There was a click.
At first, I prepared an entire speech. I took my government-issued writing utensil and government-issued lined paper and wrote out a whole speech, but in the end I decided to go with a punchier approach - the kind that left the Jeffs confused and dead, in that order. Now my whole plan was ruined.
I pulled the trigger again.
There was another click.
One of the Jeffs stood up. I pulled the trigger for a third time, but the only result was that damned clicking.
Jeff grabbed the gun out of my hand.
"Tim was right," he remarked. The other Jeff made a little sound of approval as the first one examined the gun.
"We knew you were an enemy from day one, Sam. Tim planned all of this. He's one of the best Jeffers out there. We're quite glad to have him."
At this point, I was fairly convinced that someone had replaced my government-issued with water with non-government-issued water and I was, in fact, hallucinating.
"We replaced your phone wiring with a direct line to Jeff headquarters. We pretended to be the police and acted like we didn't want to use your house. We hoped that you would let it go. You had been a friend for so long. We didn't want to hurt you. When you went out on your own we were crushed."
I tried to make eye contact with the other Jeff. He didn't look at me.
"We knew you were tracking us here, so when you asked for a gun, we gave you this one. It's a real gun, Sam, and we knew you'd show up with it. The only issue is that the safety controls are reversed. Quite an efficient little problem solver. With you gone, the Jeffs can be free to continue our plan to overthrow the government and set up our own regime."
He clicked the safety to the safe position which was, in this case, the non-safe position.
"No long speeches," he said, "no melodrama. This ends here."
"You already made a speech," the other Jeff commented.
"Yes, and I already said that when I was about to shoot you," I added.
"Yes, well, no more long speeches. This ends here, after my other long speech."
He pulled the gun up to my head. My heart was hammering in my chest.
"Feeling tired?" Jeff grinned.
Now that he mentioned it, I was feeling a little weary. My eyes ached.
"This room has a slightly lower oxygen concentration than that of the normal atmosphere. As I scare you with this gun, you'll panic and start to need more air. Eventually you'll faint and fall to the ground, thus activating a multi-contact electrical pad in the floor, killing you instantly."
"Wow," I said, feigning awe.
Jeff smiled. "I know! It was all my idea."
"No, it's just that it sounds sort of..." I petered off.
"I was going to go with," I paused here, for the dramatic effect I so duly deserved, and then shouted: "inefficient!"
I bolted for the door, squaring up my shoulder, aiming, making contact. The door smashed open.
"Hey," the sitting Jeff yelled, "shoot him!"
I vaulted off the catwalk. The gun went off. The bullet struck the railing next to my hand. It sparked. I landed on a box. It collapsed. I sprinted past three more government-issued crates, under a government-issued forklift, and past a government-issued economy-sized bottle of ketchup-flavored-condiment. Bullets whined by my face.
Outside, I raced to my car, throwing myself over the hood and into the driver's seat. I revved the engine and raced down the long industrial driveway back onto the interstate.
As I drove away from the warehouse that evening, I knew what future lay ahead of me. Immediately, I would have to switch cars as soon as possible, of course - I now knew that the claws of the Jeffers reached further into the government than I at first feared. In the long run, though, I could never return to my home, and I would not let myself risk my family's safety by contacting them. I would have to travel alone, rely only on myself. An early death was inevitable, but I would just have to hope I could take a few of them down with me.
My old life was over. I had one purpose. I have one purpose. Nothing remains but the enemy.
I am the Anti-Jeff.