Day 25

New prompt for the week! This one should prove for some interesting fiction.

Prompt: Write about staying quiet when you feel like shouting.

 

I had to warn her. The net was alive as I raced through it looking for her. Numbers swirled in front of me, IDs and AIs ready to be hacked. Where was she? 

There. Running down the alley. Shit. Was I too late?

I slid into her optic implants easily, suddenly overwhelmed with the feeling of being her. Her ankle was twisted and throbbing as she cut a sudden left. It was jarring after the fluidity of the net, the thrill of being alive again. I scanned her biometrics, looking for problems, looking for data on what had happened.

Her recording module was easy to access, images filling my head. I ran through the last ten minutes. They had found her, found her before I could.

I slipped back into her body, trying to warn her, tell her how to escape, forgetting the futility of yelling on the net. The link was one-way; she didn’t even know I was here. I slipped out and looked for her pursuers. Two of them, hot on her trail, minutes from catching up. I scanned their tech. Military-grade enhancements. Damn.

There was an intersection coming up. I sent alerts out, looking for agents in the area, looking for anyone willing to help her for a payday. The ping comes 30 seconds later, an eternity on the net, and I slip into her body again.

A door burst open on her left, her gun up and ready. The agent nods to her, projecting my symbol, and she smiles, picking up speed. I’m here, Natalya. The agent stays behind, gunfire bursting out a moment later, stalling their progress. I wire him the money.

She cuts right and I open a door at the end of the alley, the back door to some shop. She takes the cue, running in and up the stairs. The tenants peer curiously out of cracked doors, slamming and locking them when they see her gun. Not that the flimsy doors would stop a bullet. But she’s not here for them. Not today.

The roof door isn’t wired in, a cheap plastic piece locked with an old padlock. She kicks it open, fragmenting the plastic.

“Mar, I know you’re there. Can you get me a lift?” Natalya says, peering into the alley carefully, looking for pursuers.

I nod, the motion not translating. There’s a nearby chopper, some news channel, and I cut into it. The tech is old, clunky, and I broadcast the mission on the display, the price of victory for rescuing the pursued civilian trapped on a rooftop. They switch course, heading toward Natalya.

Two minutes pass before the chopper is over her. I watch the camera in the shop, the back door locked again, hoping they don’t wonder what a news chopper is doing in this part of town. They are lowering a rope as I slip into her again. Almost there.

A flare on the net pulls me away, an alarm from the shop. Shit. I lock all the doors in their way, trying to buy her time, telling the chopper to hurry up or get shot down. I trigger the fire alarm in every apartment on the third floor, tenants scurrying out and down the stairs, buying her another minute.

By the time they make it to the roof, the chopper is flying away. I instruct them to drop her over the river and keep flying as if she’s with them. No doubt they’re tracking the chopper now.

It’s an agonizing hour before I’m sure she’s safe, all bases covered, both our locations secure. I pull the plug, sinking back into my body, feeling the heavy weight of limbs once again.

“Did you get her?” Leif asks, passing me a bucket.

I nod before retching, stomach protesting the return of my consciousness. Another agent saved, another win for the resistance. Leif helps me to the bed, giving me a shot.

“Get some rest,” he says. “We’ve got another mission tomorrow.”

I give him a weak thumbs up, drugs hitting. I don’t remember falling asleep.

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