Richard Martens sat in his small apartment six blocks away from the debacle and stared with interest at the television screen that continued to report on the event and the accompanying bedlam of the previous day. The attack was being called the most heinous act ever perpetrated upon civilization since the World Trade Center debacle. The terrorist group responsible had not yet been named and no one had stepped forward with an admission of responsibility. Mixed reports continued to come forth with typical misinformation about the chaos that had immediately become the world’s main concern.
Martens had never thought of himself as the leader of a terrorist group and tingled with excitement at the thought. Single handedly, (well, with the help of some friends) he had created worldwide terror. Not bad for an out of work computer programmer suddenly thrust into the minds of nearly everyone on the planet. Except, of course, in those places where things like this didn’t matter too much and people were too busy trying to find something to eat.
Markus Bellus, one of his accomplices, slept soundly on a sofa in the next room turning over in his sleep periodically making sounds that indicated a heroin induced euphoria. Martens continued to stare at the television. There were still plenty of emergency trucks, tanks, and vehicles. Types he could recognize and types he couldn’t. He laughed while thinking about how simple it was to put all the explosives in place and get in and out of the building without being questioned by anyone about anything. It didn’t matter what was going on or where it was going on. Security measures just weren’t able to stop deviously intentioned acts. What amazed him even more was that he, Bellas, and two others had been in and out of the building at least fifteen times until they had planted all the explosives needed to do the job.
But he didn’t permit himself to be considered a fool by any means. The money and drugs he had received as down payment had been adequate along with the promised immunity from his employers, and though he had no idea who they were outside of his specific contact, he also knew it was only a matter of time before people would be along to kill him. He shook his head wondering where he could hide when they started to come and quickly realized that nowhere would be safe. The thing to do was to grab the remaining money and drugs and get the hell out of there. Bellas and the other idiot could fend for themselves.
His romantic nature took over. He would go to Geneva and have face surgery. But first he had to get out of Brussels, hide until things started to calm down, then leave the country. He wondered if his martial arts training would be enough to maintain his survival consciousness in the extent that it would be needed. Paranoia began to take over as he slipped out of the a with all he could easily carry. If he was careful, he could get out of the immediate area without being stopped. He knew it would be stupid to travel through back alleys and that it was best to walk calmly through the streets until he could get to the train station. Checking for his passport, he felt it safely tucked away in his jacket pocket.
Confusing thoughts ran through his mind one right after another as the effects of the heroin started to wear off. Horror struck him as he began to realize that he was responsible for the deaths of thousands of people and the injuring of who knew how many. He began sweating in the October sunshine. He suddenly felt violently ill and had to force himself to keep from vomiting. He needed a glass of water or something cool to put him together before he got to his next fix. Slowly, he began to gain control over himself, and turning the corner of Rue de Bonaventure, he walked towards the train station forcing his mind to focus on sobriety in his steps. He knew he would make it.
As Richard Martens rounded the corner, three men entered the building he had left only moments ago. They walked up the stairs and into the apartment where Bellas still slept and would sleep forever. Now they only had to find one more.
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