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The crowd screamed in panic. Police, trained as they were, had guns drawn but pointed to the ground to gun down the shooter if they could spot him. The man stood back up from where he had fallen, looking slowly around himself in wonder. Silence encapsulated him, a pinpoint beacon of sanity amongst the contagious panic. Something had hit him from behind. Pushed him to the ground. Right before it had happened. The weird thing to him was that he felt the other outcome, sitting painfully in the back of his mind, gnawing at his memory.

Hidden like a viper was the knowledge of what might have been. He filed it away for later, fighting to push it to the back. Right now he was too confused to deal with that weight sitting there. He looked around again, standing still amongst the whirlwind of motion surrounding him.

“No man is an island.” He spoke it like a mantra, reminding himself that he was a part of all this. Someone was pointing up and behind him, so he looked back. There was a window, it seemed to leap out of the background for him the second his eyes lit on it. In the window was an empty tripod, some type of clamp attached to the top of it, lazily spinning in its joint. His gaze slowly wandered down to the ground below the window. There was a body lying there.

It was a woman that he knew too well, and she obviously had been defenestrated. The fall had also all too obviously broken her neck. On the ground next to her was a pistol. It was a Glock, lying there with a shattered scope affixed to it. The gun pushed at his memories of what might have been and understanding started for him in that moment. He reflexively squeezed his empty hand. It did not come to him as an epiphany, it was not a cataclysmic opening of his mind to the truth. Rather, it was like a thief in the dark of night sneaking into his mind then settling in as though it had always been there.

And once it was there it had always been there. He smiled and calmly walked away from the crowd. What had been done was now undone. And the Origin… was once again safe. And now he understood what that was, and that it existed. With a simple motion, just pushing another man down, he had determined exactly what that future was to be. Hard though the choice had been, understanding had come that there truly was no other choice. He left and went back to living his life, walking through the reflections of the origin into the future that was his that was his alone.