19. I Will Take You Away

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Jett never realized until this exact moment just how much he hated fences.

He currently perched on top of the compound's inner fence, which was a seven foot barrier made entirely of solid concrete bricks. It wasn't as tall as the first two fences nor did it have the horrid barbed wire coiled along its top. Even so, getting up the one side had nearly killed him.

"Hah, hah, hah," a tortured wheezing sound squeezed from his lungs with every breath. Tears burned in his eyes, brought on by the horrible pressure beating on the inside of his skull. There was not even a shred of energy left within him. Every last scrap of strength had been used up to get him to this point.

Fortunately for him, the two Troit guards stationed in the yard were on the far side, standing beneath one of the insanely bright light posts. It hurt his eyes just to look in that direction, so he didn't. He just squatted where he was, trying not to wheeze too loud.

As long as they didn't hear him, it would be fine. Since his little section of fence was conveniently right beneath another light post that was mysteriously burnt out, he didn't have to worry about them seeing him. For once, he was glad for the ugly coveralls that covered up his white flyer suit. Not even a burnt light bulb could hide that particular shade from view.

Now what?

It was a dumb question. He knew what to do next. The only problem was, he felt like the dirt beneath a steam roller. Forget about taking out those two guards - how the heck was he going to get down from this fence?

He leaned forward slightly, and peered down at the ground. It seemed like a mile away. Maybe if he just shifted his weight a little, he could fall headfirst and knock himself out. Then he wouldn't have to go through with this.

"Urgh!" A shocked sound broke free as the fence wavered beneath him, upsetting his balance. His hands scrambled along the cold concrete, grasping weakly for any kind of hold. It took a superhuman effort, but he managed not to fall off. Stabilizing himself with both hands, he closed his eyes as the entire world warped and spun around him.

Well. This is going well. Yeah right, who was he kidding? There was no way this situation could get any worse.

"You hear that?" One of the guard's voices drifted across the yard. Stiffening, Jett opened his eyes only to see both of them turn away from the light and look over in his direction.

"Probably just an owl or something." The other sounded completely dismissive. "I'm sure I saw one the other night."

"Hmm, maybe." The first guy frowned a little. Then he started walking over. One hand dropped towards his utility belt, where he fumbled around the little loop that held a slender flashlight. Jett scoffed inwardly, because clearly these guys were only given the crappy Troit budget.

Flashlights? That was so old tech. Every soldier on the frontlines had high powered lights attached to their headgear. And a really cool one on their body armor. It was a tiny thing, but beamed from the shoulder like a heavy-duty searchlight. He'd seen them in action once, and was actually jealous, because all flyers got was some lame vision enhancers in their helmet visors. He didn't care for thermal filters or night vision or even radar scans - all he wanted were those cool search lights.

At least he wasn't like these poor guys, stuck with cheap -

He suddenly realized he could hear the guard's footsteps lightly scraping on the asphalt of the yard. That's how close the man was.

Right. The guards. Forget flashlights, these guys were about to discover him! And if they raised the alarm, then this mission would end in epic failure. Which meant he would probably be dragged back to Troit in chains. Or something.

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