Disclaimer: I do not own Deus Ex or any of the characters within the games, and I receive no profit from posting this story. All hail Square Enix for reviving the series.
This story does not follow Deus Ex canon 100% exactly, so if that bothers you then you have been pre-warned I am not completely certain of the direction this story will head, but please assume that there may be minor plot spoilers for DEHR in any chapter. If you don't want parts of the story revealed to you prematurely, you might want to read once you're finished the game. On that note, what are you doing leaving the game unfinished? Shame on you. Reviews, general feedback and suggestions are always welcome. Enjoy!
The sky was devoid of stars as a fine drizzle seeped from the clouds, soaking everyone and everything into a gloom that was pretty customary for a November night. Li pulled her coat tighter around her body as she trudged along the suspension bridge; the wind whipped around her face on the exposed walkway, and as her hair stuck to her cheeks in dark damp strands she cursed herself for being too lazy to have brought an umbrella. She was pretty certain that the rumble in the distance meant that a storm was on the way.
Rush hour was long past, and so the cars were moving relatively freely along the bridge beside her. Their white lights contrasted starkly with the streetlights above her, highlighting small glimpses of colour against the dingy yellow sodium gloom. The rumbling was getting louder, and Li looked up to try to see where the storm was headed. There were some blinking bright lights in the sky, heading in her direction. It looked almost like a helicopter, but it didn't seem to move in quite the same way.
The explosion shocked Li enough to forget all about the rain in her face, and she stared up at the sky in horror as she saw the aircraft falling through the sky directly towards the bridge, orange flames and black smoke streaming behind it like a tail. The wind was ripping pieces of debris from the craft and sending them hurtling in all directions. The end of the bridge was still tens of metres away, but she had no choice but to move.
Li ran through the other pedestrians who were still too mesmerized by the spectacle to move, screaming for them to do the same. She knew that she didn't have time to look back, but she couldn't help herself anyway. The aircraft was seconds away from hitting the bridge, and all of the cars in its path. As she looked on, a figure jumped from the burning wreckage straight for the bridge, and Li gasped in horror. From the height that they had jumped she figured the unfortunate person was about to splatter their guts along the pavement behind her, but they somehow seemed to glide downward as if they were lighter than air.
Before Li could make sense of how the figure was managing to defy gravity, the wind bore a hunk of debris and smacked it straight into the falling figure. Their graceful glide gave way to a hurtling descent towards the earth, and the debris had sent them off course towards the edge of the bridge. There was nothing that she could do but run in panic as shards of burning metal began spearing the ground around her. She was still several metres from the edge of the bridge when the aircraft finally smacked down.
It still had momentum, and as the burning wreckage scraped and tumbled along the road surface it sent vehicles veering and tumbling in all directions. People were screaming in terror as sparks and fire flew through the air, and the sound of wrenching metal pierced the night. Two cars collided and screeched to a halt to Li's right side, blocking her path and trapping her in an L of twisted wreckage. She turned in a panic and stumbled to the ground, falling onto her backside with a whimper.
The figure hit the road and rolled; the trajectory of the aircraft had meant it was lucky enough to avoid the suspension ropes of the bridge and stay on the road as it came to a stop, but the collision with the debris meant that the falling person wasn't so lucky. Momentum carried them onwards towards the edge of the bridge and Li looked on, wide eyed in horror as they tumbled over the side of the bridge just out of her reach.
Li crawled to her knees and dragged herself to her feet so that she could peer around the wreckage of the cars that had blocked her path. She was lucky not to have been thrown off the bridge along with the other poor soul. A mass of people ran past her towards the crash site, heavy boots resounding on the tarmac and Li ducked back out of sight. Why were soldiers responding to an accident? And how had they gotten there so quickly?
The sound of screeching metal had stopped, and the night was suddenly eerily quiet except for the shouts of the soldiers in the distance. A small sound caught Li's attention, and she crawled towards the edge of the bridge trying to stay out of sight.
He was clinging on to the metal supports just below the road surface of the bridge, but the rain and vehicle pollution had made the material slippery. As Li looked on, the figure lost his grip with one hand and started swaying dangerously in the wind.
"Shit," he said, cursing as he tried to scrabble upwards and failed. He looked up at Li, and she shuffled forwards, ready to brace herself against the walkway handrail so that she could help him up. The light shone against his knuckles and Li recoiled in shock. His hand was jet black against the grey of the bridge, and instead of the softly uneven texture of skin, it had the smooth, satin sheen of metal.
He was augmented. Which meant that he had entered the country illegally and if he was caught he would be arrested. And if Li helped him, she would enjoy the same fate. The UK had not taken kindly to Hugh Darrow's experiments and had broken its long relationship with the US when they refused to see eye to eye on the issue of augmentation. It was banned in the UK, and even web content on the subject was heavily censored. The government had pumped out masses of blatant propaganda about how augmentation was an affront against God, and Li had never even seen a cybernetic limb before, never mind seeing it attached to a person and grasping for her hand.
If she helped him, she would be in real trouble. But if she didn't he was going to fall. Her arms shook as Li laid herself along the pavement, locked her elbow around the handrail and reached her other hand down for the man to grasp. He caught her and held, his grip surprisingly gentle as he eased himself up out of danger.
A shriek of gunfire caused Li to yelp in shock, and as the man cleared the handrail of the bridge he pushed her back out of sight behind the cars, rolling to shield her body with his own. He supported his weight on his arms, his elbows placed either side of her shoulders as he tucked her head into his chest. The stench of burning metal was thick in the air, but with her face pressed against the man's chest Li could smell something soapy, spicy and masculine. His body was hard against her cheek, and for a moment she wondered if it was armour, or if he was simply a human head on top of a completely metal body. The thought seemed ridiculous, but as she had zero prior knowledge of augmentations she had no way of knowing what was likely or even possible.
"Thank you," the man whispered as the gunfire stopped. His voice was husky and slightly raspy as he murmured into her damp hair. He released her head from his hands and she laid it down on the ground so that she could look up at him. At first she thought it was unbelievable that he had managed to hold on to his sunglasses during the fall, but then she realised that they were actually attached to his face. Why anyone would choose to walk around in the dark wearing sunglasses was beyond her, but to have them permanently implanted into your head seemed like a step towards some kind of mental illness.
She couldn't make out his eyes behind the glasses, the reflective surface kept throwing images of her own brown irises and slack-jawed expression back at her. The rain had kept on falling throughout the entire incident, and a drop of water dripped from the end of the man's pointed goatee to hit Li in the chin. His dark hair was as damp as hers, falling over his forehead as he looked down at her, but she could make out a scar that bisected his left eyebrow, and another strangely shaped scar just below his hairline.
Li realised that she had not responded to the man's thanks, and blushed as she realised that she was staring like an idiot. She bit her lip as her mind scrambled to think of something appropriate to say.
"Erm," she mumbled, blinking hard against the rain. "You're welcome. But I am going to be in so much trouble if they see me with you." The man turned his head in the direction of the soldiers and seemed to stare for a moment regardless of the car shaped obstacle obscuring his vision.
"They're starting a sweep, but it'll take them a few minutes to get here," he said, looking back at her. He eased his body free of Li's and raised himself into a crouch, held out his hand to help her up. She stared at it uncertainly, then tentatively placed her fingers into his palm.
He helped her free of the car wreckage, and they stood in the shadows at the edge of the bridge. "You should run," he said softly as he backed further into the darkness, shielding his augmented face from the bemused onlookers. "Thanks again." He turned on his heel and walked away, and Li watched him literally disappear in front of her eyes.
"Oh god," she muttered, shaking as her body drained of adrenaline. She wanted to slump to the ground and sleep, but she knew better than to hang around the scene of her crime. She trotted away, trying her best not to look suspicious, but she inadvertently turned her face from everyone that walked past as she made her getaway.