Earned Honor (March 2019, Week 2, Day 5)
The night air was heavy with warmth as Asta Lyx slowly turned the knob, closing the door behind her without a sound. She was already covered in a sheen of sweat before she managed to clear the stoop and regroup in the alley under the cover of darkness. She smiled to herself as she shifted her pack into place on her back – they hadn’t thought she’d make it even this far.
With her pack secure she looked down at the route that pulsed just beneath the skin in palm of her left hand. She wasn’t sure of the final destination and wouldn’t be until she got there. The directions were clear – she had a long way to go and needed to get to the next checkpoint before daybreak. Asta Lyx checked both ends of the alley before closing her left hand and starting out.
When she’d left home, Asta Lyx had told her mother her plans. The derisive laughter still rang in her ears months later. The youngest of seven children and the slowest to grow, no one had ever believed in her. This mission was her chance. As she skirted from shadow to shadow she alternated between reviewing the map in her mind’s eye with thinking about how she’d be recieved back home once she was done. Walking into the family home fully decorated for her service was motivation enough to keep herself moving, no matter how heavy the pack was or how far she had yet to go.
Asta Lyx stopped abruptly and dropped to her belly. She had spotted the search bot in time, but only just. From her limited view, she watched the thing work its way down the street, crossing the intersection in front of her without stopping. The search bots were popping up more regularly now than they had at the start of her journey. Asta Lyx waited for it to get fully out of sight before pulling out her com pad to report it. She felt her left hand glow and looked at the updated route – the end point hadn’t changed this time, just her path to get there. The new route added 10 kilometers. She shook her head as she rose and picked up speed.
Being small and fast were what had gotten her this assignment. When she’d showed up to volunteer, the review team had looked skeptical. Asta Lyx had fought her urge to speak her mind that day, biting her tongue to keep from giving the team a verbal lashing, and waited instead for her chance to show them what she could do. Their tune had changed quickly enough. She was stronger than she looked, too, which she’d had to prove with every new supervisor.
The got the rest of the way out of town without seeing more search bots or running into any obsticles. Asta Lyx checked her hand from time to time to make sure she was on track. She was drenched with sweat and ready for a drink by the time she felt safe enough to stop for a rest.