Collaer the Nova

Prologue - Tethers

Darkness and rain clouds hung like an opaque curtain over the world. Beneath the curtain lay a city of dull lights and abandoned streets. Sporadic lightning studded the sky, followed by rumbling thunder. Through the rain and shade, a figure can be seen leaping over rooftops. The silhouette makes several successful jumps before falling from sight.

Collaer tumbled, his legs and feet slipping across the slate roof. He flailed as he fell at a slant, the shingles gliding beneath his fingers. Just as the edge, and consequently, his end, came into view, he pulled his legs around to meet a copper gutter and propelled himself through the air and onto the next roof. Lucky. This one is flat.

Collaer turned around. The gutter had come loose, slanting at an angle similar to the roof itself. Rain continued to pour out of it in a thick stream. I'm glad they built these so close together, but these roofs are hazardous during a storm. Someone should fix that. He looked down to the streets. Puddles littered the cobblestone, reflecting the flickering streetlamps.

Two figures rushed from the shadow of the next street, stomping through the puddles and rain. Collaer could hear them shouting, but a crash of thunder cut them off. One of the figures stopped just below Collaer's building, turning toward him. A hooded, black smock sagged across the figure's body, heavy with water. A hand rose from the smock, pointing toward Collaer. The discharge of a gunshot burst from the street. Collaer ducked. He leaned over the edge once more, squinting at the figure.

After a pause, his eyes widened as he shouted, "Missed me!" He turned his heels and jetted across the roof in the opposite direction. Thunder rumbled from the sky. Why can't they just leave me alone?

Collaer jumped and ducked through the city, weaving his way through chimney stacks and struggling to keep his balance on the narrows. After a series of jumps, he paused on one of the edges. He could see the buildings start to become sparse. Almost to the edge of town.

When Collaer stepped onto one of the final buildings in the outskirts, he turned around. The two smocks stood in front of him. He laughed. "If it was that easy, why chase me for this long?" They were only shapes in the dark, barely visible until lightning splayed across the sky.

One of the smocks spoke, his hood flapping in the gusty wind, "It's not that simple, Collaer."

Collaer opened his palms against the rain, "Isn't it? I have something you want."

The shorter of the two stepped toward him. "You stole it from us. We're only looking after our property. This is not a game." Her voice penetrated the wind and thunder.

Collaer pushed a hand through his pitch black hair. "I don't know what it is, or why you believe I have it."

They responded with weapons drawn. In the flash of the lightning, Collaer's dark blue eyes could see down a pair of pistol barrels. Gold designs lined the wooden structure of the guns. Probably a matchlock or flintlock, they shouldn't be able to work in the rain. But she shot at me, before…

After a lightning strike, Collaer moved. He zigzagged toward them, keeping his head close to his chest as he maneuvered. As he closed the distance, they fired. The bullets ripped past him. Collaer reached them as they snapped their guns ready for another barrage. He kicked the pistol away from the female and used both hands to grab the other, forcing it to point away from him. The gun fired. The woman kicked toward his head, but Collaer flinched away. He kicked at her again, hitting her stomach with the heel of his boot. The blow pushed her off her feet and into the air. He wrestled with the other smock, the firearm between them. The other man growled as the pistol slowly began to point toward Collaer.

Collaer shouted through the weather, "It doesn't have to be like this!"

The smock replied, his features hidden by the cloak and the dark, "Yes, it does." The cocking of the pistol struck like lightning, the gunshot punctuated it like thunder. Collaer felt his grip weaken on the weapon. The weakness spread to his legs and he fell, kneeling in the rain. Red seeped from his damp, white vest. I guess I can stop running, now… But that's all I've ever known.

Collaer clutched his wound. Is this what they call dying? The end?

But then, the support of the building gave way. The smocks leapt away from the erupting fissure. Collaer was at the center of it and fell through the building.

Collaer. Buddy. You can't criticize roofs during storms for being hazardous! Silly guy.

Anyway. Pronunciation of Collaer - if you're from Jersey, you can say Call-Air. If you're a normal person, you can say Cole-Air.

Tell me what you think. I'm not sure this is the direction I wanted to go in when I started with the idea. I might change some stuff around depending on how lazy I am not. I guess it bothers me that I worked on it for a while but have so little to show for it. Am I skimping on anything? I didn't think it would be super important at this point to give you a full explanation of what he looks like.