Baptiste, inside a Renraku owned community
Two more blocks.
Through my image link, my bio monitor fires all sorts of angry warning onto my augmented reality overlay.
Blood loss and two bullet holes in my right shoulder, blah blah blah, and they all are written in bold and big, ugly red. Up to this point, though, the run went well.
“Sir Baptiste,” my polite agent program in his flawless english butler theme remarks, “your vitals are in critical stage. Should I contact DocWagen™ for you?”
Drek. With a simple thought I abort the request. Yes, I’m injured, got it. Thanks. Though, somehow I believe Renraku won’t give permission to the Docs, to rescue me from their turf.
Behind me, the steps of the security guards echo through the ally. Another gunshot’s hitting the wall to my left, missing me and ripping apart the plaster.
Close one, unlike the first two bullets buried in my shoulder.
Two more blocks and I’m out of the ‘Raku-turf. Though, according to my bio monitor, and the flashing red lights in my AR, I won’t make it. But I’ve got the package. Some hot data from one of the mainframes, labeled <project_ex>.
Even now, as more bullets are closing in and blood’s soaking through my shirt, I have to smile about how easy it was to get the data. Very light security, no Intrusion-Countermeasure program I couldn’t fool. Hard to believe anyone would pay so much nuyen for this little effort – besides my almost certain death after bumping into a security guard, that wasn’t on his scheduled patrol but randomly strolling around. What good is it to hack in and gather input on the security schedules, if the damn guards don’t follow it?
The steps are closing in and I’m still one block from the exit.
Now I’m close enough to capture the signal of the entrance-node and to engage the spoof for the gate. I could almost smell the stench of freedom, so close, yet so so far. And the guards are now close enough to have a good aim.
Shit, shit, shit.
I grind my teeth, ignore the burning pain in my legs and activate the arm-slide with a thought, dropping my trusty Savellete Guardian right into my hand. I hold my breath for just a few more seconds and think about my spoof program, making its interface pop up in my sight. And as I’m about to swing around in a dramatic way, I select the node of the gate, not even one block away now. Two very angry drones with assault rifles are slaved to the node, and the spoof has about three seconds to convince them I’m allowed through, before they will open fire.
If I’m not passing out in any second now, due to the pain in my shoulder from lifting my very impaired gun arm, I might even get a shot at this. The guards look pissed and their guns are already hot and smoking. It takes a very long fracture of a second to adjust my eyes to the smartlink input over all the red bleeping vital-alerts.
Heart rate critical.
Burst fire engaged.
Blood pressure dropping.
Projectile angle calculated.
You are fucked, Sir.
Running backwards, I command the gun to fire, and the first guard drops. Ace.
Then, a sudden, sharp punch knocks the wind out of me. Even before I hear the heavy pistol fire, before the crawling tickle on my skin, as the bullet cuts the air around it, I can feel the .45 ACP caliber forcing its way through my armored vest.
I stumble, maybe even fly for a couple of feet through the air. Luckily, smart guns are called that for a reason, and the processor in my chrome-covered friend picked out the second guard already, measured and improved the odds for the next shot. As my head hits the concrete, stopping my sudden fall after the bullet hit me, the Savelette Guardian spits out another three ultrasonic babies.
Then, everything turns black. Everything but the fragging red alerts telling me that I’m dying, and the countdown. The gate security is disengaged for another 24.48 seconds, and I’m on the ground and can’t even open my eyes. My head hurts, and I think one of the vital statistics is now counting in blood loss from my head.
Like a mad man I crawl towards the gate, gathering the last little bit of strength in my well-overdue-body into a push-up and something, that is anything but a graceful sprint. Everything blurs before me, doubles and triples in my view. Concussion comes to mind.
As the gates close behind me, I tell my friendly agent to call the Docs, while I also upload a copy of the data onto his load, sending it to my secure node back in Seattle. I delete the original copy from my ‘link – don’t want DocWagen™ getting too nosy about my business.
Job done with 2.32 seconds to spare. And I almost made it look professional. My armored vest caught the bullet before it broke my skin. With great anticipation, however, I realize it’ll make for a big bruise.
Hidden in a dumpster not far from the crime scene, I’ll switch the ID on my ‘link to the one, Docwagen™ has under contract, and wait for them to rescue my sorry ass.
The pain starts to get bad. Really, really bad.
The bio monitor panics.
I think it’s time to pass out.