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January 11, 2012 / milesandhisfavorites

Abandoned: Gasoline

Author’s Note: This story takes place a few weeks before the events of Breakout, the Abandoned premiere episode.  So, there are no Moles.  Enjoy!

The streets of NYC were eerily quiet.  Even after over ten months post-Virus, Abel couldn’t get over the freakiness of what was once a bustling city suddenly becoming a near-ghost town.  He and Leil were walking to the Unisphere park, which had been turned into a primitive market.  Leil turned to Abel.  “So,” she said.  “Sham wanted us to do what again?”  Abel stopped.  “Simple,” he replied.  “All we need to do is go to the market, get a few cans of gasoline, and get back to the store with our lives.”  Leil grinned.  It was unlikely that anyone would ambush them, but the odds were constantly tilting.

Finally, they got to the market.  The Unisphere Trading Market was comprised of about fifty stalls, most of which went on either side of the paths surrounding the giant metal earth.  It was always crowded, with at least a couple hundred people trying to get food, or water, or just about anything for their tribe.  Greeting them at one of the signposts that advertised one of the merchants was a pair of kids, a boy and a girl.  The boy seemed to be about twelve or thirteen, and wore wire-rim glasses and thin multicolored stripes that dappled his cheeks.  The girl, who seemed to be his sister, looked to be a few years younger, with a childish grin and a blue diamond on her forehead.  Immediately, the girl shrieked and ran behind her brother.  The older boy just chuckled to himself and shook both Abel and Leil’s hands.

“Name’s Wells.  The girl behind me is my sister, Maya.  Sorry if she seems a little skittish.  Last time she saw you-”

He gestured towards Leil.

“Last time she saw you, you were riding in a police car with Krios at the helm.  Nothing personal.”

Leil shook her head.  “Get that a lot, actually.”  Wells started walking into the market.

“Well, are you planning to get anything?”

Leil looked up.  “Some gasoline, actually.”  Wells smiled, leading Abel and Leil through the crowd of kids and teens that were haggling and bartering.  Finally, they got to a stall.  A sign that hung from the roof read: Mally’s Auto Parts.  Inside, there were a couple wooden shelves loaded with tires, gasoline cans, and a few car manuals.  At the back of the stall, two people, one boy and one girl, were arguing.  Wells pointed at the girl.  “That’s Mally.  Spunkiest girl I have yet to meet.”  Mally was around fifteen, with long brown hair set in three braids, a backwards baseball cap, and a face stained with engine grease.  She was shouting at the boy, something about a faulty transmission.  Wells pretended to loudly cough.  Mally turned, and Wells mouthed “customers”.  She put on a grin and walked over to them.

Ten minutes later, Abel and Leil were walking away from Mally’s shop carrying four cans of gasoline.  Walking alongside them were Wells and Maya, and the four were eagerly chatting.  While Abel and Wells talked about some of the rumors of tribe activity, Leil was telling Maya a few of her Cyberpunk adventures, which alternately made her grin and look terrified.  Just when Leil was getting to the part where Wingnut almost fell from the Hayden Planetarium roof, there was a smattering of screams as two stalls crashed to the ground.  Parked in the rubble was an ATV.  Sitting on the ATV was Wingnut himself, grinning like a metal patient.  Behind him were two more ATVs, and behind those was a graffiti-covered police car.  The car’s door flew open, and a teenager stepped out.  There was a moment of silence as the crowd figured out what was happening.  Krios, along with the rest of the Cyberpunks, had arrived.  Then the panic started.

Everyone scattered, screaming their heads off.  The Cyberpunks advanced, grabbing people at random and knocking them to the ground.  It was complete mayhem, which was just how Krios liked it.  Abel, Leil, Wells, and Maya ducked behind a food stall, staying as quiet as possible.  Then, the stall was uprooted by a Cyberpunk.  Leil recognized her as one of the lower-ranking subordinates, a girl named Terra.  There was no getting out of this one without a fight.  Leil shot her a sarcastic grin.  “Once a Cyberpunk,” she said.  “Always a Cyberpunk?”  Terra looked puzzled for a moment, trying to place Leil’s face, giving Wells the perfect opportunity to leap at her.  The two hit the ground, but not for long.  Terra picked herself up and started to beat Wells to a pulp.  She didn’t get the chance though, because Maya latched onto her back, and held her around the neck, screaming “Don’t touch my brother!”

Meanwhile, Abel and Leil each grabbed onto one of Terra’s legs, and the Cyberpunk went down again.  The four kids made a break for it, losing Terra in the crowd.  The Cyberpunks were attempting to drive everyone to the exits.  Leil assumed that once everybody else was gone, they were going to pillage the market for supplies.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t going to be that easy for them.  A group of teenagers had blockaded the main exit, and were fighting off Krios and his goons.  Wells grabbed his sister’s hand, and the two made a dash for one of the smaller exits.  Abel and Leil followed, and in minutes, the two were a block away from the park.  Panic had spread, and kids were running through the streets like mad.  Chasing them was a Cyberpunk on an ATV, who kept throwing black objects that Abel suspected were flash grenades.  Sure enough, two seconds after the ATV rider threw an object, it emitted a deafening noise and a blinding flash of light.  Wells turned to the three, and said “Those things won’t give off shrapnel, but they will disorient you long enough for them to catch you, and you know what they say-”  The rest of the group responded in unison.

“Cybers take no prisoners.”

Abel, Leil, Wells, and Maya ducked into an alley, while the ATV driver passed by.  The group waited a few minutes, then ran out, prepared to make a break across the street, when a flash grenade flew towards them, hitting Wells in the temple.  He went down, and the grenade blew, knocking the other three to the ground.  The Cyberpunk grabbed Maya’s wrist, pulling her up and putting a Swiss army knife to her throat.  Abel and Leil got up, tackling the Cyberpunk, and freeing Maya.  Wells looked up, dazed, and saw that the Cyberpunk had almost immediately gotten to his feet, and had started to fight with Abel and Leil, while Maya watched from the doorstep of a nearby building.

Wells grabbed a plank of wood that was lying in the street and threw it at the Cyberpunk.  It hit him dead on, right in the forehead, and he stumbled.  Leil took the opportunity to kick him in the shin, and the guy collapsed.  All four ran for it, not wanting to find out if he’d get up.  When they got to the Queensboro Bridge, they found a police barricade.  Krios had been planning this.  Luckily, there were no guards, which was odd.  But when they started running across the bridge, they heard a familiar siren wailing behind them.  The Cyberpunks were catching up.  Maya, thinking fast, grabbed some wood and tossed it at the wheel.  The wood splintered, and flattened the tire, sending the police car skidding to a halt.  Krios and half a dozen of his goons got out and started chasing the four on foot.

Abel led the others over to the edge of the bridge.  Leil looked at him, realizing what he was about to do.  “Are you nuts?”  Abel shook his head, nervous.  In seconds, the Cyberpunks would have caught them.  Without saying anything, he grabbed Leil’s hand and the two jumped three hundred feet into the river below.  Wells and Maya hesitantly followed, leaping over the side.  The moment the kids hit the water, they swam for shore as fast as they could.  Running through the streets, they saw that despite the flat tire, the police car was still following them, albeit slightly slower than before.  The group ran onto a sidewalk, but the car kept chasing them from the streets.  After a few blocks, everyone ducked into a small convenience store.  Seeing that they had escaped, the Cyberpunks stopped the car and ran inside after them.  But they were nowhere to be found.

Two stories above the street, Wells looked down and grinned at Maya, ruffling her hair.  “Good thing you found the loft, eh?” he said, while Maya proudly grinned up at him.  Meanwhile, Abel and Leil were looking for a way out.  A minute later, all four were hightailing it down the fire escape.  Krios, cursing Leil, stomped back to the police car.  In the alleyway behind the building, the group that the Cyberpunks were chasing had already gone their separate ways.

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