Shot in the DarkMature

Slowly she crept across the cracked roof, carefully avoiding tiles that looked loose. She hated these roofs; they were too obvious, the chance of detection was too high.  Too many of her colleagues had been caught trying to sneak across a tiled roof, and the council had passed a rule ordering them to be avoided at all costs.

Fortunately, none of their targets seemed to realise their effectiveness.

Cautiously she leaned over the edge, checking the roof for any soldiers. No one else was visible, so she dropped off of the tiles onto a flat rooftop, rolling as she landed and pressing her back up to the generator, the cold penetrating her clothing. Shivering, Alice peered round the corner, seeing a dark shape on a far rooftop; a marksman. He sat there, quietly smoking a cigarette, his mask hung off of a nearby aerial, his rifle on the ground next to him. Shadow blanketed his eyes, making it impossible to see where he was looking. Patiently she waited, hand hovering over her knife, daring him to spot her. The man stood, looked upwards and breathed out a cloud of smoke before turning away and beginning to fumble with a shoulder mounted radio. Alice took her chances, diving behind a cluster of barrels, slowly making her way towards a fire exit. Peering through a gap between some of the barrels, she could see the sniper, facing the opposite direction, a stream of smoke rising into the air. Carefully she moved towards the next generator, making sure the man wasn't looking at her. She reached it, and crept towards the fire exit, carefully opening the door and leaping down the stairs.

The man turned back, watching for any signs of life. His eyes passed over the open door and swiftly he grabbed his rifle, watching the door through the scope. A movement caught his eye, and he focused on the rippling curtain. Patiently he focused on the next window, counting in his head. 1...2...3, the next curtain rippled slightly, and he focused on the next one. Again, 3 seconds and it rippled. Aiming at the clear window, he counted.

1...2...3 He pulled the trigger, the bullet passing through the glass, shattering it utterly. Blood shot up the wall, although no one could be seen in the window now. He brought the rifle down and reloaded, before patiently waiting.

Several minutes passed, nothing appeared. He placed his rifle down, brought up another cigarette and began smoking.

Alice had to use all of her concentration to not cry out in pain. Dropping to the floor, she checked herself over. Blood coated the wall behind her, her left forearm lay on the floor, leaking blood. Trying desperately not to panic, she looked down at the ruined flesh, her clothes blood-soaked and shredded where the bullet had hit. Quickly she tore off her shirt, patting down the wound and wrapping it, wincing as she did so. Shivering, she laid against the wall, desperately trying to stay awake, in case she never woke up again. The wound continued leaking, and she cursed at her own stupidity to leave her med kit behind. It slowed, but she began feeling light headed, knowing she needed something more to stop the bleeding. In desperation she placed more pressure on the injury, pressing the makeshift bandage onto her wound. Biting her tongue, she tried not to scream in agony, knowing that it was the only chance she had. Willing the pain to end, she blacked out.


She bolted upright, sweat pouring down her face, her breaths deep and ragged. Slowly she willed herself to calm down, and look down at what remained of her arm, trying to stay relaxed. The blood leaked slowly onto the floor, at a much lower rate than earlier. Removing the shirt, she inspected the wound. Splintered bone and torn flesh, blood pouring onto the floor. The bandage wasn’t going to be enough. Gritting her teeth, she began looking around the corridor, spotting a power socket nearby. Dragging herself along the floor, she reached it and placed the shirt down nearby, drawing her knife. Manipulating it with evident skill, she unscrewed the front plate, revealing the wires within. Putting the knife down, she pulled on several wires, then selected two. Swapping for the knife, she cut the insulation off the ends of the cables, removed the fuse and, reaching into her pocket, she took a bullet, knocked the charge out and replaced the fuse with it. Carefully, Alice brought the exposed metal wires onto the knife blade, watching the sparks as they made contact. Then she waited, waving her hand over the blade as a measure of temperature.

Eventually it began to glow slightly, and Alice gingerly picked up the blade, placed the bloody shirt in her mouth and, as she brought the knife to the wound, bit down hard. It almost wasn’t enough – the intense pain shot through her body, threatening to make her faint. But she knew there was no other way, forced herself to stay conscious as she cauterized the wound, stemming the bleeding. Colours danced through her mind as she began loosing her grip on reality, but she just managed to stay awake.


It took her several attempts before the wound stopped bleeding completely. By then she could see visions of colours zipping past, mixing together, forming shapes. She could see Dark, Owen, all of her friends as she lay on the cold, unforgiving floor. Slowly, as much as she willed against it, she was enveloped by sleep.


The End

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