Chapter 1

Freya opened the roof hatch and stepped out into the late morning sunlight, squinting in the sudden brightness after the reflective railings and abandoned building equipment. Standing up high on the roof, the sounds of downtown traffic, across the intersection below, were muted by distance. Only an occasional horn or screeching tires reached her orange fox ears. Even at a higher elevation than her, a commercial airliner traced a single contrail across the blue, featureless sky, its engines even quieter than the ones on the street.

"What a dump.” Her whispering thoughts quoted. A sly grin crept along her face.

She stepped further out over the rooftop, surveying the area around her. It was another construction project. There was one primarily unfinished building with a rising crane and several unfinished levels of construction, with building material stacked up everywhere. Half the roof was finished, the other half was but a mere skeleton of a frame; the building next to it looked almost entirely finished. The city block surrounding it consisted of near-finished buildings, but it looked like evidence of the construction leak spread to the closest ridges. There was still more than enough work to be done, but at the moment, the scattered material and half-finished constructs were perfect, or so she convinced herself.

She paused, scoping out the city-scape, then lightly touched the earpiece above her head. “Guess where 'i' am.” She uttered soundly in the transmitting device. “I’m guessing busting my ass climbing up a thousand flights of stairs wasn’t my only objective?”

A deep, grimly voice, muffled partially by static interference, hummed in a dark-set tone, “To your left,” Edgar said calmly in a practical whisper, “you will see a flagpole centered at the middle perimeter of the postal tower.” Surely enough Edgar was right, “what a surprise,” Freya thought bitterly. Her eyes darted over to the flagpole that lay suspended in the unusually still air. The building was rather far away and would take quite a while to reach, she secretly hoped that this wasn’t going to be the objective point. But she knew it was.

“I’m assuming that’s where the mayor is giving his crappy speech.” Freya said. As an assassin she was assigned numerous daring missions in which she carried out with high regards but never before had she been ordered to kill a country-wide leader. The prospect of it all was amusing though more complicated than she usually preferred, due to all the security: walking up and lacerating the bastard’s throat with a cutting instrument was completely out of the question, this mission called for more resourceful approaches.

“Mr. Roger’s,” Edgar referred to the mayor by his name, “will be giving his public announcement of the postal tower’s grand opening in exactly seventeen minutes and thirty-three point four seconds, you have until then to reach your destination.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Freya sang, emotionlessly. “When do I get to kill something?”

“That, my dear,” Answered Edgar, “is your decision alone to make.”

“thanks for the freedom…” Freya uttered sarcastically, rolling her one good eye. “So basically not any time soon?”

There was a minor pause filled inn by static. “S.W.A.T. units are ascending the stairway, it would be wise to escape.” Edgar muttered solemnly, followed by a light chuckle.

“I’ll just kill them, all I need is a weapon ,which, for some reason, I wasn’t given.” Freya stood on the ledge of the building, saluting to shield her eyes from the sun and squinting at the modeled tower up ahead, still in disbelief to how far away it was. “Bloody son of a bastard.” She swore beneath her breath.

A high whistling noise made her ears perk. Freya looked beyond the railings, equipment, and glassy structures and saw a small, waving streak of white against the iron-gray building next to the one she was on. Freya smiled when she recognized the pale fur and attire and waved back at Tack. They both had different locations to go to but it was still pleasant to see her greatest companion. Enough. It was time to work.

Freya monitored a path between the building she was on and the one directly next to it, noticing a quick trail guided by the steel train tracks that hovered over the structures. All she had to do was hop a small gap between the building and the track to drop perfectly on top of one of the wheel rails. There were four rails that hung in the air to which she skipped effortlessly like some mindless hopscotch game. It didn’t take long for her to land the first rooftop on her hands and feet like a frog. She then took off at a swift, steady sprinting pace, heading for the objective point as fast as she could. The buildings were close together, providing easy jumps from one rooftop to the next.

The paths she sketched out were quite obvious, with planks and ledges where construction workers had half-finished, aiming to leaping spots, and lots of wide open areas to accelerate in speed. Though she did not display super speed or anything she was still fairly quick for someone of her status. After all, this was a training ground to her, a place to warm up or to practice essentially. This was nothing. The run was simple: she hopped over to one of the adjacent buildings, scaling a few low fences, and crossing a few short gaps. Each step led to the next, each jump starting a new one. It was a transfer of speed and momentum, something that kept her going.

“Hey you!” She heard the voice of whom she assumed to be one of the S.W.A.T. Guards. They were all over the place after all, like locust. She stopped right after the next jump, panting deep breaths in an attempt to satisfy her already tiring lungs. She hadn’t ran in so long her body was beginning to rebel against her.

Surely enough there were about three military operatives suited in combat wear two buildings away. “Stop right there!” She had gotten their attention, just as she was instructed to do. The concept of her being but a mere distraction seemed inappropriate to her but she found this fun. She saluted the military operatives with the middle finger, smiling keenly in their direction, then dashed on, knowing full-well they would follow her. They carried guns, but there were too many obstacles in the way for any of them to get a clear shot. They had to resort to chasing her. Even though Freya felt a little out of shape, she could still feel the familiar flow; the way she moved over and around obstacles with minimal effort.