Not a lot of time. Never enough time.
Roger vaulted over a fence, crashed through a pack of loose trash cans, and reached the end of the longest alleyway on the planet. If New York wasn’t composed of people, it was nothing but a maze of buildings and businesses.
At the end, Roger swiveled so his back was against a brick wall. Bystanders and pedestrians passed by without even a second look while he leaned against his knees to catch his breath.
Forty years old, Roger thought, and still able to break records with his sprinting ability. He focused on breathing. The most crucial thing he could do at this very moment was make sure he was ready for the next break for safety.
The buildings allowed a bit of cover. But only until they found him again. It was endless. As long as his forty year old heart beat. Paid the damn thing off and still has to deal with the collectors. Just because he hit the living deadline. Thirty-nine, fine. Boom, forty, that’s the last straw.
Roger swiped the sweat from his brow. Old was a mindset, he hoped. Running was his specialty, if he had to fight–
The echo flowed down the alleyway. It sent chills into his organs. They didn’t want to go, they wanted to stay in his guts. The chuff grew louder. Roger reasoned three separate whirs. One he could manage. More, there wasn’t much besides escaping.
Roger shoved off the wall and broke into a full sprint, as hard as his trained legs could carry him. The wind rushing by reminded him of his track days, and the vault over two cars driving by were cleared easily.
The second his foot touched down on the sidewalk, a cracking explosion sent him flying through the air. He met glass first and tumbled head over heels while the body parts behind followed.
The shock wave shattered the glass before Roger reached, and he smashed a table in his recent favorite restaurant. The bystanders huddled to the sides of the room while Roger met face first with another man.
The two, as one big ball, rolled until the back wall broke them apart.
“Sorry, sorry,” Roger said as he used the wall, and a shoulder, to get himself back to his own two feet. The man, who definitely had a broken ankle, hobbled to the nearest group that helped him slide across the floor.
It approached. They approached. It sent Roger’s panic setting into overdrive. His back and open hands slapped flat, napkins tumbled in the air, and the audience huddled together so they could stay as far away from Roger as possible.
A red line beamed to his forehead and drifted to his heart. It powered up with a deep guttural hum and hovered at the center of the room. It armed its deadly, melting laser, decided to intimidate Roger for its authorized stealing of its prize.
One drone. Joined by two copies. The two late to the party pointed their crimson beams, combining them with the original.
Roger hated helicopter drones. They were like toys. Capable of manifesting several different types of weapons from nanotechnology. They chased endlessly. They didn’t need to rest or eat. They didn’t run on energy drinks and sprinting talent.
“I can explain,” Roger said.
The tiny helicopters turned towards each other and flickered towards the ceiling. One of them wagged its body like it was saying no to something.
Roger rolled his eyes when he realized they were laughing at him. “Really, guys,” he said. The led lights covering their front visors turned into happy eyes.
The distinct sound of a ripping turbine juggled between the three. As their supposed eyes switched to red, Roger grabbed the nearest chair and chunked it as hard as he could at the center of the group.
The people watching in fright gasped in unison.
The chair clocked the nearest miniature helicopter straight in the nose. It spun in disorientation and prematurely fired off its laser. While the other two tried to catch him with their lack of arms, the laser pinged against a woman’s glasses.
It bounced back to the source. The tiniest and most helpless of the three drones took the laser full force, burst into a controlled flame, and crashed to the floor, its eyes turning to skulls as its siblings frantically spun their bodies, imitating a scream.
The crowd gasped again and glared at Roger like he just driven a bus of sick kids into another bus of kids with cancer.
“Hey, they started it!” Roger defended. The two drones presented eyes of tears, and for a split second, Roger felt bad. Or, at least, he would have felt bad if they weren’t here to repossess his heart. Like the freaking opera, he thought as he prepared to make a run for the nearest kitchen door.
But, he hesitated when the two suffering, cute choppers bolted out of the restaurant, bawling into the sky.
“Well,” Roger choked. “Guess that’s that.” He hopped to the broken window and tried to follow their direction so he could run the opposite.
“You know they aren’t going to stop,” the man with the broken arm said. “They’re just going to get Mama.”
“Uh, what?” Roger said.
It came in a wave, a devastating windy hurricane that brushed the streets clean of people. Their blades chopped the air and buzzed like bugs against Roger’s face.
An army of choppers.
And Roger had just killed one of its kids.
Yay for prompts! Next one is a classic:
My romance with satan….