With the completion of Subtle Defense and Sanctuary, I turned my attention to the January’s last story. When it came time to flesh out the core concepts for the story, my initial thoughts were to drop Charles inside a city and put him into a “Mexican Standoff”. I’m pretty sure I’d just watched an episode of Big Bang Theory where Sheldon defined the scenario. However, when I grabbed my popcorn and fell into a comfortable seat to watch the initial screening for the tale, the core action transitioned into a race between his pursuer, with his ship picking him up his prize.
Grab a comfy chair and follow Charles’ as he runs through the city, seeking a place for his ship to collect him.
With his score in hand, Charles can’t make his way to his ship, so he calls Lucile to enter the city to collect him…
“What did you say?”
Charles darted into an alleyway, crouching into a ball as he wheezed in a couple of shallow breaths. Once his breathing leveled out, he peered out of the alley’s mouth. “I need you to depart from the dock immediately.”
“How can we leave? You haven’t gotten back from your easy score.”
Charles’ lips twisted as he inched farther down the path between the towering buildings. “And you’ve identified the reason I am ordering you to exit our slip.”
“You’re asking us to abandon you?”
Charles’ knuckles popped as his fingers curled into fists. With a glance over his shoulder, the Drifter’s captain burst out of the opposite end of the alley and raced along the next street. “Lucille, I’m not proposing that you leave me.”
“Then please explain your intention.”
As Charles neared another alleyway, he slowed and peered past the building’s edge. After his gaze stopped bouncing about the vacant opening, he tapped the rough brick. “To fly through the city’s airspace and whisk me out of my current situation.”
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