Act 1

It's called the fight or flight response. In the face of danger, people either face danger head on or flee from it.

For Valerie Corwin, the obvious choice was the latter. Without giving thought to anything else in the world, she ran for her life. Darkness and monotonous white walls formed the long hallway of the sixty-fifth floor of the MoonSoft building.

Not far behind her were men armed with loaded pistols and the intent to thwart her escape. The hallway stopped at an intersection where it met another and forced to choose from the fork in the road, she whimsically spun left. A storm of bullets raked the wall behind her, reminding her that her pursuers weren't far behind.

At the end of her current path was a giant glass window where moonlight shed on the floors and walls. As she continued running, her right arm shot up and armed with a gun, Valerie aimed at the window. Three shots rang out before window turned into a shower of glass. Her pursuers weren't particularly happy about the decision she made, firing their rifles in tandem at the fleeing target. She ducked instinctively and kept running.

All or nothing, she thought and steeled herself as she neared the end of the hallway.

In her final attempt to evade capture, she leapt through the space where the window once was, her entire body extended in a diving motion as she cleared the confines of the building. For a few seconds, she felt as if she was flying through air before gravity kicked in. Suspended in free fall, she stretched her arms and legs outward.

The men in dark business suits that once pursued her stopped at the window, hesitating to commit to the same action that she took. Instead, they raised their weapons and opted to shoot down the target but they would never get that opportunity, falling prey to a small gift she left behind shortly before she left the building.

An explosion rocked the sixty-fifth floor of the MoonSoft building and a jet of fire poured out from her exit point. Although Valerie no longer had to worry about her pursuers, there was the fact that she had entered an irreversible free fall without a parachute or any kind of gliding device.

In afterthought, Valerie mused that the two hundred meter plummet might not have been the smartest decision she had ever made, albeit it was certainly one of the most thrilling ones.

Thirty seconds later, her body crashed down on the quiet waters of Lake Orlin near the base of the structure.

Back above the sixty-fifth floor of MoonSoft building, a single man stood near the broken window from where the grenade strafing had taken out a portion of the ceiling and walls. He watched as his target escape from his grasp once again. Adding to the fact that in the wake of her escape, she had managed to kill three of his men, today was not a good day.

The moonlight disappeared as cloudy skies loomed overhead. It wasn't long afterwards before rain began to descend on Sugar City. The man turned his back to the window and slowly retraced his steps.

He produced a cellphone from his pants pocket as he walked down the hallway. Flipping open the cover, he pushed a few buttons and then pressed the device against his ear, waiting for the receiver to connect. The call came through after a few seconds of ringing.

"I want to hear good news, Larry," the voice on the other end said.

"Our little girl's escaped once again, sir."

"Did she take the bait?"

"Exactly as you predicted."

"Excellent work. Keep me posted if anything else happens."

"I understand," Larry said before the line went dead. He closed the phone, depositing it back into his pocket and continued walking down the long corridor of the sixty-fifth floor.