TITLE: Shedding the Demon
GENRE: Science Fiction
Damon looked down from the rooftop into the alley below. Shadows were spreading over the ground as the sun fell behind the tall buildings all around him. He listened intently; sure that he had heard something unusual. This close to the City, its sounds drifted into the Ruins in a never-ending hum, but he had trained his ears to ignore the incessant droning and focus on particular sounds. There—just around the corner. Something is going down, Damon thought as he tried to move quickly yet quietly.
He threaded his way over the rooftop between piles of garbage, broken down machines, discarded trash, and other detritus. Mindful of his training, he could hear his mentor’s voice in his head:
Keep focused on your target, but never forget that threats are everywhere, do NOT let someone get the drop on you because you were preoccupied.
Damon smiled as he thought of Andrea and her oft-repeated admonishments. Nonetheless, he followed her advice to the letter; eyes shifting, hearing focused, and the path he chose was winding amongst the debris rather than the easier, and faster, straight line across the roof. He came to the other side of the building, squeezed between two rusted-out hulking pieces of machinery and listened again.
He heard a shuffle of feet moving quickly, the metallic crash of something falling to the ground, and there, hidden in the other sounds, a muffled scream. Now he just had to take a look.