I think if I'd had a manual job then I'd have a better appreciation of the engineering that has gone into making the gun. The smooth satin finish of the walnut stock or how perfectly circular the barrel is as I squint to look down it. But I've never been very good with my hands. I've got a desk job and so things like how lightweight it is or how smooth the bolt action is are lost on me. To me this is just a means to an end. It's a killing machine.
I couldn't for one minute tell you what any of the numbers mean now but I gave every bit as much thought to what goes into the gun as the gun itself. The shells are 2¾ inches in length and they each contain 16 pellets. Maximum effect. The gun itself can take three rounds with a fourth loaded into the barrel but I think if I can't make one shot count then I'm clearly not doing this right.
So I've got my gun, I've got my ammunition and it's loaded. I think I'm ready. Having always been the diligent worker I enable Out of Office on my email and leave a note addressed to my wife. It simply says "This was something I simply had to do. I'm sorry. All my love, Stuart. x"
I sit at my desk for what will be the final time and take a couple of deep breaths to look at the knickknacks I've gathered over the years; the paperweight from the Seychelles, the letter opener with the handle in the shape of the lion and the photo of my wife and children. I tell myself again that it will be better for them this way.
With one last sigh I shut my PC down and pick up the gun. I step out of my office and pause at the double doors outside, just for one final moment. Then I pull open the door and raise my gun as I step into the crowded assembly hall.