A brief Sample of some of what I’ve been working on the past few weeks.
Rain spattered off the stray dumpsters and air-con units in the dark alley. A yellow light set in its wire cage cast long shadows down the night hidden shaft. A single darkened figure lurked beneath a fire escape, half sheltered from the rain, keeping to the dark. A navy-blue hood was pulled over her head, her strong black arms were bare, grey arena armor hung on her legs. She stood silently, calm and patient; she was used to waiting. Her dark eyes caught movement in the main street, watched it pass. It wasn’t her target.
A drop of rain traced the long pale scar on Chrom’s cheek. The Gunnery Sergeant brushed it off, barely noticing what she was doing. She stood ready, waiting and anxious; not because she was afraid, but because of what she was supposed to do. It reminded her of when she was a stupid punk-assed kid. Chrom had spent years shaping that kid into something she was proud of. Now that she was here lurking in the alley like the kind of petty crook she’d once been, and she didn’t like it one bit. Still, what she’d become was a Marine, and Marine did what ever it took to get the mission done.
“Kite, this is Peregrine,” D’Ascoine’s voice signaled in her head, “Bravo target is moving your way.”
“Copy that, could you provide me with a diagrammatic?” Chrom sent, her eyes focusing on the street beyond the end of the alley. A moment later a simple vector map was overlaid on her vision, showing a blinking icon moving down the line drawing of the city. She opened a window, watched Sinner’s broadcast of the CCTV data he was hijacking and saw the man in the tan business suit making his way towards her position. This was the third meeting that the same man had had with the Ankh. In the last one, there had been talk of what would appear to be arms shipments, and the Wayang Stalkers. They decided to follow this new contact: a man who could even prove to be the Dalang.
She waited patiently, watching him move ever closer. Hell, if we’d had this kind of surveillance back in the day… she chuckled to herself. A rat shuffled out of a dumpster, looked at her, and then carried on its way like she wasn’t there.
Bad ass rat. She kept waiting. The rain fell a little harder. The map told her that the target had reached the end of the alley. Chrom stuck her right hand into her pocket and slipped on the micro-needle, but still waited.
When she saw him with her own eyes, she shut down the projections and launched into action. She barreled out of the alleyway and ploughed into the target like rail freight. Her right hand locking around his throat, she used her momentum to swing him towards the alley from which she had emerged. The suddenness of her actions caught him by surprise, but he was quick to react. His hand flew to break the grip on his neck, his leg moving behind her knee in an attempt to trip her, use her own force against her.
He’s military trained, she thought, but she knew his moves. She had taught them to others. She countered his defense and shifted her weight. He slammed into the wall, cracking his head against the cold hard surface.
“Gimme your fucking wallet!” she shouted, spittle from her mouth hitting his face. She pressed a knife against his side. He was scared, sure, but the look in his eyes said that this man had seen danger before, he was evaluating his present position, coming up with the proper tactics.
Chrom did not wait for him to act or react. She did what any junked-up street kid would do. With a brutal speed, she jabbed the knife into the man twice, but what seemed thoughtless violence was calmly calculated. She made certain to aim where the stab would do the least damage; she was an artist with a knife. She felt the slight resistance as she pierced the skin, saw the horrible wince as the man felt the dull blade penetrate his side, felt the warm rush of blood. She grabbed his wallet and ran off down the street.
She hadn’t gotten two blocks before she heard a shout followed by footsteps. As expected, he had been tailed by a security detail. They were good. Sinner hadn’t caught sight of them. She heard the speed of their feet increase to a drum roll pace; they were serious cyborgs.
Chrom ran half way up a cinderblock wall, and flipped over the top. She dashed and darted down different alleys with the practiced ease she had learned as a child dodging the cops, and perfected with her Marine training. She serpentined through the maze of backstreets they had scoped the previous day. She could hear her pursuers gaining. One of them had a heavy Archon accent.
“Shit!” Sinner’s voice sounded in her head, “They just jumped that wall in one leap… they’re Wayang Stalkers Gunny!”
“Meet me at the bravo extraction point,” D’Ascoine ordered. In the distance there was the squeal of tires.
Slipping down another side alley, she was in new territory, she hadn’t had a chance to memorize the bravo route as well as the alpha. She listened to the Chief coordinate both her and D’Ascoine’s paths and launched a projected map in the corner of her vision. She scaled a chain-link fence like a pro, hurtled a high wooden fence, and saw an approaching van cut off the end of the alley. The door slid open, she rolled in, and the door closed. The timing was perfect, the vehicle didn’t change speed, any surveillance systems that Sinner didn’t hack and might have caught the pick up would not even have noted there was a person in the alley as the vehicle passed. It had seemed to work like a charm.
“Well done, Sergeant!” came D’Ascoine’s unexpected praise.
“There’s blood, you hit?” Sinner said with a concern that somewhat surprised Chrom. He was quickly checking her for wounds.
“Nope,” Chrom responded, “not mine.”
“Report?” D’Ascoine asked.
“You sure?” Sinner said, digging through her wet cloths to be certain, “there’s a lot here.”
“I’m sure, it’s the target’s,” Chrom said, “I ambushed the target as planned, and think I placed both trackers.”
“I’m gonna check anyway,” Sinner said digging through her cloths and examining her for any signs of injury.
“You think you placed the trackers?” D’Ascoine asked, turning from the driver’s seat to spare her a glance from the road.
“Sorry, sir,” Chrom apologised, ashamed of her less than professional report, “I mean that I made contact with the target as expected and placed the sub-dermal tracker on him by grabbing his throat and injecting it with the micro-needle. He resisted with some skill, suggesting a military background, but I still managed to inject the more robust transmitter with the knife implanter. I have every reason to expect that the wounds inflicted were superficial and that he will not be kept in any medical facility once he is stitched up.”
“There’s no wound here,” Sinner said.
“Good work, Sergeant,” D’Ascoine said as they rounded another corner.
Sinner looked down and closed his eyes, “Both signals are sending. We’ve got the target.”
This is an original work of fiction. © T. L. Evans.