I pour myself a generous handful of pills. The shakes are getting worse. Each trip I take another few pills more than they recommend. Maybe I should tell the medics about it. I knock the pills back and look up the location of the cache on my wrist terminal. Two meters ahead, under a hedge. I open the case to see the usual: a rifle and a chip containing a dossier of the target. I snap it closed again and follow the directions to the hide site.
I hunker down on the top of the hill, between a few trees. The site’s more exposed than I’m used to, but the intel’s good. It always has to be. Has to be perfect. I pull the info from the chip, then destroy it. The target’s a little boy. Looks maybe five years old. As I put together the rifle I wonder what he would have grown up to be, what he might have done. It’s an old model rifle, practically an antique, but you never forget the basics. The suppressor snaps into place and I swing the muzzle down toward the lake.
He’s crouched at the edge of the water, splashing around in waterproof boots, playing with a model ship. I used to have one just like it. I slow my breathing, flip the scope cover, and take the boy down clean. The parents take a few moments to realize that something’s wrong.
I disassemble the rifle quickly; I can already feel the tingle in my fingers and toes. I slide the case into the hollow of the tree and glance at my wrist: another thirty years backwards. So far from home already, and I keep getting further away. The air around me crackles and my hairs stand on end. I jump again.