- 7 years later -
Roxanne continued to run down the dark street. The shouting behind her continued. 'Do those yuppies never give up?' she thought to herself.
"Get back here rebel!" one shouted. She stopped for a moment on a raised boulder, knowing the distance between her and the approaching gang of men. She turned to face them with an amused smile on her lips.
"Rebel? I'm offended," she joked; "I think 'Freedom Fighter' has a better ring to it, whad'ya say?" she laughed to herself, crouching on her perch.
"Get down rebel and face your charges!" the girl rolled her eyes. It was the same remarks every time. It was getting rather monotonous.
"Some things never change... alright, alright," she raised her hands in a surrendering fashion, "... but you've got to catch me first." Doing a skilful backwards walkover off the boulder she continued to run in the direction she had been travelling.
"She has the texts! Don't let her escape!" they began shouting again.
The 'texts' that the yuppies thought she had was in fact the picture book she had been given; attached to a harness on her back, made of various ribbons and materials she had sewn together. She never let it out of her sight. On occasion, when she had time when she was camping out, she would write little messages in it to keep her occupied.
Grim buildings began to appear in front of her. All with broken windows and doors hanging off their hinges. They towered over her, plunging her deep into shadows, giving Roxanne the advantage. Living in the Outlands for seven years, away from the bright pristine walls of Globalsoft, had helped her eyes had adjusted to the dark. Observing the crumbling walls, she searched for a good hiding spot to lose herself in. It wasn't long till she had spotted one. A half fallen wall near the edge of the abandoned street. Silently as she could, Roxanne made her way over to the distant pile of bricks, treading carefully as she went. Although her vision was accustomed to the dark, the area around her was still unfamiliar and new. Miscalculating her step, her foot found a shallow ditch. Falling to the ground her shin scraped a heavy stone on the rough gravel, tearing at the soft skin. She let in a gasp of pain, straight away wishing she hadn't. In the silence the guards had heard her; Roxanne knew this by the sound of footsteps getting louder as they got closer to the girl on the floor. She tightly curled over, trying to stop the blood as she bit back the tears that threatened to fall. She couldn't concentrate on pain right now, the yuppies were getting closer, Roxanne had to get to the wall, and quick.
"Show yourself rebel! We know you're there." the girl didn't answer, but rose cautiously to her feet. Through immense pain, Roxanne staggered over to the wall. Having the disadvantage of an injured leg she could not take as much care in silence, but instead had to opt for speed. Wedging herself between the acute wall she bit hard on her lip, refusing to let out a cry as gravel and dust invaded the, now further split, gash. Not being accustomed to pain, Roxanne knew she couldn't last long without making a small amount of noise with the sheer agony she was in. Taking the bandage from her hair that she had been using as a headband, she bound it tightly round the wound, biting her lip to stifle the painful cry.
Waiting in the silence, curled into a tight ball under the wall, Roxanne lay for what seemed like hours. Occasionally hearing the sound of feet. She wondered how long she would have to lay there on the rough ground. After a few hours the sound ceased and all that could be heard was the wind whistling through the houses. Lying there alone, for the first time in a long time Roxanne thought about the family she'd left behind. How they just sat watching their new holographic TV as she crawled out of her bedroom window. How they never tried to search for her in the first few years that she was missing off of the Globalsoft radar.
"Well we can't keep her, she's not ours."
The woman's words burned into the young girl's brain, causing a mental scar that would last her lifetime.
Roxanne took out the picture book, squinting to see the faces on the tattered pages, some of which were falling out. The book was as worn out as she was. She looked at the photos of her real family, the one she had never seen as far as her memory went. The girls head was spinning trying to remember any times she'd spent with them, but the heartache of abandonment hurt too much, enough to kill her. She started to cry, closing the book, blocking any thought to do with it out of her mind as she strapped it to her back once more. She would fight for herself. She would fight to find the family she belonged to.
The girl woke up to a bright light shining down on her. She squinted as her vision tried to focus on the white reflecting scene around her. Pristine. She struggled to sit up from her lying position, but was pushed back down by a forceful hand. Roxanne tried to fight against her restraints but it was hopeless. A glint of a needle shone in her line of view and she panicked.
"Boss we got a fighter." A female voice said, "She has a plate, so most likely Gaga." Roxanne had forgot about that, she had deactivated it years ago, so how could they trace it from so far out of the Dome? "Bohemian dress though."
When her gaga clothes had began to get too small she gathered scrap bits of material she had found over the years, making an odd but comfortable attire. Fishnet tights, found ripped in several places, a pair of heavy black combat boots she'd nicked from a deserted base camp, a black off-the-shoulder top with rather revealing slits on the front, and a pair of tatty, red tartan jeans. The one thing she kept was the lime green bra that her 'mother' had given her when she was nine for "when she was older". Being a fair few years older, she was slightly more well endowed than before; the bra was only slightly too small. Her hair, not having the help of a brush, had not maintained it's old neat, straight state, not that Roxanne cared. It had grown to the bottom of her back; it was now a thick blonde mass, decorated with pieces of ribbon and other materials she had found.
A sharp pain suddenly entered the side of Roxanne's neck, paralyzing her from the neck down, but she could still feel hand exploring her body. She wanted to shout for help, but she knew none would come. Globalsoft had captured her and had her strapped to an operating table unable to move. Any attempt of fighting now was futile.
"First things first we need to remove the tracer." A male voice said as someone lifted her forearm. The girl was confused. Why was Globalsoft trying to destroy their own technology; after all she did grow up in their world so was at one point in their system. Although Roxanne was Bohemian born she was still fitted with the same arm techno-band that all the other children were, so she would fit in a bit better and be up to date with all the latest fashions and news, much to her disgust.
"Deactivated." She protested. The voices asked her to repeat herself, not hearing what she had said. "I- I deactivated the- the techno-band, it- it's useless to you." She stuttered, half through fear, half through not having full control of her speech, having a crushing feeling penetrate her chest and lungs. The people told her that she merely decreased the polarity of the device, laughing that there was no way to deactivate it. Roxanne screamed in pain as felt the cold touch of a blade pierce her skin as someone permanently removed the band from her arm. A harsh hand dug two fingers into the open wound, and the original voice demanded to know who sent the girl. Roxanne cried out in agony, claiming that no one had told her to do anything; she was in the Outlands of her own free will. A cool breeze hit the bare skin of her leg as the material of her jeans was torn. "You tube, whoever you are keep your boabie the hell away from me you filthy perv or I'll boot you in the heid!"
"Ehm... what did she say?" the female voice said. Roxanne kept forgetting that no one understood half the things she said and she cursed for letting her language slip again. To reassure her of the person's intentions, the familiar feel of a blade now pressed against her exposed skin, digging into the just healing wound from the previous night, causing the girl uncomfortable pain. "Who sent you?" Roxanne didn't answer, but cringed in unbearable pain. The person repeated the question, digging the knife further into her leg.
"Nae one!" she cried, surrendering to the pain, feeling liquid spill down her skin. "Ah donnae ken what you're taukin' bout. Ah've spent the last seaven years in the Outlands trying to giat awai from you Globalsoft bastards!" tears started to stream down Roxanne's face, much to her annoyance.
"Did she just sa- did she just call us-?" a new voice said.
"Pass the morphine quick." The female voice said again. "Shit what have we done?"
Roxanne felt another sharp pain in her neck, and soon everything went black again.
A knock interrupted the girls slumber and she groaned in response.
"Go away Pinocchio, I don't want the cupcake with the chocolate frogs, I like egg sandwiches." She told the person outside. Fast coming to her senses, Roxanne realised she was in an unfamiliar room lying on an old double mattress, lights flashing on some sort of control panel to her left; in front of her a chipped navy paint door, with a window centre of it, covered by a tatty red cloth to allow some privacy. The girl sat up quickly, receiving a banging headache as reward. The knock came again. "What?" she shouted at the door, wishing nothing more than to be left in piece to nurse what felt like a purple nose's hangover. A young boy came in, carrying a bottle of some unlabeled liquid; he couldn't have been more than ten. "Come near me with that wean and things are going to get midden between us."
"Stopta aldo gobna salmor yah gash." the boy replied without seeming at all threatened by the older girl.
"Right, gawk into mah een. There is nae wai ah am touchin that mid."
"Oh for Freddie's sake quit your greet, shut yah grill and drink the bloody stuff or continue to suffer that headache of yours." he shouted at her. She just stared at him without saying another word. The boy sighed in annoyance, slammed the bottle base on the floor, leaving the girl to decide whether or not to take it.
"Paddy." Roxanne said before the boy left the room.
"Jockie" and with that the door closed behind him.
The girl sat on the mattress unmoving a little while longer, staring at the bottle. She wasn't sure if the boy was being genuine or trying to poison her. Thinking that it couldn't get much worse than being captured by Globalsoft she decided to drink the mouthful of liquid. True to his word, the headache soon disappeared and Roxanne could think clearly. Looking around the room with a clear mind she realized that her picture book and carrier was nowhere to be seen. Suddenly a voice came from outside the room that caught Roxanne's attention.
"Oi Paddy, get yah hein over here and help me geat these materials to Macca."
The door to the control room flung open, almost ripping it off its hinges. A red with rage Roxanne was on a course headlong towards the source of the voice. All the people in the station watched in awe as the new crazy Scottish girl walked up to Prince and gave him a hard forehand round the cheek.
"You bastard." she cursed. The boy stumbled back, caught by the kid who had brought Roxanne the drink.
"Well I guess I deserved that after all this time." He said in response.
"You deserve a hell of a lot more than that for what you did." The blonde told him. "Seven bloody years I spent in the Outlands. All because you were too cowardice to tell me who and where you were." At this point the second in command walked over to the situation in hope of breaking it up.
"What's going on here Prince?"
"Brit this is- Roxanne." the boy in question explained, still recovering from the impressive slap the girl gave. "She's my-"
"Sister." Roxanne finished. "That you abandoned when I was just five. Speaking of which where is my picture book?" Prince turned to a red headed girl in what can only be described as a skin tight latex cat-suit.
"Charlotte, give it back." he said. The girl walked forward pulling the book out from behind her in its sling, handing it to the Scottish girl without a word. "And the birthday picture where I have cake in my hair." He said as the girl made her way back to her post. She turned around with a sly smile etched on her lips.
"Now that she can get herself." She said, revealing the position of the folded photograph.
"With pleasure." Roxanne said.