Time Travelers Battle

Part 1: The Chase FOXES AND HOUNDS Stray bursts of burning blue plasma melted the ground next to the Aeon called Abigail. She cursed; she'd dallied too long searching her Aeonic Rift Creator, or ARC, and the onboard computronic display on her contact lenses for an escape route. The acrid stench of melted plasticrete stung her nose and eyes, forcing her back to reality. 

She ducked as another plasma burst struck the stark white wall she'd pressed herself against, a fresh wave of pungency blowing over her, and darted down the alley, hearing the whine of a plasma drive being emptied from a gun, cursing her hesitation. She should've had a designated period prepped in case one of them spotted her. Stupid! Abigale ducked around a corner as the sharp rapport of an MLX-311 hand gun followed her down the alley, and kept running down the sidewalk. Reckless of the Mercenary, she thought, could hit someone. Then again, she doubted they thought too much of bystander casualties. 

Admittedly, she didn't either as she shoved her way through the mass of people, knocking several over as she scrambled to gather her wits. She'd been spotted. Careless. Spying on a Black Dawn Mercenary meeting was risky; Joseph had said suicidal without a full wetwork team. She chastised herself for once more letting her overbearing curiousity outweigh her sense of caution and associates advice as she ducked down another alley. She cursed herself again for not bothering to turn on her clothings adaptive shifter either; she stood out like a sore thumb in this era in her white robes traced with alchemical blue lines amidst a sea of dreary greys, browns, and dirty greens of the downtrodden public. At least her semi-braided black hair didn't stand out terribly... 

Abigale shook her head and blinked, bringing up a display on her contact lense of possible rift locations in striking red text. 

She selected the bottom and raised her left wrist up, her other hand darting over a contraption strapped to it with numerous rotating dials and three screens displaying chronological dates in bright green. First she turned her adaptive shifter on with a click on the side of one display, then she twisted another and felt the familiar twisting sensation in her belly as she was enveloped in a nearly sickly azure glow, and then the sharp jerk in her brain as the ARC tore her from the Apocalyptic Era. 

Abigale shook her head as the glow faded, standing still in an alley that was starkly different to the one she'd just been in. Gone were the plasticrete walls and near sterile gray colors, instead replaced with the grungy reds of brick and mortar and unfamiliar charcoal concrete beneath her feet. She stole a look at a broken pane of glass against the wall. With her shifter on, her white robes had changed instead to a casual tan jacket and white shirt, blue pants of a texture she remembered was something called denim, and black shoes that looked hideous to her. At least the nano-fiber material kept its familiar comfort... She glanced at her ARC and breathed a sigh of relief. The year was now 2013 in March of the early 21st century. Three hundred years earlier to where she'd been previously. She could lay low here for a few hours, analyze what she'd seen, and maybe pick up something she'd been curious about from the history books. What exactly was an espresso...? She stepped out of the alley into a crowded street, and was startled when a pair of hands grabbed her from the crowd and tossed her bodily back into the alley like a pillow. She landed next to the dumpster, her breath leaving her on impact. 

"And when did you think you were going?" She raised her head and saw a man with nearly buzzed off blonde hair standing at the entrance to the alley, wearing a uniform she recognized as a law enforcement garb. Abigal was thoroughly confused until the man raised his arm, revealing a similar ARC to the one on her wrist. "That's impossible." She stated, scrabbling backwards as the man started to advance. 

"It's amazing the gadgets you can get with enough credits." He smirked. She cursed again; he was a mercenary, he had an ARC, and he had locked on to hers. He was tracking her. The Merc's hands reached towards a holster as she scrambled to her feet. Abigale lunged as his handgun fired, and she felt a searing agony tear through her side as one hand grasped the merc's gun and the other dug sharp nails into the side of his face. A loud snap seemed to echo in the confined alley as her middle nail broke, and a bright flash filled the entire place. The Merc grunted and staggered back, his electronic readouts flashing warnings across his near-blinded sight from his adaptive armor. 

"EMP surge. Nice trick." He muttered, mentally activating the backup systems. By the time his vision cleared, Abigale was gone. The Merc frowned, then snarled when he looked at his hand gun, the front end where her fingers had clasped melted into useless slag. 

"Freaking Purists." He sighed, then looked at his ARC. The tracking system was still locked on. The spying woman wouldn't be getting too far now. "Just have to do this the hard way." The Merc mused, reaching under the shirt and pulling a gleaming knife as wide as his hand from its sheath. He twisted the dials on his ARC, then braced himself as a twisting sensation jabbed his gut. The Merc vanished, enveloped in a green haze. 

  Written & Edited by Lance Park