Night strike

The virtual game of night strike. Based upon the real thing that happened every night outside the safety of the home. It was about avoiding being spotted and doing your best not to be killed. It was an adictive game. Anyone over 10 could enter the world and play. Unless you were band due to things you did. But only some went out and did it in real life, and survived. Like me. I hope.

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1. Night Strike

My feet pounded against the hard ground. My lungs were burning, but I couldn't stop. Not yet. I glanced up, looking along the glowing horizon. The forest wasn't too far away. I could make it. My pounding head served to remind me that this wasn't the game. This was the real thing.

 

I could hear them, on hover boards, pursuing me. The noticeable whir of the hover boards gave them away. At least there were no hover cars. I was so glad I had been out running, just enough to mean that I could run today. And live. Hopefully.

 

My eyes were beginning to lose focus, my feet were throbbing in time to the pounding in my head and my legs had gone into auto pilot. I couldn't last much longer. The forest was just too far away. Whenever this happened in the virtual world I always knew that I would be ok. I couldn’t die there. But I didn't know that for sure now. This was the real world. Suddenly a hover bored pulled up alongside me. I panicked. I found my last reserves of energy as adrenalin kicked in. I pulled ahead. Not for long. I was desperate but I was a goner.

 

"For heaven’s sake, calm down. I'm here to help!" A voice shouted at me from the hover board. I dared a quick glance to the side. It wasn't a night striker, a dark clad, like I was expecting. In the virtual world the night strikers were dark clad figures, who normally had a weapon in their hand. This person didn't look like that. If my lungs weren't burning I would have sighed in relief. The hover boarder, who I had just realised was a girl, pulled in front of me and hover boarded at an angle. She extended her arms backwards. "Grab my hands then jump!" She shouted to me over the rushing wind. I reached forwards, doing my best not to trip. I grabbed her hands and ran. Then I jumped. She pulled me sharply forwards in that instant. Also I managed to catch my left foot on a jagged rock, making me topple toward her. Luckily she was well balanced and supported me, even as I half jumped half toppled onto her hover board. I quickly stood up and spread myself out so that I wasn’t too much of a burden. I had one foot on the left of her back foot and one foot on the right of her front foot. She tapped on my right leg lightly, then asked me to move it so that is was on the inside of her right foot. I did so carefully, doing my best not to tip to far backwards. I had a feeling that I might fall off if I did. Moments later we entered the forest, going at a rather fast speed. I began to be a little scared, mostly due to all the branches rushing past. “Are you sure this is ok?” I asked the girl, looking for reassurance. For a few minutes she continued to hover board through the trees at that speed, expertly navigating so we didn't hit anything. Then she slowed down a bit, and I felt safer. “I know that doing what I just did is safe as I do it often, and a lot faster. Do you recognise me though, Stephan?” She asked. When she said this I wondered if that might be why she looked so familiar. But I wasn’t sure where I knew her from. She was still moving the hover board through the forest, guiding us out. “I recognise you, yes, but I don’t remember where from or your name.” I told her truthfully. She turned her head sideways so that she could see me. “I’m Sky, from that night strike game. Remember now?” She asked me, prompting me to remember.

 

Slowly I began to remember her. It all came back, like a stream of memories before a big flood. I had been in the virtual world playing Night Strike when I was being chased by them. Like earlier. Then she had shown up and helped me, given me a lift on her hover board until I was far enough away. She had helped me in the game and we had chatted for a bit. She had helped me get past that level in the game, but I hadn’t seen her again for a while. I had thought something had happened to her but I wasn’t too worried as I forgot about her soon after. Now it came back. She was helping me again, just like that time in the game. I was grateful to her. From the fact that she had turned her head and we were hover boarding faster again I assumed that she knew that I had remembered, and I guessed right. Quickly and quietly we zoomed through the forest, approaching the exit fast. Suddenly the pale light of the sunrise hit my eyes, surprising and temporarily blinding me. Sky didn't seem to notice it at all and kept going just as fast. We approached a block of buildings, and she slowed, and eventually stopped. She jumped off, leaving me on the board. Sky turned to face me. “Are you going to get off or are you trying to attract the attention of the security robots?” She asked, sounding concerned and annoyed. I jumped off, aware of the threat of security robots. They could stun a person from a few meters away, and they were everywhere. Unlike household helpers they didn't care who it was they would attack if provoked. They also had a habit of floating above the ground so people wouldn't notice them if they went out. Sky gave me some weird looking glasses to put on. I slid them on my face and looked through them. I could see everything outlined, and I could see where people were in buildings. I concentrated on Sky, going to ask her what these were for, but I wasn’t sure where she was. She had disappeared.

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