His shoe felt damp, but not damp from sweat, but blood. He had no time to put on his socks, the only shoes that were available to him at that moment were his stiff dinner shoes, his heel was raw he had rubbed through a blister and now the hard leather rubbed his raw flesh.
75 had been on the run for the last hour, sweat drenched his hoodie as he made his way round the outskirts of Stanford city plaza. His tracker pulsed like a heartbeat, he noticed once more out of his peripheral vision the red light that penetrated through the skin on his neck, that his giver was within 500 yards.
He would have to get out of the tracking grid and up deep into the forest where the signal dissipates. He had been told that a splinter group of receivers had made it there and had set up their own community. They all tried to remove the tracker, but to no avail, every one, bloodied there own neck.
They could never be removed manually.
C.F.L. controlled the track/mapping system, disconnection via the control settings in the software was the only way electronically remove the tracker, or surgically removed, via the 'tracker extraction tool.' located at C.F.L.
He had to stop. He was close now to the mouth of the forest, but the searing pain caused him to rest. It was risky, but he could not carry on.
He ripped the arm off his hoodie. He tore a second piece and fashioned it to fit around his heel. He seethed in pain as he slid back on his shoe.
75 gathered himself and carried on a slow pace, slightly limping with each step. He was around 35 feet from the forest when he spotted the yellow neon glow from the edge of the forest. It signaled only one thing: giver 17 had deployed a neutron grenade.
75 screamed in pain as the grenade pulsed a sheet of white light towards him, blinding him momentarily, whilst inducing a third degree burn to his hands and face. There was no time to gather himself as the electron net spun an electric dome, 8 feet in diameter, around his crumpled body. It vibrated around him, one touch of the net would result in 10,000 volts screaming through his body.
He sobbed, heavily crunching twigs under foot as he approached. He could see giver 17, blacked out suit with weaponry wrapped around a utility belt.
"Please you can take my balance. I'll give you my password. I have £350.000 in there," 75 pleaded.
"Do you really think I need money?" replied 17. His voice, computer generated, was manipulated by the voice disguise attached to his helmet.
"Please man, I got a family. I signed up for this just to make a little money bro. Nobody told me it was in real life man. I thought it was just a stupid computer game," said 75, trying his best to sympathize with 17.
"Well you know what they say, always read the small print," mocked 17 as he powered up his pulse sword.
"NO..!" screamed 75 as 17 drove the sword downwards, straight into 75's cranium, Excalibur style.
The edge of the forest lay silent as the neutron net fizzled out. Picking up the neutron unit, 17 placed it back in his belt for a re- charge back at C.F.L. headquarters.
"17 to base, do you copy?"
"Go ahead 17," replied base command, a separate industrial unit based at the side of C.F.L. headquarters.
"Requesting immediate extraction, 75 is down, I repeat 75 is down. Over."
"Copy that, Aerial unit is on its way, E.T.A. 7 minutes. Over." Replied base.
"Copy that," replied 17, as he walked to a small clearing through the smoke of the neutron grenade.
He could already hear the humming of the C.F.L. Thunder blade choppers, as they hovered his way.
He sat himself on a rock, took off his helmet, which produced a blast of air from the pressurized suit. He wiped the sweat from his beard and lit up one of his exclusive Cuban cigars. Sure, he had now the best execution time, for the C.F.L. Leader board.
He would have to check the stats.
"I'll take the fat banker... off the top spot," 17 waffled to himself encased in a cloud of rich Cuban smoke.
Above him, the chopper hovered in whisper mode.