A story of Andy Will
This story and others like it are set in the same world as “Politics can be a Deadly Game.”
Andy panted for breath as he ran as hard as he could down the crumbling concrete tunnel, hoping that the wireframe of the rotting desks, piles of ceiling tiles, and other obstacles that Nat was showing on his implant was correct. Otherwise, the gang chasing him would catch up before he could reach the collapse and safety. He could see their lights not that far behind him and hear them swearing in the mix of English and Spanish that was becoming the common language of the inner city. It sounded like they were traffickers of some sort, which wasn’t a surprise. Who else would take the time to chase down a street kid that couldn’t be a teen yet? Likely if they caught him, his fate was in one of the brothels that catered to the group that, shall we say, like their toys younger. Unfortunately for the “toys,” that group tended to play rough, and toys broke quickly. So he would very much prefer to avoid being caught.
He was within thirty-meters of the door he needed. Now if he could just make it through the door with enough of a lead to lay a false trail before going to ground. Okay, made it to the door, and his pursuers were still a solid fifty-meters or more behind, with their lights spoiling night vision. He opened the door just enough to slip through, making clear footprints in the dirt that he had carefully laid on the landing, making it appear to be accumulated debris. He headed up the stars continuing to leave dirty footprints in the somewhat less dusty stairs until he reached the next floor, opening the exit door all the way, sweeping most of the dirt away. He also used the door as leverage to lift himself onto the broken staircase rubble that continued above the landing. Debris that both looked more unstable than they were and would show no footprints from being climbed. He climbed the rubble far enough to reach a convenient set of hand-holds, which he used to pull himself off into the stairwell, climbing down behind the staircase he had just climbed. He continued down past the floor where he could hear the pursuing gang nearly to the door, but kept a steady descent, knowing that it was impossible to see him from anywhere on the remaining solid staircases. He reached the bottom of the stairwell, just as the gang burst onto the landing twenty-meters above him. They immediately fell for the false trail. Andy, waited until they had gone through the door, before opening the entrance to the basement and his bolt-hole.
To Be Continued