This is a short idea I had about what happened after the game, whilst also exploring some of the themes of the game too. I promise I can update regularly if people like it, because I have everything done in draft form. It won't be more than 10,000 words probably, in three chapters. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: Own nothing. Making no money.
In Faith's bag were the only things with which any person, runner or civilian, could ever hope to escape the City unauthorised.
Passports. Visas. Fake IDs.
It'd taken her three weeks to aquire them.
Every day of which was like a run through Hell.
But now she had them in her bag, over her shoulder, bouncing to her strides.
Faith turned left, hit the wall at speed and scrambled up. The rooftop stretched out to her right- she took it, crossing precariously the gap between ledge and empty air, the dazzling glass of the skyscrapers in her eyes. A pipe reared up in her sight and she vaulted it without missing a stride.
They'd found her again so fast!
She hit left, hugging a row of ACs. More shots.
Pursuit cops? No time to think!
She didn't look back. Leapt a gap, rolled, came up running, nearly blind in the midday glare- ducked under a stairwell then leapt to a vent creeping across the building parallel- finally shade, and she had a chance to glance back.
Two of them, closer than she'd expected.
One leapt to the very same vent, for a moment hovering just inches away from her; but Faith had sprung away, wall-running into a pipe and swiftly ascending.
Inwardly she cursed. An hour of running and no escape. But there was no time- the second cop had scaled the building and was rushing her at right angles.
In a second she assessed everything.
The corner of the building, rising higher on her right. The ladder. The stairs leading up to it square-fashion, to save space.
The clusters of smaller rooftops below, and above, and outwards, never-ending.
She took a breath and ran- the cop followed astonishingly quick. Hitting the metal stairwell Faith rushed one flight then sprung from the rail to the highest tier. Her body dragged behind her as she wrenched herself up.
A flood of pain in her right leg- somehow the cop had reached her and grabbed hold, standing firm against her struggles.
Meanwhile the first one had pulled himself up over the pipe. The one holding her leg was raising a pistol.
That was enough for Faith to release the rail and spin with her fall, her left foot flicking into contact with the man's face. He crumpled. With senses only a runner could understand she saw, heard, felt the gun of the second come up. Duck behind the railing! One, two, three, four, five shots, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.
The sheet of metal vibrated against her shaking body.
Six, seven, eight. Faith moved.
Chanced the final shot of a nine-round clip.
Dart for the ladder! A bullet whizzed past her head as her hands found the ladder and she climbed, so tired now that her body screamed against every motion; but no time to slow. In the quiet she heard a new clip enter the gun.
Scaling the ladder, Faith emerged onto an empty white rooftop. On her left, twin skyscrapers formed a threatening 'H.'
Perhaps she was slowing down; a hand, rearing up from the ladder, grabbed a hold of the pack. Faith screamed and span, yanking herself back; one strap tore and in a split second the pack was vanishing into the shade of the streets below- the pistol, reloaded, appeared like a periscope over the edge of the ladder.
It was a life-risking move, a leap into thin air; and that thought was frightening and exhilarating. She plunged through the air for several seconds in utter liberation- then crashed hard into the padded container, feeling it buckle.
For a split second she lay there, revelling in her escape, her survival; then an instinct call saw her hand whip out, grabbing the bag as it plunged by her. The zip tore under her grasp, spilling white sheets over the building's edge- but Faith yanked it away before most of the items could escape.
She lay still, hugging it close to her chest.
Escape. Out of the city. With Kate. With Kriegg, or Drake. Maybe.
With nothing. Nothing left but their survival.
Not even running.
Lying on her back on the container Faith felt her bruised muscles relax slightly, and tensed them to keep them active. Above her, several black smudges milled about against the blue sky- the pursuit cops.
She was looking directly at them. They were looking back. Looking for a way down. Thrilled or scared? Did they enjoy running like she did? Her thoughts were interrupted as the black smudges went for guns. Instantly she flipped behind the container as a few shots echoed.
"You there, Faith?"
It was Kriegg, in the earpiece.
"Come back via the DFE building. You know, the houseware company; damn, or something like that. Been so long since I bought anything. If you stick to the lower levels you can regain the rooftops and then get here without drawing attention."
"Faith… you hanging in there?"
"I'm fine. This a blind alley?"
Kriegg might have sighed, but there was no way of telling.
"You used to say that with Merc, right? That was a phrase he understood."
Faith was sitting now; wearily she leaned her head against the container.
"I'm sorry for what happened."
"You've already said that."
"Any blue traffic on the-"
She swore in spite of herself.
"Forget it." They no longer had any police wires.
"Exhausted, but hanging in there. She's a tough gal, Faith. Definitely your sister."
"The place safe?" She wondered if she had the energy inside her to run again that night, should needs be.
Just forcing herself to move again was more difficult than she'd ever imagined it could be and she scolded herself for ever having stopped. Swiftly she took rope off the container and used it to bind the bag shut, then swung it commando-style over her torso. Her thoughts turned to the pursuit cops. She knew they'd catch up with her before long, but she had been fleeing without pause for so long now it was a struggle just to be urgent, to appreciate the danger.
She started running.
Four minutes and they'd found her again. Perhaps they were different ones; they didn't look tired. Their style and technique were beginning to make Faith's look like an embarrassing imitation- a fact she was brutally aware of.
But then she'd never felt such deep tiredness.
Missing a step, Faith darted left into an elevator and punched a button at random. One of the pursuit cops rounded the curve of the corridor and spotted her- three shots hit the doors as they closed.
The elevator started to move but Faith didn't dare stay still. In the quietness she could almost go to sleep. She jogged on the spot to keep herself alert. Three days of no rest, no still moments, only running. Now the bag. Her only chance of escape, Kriegg said. She had to trust him.
Abruptly the doors opened into another corridor. She took a left without thinking. Along the rows of offices the yellow DFE logo stared back at her from the glass panes that segmented the desks- that inoffensive sign from the everyday world that she didn't know the meaning of. The offices seemed to go on forever, and with no pursuers in sight it was agony not to stop- then a flash of black suit sped her back up. Suddenly he was right on her tail- she dared a glance behind only to receive a glancing kick to the jaw.
Glass exploded around her. She'd gone through it! Her back hit a desk.
No fear now, just adrenaline and instinct, and the pursuit cop, her sole enemy. He darted forwards- Faith ripped the telephone from the desk and hit him savagely across the face with it, then flipped away before he could recover. Behind the desk was a fire door and she crashed against it, bowling it open; it's resistance caused her to stagger into the emergency stairwell.
Rows and rows of square concrete stairs, up and down. But they were only coming from above.
Watch the cop behind!
Here he comes- the fire door! She wedged it shut behind her and twisted the lock until it broke in position.
Black smudges above- move quick!
But the stairs were too much and descending bounced her off the walls with fatigue. She stumbled, slower and slower. One cop rounded the bend of the stairs and aimed a gun at her in full sight. Without thinking she leapt the stairwell, plunged five floors and grabbed the railing. The weight of her fall elicited a scream as every fibre of her body stretched against the downward force.
Could she even pull herself up?
Somehow she managed. The blues were only a storey behind so the first entrance she saw, she took. It opened into a corridor with clear glass on her right looking into the city and the skyscraper's twin- ahead of her the glass and steel tunnel connecting the towers opened on her right and she took it at full sprint. Kriegg patched in suddenly.
"Where are you, Faith?"
"Not now, Kriegg."
"Don't lose the bag. It's our only chance."
"What the hell d'you think I'm trying to do, Kriegg! I've just run for… no, wait." She patched him out. She had only made it halfway down the tunnel when more blues, four at least, spilled in ahead of her. She spun and began to dart back.
Ahead of her now the two pursuit cops fell into the passage, trapping her.
No exits. No escape routes.
Her breath caught.
Twenty stories of nothing but air, then pavement.
There was nowhere to go.
A runner watches everything. Everything at all times. For runners, this ability to continually examine and reassess the environment is essential to their survival, and soon becomes next to instinctive, barely noticed in the conscious part of the brain.
Faith had been watching the HGVs- the lorries with the furniture, the beds, the mattresses- since entering the tunnel, or maybe before.
The exit from the facility took them directly under her.
As the Blues rushed towards her she watched the lorries sail underneath and pressed against the glass.
One of the pursuit cops- just one- noticed what she was about to do. Likelihood was that all the others considered it too crazy, even for her. But he sprinted ahead of them, and as Faith shoulder-charged the glass his hand came out.
Faith cried out as he grasped her pack, leaving her leaning out the shattered window, watching her only chance get closer and closer, the milliseconds passing in agonising slow motion. She tried to kick out but he held her firmly until-
- Until -
She had no choice. With whip-like speed she threw off the strap of the bag, leaving her to fall into empty air.
It was easily the riskiest thing she had ever done. Through twenty stories of freefall she plunged directly through the cloth covering of the truck just as it drove beneath, landing on the piled up mattresses beneath. Even so the impact was like a hammer blow, blasting every ounce of breath from her lungs. Terrifying seconds passed with the truck moving underneath her, her eyes watering and every muscle shaking from the shock of what she had done. Had the driver noticed? She couldn't move- she was helpless. Had he? He hadn't. He was still moving.
She forced herself to sit, even though the trauma of her escape threatened to throw her into fits of trembling. But she knew enough about panic to at least postpone it. It wouldn't be long before the police contacted the driver, and he pulled over.
After waiting as long as she thought she could afford, Faith nimbly vaulted back to the top of the lorry and, as it sailed around a street corner, pushed off the side and landed on the curb. A few passers-by staggered back in shock, reaching for mobiles on instinct like robots.
But it was way too late to call the police. In seconds Faith had regained the rooftops and lost herself in the elaborate concrete maze of the city, taking short cuts only a runner can see as she made the slow way back.
Back to Kate and Kriegg.
Minus the bag.
Bereft of hope.
Hope you liked. Reviews please! I'd especially like to know if the tone feels fast-paced enough (pacing is something I've struggled with). Will update real soon.