Continuing from yesterday’s post, Angel has just escaped from the “Dock Gunfight” Engagement via a broken window, but she’s not out of the woods yet.
The explosion knocks Angel and everyone else on the street flat. The steel dock door tips into the water, which creates a miniature tidal wave along the watery street. The corner of the building sags to the point of collapse and part of the plaza breaks away and sinks.
Angel turns to look upon her work. Just as the façade of the building slides down into the drink, two aquabikes flash out of the ruined dock.
Gwynnie and Gladys Bartlett, battered, bloodied, and pissed off as hell.
[This begins the “Foot Chase” Engagement”] “Shit!” Angel turns and sprints away from them along the waterfront. [Stunt 1] Behind her, the Bartletts wheel their ’bikes around in pursuit. She could immobilize those ’bikes with the EMP bomb, but Angel’s too close to it. She can’t close up her Faraday suit while sprinting away from the furious sisters. If she fires off the EMP, she’ll lose her iChip, her implants, and everything else that has any kind of circuitry in it.
She’ll just have to get out of range first. She hurdles a bench and dodges through a crowd as her legs pump like pistons. [Stunt 2] The sisters close the distance, aquabike motors howling. Angel calls Mikio and gasps between breaths, “It’s all fucked. I’m on foot and heading in the wrong direction with the wrong company behind me.”
“I’ll come to you,” he ’chips back.
Angel rounds a corner and realizes she’s lost. If she had time, she’d check her position on GPS. Of course, if she had that kind of time, she’d get that gun out of her thigh pocket and put a hole in each of the Bartletts’ heads. But she doesn’t dare slow her pace even a fraction to get that pistol free. It frustrates her to feel it taunt her with every step and to know she can’t reach it. “How you going to find me, smart guy?” [Stunt 3]
A bullet ricochets off a stone wall near her head. “I’ll follow my ears,” says Mikio with something resembling amusement.
Angel gives up a little horizontal speed to jink left and right as she runs to make herself a little harder to hit. [Stunt 4] She’s got to get off this road, away from the waterways. Higher ground, she thinks, except she doesn’t know which way to go. The flats and storefronts line the narrow sidewalk and she can’t see anything but walls.
Her weaving has narrowed the distance advantage between her and the Bartletts. They’re adjacent to her in the waterway. She runs past a bridge, but at the last moment she springs and twists to catch a light pole at the far edge of the bridge entrance. It bends as she swings out over the water, but doesn’t break. She swings around it like a tetherball. At the perfect moment, she releases her grip, tucks into a ball, rolls, and comes up to sprint across the bridge. [Stunt 5]
The Bartletts curse and get in each others’ way as they turn around to follow Angel on a course perpendicular to her previous vector. One of them fires a few rounds at her but only hits railings and cobblestones. Once more, the drugs in her system have an unanticipated effect, and she giggles at the notion of the Bartletts’ collision. She clamps down on her hysterics as best she can and calls Mikio again. “Goddammit, where the fuck are you?”
“Jump to your right… now.”
Angel doesn’t hesitate and flings herself off the sidewalk over the waterway. Mikio’s boat roars underneath her with split-second timing, and she sprawls onto the long hood. Bonnet, they call it a bonnet here, she thinks and bursts out laughing. [Stunt 6]
Mikio reaches a hand over the windscreen and clamps it upon Angel’s wrist. She grabs onto him and pulls herself into the front seat. The first thing she does is pull that infuriating gun from her thigh and squeeze off a couple rounds at the pursuing Bartletts. [Stunt 7] “Nice catch,” she pants to Mikio. He nods, eyes glued to the waterway ahead as he steers the boat through midday commuter traffic.
Angel activates her fourth implant to cancel her combat chemicals. She needs her wits about her now more than she needs pent-up aggression with nobody nearby to hit or hit on besides Mikio. Right away, she discovers how much she hurts all over. It feels like she fell down a flight of stairs and out a second story window, which is a pretty fair assessment of what just happened to her. Her left hand feels like it’s gone through a meat grinder. She’s sure she’s broken a bone or two in her palm, but she can’t sit here and catalogue her aches and pains; she has one more job to do. She accesses the GPS with her iChip to check range from the EMP bomb. They’re still within the approximate effect radius, but won’t be in a few seconds. [This is the end of the “Foot Chase” Engagement. But we’re not done yet! Tune in tomorrow for the “Boat Chase” Engagement!]