Riftline 1.6

//Maas//

The handgun in Maas’ hand still had smoke curling up from the barrel as the scene finally sunk into his head, the reality of what had just transpired not helping his case at all. The chef had reported to Internal Affairs that Maas was about to flee and was given orders to stop him. The first shot had missed him since he had ducked at the sight of the firearm, the bullet instead killing Morgan. Maas drew the firearm from inside his pack firing two shots that ripped through the chef’s chest, the body dropping to the floor.
It had all been instinct, reacting before he could think about the resulting consequences. Morgan, the only ally he had contact with, had been inadvertently silenced. The chef, a civilian sworn to oath, was killed by an undercover who was suspected of being a turncoat. None of it helped Maas, it only implicated further the idea that he was no longer part of the police force and had gone rogue.

The handgun was tucked back into its holster inside his pack, taking the firearm from the chef along with the one on the counter with all the ammunition. The pantry was raided as well, taking everything he could fit into his bag. Heart beating in his ears he rushed to dormitory building, stashing what clothes he could fit into his pack. At the gate of the villa compound he pulled his badge from the inside of his jacket, thumb running over it before he set it on the ground for Internal Affairs to find when they would finally arrive. The worst part of it all was not knowing if the Chief still had his back after all this.

The gate was scaled, setting off the sensory alarms that alerted everyone and their mother at all stations that security had been breached. It didn’t say though whether someone was coming or going. Landing lightly on his toes on the other side Maas started to just nonchalantly walk away from the premises, running would have been an immediate red flag. Meandering in the Lux districts alone was suspicious considering those with money usually had their own drivers thus Maas ducked down a side street used for deliveries and looked for a ventilation grating.

Already he could hear the growing hum of vehicle hoverpads, the high pitched whine of engines trying to keep up with quick maneuvering couldn’t be missed. Internal Affairs were headed in faster than he anticipated which hurried his search, finding a loose mesh grate and ripping it open to wiggle himself into. There was no reason to cover up his escape the city was huge and he could go anywhere, he was considering leaving the place completely to either live in another city or a small village in the wilds.

The vent shaft smelled worse the more he walked through them, having to nearly double over due to the narrow size. A few drops had to be maneuvered, climbing down them by using the small lips of the couplings. It wasn’t exactly a harrowing escape by any means if anything it was painfully slow but it was the best way to avoid getting caught all together. Other grates were peeked out of to see which level he was on, being able to tell which was which purely by the state of the public.

It was when the air turned rank and the people looked forlorn and lost did he exit, covered in stains and dirt so he blended rather well. The grating he had kicked open was replaced, not wanting to leave any sign of where he emerged from. The Slums were where he spent most of his time on assignment, instantly knowing what street he was on and who would recognize him at what corner. Even if the people knew him they would undoubtedly turn him in for whatever reward the police had issued.

The hood of his jacket was pulled over his head keeping to the shadows as best he could while he made his way through the midday crowds, stepping over the drunks and the addicts like everyone else. He couldn’t go back to Louise’s it would be crawling with cops and his apartment was probably torn apart already. The last place he knew he could hide out at in the Slums was Dezi’s place and even that was risky but he had to take that chance. An hour and four flights of crumbling stairs later he was at her door in a rundown apartment building, quietly knocking on rusting steel.

An Orc man answered, dressed in nothing more than rumpled jeans with his shirt and shoes in hand, and promptly pushed past him. Maas stared as the Orc continued to leave, knowing exactly why he had been there.

“Maas,” Dezi caught his attention, the little Fairy wrapped up in an oversized hoodie. The look he gave had her roll her eyes, waving for him to come in, “Don’t give me that look.”

“You know you can’t bring them home,” he stepped inside, promptly closing the door and throwing all the locks in place.

“I needed the extra money.”

The inside of her apartment was a stark contrast to the rest of the Slums, the place was actually clean and decorated rather nicely. The only things that ruined the decor were the protection wards that lined the windows and doors, if anyone unauthorized tried to get past them they would be killed instantly no matter their age or size. Out of respect for her little nest of a home he removed his shoes, setting them by the door with his pack. For a moment she disappeared down the short hall, retrieving a wet towel for him to clean up with.

“Why are you here?” she asked him while she moved to the kitchen to start a pot of coffee and breakfast, of which he followed, “You disappeared last night after I went on stage.”

“I murdered someone,” he wiped himself down, trying to get all the dirt and grease out of his hair, “Or at least that’s what it looks like. I don’t remember doing it.”

“Let me guess, you need my help.”

“I have to disappear Dezi, I can’t go back to prison.”

The Fairy sighed softly as she went through her practically empty fridge, shaking her head with a sigh she settled for just coffee. The white and gold wings brushed against Maas as she moved around, he didn’t do anything to avoid them, it would have been rude to. A mug of hot coffee was shoved into his hands with four spoonfuls of sugars swirled into it, just like hers.

“I know someone who could help but he’s a last resort, I don’t know if you want to get mixed up with him,” she said, taking the towel to wipe off a missed spot on his face before it was tossed aside, “He’s… I don’t know how to describe him. He’s different. He’ll help you but there’s always a catch.”

“I’m desperate at this point, Dezi. I’ve already been mixed in with the worst of the worst.”

“You haven’t met the worst until you meet him.”

“When can that happen?”

“I can give him a call right now and see when he’s available.”

“Please do,” Maas beckoned, carrying his coffee out to the living room to settle on the couch. The exhaustion of the whole situation was finally catching up to him which made him practically guzzle the super sweet coffee. He didn’t watch Dezi as she pulled out her phone and made the call, nor did he hear her words from the kitchen.

“We can be there in an hour, Mister Wintier.”

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