you.”

If Blackwell didn’t know how to respond to this sudden revelation, there was nothing that could prepare him for what was to come.

“I hope your final words were heartfelt Blackwell.”

The phone hadn’t even touched the ground when Blackwell ran from the room.


In many ways, time is a trap.

It traps us in the memories we would sooner forget, letting us linger on the mistakes which have been made.

But in other ways, the more important ways, time gives us a choice. We can choose to be brought down by our past, or we can choose to let it go, and shape a new future.

I chose poorly. I only wish I could have chosen differently.


“Judy!” Blackwell cried out upon leaving the room. Too late, he saw her down the hall, entering the elevator, unaware of how much danger she was in.

Blackwell tore after her, but it was too late. When he arrived at the elevator, it had been long closed, and had descended all the way to the bottom floor: the parking garage.

Blackwell didn’t have time to wait for its return journey. He chose the stairs, flying down them three at a time. Nothing entered his mind save for Judy, and keeping her safe.


As an FBI agent, you’d think I’d have a better grasp on time.

My profession has surrounded me with death to the point that I forget about its inevitability. I have become desensitized to time, and took it for granted for too long.

We all have a set time. Time is not the enemy, for it is ourselves, and how we choose to treat our allotted amount. We know not when, or how it will come to pass, but it is always there. It creeps closer with every passing second, and nothing will stop its advance.

We often forget this, but that doesn’t make it any less true. I suppose this wisdom is only bestowed in our final moments. If it was known to all, it could change the world.

I know how I chose to use my days. I only wish I could have used them better.


Though his footfalls made it difficult, Blackwell was still able to hear the echoing voices coming from the bottom of the stairwell.

“It’s nothing personal Judy. Blackwell failed, and he has to pay the price. I know you would do the same thing in my position.”

“Say whatever you have to in order to justify yourself,” Judy answered. “But it doesn’t make it true.”

“I really am sorry.”

Blackwell recognized the second voice, but it wasn’t possible. It couldn’t be possible.

His pace quickened.


I am often left floored by the fickle nature of time.

One minute, it is speeding past, and the next, it hesitates to pass at all.

It is quite amazing, the world with an absence of time. Pity we only learn to see it this way at the end, when we no longer have a choice but to examine and regret our past choices.

But maybe we do have a choice. A choice to accept there is evil in this world, but there is also good. We all have both inside us, but it is what we choose to act on which dictates our lives and our legacy.

I lost sight of this somewhere along the way. I only wish I had the chance to change.


Reaching the bottom of the stairs, Blackwell processed the scene in a moment’s glance.

Hudson had Judy at gunpoint, having caught her before she could draw her weapon. They were staring intently at one another, and Blackwell knew no action of his would incite pause.

His course, and fate, was now clear. He ran towards Judy and jumped.

Time slowed to a halt as Blackwell’s life passed before him in a moment, but only a moment.


Time is a gift to us all. I only wish I had more of it.