Author's Note: This was originally intended to be the beginning of "When You Blink," but as the plot changed, the need for a new Taidani spy became nil. The Word version has many cool html stuff that couldn't translate to , but oh well...without further delay.....


The rain seemed to be evaporating off of his warm skin. Every second, a small cloud appeared, then dissipated. He couldn't hear his breathing, though, because the vessels in his head were pounding.
This was the first stop he had had all night from his constant sprinting. There was no more energy; fear was mass producing adrenaline. The bushes he had hid in were large, but thinned out. He would have to move soon.
The storm over his head seemed to get heavier. The drops were getting bigger and making louder splashes on the ground. A good thing: easier to get away. A bad thing: easier to stalk.
Thirty seconds, he told himself. Thirty more seconds......Twenty five more. Suddenly a puddle splashed ten meters away. He froze, held his breath, and tried to search the poorly lit sidewalk. He tried to filter out the constant rain drops as his eyes darted. A car rocketed by, making his heart skip a beat. He kept his big eyed gaze out to the darkness. Someone's out there. I can almost feel them. They're almost on top of me. .........clak. He leaped from the bushes, terrified by the sound of the footstep and sprinted along the cement path. He didn't hear the gun fire, but he heard the approach of the bullet. wwwwwwhhhHHHAK. shatter The stone wall, two decimeters from his head, formed a small crater. The shot only made him run faster. Twenty-three steps, bank right into the alleyway. He was panting again. Forty more steps till the end of this alleyway, then onto the next road.
He knew that staying in public wouldn't help him; the person following him was most definitely on contract and the citizens in this place knew better than to take notice of anything suspicious, much less get involved.
Behind him: clak, clak, clak, splash, clak, splash, clak... wwwwwwhhhHHHAK. This one wasn't as close as the last, perhaps a meter, but the next one would be more accurate.
There was a door a few meters ahead, but no sooner had he noticed it, was it slammed shut by the owner. A window from above also closed, then another. He grew even more nervous, letting his senses go long enough to lose orientation and stumble over a pile of garbage. Right then he thought it was over, thought he had finally lost, but the footsteps were farther than he had thought, he dashed a look forward, seeing the end of the alleyway, and beyond, a sign directing to the hoverail station. He shot up again; hope combined with terror.
He finally noticed his own footsteps along with the person following him. Clak..Clop.clak..clop.clak..clop..clop clak.clop...He wasn't running anymore; he was escaping. Twenty more steps. Eighteen.
Suddenly, from above, a waste truck hovered, then parked in the alley, blocking off the exit. Out of the back doors jumped two figures. He looked back...the assassin was jogging, and now walking. There were no fire escapes, no doors, no windows, no gutters. The walls and ground were solid cement. He looked up the walls, the rain pouring down on his face. Up in the sky, the clouds had parted to show him the moon. Bright and white, it smiled down on him. "Goodbye," he thought he heard it say cheerfully. The three individuals finally stopped; they were ten meters from him on each side. He looked back at his original tracker. The person had their gun raised, level with their arm: aimed at his face--at his forehead. At an exhale, he sighed, "Oho shhhhit...."