It’s raining. The least of Chelys’ problems. Running from a bounty hunter is an exercise in futility, and he was trying to up the odds of success. His chances were less than hopeful. This wasn’t a normal Hunter. The assailant he was unsuccessfully evading was “The Hunter”, Drakx Slazakohn. Even the virtuous paused at the name. If “The Hunter” was on you, you were dead. No choice, hope or chance, dead.
Cheyls was a more than average man. Stronger, and faster than the typical human. If a human was the scale pinnacle of average, then these worlds would be on the brink of extinction. Chelys was a genetic template of perfection. Designed, not born. No option for a radical flaw that a normal person would have to live with. No chance for mediocrity. That entity had no place of existence in his persona. Even so, he was frightened.
Being created only two years prior was the reason for the terror. As perfect as he was, he had no life experience, and this Hunter was very seasoned.
The roof tops were his advantage. High, sporadic, slippery, and tough for a human to negotiate. He mastered his terrain, so he owned the domain. He controlled more variables up there. All of that calculating and “The Hunter” was still behind him.
The terrain was his. He could negotiate it with ease. Not a chance a damn human could keep up with him. Then why was it happening? Why was “The Hunter” still behind him?
Chelys scanned the roof in front of him. There was a ten meter spread between the two rooftops. It was also a full story elevation differential.
“Fucker can’t kill what he can’t catch!” Chelys thought as he pumped himself relentlessly toward the gap.
Chelys timed the jump perfectly. A visually, eloquent sight of bliss. He propelled himself across the crevasse and up a story to land squarely upon the next rooftop.
“Do that, you worthless waste!” Chelys whispered under his breath as he kept up his liquid pace without breaking stride.
Thinking of how effortless it was for him to jump that obstacle, how impossible it was for anyone else to vault that canyon, how he actually evaded him and survived... Chelys looked back.
“The Hunter” was behind him.
“No! Damn it, NO!!” He screamed at “The Hunter”.
How in the hell did this human not just break, but shatter the law of physics? How could that athletically challenged bastard match his physical superiority?
A thought of irrationality pushed itself ruthlessly into his pristine created mind.
“Experience trumps perfection”.
Fear is the respect for something that will harm or kill you. Knowing that Drakx was still behind him, even after his amazing vault, Chelys feared him. Chelys’ analytical thought process wouldn’t allow Drakx’ presence to personify itself in its location.
He can’t be behind me! Chelys thought.
After all, the logic confirmed this impossibility, the improbable was still bearing down on him.
He must be that good, Chelys surrendered that thought finally. He only allowed that reality for a nano-second.
“You are not that good, you weak human! You can’t be! I’ll prove it!” Chelys barked at Drakx.
Drakx didn’t speak. He just kept coming, kept relentlessly gaining.
In front of Chelys was an immense void between the next rooftops. This chase was taking place one hundred sixteen stories above the dark, dead streets of the city.
Chelys calculated the jump. There was a large air purification duct to the right of his jump path, about two meters from the ledge. The gap was about twenty five meters across, and over three hundred forty meters down.
“If I jump one meter past the duct at my present speed, I’ll make it...but he can’t.”
Chelys began to ready himself for the extraordinary vault. He knew that this time, the jump was hard for him. It must be impossible for Drakx! Chelys felt his heart burn as it pumped oxygen into his limbs.
“I have to hear the scream as he falls short,” Chelys grinned to himself as he readied for the jump.
Just as Chelys began his leap of emancipation, his journey was abruptly cut short. As he passed the purification duct, an arm swung out at about neck height. The arm slammed into his throat, freezing his breath with a painfully violent halting. His lower inertia was unhindered, and proceeded at the same speed. His equilibrium was redirected into a dizzying uncertainty as he fell and slid towards the edge of the building.
Chelys regained composure quickly enough to grab onto the ledge before he plummeted to his certain death. As he began to pull himself up, he looked to see The Hunter above him.
The Hunter had some device in both hands. He slammed the devices onto the tops of Chelys’ wet, raw hands. They pierced his hands through to the roof and drilled themselves into the concrete of the ledge. They each had eight black metal arms release from the base of this device that wrapped themselves around his bloody hands and secured themselves by digging into the concrete.
Chelys roared in pain as he peered with pure hatred at Drakx.
“Did you think that I was really chasing you that well? My reputation must tower over my reality immensely,” Drakx said with an arrogant smirk.
Chelys gazed past Drakx’s shoulder. He saw another Drakx running towards him.
The Drakx closest to him tapped a forearm computer and began to grin. The Hunter farther away began to fade into air with an electronic spark of finality.
“A hologram?! You chased me with a fucking hologram?!” Chelys screamed through the blood, rain, and tears. Release me, and we will see how fake you are as well!”
“Tarantula Daggers don’t release. I’m flattered you thought I could keep up with you. Sadly your mother never told you to look both ways before leaping across a roof top,” said Drakx as he kneeled over the bloody, and frustrated Chelys.
Drakx stare became cold as nitrous. In a personal tone of vengeance, he said, “Then a bastard like you never had a mother. Oh, wait. You can’t be a bastard without a father. You’re just a speed junky scientists’ genetic abortion, aren’t you?”
Chelys snapped back with, “You had to cheat to catch this ‘Genetic Abortion’, weakling! You aren’t great! You’re just a cheap, slimy nothing!”
Drakx reached in his trench coat and pulled out a double barrel hand rifle. He cocked back both hammers and shoved the barrels into Chelys’ face breaking his nose. Again, more blood.
Drakx grinned, and through gritted teeth, and whispered manically. “You can be far superior to me in tech knowledge, and strength, but when this nothing has a cannon in your nostrils, who won?”
Silence. All that was heard was the heavy, labored breathing through the bloody air passages of a broken nose, and the perpetual pelting of the monotone raindrops.
“You will pay for your ruptured soul, Hunter, tenfold. you will never be free of the one hunting you, and when it’s over, the warriors you’ve claimed will rejoice,” Chelys spoke with grave conviction.
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you through that sloppy breathing. Could you repeat that?” Drakx taunted.
Through angrily surprised eyes, Chelys grimaced.
“Damn you, Hunter, your soul is forfeit.
Drakx stared at his prey. Broken mentally, and physically. He simply responded, “...I sincerely believe you. No, really, I do...” and squeezed the triggers.
Experience does trump perfection.