44 – Mirrorfall

Stef stumbled back from the fight, and mopped the blood from her cheek – the knife had only glanced her, she’d been lucky, she’d been very lucky – for once, her “move or die” reflexes had been functioning. Ryan was still fighting the good fight – his challengers were two halfbreeds of some sort; they bled too easily to be real fey. His fighting style impressed her, the fact that he could do it without ruining his suit impressed her more.

She tucked her gun into her waistband – even at this range, she didn’t trust herself to take the shot, just in case she ended up shooting her boss. She was sure there was some kind of rule about that in the non-existent handbook. Continue reading “44 – Mirrorfall”

43 – Heroes

Magnolia leaped up onto the scaffolding and began to climb – she could hear Taylor fighting on the roof above, alone. That was, of course, her fault – if she hadn’t been slow and weak, he never would have been able to get so far ahead.

The screaming body of a Solstice fell past her and hit the ground with very final thump. There was no need to check on his status – she knew Taylor wouldn’t have thrown him, and ceased fighting him, without a good reason.

She reached the top of the scaffolding and jumped onto the rooftop. Taylor stood, covered in blood, surrounded by bodies, staring at the hole in the sky. She’d been very careful to avoid looking at the sky – what came through didn’t matter, only the fighting at street level mattered. Continue reading “43 – Heroes”

42 – Focus

Stef skidded to a halt when Ryan spun and, for what seemed to be the millionth time, aimed his gun at her, but with the image of her dead triplet still burnt into his mind, the tiny piece of metal didn’t seem to be so scary. She threw her hands up in the air. ‘It’s me, it’s me.’

‘Jones should have shifted you back by now.’ Continue reading “42 – Focus”

41 – Seconds and Triplets

Stef’s eyes went wide as the bullet hit Enid – the other recruit glared, took a couple of stumbling steps, then fell. Her hand started to shake, and her arm soon joined it. Enid was still twitching, so she didn’t dare loosen the white-knuckle grip on the gun. She took a few slow steps toward Enid, trying to keep her mind blank.

‘I’m still alive, you stupid bitch,’ Enid spluttered. ‘Why the fuck-?’

She looked down at her handiwork, it hadn’t been a very good shot – the blood was pumping out, but it appeared to be a shot to the lung, rather than to the heart.

You really do need more practice. Continue reading “41 – Seconds and Triplets”

40 – Blackout

The Esc key felt terrible. It was the curse that came with using the keyboard as a pillow. Stef looked up, wondering where the giant fly was that had woken her. She sleepily required a larger-than-normal flyswatter before working out that the noise was coming from the roof.

Oh god, we’re being invaded. Hackers and laptops first!

Some semblance of sanity crept into her mind, and she turned to look at the her Frankie’s clock. The digits cut through her sleep-addled brain and she stopped looking for giant flies. It wasn’t a creature from a Z-grade sci-fi movie, it was a signal to be awake. Continue reading “40 – Blackout”

39 – Destiny

Stef managed to avoid Taylor for the rest of the morning, spying him once briefly at lunch time, but he didn’t follow when she ran away, then took refuge with Frankie in the tech recruits’ common room.

It was a pleasant mess – the arguments about the games on the giant screen were an friendly background noise, and the couches were comfortable, even if there were plushies hidden behind the pillows.

A pair of goggles peeked at her over the top of the screen. ‘Whatcha doin’?’ Continue reading “39 – Destiny”