Even three days in, it’s a challenge to find time to find a picture that will fit the story and where you want it to go. This particular story will most likely end tomorrow followed by three independent ideas. Kind of a shame considering that I’ve liked where this one has been taking me. The bursts of writing that will probably embarrass me should I ever look back on them seriously. For now, though, I’ll play ball with this. After all, that’s what the point of this endeavor is.
Noise had always been a part of the City. After all, there was the constant humming of the climate control machinery. The Tower at the city center was by far the most distinct though. Constantly sending radio signals to God-knows-where, as unlike the unbroken meditation of electric currents, The Tower was more like a chant – long concreted streams broken by clicks and cracks as whatever information it carried broke itself up into digestible chunks.
If climate control was the melody and The Tower was the voice, then the whistle of the Hovers was a discord in the harmony. They were compact enough to comfortably strap to one’s back yet solid enough to support a human body and let them glide at high speeds while still enabling the user full freedom of upper-body movement. They proved devastatingly effective when used as replacement for tanks and cars that were clunky in close-quarters combat during the recent wars. Also proved useful in chasing and apprehending fugitives on the lam. The downside to their maneuverability was that, whatever mechanics allowed such capabilities produced a distinct whistle, high-pitched and could be felt even when not quite heard.
The sound piercing her ear, she looked behind. Sure enough there were two Hovers, ridden by “Protect and Rescue” officers, packing the Persuaders that they used to “find” their quarry. The reports in the City spoke often of these units. Outside of the odd research unit, they alone bore the trying privilege of roaming the Outskirts, searching for any potential threats. Expert marksmen and brilliant with the Hover, the PAR officers would often hold exhibition events that would be seen by large crowds and doubled as both mass spectacle and personal training.
The green sashes glittered in the moonlight even from the distance. Those sashes were awarded only to those who had made it to the top five slots in the tournaments and they publicly wore them during duty to intimidate enemies and comfort the weak. The best, of course, received red ones.
She almost felt insulted. Send the best but not the very best? Then again, this could just be the powers that be hedging their bets. There were always bigger problems to be dealt with, after all. She reached into her pocket and pulled out her own Persuader. It wasn’t military-class, but a few well-timed shots from even the authorized hunting-class models could put some hurt into people.
“Mikela Sheon, are you there? We are here to clear you from the Outskirts,” called out the silky feminine voice from one of the PARs. The euphemism was trained into them as to assuage so-called “Orphans” that they were merely a rescue operation. She had seen “clearing” before and barely survived by the skin of her teeth. Angeli, however, wasn’t so lucky.
It was an open field and the lights were already illuminating her face. Hiding wasn’t an option now. However, Mikela had an idea. It was a literally a long shot, but there wasn’t exactly time to think. White flags sometimes had to be drawn to keep fighting.
She raised her hands, exposing her Persuader to the PARs.
“Mikela Sheon, how could you have gone so far from the City?” The soothing voice sounded like a mother who was undeniably upset but couldn’t bear to stop loving her child.
“Mikela Sheon, could you drop your persuader, please?” The other PAR had a slightly gruffer sound, the “please” thrown in almost as an afterthought.
Mikela didn’t say a word. The thing was starting to burn anyways.
She dropped the gun.
And kicked it.