Map found the stairwell and feeling like he had nothing left to lose he ran back up to the roof. He hoped that if he was fast enough he would have the best chance at the only attack he could come up with.
He sprinted across the damaged roof draining his last reservoir of strength and ignored the pain the best he could. As he approached the edge of the building he heard the crash of the creature trying to get into the apartment he escaped through moments earlier. Before he reached the end of the roof Map jumped as high as he could, readying his axe. He swung up at the apex and came down on the creature with as much force as he could. The axe sunk deep into the thing’s head as the jolt of impact spread through Map. (more…)
Alice strode down the ornate hallway to the Administrator’s office. She had walked past the security station and ignored the clerk at the desk. She knew how risky it was to leave Map to a backup station but he needed answers. Map was injured and up against too many uncertainties. She reached the outer door to the Administrator’s office and heard the clerk coming down the hall after her. She ignored him again and hurried into the room. She pushed past the secretary without a look and barged into the office. There was a bank of monitors on one wall and the Administrator was talking to the people who Alice could see on the screens. (more…)
The news hit her hard. The asset she had kept alive all these years was being made obsolete; younger ones were there to take over. With the expiration of their property would come her own, and she knew it. Liaisons only worked with one operative. Once the operative’s usefulness in the field was over, their liaison’s time with the project was as well. (more…)
At the top of the stairs Map turned and dropped a grenade. He only carried two preferring more precise combat, but Map felt there were times when a big bang came in handy – even when it cuts off your only escape route.
Map ducked into a bedroom leaving the grenade to sort itself out. He reloaded and checked his ammo. He’d used close to half of what he brought and felt sloppy for it. The fire had spread to the house and left Map with few options for escape. Map found himself in a room with a balcony. He went out onto it to look for a way to lower himself down. He considered jumping but didn’t want to risk turning and ankle or worse. He moved to the bed and stripped it intending to tie the sheets together but the sound of hands and feet scrambling up the space where the stairs had been told him he wouldn’t have time. Instead Map carried the mattress to the balcony and dropped it. He was gauging the jump when one of the huge hands appeared at the door. (more…)
Map made his way out of the administration building and through the courtyard. Evidently the word had gotten out already; the normally chatty guards just looked at Map pityingly. Map tried to think about other things and remembered he had missed lunch. He was hungry but he wasn’t sure he was up for eating. He passed the mess hall and headed for the barracks. He tried sneaking though the side door, he didn’t want to see the same look the guards gave him again, but Ox was there.
Ox had been making leaps and bounds in the training sessions lately and Map scolded himself for not staying a step ahead. He wasn’t sure if Ox was getting that good or he was slipping. (more…)
It was hot. The heat never used to bother him but now it was hard to breath. He had to stop running, catch his breath. He never had to do that before.
The number twenty-eight stuck out in his head. He was the second oldest the program had ever seen. The younger ones were coming around again; they were going to lap him.
Each one passed, younger than the last, each an improvement on the last. He stopped at the side of the path and leaned on a tree, letting them go by. Sweat cascaded off of him, collecting in drops and dampening the dirt. (more…)