Carry On

Carry-Anne made her way up the ladder that her implant had highlighted in blue. Her right arm and leg still hurt from an accident earlier today causing her to climb a bit slower than she was usually able to. The timer at the edge of her field of vision didn't care. It still counted with the same relentlessness it always did. When she reached the top of the ladder she had to climb the stairs of the fire escape. She started out with a bit of limp not to burden her right leg too much. It was costing her too much time. She grit her teeth and started sprinting up the stairs. The cold air filled her lungs and began to sting. At least this took some attention away from the pain she felt in her right leg. When she reached the rooftop she followed the blue navigational hints across and over a fence. She slid down a slight incline onto some lower roofs. The counter did not permit her to catch her breath. She sprinted some more. She recognized this route. A wall run would be coming up just ahead. She thought of the grappling hook in her backpack. Beginners used this to help with wall runs. It takes a lot of pressure of the ankles as you don't need such a close angle. Carry-Anne glanced over at the timer. She was already getting late, she really did not have time to pull out her grappling hook. Instead she pulled off her left glove and placed it between her teeth. When she took the ramp and jumped at the wall she bit down on it hard. Her brain entered slow motion. Her left foot made first contact with the wall. This gap needed five steps, though pros could do it with four. She did the next step and the nerves of her right ankle told her nervous system that this had been a terrible idea. A terrible pain flooded her body. Tears shot into her eyes. She bit down even harder onto the glove. Her right hand felt the wall. Her left foot made contact again and preserved her momentum in defiance of gravity. Think of flying. Think of being anywhere else. Another step with the right foot brought her back to the here and now. Brought her back to a world of pain. The foot slipped a bit. That's not good, she thought. The next step with the left foot did some to make up for it, but she landed on the other side without any momentum. The wall run had in total been just above a second, but the real cost was the momentum she had lost. She started sprinting again, ignoring everything her right foot was trying to tell her. I've got to make this in time. She took the glove back out of her mouth and put it back on. Finally she saw the door up ahead pulsing in blue. One of these lonely doors that you find on rooftops. Dests. That's what couriers call them, short for destination. Usually couriers leave them open for each other so that they can throw themselves against the doors and don't have to stop to deal with handles. Usually, Carry-Anne thought grabbing her right shoulder. But looking at the time she couldn't be safe now either. She did a small prayer and threw her left shoulder against the door. Luckily it flew open and she tumbled down the short flight of stairs. She got up. 7.3 seconds to spare. She knocked at the blue apartment door and slid off the backpack. She knocked again and pulled out the small yellow package. Come on, come on. She heard movement inside. 2.5s. . . 1.2s. . . She heard the lock turn, and pushed open the door with the package. She dropped it into the expecting hand. The door shut again and she collapsed against the wall slowly sliding down to the floor. She peaked over at the timer. -0.3s. The notification below informed her of what she already knew: Target not met, bounty reduced by 80%. Fuck! she exclaimed and hit the floor with a closed fist. Fuck, fuck, fuck! She took two deep breaths, trying to calm herself. Then she got back up and limped up the stairs back onto the roof where she opened the courier app. There was another blitz job just around here. When she took it the timer reset to 2 minutes and a blue line appeared in front of her. She started jogging.