Another Wren CD. I think I like this better than the other .. more panic, less schmaltz. (As a side note for trivia lovers, Ty and Hina were originally Tycho and Chaille before I remade the characters for a different game. It freaked me out, so I tweaked the names.)

Tight Spot

He leaned his head against the wall, breath coming rapid and shallow, teeth bared in an idiotic, helpless grin. He'd manuevered himself brilliantly, he had. Almost walked smack into a Maverick base. A secret Maverick base. Where did they get off making secret bases when they owned ninety-nine percent of the world? Secret bases indeed. Like manta rays, lurking right beneath the surface dirt to snap up the unwary intruder.

Never mind. It was his own stupid fault. He'd been so absorbed in that fish story about the books he'd found on the east coast, he had ambled almost up to the gates without even noticing. It was only a small consolation that the pair of Reploids in the patrol zone had been just as surprised as he had.

He gulped in another breath, arms dropping limply to his sides with an audible clunk, and reflected rather regretfully that he probably could have even faked his way past them if he hadn't choked up, turn tail, and run. Pity, that. They hadn't seemed awfully keen on chasing him, though, and he'd lost them only a couple of turns into the deserted city. There were a surprising number of them, really.

His breathing slowed, artificial heart pounding rhythmically inside his chest. He loved that damn thing. It took care of itself so well he didn't even have to worry about giving himself a heart attack. He half-turned his head to look to his left.

It probably hadn't been wise to wedge himself in a long corridor with two entry points, either.

Oh well. They were probably gone.

"Oy, Ty, did you see him come this way?"

Wren stifled a full-throated sigh. Or perhaps not.

"No dice, Hina." He could hear their footsteps, just outside the building where he'd unfortunately trapped himself. "Wonder where the little shit ran to."

"Wonder who he is, even."

"Bah, I just wonder which camp he came from. They need to tighten up security." A thump. Had he just dropped his weapon? They certainly seemed chatty. "It isn't good how they keep getting away like that."

Hina, the woman, heaved a sigh. "Yeah, I know. There was another breakout, what, last week? Awfully resilient little things."

"And they breed like maggots."

There the conversation paused, giving Wren a moment to reflect on avenues of escape. To be honest, he couldn't think of any. This is the Resistance Radio Network, bringing you our final broadcast ...

"Hell with it, Hina, let's just go back to the base. Korbet's gonna take our heads off for leaving our patrol route already. We might as well not be late for rotation."

"I suppose so." Wren felt a shrug in her voice. "It's not like he really has anywhere to run, is it. Someone'll kill him eventually."

"More's the pity. I would've liked to see him dance."

The sound of their retreating footsteps caused Wren's shoulders to sag in relief. It wasn't every day he got off without a skirmish.

He eased himself to his feet, breathing slowly, softly, then sidled down the passageway until he was in the open again, a small, dirty alleyway. He padfooted out into the street with an ironic smile at having escaped capture and/or death once again, then froze.

They were still here. Halfway up the street, talking animatedly to each other. He couldn't hear them. They hadn't seen him. His breath was going rapid again. He could go back, sneak, move, run. They hadn't seen him yet.

To his surprise, he found that his left hand had already raised his plasma crossbow and aimed it lazily at the left-hand figure, the female. Life and death, Wren. You'd better shoot before they see you. Debatable. They didn't have to die. Neither did he.

The trigger squeezed once, and the girl's voice broke off in mid-sentence. She reeled forward and fell, and the male half-turned with a shout that mingled astonishment and anger. Or maybe anguish? The trigger squeezed again, and he rocked backward and fell.

Wren broke and ran. And ran. And ran.

It was under cover of darkness that he finally stopped, lost and confused. After a few moments of standing and staring vaguely at the starry sky, he flicked the transmitter back on. Its company was better than his. "Hello, Resistance Radio listeners, sorry the broadcast is so late today, but I ran into a tight spot earlier.."