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Running Scared

This Page written by: Patrick Meaney

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Old Ties

He inhaled from a cigarette and breathed out the smoke in her direction. Natalya Orumov was disgusted looking at him, at least a hundred pounds overweight, practically see-through from never leaving this dirty apartment. His fingers were yellowed from his constant smoking, the burning ashes of his cigarette the only light in the room. Her dark glasses had built in light modulation, and even on the highest setting, she could only just make out him, and a few shapes in the background.


"Helix. We don't use real names here, Gen."

He was right. She had built an identity for the express purpose of trading information on Armitage, her employer, for hard cash. Things had gone perfectly, she was living two lives successfully.

She pulled out a computer disk, and passed it to Helix, as he insisted on being called. He ran over it with his yellowed fingers, then reached into the void behind him. His hand returned with an envelope. He passed it to her. She unsealed it, and glanced inside.

"You don't trust me?"

She ran her fingers through her red hair, and told him, "Just double checking. Be seeing you." She walked out of his apartment, and breathed fresh air again. It had gone off smoothly, now back to her apartment, back to Armitage. She hit the down button, and the elevator doors opened.

Natalya Orumov hit the button for lobby, and watched the doors start to close. When they stopped suddenly she looked up and the withdrawing elevator doors revealed a man. He withdrew the cane he had used to halt the doors, and proceeded to walk into the elevator. He had a long black trench coat on, and a fedora style blue hat.

"Sorry for not holding it, I couldn't even see you coming."

"You probably didn't see this coming either," he said unsheathing a knife and jabbing it up under her ribs and toward her heart. The doors slid shut, and she was helpless. He pulled out the knife quickly and kicked her to the ground. "That's from Armitage, he knows you're skimming, and he knows about the tip-off."

Her body lay dead, a red wig lying on the ground, her true brown hair revealed. Resting on his cane, the man pulled out a small piece of paper, and folded a small human figure, then laid it on its side. The elevator doors opened, and he walked out. He heard the commotion behind him, but he was gone before anyone knew he was there.

Outside on the curb, he saw a spinner pull up. His getaway car. The back door opened, and he saw Harry Bryant. "Gaff, get in the car."

"How'd you know I was here? How'd you get in my car?"

"How do you go in, kill a woman, walk out, and not worry about police action? We're on a different level than those people. You should know that by now," Bryant said.

Gaff walked into the car and closed the door. "I've got a lot of contracts, Bryant. Don't expect me to just do anything for you on demand, we've moved past that - at least I have."

"I don't know who he is, but the guy who contacted me has guaranteed compensation, to the point where you won't need to do this any more if you don't want to."

"What's the situation?"

"He wants Rick Deckard for some reason. I don't ask. You've been keeping tabs on him since he quit, right? Like I asked you to," Bryant said as the spinner left the ground and flew toward Gaff's high-rise apartment.

"I know where his apartment is, what he does, where he eats, everything. I've had my men watching him."

"Good. I've already got the instructions on how to bring him in. I've spread some money around in the department, and gotten access to an office to meet him in. My contact has gotten word that six reps escaped from the Off-World colonies, the police don't even know it, and they want Deck to kill them."

"I could handle it, I was just as good as him," Gaff said trying to hide his indignation at being passed over for a job. "The money better be good, this is my business, and I don't like to be insulted."

"I thought you quit the business, Gaff. I know after '18 I never thought I'd be sending out Rick Deckard to take out some Skinjobs. Don't be insulted, you'll be getting well compensated for any hurt feelings."

"What am I going to have to do?" Gaff asked, looking out the window.

"First, you have to bring him in. We need to override any memories he has of us quitting the force, so the techs are going to insert some false memories. Then, plant him back on streets. Approach him and convince him to come in for one last hunt. Escort him to the police station, in a police spinner, then keep an eye on him when he goes after the reps," Bryant explained.

"And the memories will work?"

"I've been promised they will. Don't worry about that, Gaff."

"One last thing. Why is Deckard so important, there's other competent Blade Runners out there. We've got Holden, he's just as good."

"I couldn't tell you that, they want him for some reason. I don't know what it is. The only thing I know about this organization is they have a vendetta against replicants, and are able to spread a lot of money around."

The spinner pulled onto Gaff's roof. He walked out, and said, "I'll have him for you tomorrow. The driver can take you home. You already seem to have a business relationship."

Gaff watched the spinner pull up into the air, then pulled out his phone. "Helton, I need Deckard here as soon as possible. I told you trailing him would pay off sometime. That time is now."



Option 1 - Deckard on the streets

Option 2 - Something else

Pages in white continue the story. Pages in yellow are yet to be written. Note that the unwritten options are just suggestions for how the story might continue - you can add something completely different if you like.

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Date: 2002-10-13 22:00