Small Metal Case by Erika Lance

To Brandy, my epicenter of weird crap that happens.

“She awoke to the sound of shattering glass…..”

Shit! She muttered silently to herself. She was not supposed to fall asleep.

Looking around, she assessed her situation. At least she was still alone in the room. Her tripwires and traps were all in place. The other traps and warning systems had not gone off.

She closed her eyes and listened for a moment. Faintly in the background, she heard the sound of buzzing. She could tell there were two of them and by the sounds of their movement they hadn’t found her yet.

She heard the sound of shattering glass again. They were trying to get her to move, to startle. This tactic would normally work for most. Talia, however, was not most.

As a courier, she would oftentimes have to hide with her cargo. She had gotten used to this and learned early on the scouts and even the hunters had a pattern to their approach. These were scouts. Which also meant they didn’t know what they were looking for, just that they were looking for something.

She checked the gauges on her suit. It was holding temperature. This suit was what truly made the difference for those like her. It was a thin mesh that caused sensors to detect nothing as it matched the exact temperature of the area where the person was standing. The only thing a courier had to contend with is the air they would breathe in would be matched to ensure there were no spikes or dips in this.

She looked down at the small metal box in front of her. She had taken the job because the request seemed easy for the pay. She assumed it had been posted by a wealthy person for whom price didn’t matter. However, getting to the item had not been the issue; getting out with it had. This was the third safe spot she had to stop in. She had also had to travel through areas that even the scouts wouldn’t travel as the normal routes were suddenly heavily patrolled.

She listened again and the buzzing was gone. They had given up and moved on to the next spot to check. She moved to quietly undo her equipment; she needed to finish this and drop her cargo. She was coiling up the last of the wires when she heard the sound of slithering scales and claws against stone.

It was a drudger and now it was time to RUN!

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