Interrupted is a short story written my DeltaStriker.
“Come with me if you want to live.”
The cloaked female stared intently at me, her icy blue eyes unblinking in the shadow of her hood. I stared back questioningly at her, still trying to figure out what she was doing in my quarters in the first place. I'd never got into the habit of inviting members of the opposite gender into my home at night, and as far as I knew I hadn't inexplicably decided to break that trend last night.
"Come with me if you want to live," she repeated, more forcefully this time.
I raised a mechanical eyebrow, still unconvinced. "Pardon me miss," I replied in a voice more polite than I believed I was capable of, "but I don't have the slightest idea who you are. So you can be certain that there's no way in hell that I'd-"
My rapidly failing attempt to resolve the matter diplomatically was cut short by a conveniently timed explosion. Granted, the blast devastated the better part of my living area, but at least it saved me from saying something I would live to regret.
A flurry of colorful phrases flew from the female's mouth. "###### Faustus, you said I'd have more time," she hissed under breath before trapping my arm and pulling me towards the giant curved window that dominated the only remaining intact wall in my living area. Before I had the chance to protest her fist flew forward, shattering the the panel into tiny shards of plexiglass that rained down on the street below. Poking her head outside, she glanced down at the hundred and six story drop to the ground.
The female smiled sadistically, then pulled a small, seamless pack from the folds of her cloak and strapped it to my back. I sputtered in protest, but a not-so-subtle smack to the head shut me up as she began to push me towards the hole, whispering commands in my ear.
"Once you've cleared the building pull the cord," she hissed as the edge grew uncomfortably closer. "You'll know what to do from there. Meet me two blocks to the south. There'll be an unmarked black transport waiting at the corner. If I don't show in three minutes, press the red button on the dash."
The tips of my boots hung over the edge now. She was going to throw me off. "Wait," I said, trying to stall for time. "Won't I need a weapon?"
She scowled at me in frustration, but unholstered her handgun and pressed it into my open palm. "Good luck," she said. Then I was airborne.
My apartment building flew past me, the ground growing closer with every second. The cloaked female's words echoed in my head, and I quickly found the cord she had told me to pull. Four green wings comprised of hexagons sprouted out from the pack. My descent suddenly slowed, and in the sudden absence of the sound of the air whipping past my audio receptors I heard a sound. Gunfire.
I twisted my neck back around just in time to see the mysterious cloaked female pull a massive chain gun from under her cloak and open fire back into my apartment, shooting at whatever had caused the explosion. I also saw three indiscernible shapes drop down from the building opposite my own, darting down through the darkness towards me.
I quickly realized it would be much easier to escape whatever was chasing me if I stayed in the air. Breathing a silent prayer I moved my limbs to a more streamlined position. In an instant I began to fly forwards, soaring high above the street and towards my mysterious rendezvous.
A cry of exhilaration escaped by lips as I felt the wind slide smoothly across my armored body, the thrill of the moment getting the better of me. Despite her apparent not-so subtle approach to problems, I figured that she wasn’t one to draw attention to herself. Announcing my presence was basically the same as announcing hers.
I snapped my mouth shut, cursing myself under my breath for my stupidity. I glanced over my shoulder at the beings behind me. They appeared to have wings of some sort, I couldn’t tell whether they were natural or artificial like my own. Either way, they were much more adept at this than myself and were steadily gaining.
The blocks in my district were massive, it would take at least two if not three minutes to reach the rendezvous. My pursuers would overtake me before I could reach it. I had to take them down.
I rolled onto my back, an action that slowed me down considerably. The handgun the female had given me was still in my hand. It was automatic, a rarity even in my line of work, but possibly the best type of firearm I could have in such a situation. I brought the weapon up, lining it up with the closest of the three beings. My finger squeezed the trigger and released, discharging a few quick rounds of ammunition.
The bat-like figure dropped out of the sky, noiselessly plummeting to the ground. Its companions snarled animalistically at me, then folded their wings against their bodies and dove after it. I resisted the urge to shout triumphantly at my victory. There would be plenty of time to celebrate later.
I rolled back onto my stomach, scanning the street below for the black transport the female mentioned. There. It was right where she said it would be. I landed roughly on the sidewalk, stumbling awkwardly around as I groped blindly for the cord. My fingers closed around it and pulled. The wings vanished into the pack, and I slowly approached the vehicle.
As soon as I was within arm's reach of the transport the door slid open, smoothly gliding to the side. I stepped cautiously inside, taking a seat in the back. A minute later the driver's door opened and the cloaked female climbed inside, slamming her foot on the gas and launching the vehicle into the empty street.
"So you survived," she commented cryptically after a few minutes of silence. "Impressive. Granted, I just lost thirty credits because of you, but impressive all the same."
"Excuse me?" I replied.
"I bet thirty credits you wouldn't make it out. I lost."
"Thanks for the vote of confidence," I quipped sarcastically. "Now would you mind telling me what the hell just happened back there?"
"I saved your life, that's what happened," she answered. "Name's Talana Frostbite, Leader of the Theta 2 team."
"Never heard of you."
"That's the point. The only one who knows we exist is Mr. Makuro.”
"Please. We're specialists. We take on the cases nobody else can."
“Magic. Alternate Universes. Superbeings. Anything a normal Hero wouldn’t be equipped to deal with.”
I stopped asking questions for a moment and let that sink in. "So those bat-things back there..."
"We call 'em Wraiths," Talana answered. "Nasty buggers, pulled from some pocket dimension by various criminals in need of henchmen."
"And why did these 'Wraiths' try and kill me?"
Talana remained silent, suddenly refusing to remove her eyes from the road ahead. I got the feeling that she didn't want to tell me the reason. And such a response from the gatling gun-wielding Leader of a Hero Team that made the HRT look like a bunch of toddlers with wooden toys made me not want to know either.
"Fine, don't tell me," I said coolly. "But I deserve to know where we're going and when I'll be able to go home."
"You can't go home."
"It’s been compromised. You can't return without being noticed by at least thirty Wraiths. And you won't beat them so easily a second time."
"Great. So I presume I'm being taken to witness protecting then?"
"No. This is too high profile for WP. You'll be taken to HQ. You're one of us now."
"What if I don't want to be?"
Talana slammed her foot down on the break, twisting in her seat to face me. "Listen, Rookie. You just shot down a Wraith single handedly, survived a hundred and six story jump and correctly handled technology you have never before handled in your life. There's no way in hell you do that and just go back to normal. You're special, and as much as I hate to admit it, the Theta 2 team needs people like you."
I sunk back into my plush leather seat, racking my mind for a way out of this. I couldn't find one.
"Understand that this is your only option besides being locked up in some asteroid in the middle of nowhere for the rest of your days,” she added. “So are you in?”
I sighed in defeat, bracing myself to be carried of to my now unavoidable fate. “I’m in.”
Talana nodded, then turned around and slammed her foot down on the gas. “Good. Now buckle up, ‘cause you’re in for one helluva ride.”