Out of the Barrel of a Gun

Dr Singh nodded. He raised his right hand – slowly, so slowly; there was a thick vein on the back of his hand, it was an old man’s hand. Singh breathed in deeply through his nose and dust rose up from the floor of the room and swirled into a loose vortex under the metal supporting beams and glowed silver and red and flowed down into the old man’s hand.

Jo didn’t dare to breathe. The dust fell into Singh’s upturned palm and pooled into a ball of quicksilver and rippled and shifted and shrunk into a solid white object.

‘This is the best I can do,’ said Singh. ‘As I said, I do not yet have full control of this facility; however, this one will at least not run out of bullets.’

Jo took the gun – it was a toy thing, smaller than her hand, a little plastic stick with no sights. Still, if this devil thought it would work—

She pointed the gun at Singh and pulled the trigger.

Nothing happened.

‘I have built certain precautions into its structure, of course. Now, if that impulse is out of your system, so to speak – are you ready to get to work?


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