Episode Three: A New Identity

Run Liliyet - Empire Universe

A New Identity

She’s running, alert dispatch.

Those words played over and over again in Liliyet’s head.

She knew it meant lots of trouble, and she would have to change her appearance quickly.

Liliyet ran as quickly as she could down the alley. The sun wasn’t yet up, so the city was still shrouded in a darkness that would aid her escape.

Her knee ached, but through force of will, she pushed herself forward.

Cascadian alleyways could be long, especially in the Wharves, where the buildings could stretch for several standard blocks. She would need to go a different direction soon if her escape was going to be successful.

She plodded on as quickly as possible, channelling the racing horses she’d grown up with… back when her family still had wealth and prestige. Back before they’d been ruined.

It’s amazing what your brain will throw at you when trying to avoid thinking about the pain you’re feeling.

Liliyet came to an intersection of two alleys, and she acted fast. Choosing the route that led her to the busy intersection of Proud Mountain Way and Front Street. She knew this intersection would be populated even at this early hour of the day. Getting into a crowd was going to be the first step in her successful escape from the authorities.

She quickly careened further down the alleyway, still channelling her childhood memories of the racehorses. She was close now, she could see shapes on the sidewalk of the street ahead. The shapes spelled anonymity for her and her first chance to slip away.

Far away behind her now, she could hear footsteps trailing after her. The rapid footfalls of somebody running after her without the hindrance of a banged-up body to slow them down.

She reached the edge of the main street, Proud Mountain Way, named for the view the street had of Wy’east Mountain, the picturesque peak that always loomed as a background to the city. It was full of crowded life, even at six am. Dockworkers finishing a night shift. Bartenders on their way to open up for the Wharves’ famous breakfast service. It was lucky for Liliyet that she lived in Cascadia’s busiest district, the one that never slept.

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As she closed in on the street, she slowed her pace and tried to slow her breathing as much as possible to avoid drawing attention. It was unnecessary, though, as enough people around her were hurrying along their way to reach their destinations to provide plenty of cover. Some, like her, were either running or had just stopped running as they closed in on their aims.

Liliyet took off her backpack as she walked amongst the crowd. She carefully held her two bags in her right hand while she slipped her shirt off. Maybe on another street, a woman wearing only a skimpy undershirt might turn heads, but this was the Wharves, and there were plenty of men and women in scanty dress plying the oldest profession along the streets. Truly… she fit right in.

She ducked down another alley and stopped by a dumpster. Back in her apartment, she’d picked something loud to wear, a bright orange shirt that would be hard to miss even in the dim morning light. She planned it that way, to give the detectives something to glam onto. Now, as she threw it in a dumpster, she hoped it would be enough to misdirect them.

She threw her bags down on the ground and opened up her go bag. She took out a new shirt, a checkered red and black number that would fit in amongst the dockworkers, and put it on. She pulled her long brown hair back and put it up. From the bag, she drew a dark black wig of bushy hair. As she fastened the wig, she looked at herself in a small mirror she grabbed from her bag. It would have to do, she thought.

Time to move on. Time to move forward; like the sharks in the water of her homeland, she would only move forward.