I was hurrying home. It is unwise to linger anywhere in District E3. Dangerously. I knew that a couple of gangs would be roaming the streets now that Institution was out, and it was only a matter of time before the Guards would begin appearing in the streets, on rooftops, poking their long-snouted rifles from the battlements capping the tall walls surrounding our district. The gunshots would follow.
Their fights never lasted, the superior technology that graced the Guards’ ranks left nothing but hole-ridden, fleshy paste when utilized upon the young, hard-headed boys who were either stupid or desperate enough to stir trouble. The Guards shot to kill. The cracked sidewalk under my very feet must have seen a dozen young rebels face down upon it.
I was almost home. Home. A dull, lifeless gray slab of concrete. Located in the Southwestern corner of District E3, a laberynth of bunker-like stocky buildings. Very square and neat, immensely dull…
Thump. My house was a block away but I heard it. My body froze, unable to accept what was clearly there. The door was cracked, something my mother would never allow. And its frame was crooked… someone had bashed in the door. That someone had my mother. Instantly defrosting, I flew into action. I was through the door in a heart beat, its losened hinges splintered easily facing my headlong charge, and the cheap hunk of wood crashed to the floor. Two heads turned, distracted from their previous engagement of searching my mother’s desk. They were not as fast as me. My fist met the first man in the gut, and my efforts were rewarded with a terrifically loud crunch. I took hold of his throat and hurled his ragdollish person with strength I had never known. The second man was just now reacting, momentarily stunned by the gurgling, unintelligable words of his partner. I made out the word alpha as he fended off a hard right hook, and his face became very pale. The meaning of “alpha” concerned me very little at the time. My left fist rocketed into his jaw. He had fallen for my trap: I’m a south paw. A torrent of blood spurted from his mouth has he spun away, crashing to the floor.
Bang. I could feel the slug break the skin, burrow its way into my chest. I stumbled foreward numbly. In his hand was a very peculiar sleevegun. My foot met him square in the nose, and the weapon dropped. I fired the second round. And the third. And I fell to the floor.