Fiction Friday! Escape pod here.
The Delivery Boy
The mega-towers slowly gave way to smaller, but still large, tower blocks as he reached the old town. Rubbish and the number of homeless shuffling along the sidewalk increased and police presence dropped. He reached the address and pulled onto the sidewalk next to a burnt out truck, cutting the bike's power. It sunk to the surface with a clang. He opened the case on the back and quickly pulled out the large bags of greasy Caldari take-away running into the foyer. He glanced at his wrist pad. 45th floor. He ran to the elevators. The 'out of order' sign hanging from the battered door made him curse again, the most creative of the night. He took to the stairwell in a sprint. Finally he rang the bell for the apartment, gasping for breath. The staircase had not only been 45 flights of hell but was littered with rubbish and drugs paranfalia. The sooner he was out of here the better. He heard various latches and chains sliding on the other side of the door. How many did they need? Was this the Gallente Prime Depository? Eventually the door slid open and a hulking Matari Brutor stood there in a white vest. Jullynes swallowed as he saw the bulging muscles on the man.
"Erm.... your food order.... sir!"
"Oh, right. Come in!"
The Brutor re-entered the apartment and Jullynes followed into a small living room. Half a dozen men were sat around the tatty apartment. On the small table between the sofas were a pile of guns. Jullynes tried not to make it obvious he was looking. He set the bags down on another table.
"That's 64.50 excluding tip." he said hopefully. With being 20 minutes late thanks to traffic and no working lift he was expecting the old "Hey if it's 15 minutes late it's half price!" arguement.
"'Here, keep the change." the Brutor said handing him a cred-note.
Jullynes looked down. It was a crisp 100 bill. He looked up at the man in shock about the thank him from his generosity when there was a strange sound. Something akin to a small piece of glass breaking. The Brutor in front of him looked shocked but was frozen in place, a small red patch on the front of his shirt started to grow in size before he fell stiffly forward. As the man fell Jullynes saw the small hole in the window behind him. He'd seen enough action movie holo-vids to know what had happened. He dived to the floor as more rounds came through the window. The room erupted into chaos as the men jumped to their feet and went for their guns. Several cried and fell before they reached their weapon. Glass smashed and rounds thudded into walls and furniture. Foam stuffing from cheap tatty couches was thrown into the air as Jullynes crawled on the floor. The main apartment door was being hit too much so he headed for a side door. Reaching up he pulled the handle but it was locked. The key was in the door so he turned it and rolled inside slamming the door behind himself.
The window in this room was bricked up and it was dark. He stood and felt around for the light switch. He flicked it on and froze. This wasn't a bedroom, it was a cell. There was a small portable toilet, a single bed and a very scared young girl sat on it.
"Oh shit!" he muttered. The sound of the fire from the next room indicating that the residents were fighting back.
"Who are you?" the girl asked, clearly frightened.
"I'm Jullynes, or just Jully ..... I deliver Caldari take-away!" he said trying to explain he wasn't with the men who were clearly holding her captive. However he was only too aware that now he knew they were holding the girl they couldn't let him leave.
"Who are you? Why are you locked in here?"
"I'm Ylle. Those men! They are with the Serpentis. They kidnapped me because of my dad."
"He owe them money or something?"
"No, he's a cop."
"These men kidnapped you because your dads a cop?"
"Was. He's dead." she said with a sob.
"Sorry." replied Jullynes.
"THIS IS THE POLICE. THROW DOWN YOUR WEAPONS." The command echo'd through the walls.
"We're dead!" screamed the girl.
"It'll be OK, its the Police they'll save us!" he said moving over to try and calm her.
"Its the Police who want me dead!"
"I'll explain later! However trust me. Those cops are not here to save me. I know too much. That's why these goons kidnapped me. They have a hold over the cops if they have me alive. I'm a witness that could bring down most the corrupt force! They'll want NO loose ends at all."
The realisation hit Jullynes like a sixteen hundred howitzer. That sniper had killed the first man without warning. Cops cannot simply execute people! If the girl was telling the truth this wasn't a rescue mission and he was in the way.
"We need to get out of here!" he said looking around. There was no way out other than the way he came in.
He opened the door a crack, there were three men left all taking cover behind walls and upturned furniture shooting blindly towards the window. Jullynes watched as one man pulled up some floorboards and reached down. Whatever he pulled out was wrapped in a blanket. He pulled the cloth off to reveal a grenade launcher. He armed the weapon and quickly stepped in front of the window.
"TAKE THIS PI....."
He never finished the sentence, multiple bullet holes slamming into his broad chest. As he fell backwards Jullynes watched in horror as he pulled the trigger.
"GET DOWN!" he screamed slamming the door and diving at the girl.
Lieutenant Carvaire stepped into the smoldering apartment. There were massive holes in both the floor and the ceiling. Body parts and pieces of smashed, charred furniture were scattered all over. He brought a handkerchief to his face to filter out the worst of the smoke.
"Find anything?" he asked one of the officers coming out.
"She was here sir. They had a room set up. Bastards. They must have moved her before we got here. We'll find her sir. We'll find her for Janomeches." he replied referring to Carvaire's ex-partner.
Carvaire nodded and looked around. He needed that girl dead, and soon. Stooping down he picked up a brown paper bag with a receipt stapled to the front.
The bike roared down the deserted alley. Getting out had been easy. After the explosion the smoke covered them so they could jump to the apartment below through the huge hole in the floor. They then had just joined the throng of evacuating residents. The grenade blast had set off the fire alarm quite understandably. Jullynes had given Ylle his cap and she'd wrapped her blonde ponytail under it and kept her head down. The cops were looking for a lone girl who would be looking to find the police so they had simply walked past in the crowd.
"Where are we going?" Ylle called over his shoulder.
"Trust me!" he said as he powered the bike on.
The truth was he had no idea. The corrupt police were after them, he had no idea which cops he could trust. The Serpentis were also after them. He also had no idea that things were about to become a lot more interesting as a third player joined the search, high in orbit above.
To be continued...