Tools of the Trade

A rainbow shower of glass shards fell away from Aaron's clothing as he sprinted down the alley. Another pair of gunshots rang off the paired fire escapes to either side of him — thankfully, his pursuers' aim was off as they tore down the alley behind him. Shooting and running is a bad idea, he thought to himself. That seems obvious. A moment later, he had a two-block lead, and they seemed to be falling behind. He couldn't run like this forever, though; his body was bound to crash eventually. Time for the backup plan.

Taking a turn into another, darker alley at high speed, Aaron grabbed the lining of his polymer-coated windbreaker. Finding the spot he was looking for, he ripped it open. Relief flooded him — they're still there. He was never entirely certain that they'd still be there after a joyride. Thankfully, most joyriders were so focused on their own pleasure and hazardous endeavours, they rarely stopped to examine the clothing of the body they were temporarily inhabiting.

Either way, they hadn't let him down yet. Of course, he'd never had to use them so far.

Several small items fell into his palm from the hem of the jacket; careful not to drop the contents while on the move, Aaron palmed one — a thin, shiny pink square of indeterminate material, covered in a translucent coating — and pushed the other two into his coat pocket. They'd come in handy very shortly. Bunched together, the three items were of undetectable size, but they were his only chance to make things right.

His lead having surprisingly stretched out another block, Aaron ducked behind a six-storey high pile of plastic, stackable compost containers. The smell was atrocious, but he had other problems right now.

Aaron pulled the tab off the square's sheath and pressed his left thumb to it. Panting from exertion, he gathered his wits quickly as the adrenaline kit kicked in, giving him near superhuman endurance and strength... for the next five minutes. He planned to make good use of it; this was his last resort.

Dislodging a piece of steel pipe from the refuse pile beside him, Aaron moved away from the compost containers and glanced into the alley.

Five minutes.

Two pursuers. Armed.

Better make this count.

The End

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