The next afternoon found me positioned on a rooftop overlooking the entrance to the Complex. I had activated my visual redirection array, which effectively if not completely hid me from view, and my automatic levitation matrix was on standby. The building I was sitting on had three stories, and I dangled my feet over the edge and waited for Carver to emerge from the hologrammatically hidden alley.
Carver obligingly appeared before my posterior had completely fallen asleep. He stepped from the alley, seemingly materializing out of the false wall, and took a few steps. Suddenly, he stopped and cocked his head as if sensing something. I became worried. But then he seemed to shrug and continued down the sidewalk to the corner. I activated the levitation matrix and hopped off the roof.
I stayed with him for a few blocks, hovering about 25 feet above and behind him. From my vantage point, it was easy to keep track of him on the crowded sidewalk. After a while, the foot traffic began to thin, and I started looking for a good time and place to strike. I noticed a narrow alleyway a few dozen feet ahead and decided that would be the staging area. I pulled out a stun stick and readied it, moving in a bit closer.
When we were about five yards from the alleyway, Carver bolted completely without warning, dashing around the corner and out of sight. Cursing under my breath, I quickened to follow him, brandishing my stun stick. I had no idea how he had detected me, but at this point it didn’t matter.
I cruised into the alley at an altitude of about seven feet, only to find it completely empty. Never had I encountered such a bare alley. There wasn’t even any trash lying around. More to the point, there was no Carver. I became worried again. Then I heard a voice coming from behind and above me.
“Looking for me?” it asked tauntingly. It was Carver, of course. I whirled around to find him hovering a few feet above and behind me, his eyes glowing an intense electric blue. I whipped my stun stick forward to bring it to bear, but Carver flicked his fingers and it was gone.
“Shit,” I said conversationally. Carver’s response was to gesture arcanely at me. Bands of invisible force locked around my upper body and carried me upwards until we were eye to eye. I could feel mystical energy holding my right pinky finger immobilized as well. I was helpless, and unhappy about it.
We looked at each other for a few seconds. Carver’s glowing eyes were quite unsettling. Neither of us said anything. Then Carver sent his hands sharply to the left as though tossing aside a flowerpot. I flew in the direction he had gestured with stomach-turning speed and crashed through the second story window of the building next to us. It was dark inside, and I sailed across the room and careened into the opposite wall. Thankfully, it was drywall. Even still, my head hit hard and I was knocked unconscious.