She walks as if she is a proud flag billowing out and splayed across the wind, unseen in the alleyway as she stares over the edge of the purple bandana on her face. Tugging at the teal hood on the wild, graphic hoodie she wears, she smirks beneath the cloth over her mouth. She knows it doesn’t quite matter in the end. Her long, brunette hair may have been covered up and the thin lips tucked away, but it is the eyes that give her away. Past the purpose, there is mischief, laughter and happiness, set aside for the moment if only to do what is right.
Stopping at the ancient fire escape, she tugs the strap tight around her chest, making sure that the UMP is secure for her climb. She tugs the zipper up higher as the wind picks up and squeezes in with her shirt underneath the loose sweater, before she clenches the sides of ladder and her sneakers meet rungs. There isn’t a sound as she climbs, save for the cans of spray paint softly clattering in her satchel bag. Fortunately, nearby security units of the district mistake it for a can blowing through the alley as she completes the climb and slips out of sight.
On the roof, she brings the UMP forth and peers through the attached scope she bought that morning, checking for threats between her and her target across the rooftops straight ahead, and behind her as well, just in case. Comfortable, but still tense, she returns the gun to her back and bolts towards the opposite edge of the roof, catching the air and taking a breath as she jumps to the surface below. She tucks into herself, rolling so that she doesn’t hurt before she comes up. Her hood has fallen in the stunt, but she flicks it back up as she stands and jogs to the next obstacle: a building too tall for her to jump atop of, but with a propaganda billboard ill-positioned in a place no one looks anymore. To avoid leaving evidence, she decides it’s not worth the paint as she hops over and grips a jagged edge, easily scaling it to the top and reaching the roof.
She’s not alone. As she steps up, two soldiers emerge from the rooftop entrance of the building, a man and a woman. She freezes, but they’re talking, and as the problematic aspect of the problem looks away, she takes the chance and rushes them, even after the woman’s head returns to her cohort and the blur of teal and purple coming right behind him.
“Enemy contact!” the woman shouts, whipping her rifle up, but the street warrior shifts into cover behind the man and tackles him, sending them both into the other soldier as they all fall and scatter across the roof.
“It’s The Marker!” the woman soldier yells, but already the rebel has gotten to her feet and has begun to run forward. Both soldiers have lost their grip on their guns, and the Marker isn’t bothering with the extra noise of her gun, so it is a fistfight started.
Instantly, the man tries for a cross, which The Marker ducks under before
propelling a follow up kick to his side. He grunts from the impact, stumbling past as the woman tries to grapple with the rebel, but two solid knees to the stomach and the soldier is down, clenching her stomach as the street fighter hops over her and bounces in place, fists up as she eyes the man standing up straight again, wordlessly teasing him as if she thought he could do better.
He takes the silent bait and swings wide—a drastic mistake. The Marker easily grabs his wrist and pulls him taunt as she spins and lands her elbow right at the base of his neck. The man crumples, out like a busted streetlight, and she coolly walks up to the female soldier, who is beginning to get up. No time is wasted; the rebel punches her across the face and puts her out too.
She breathes for a second before whipping her head around, scanning the other rooftops and making sure that she hasn’t been discovered or alarms haven’t been raised. Nothing. It seems the soldier hadn’t shouted loud enough. Like a whisper, she skirts over to the edge and jumps across to the next level rooftop, before crossing it and stopping at the final edge. This is going to be the hardest jump. It is a long drop and there is every chance that she could get hurt. And if she is going to do this one as clean as possible, the rope in her bag has to stay in her bag.
She sighs, knowing that this is going to hurt, before pushing over the edge. She falls for a good three or four seconds before her feet meet ground, and like she had taught herself to do, she rolls hard and fast, somersaulting across her shoulder blades three times before she comes to rest, eyes towards the sky. Her ankles aren’t broken, and her legs aren’t disjointed, but the shock has whipped through her body like electricity, and she needs a moment to catch her breath from the surge. Fortunately, this area is relatively sheltered from wary eyes watching out for her, so she isn’t worried about being seen.
It take her a few minutes, but she finally rolls over and stands, stretching out her arms and legs before stepping towards the next edge and her final destination: a fire escape that runs right alongside one of the biggest billboards in post-hell Toronto. And like every other billboard, this one is splatted with the face of propaganda, the King himself.
Not for long, though. A smile creeps across her face again, one her eyes give away for her as the bandana obscures her lips. She jumps across the short gap to the metal railing before climbing the ladder as softly as she can. Security is tight in the area, and she wants to be at least halfway done before they catch her here. Reaching the level of the King’s eyes, she skillfully finds the hidden perches in the paint and hangs off them. With her spare hand, she unzips her satchel, pulls out a spray paint can, and slashes purple across the white and red, swinging across the billboard as she marks up her graffiti outline. When she is done with the word, she tucks away the purple and breaks out the teal as she shakes it and begins to fill the design in at an angle.
She is about halfway back to the fire escape before she hears a shout and growls a little. Someone had seen her—probably a sympathizer. Regardless, she keeps going, picking up the pace, but she doesn’t stop, even when more people shout at her from below. She tries to imagine that they are screaming and cheering for her, and she is back at a concert she played that once mattered before everything changed.
“Attention, Marker! Cease and desist, or else we will forcibly remove you!”
Those are merely words she hears through a megaphone below. They are transparent to her, filled with promise but laden with the knowledge that if she stops now, and if she doesn’t make people see, than she will regret it forever.
“This is your last warning! Cease and desist!”
The Marker closes her eyes and adds a signature.
Her eyes snap wide open. They had actually shot her. Grunting, she puts away the paint, admires her work for a moment, and falls away from the word ‘Freedom’ painted over the King’s face in teal and purple.
It isn’t a long fall. Just a short drop to the roof she had just been on below. But when security gets there moments later, all they find is a bulletproof vest with some brass in it. As they shake their heads and curse their luck, The Marker watches from the rooftops nearby, smiling through her eyes as she watches the enemy search for her. Her good deed done for the day, she stands and begins to walk to the rooftop entrance, turning her hoodie inside out so it is brown instead of black and purple and teal. Once she finds a bathroom, she will swap out her striped tights for a pair of jeans—much more expected of a law-abiding citizen under the rule of the King, although no one could stop her from wearing them. The stories of her exploits as The Marker were being told throughout the nation every day, and she isn’t the only one who would have been wearing them on the street. But imagine what her kids would say…