On a Mission: Zero – To the Edge of the Sky
That’s what I think as I watch my target scramble up the side of a building. I’m far away, really far away.
The glass and white-colored buildings of Olympia are between us, along with patches of greenery, and people going out for their mid-day lunch.
But thanks to my augs, I can see the person in black clearly against the slick glass of the building. The glass’ reflection makes it look as if they were climbing the sky itself.
So, it’ll be a rooftop chase, then.
I lightly tap my fist with my open palm and nod to myself. My mind is already distant, envisioning the fun that’s about to take place. I don’t notice that I’m grinning.
It’s been awhile since I had a challenge.
With excitement rising in my chest, I break into a run; slowly at first, to avoid the people and objects on the street. But as soon as I get close to the building, I increase my speed.
By now, my grin has spread into a full smile.
I’m finally going to get to use them. It’s been so long!
Everything not directly in front of me is a blur; the people I run past are probably watching me in horror.
I’m going to smash my body directly into the building, after all.
The behemoth of cement and glass looms in front of me, filling my vision completely. I count the seconds till impact…
My smile is probably the brightest, right now.
Because I’m about to fly.
In my mind, I focus my augs on the soles of my boots.
I hope this won’t be the time the connection goes all fuzzy, I hope this won’t be the time that I mess up and do it wrong.
A giant glass window is all I can see. The inhabitants look more shocked than scared.
“Oh shi-!”, I begin to yell as I try to stop myself from going through the glass. But instead I hear a familiar whir start up, like a plane getting ready for takeoff.
I shoot straight up toward the sky, my adrenaline rising with me.
The wind rushes past, but my control of the ascent is shaky at best. I have to do everything I can to avoid colliding with the building.
Superheroes make it look really easy, but in truth I feel like I’m just plunging upward, to the sky.
My rocky ascension turns into a freefall against gravity as I begin to tumble over myself.
I try to shove the panic down as sky and earth trade places with each other. Instead, I quickly sort through the possibilities in my mind.
I need to find a way out of this before I get sick. Or worse.
Using pure strength, I force my head up against the downward force pressing down on me. I can see that the roof isn’t too much further away…
So if I can just make it a little longer…
Right as my instability thrusts me toward the side of the building, I manage to turn upright. I reluctantly reach out my hands, bracing myself for the inevitable pain…
My hands make contact with glass, instantly heating up from the friction. I grunt from the burning in my hands as I’m forced to skid upwards, against the building. But at least I’m no longer in any danger of slamming into it.
I’m close to the top, but every second feels like an agonizing eternity.
Still. I use every bit of willpower to hang on.
Then, only the sky is above me. I get ready to grip onto the ledge, trying to calculate the right timing.
The ledge approaches. I shoot out my hand to grab it, focusing all my concentration on deactivating the boots with my augs.
For a moment, I feel completely weightless, as if I were floating. Before I start to fall back down to earth, I manage to apply enough forward motion to swing myself onto the rooftop.
I roll to soften the impact and end in a perfect three point superhero landing—feet wide apart, I support my weight with one hand and keep the other outstretched away from my body.
Unfortunately, no one’s around to see how cool it is.
I stand up straight and examine the empty rooftop stretched out before me. But of course, the target is nowhere to be seen.
I squint against the sunlight, peering into the far distance across the rooftops while focusing my augs. The blurry distance gradually becomes crystal clear, and I’m able to spot a figure in black, crouching near something. I furrow my eyebrows in confusion, before realizing they must be waiting for a pick-up.
Something on their arm draws my attention. Even from here, I can see the blue on their armband.
A member of the resistance, then…
I don’t feel it when I smirk.
If I capture one of them, then I’ll be able to finally join Phantom Alpha. That’s what I was told, though I didn’t expect to run into one today.
I lower myself, taking a running position. Then the target shifts and the sun glints against the blue wings of their insignia.
Wings…Yeah, that might be nice to get as a tattoo.
I’d promised myself that when I was able to make it onto the team, I’d commemorate it with a tattoo. But I hadn’t known what to get.
Like taking the spoils of war…it seems fitting.
I know exactly what I have to do now, so there’s no point in wasting any more time. My feet leave the ground…
And I fly toward my goal.