The synthetic woman is no longer in the maze of sewers beneath the surface. Instead she is walking down a brightly lit city street. Litter shifts and swirls this way and that as the bright neon lights bathe the dull late night shapes in greens, blues and reds. It’s a sight to behold for the woman who managed to scavenge a robe, the hood of which is now covering her head, as she walks barefoot down the cracked pavements. Her eyes scan all the sights that she has never seen before. The hour is so late that it has become early and there are few people filling the city streets as a result.

That is until she rounds a corner to find the entrance to a bustling night market filled with people. She scans from beyond the markets outer limit for a few moments alone before several men, stinking of alcohol appear.

“Hey. What you doing out this way baby?” One of the men blurts with a slur.

“Never seen you here before.” Another offers.

“Cat got your tongue?” The first man asks again as they circle around her, leering and smiling.

“Wonder what she got under that robe?” A third man questions as he sways back and forth.

“Come on baby, don’t be rude. Talk to us. We’re nice guys.” The first guy with black hair that is slicked back, short stubble and ice blue eyes says before running his tongue across his teeth.

The trio stop circling her suddenly as she stands still and makes no effort to either talk or leave. She knows they’re drunk and that they’re making fools of themselves, but they pose little risk to her.

“What, you don’t like us being nice?” The black haired guy says stepping closer to the synthetic woman. He fills her vision as he goes to touch her face. She pulls back away from his reaching fingers and right into the guy behind her, who grabs hold of her shoulders.

“Aww thanks Clint, right into my arms.” The guy holding her shoulders blurts in the moments before she shrugs him off.

“Hey, what’s your problem? We only want some fun.” The third guy fires with a laugh that the other two men join in on.

But she says nothing as she looks at them. She already knows how this is going to end and if they weren’t drunk, so would they.

“Get her boys!” Clint barks.

The three of them bear down on her, but she delivers a soft, compared to her full capabilities anyway, punch to the one guys nose, which detonates as the bone crunches. He recoils with a howl of pain, his hands cupping his broken nose as blood pours down the lower half of his shielded face.

“Bitch!” The other guy, that isn’t Clint, says as he lunges as he throws a punch, which she catches with little effort. The guys’ eyes go wide in shock moments before she slams his own fist back into his face. The balled fist slams into his teeth, drawing blood immediately as the force of the impact makes them shift in his gums. The guy howls in pain, his hand clamping across his mouth as he falls back leaving only Clint facing her down. But he isn’t willing to play now that the odds are even, so instead he holds his hands up and starts to back away.

“Ok, calm down, crazy lady. It was a joke. Just a joke.” Clint says trying to placate the woman who has just bested his friends with ease. He knows they’ve been drinking, but it still shouldn’t have been that easy.

“Clint. Get her.” The guy with the broken nose roars.

“No way man. No way.” Clint says as he turns and runs, leaving his friends behind who when she turns to face them, as they have only just managed to scramble back to their feet, take one last look at her and then run themselves.

The synthetic woman watches them flee as she feels another presence now and prepares for a fight.

“Not exactly keeping a low profile, are you?” A figure in the murk of the shadows cast by a narrow alley says from below his hood.

She can’t see his face; even when she adjusts her eyes for light sensitivity he is hidden. What she does know is that he is as much of a him as she is a she. But even when he steps forward his face is still cast in shadow.

“You know people like us have to stay hidden, right?” He asks casually, his shoulders lowered and his hands visible as they hang down at his sides.

“Is that all I’m going to get, the silent treatment?” The male figure asks but never gets an answer as a siren blares.

“Shit! Looks like your new friends didn’t like being assaulted.” The figure then states as the blaring siren and flashing lights continue to get closer and louder.

“You better follow me.” He says turning to leave, but the synthetic woman doesn’t move.

The figure sighs heavily as he turns back.

“Come on. Trust me you don’t want any more trouble.” The figures encourages.

“You don’t have to trust me. But if you don’t those armed men, they will be here and you won’t be able to stop them. Not alone, anyway. Now, come on.” The figure says shouting now that the siren is so close and so loud. He knows she can still hear him, much like he can still hear him.

The woman seeing little other option and curious of his words follows. The pair disappear down the narrow alley and into the dark just as the police car pulls up to where the synthetic woman had been moments earlier.

“I don’t see a thing. You three trying to waste our time?” One of the two police officers in the front seat of the squad car asks.

“No officer, I swear. Paul, Dick and I were right here. She attacked us.” Clint replies worried that he can’t see the woman.

“You know what wasting police time is right?” The other officer offers from the driver’s seat of the squad car.

“Yes officer, but she was right here. I swear.”

“You’re drunk. You three knuckleheads probably got into a fight with each other and did this to yourselves.” The officer in the front passenger seat says.

“No officer we didn’t. We swear.” Clint and Paul, the guy with the now on edge teeth, reply honestly.

“Well there’s nothing here. Your bogeyman is gone, so get out and get lost.” The officer in the driver’s seat barks as the rear doors of the squad car automatically peel open in response to a single press of a button.

“But…but what if she’s waiting for us?” Dick manages with a muffled voice as he continues to cup his broken nose.

“Then maybe she’ll finish the job before we do, now get!” The other officer says turning to show the three drunken men in the back seat of the police car the gun in his hand.

The three men who are filled with fear clamber over one another as they escape the squad car and go stumbling down the street while the two police officers roar with laughter humoured by the trio’s drunken stupidity.

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