The thief looked through the car window at her city. Outside, neon holograms bathed metal and concrete in liquid light.
Ebbing and flowing, these forms gave the surrounding buildings an almost transient quality.
In the rear of the police cruiser, steel bars cut the manmade auroras into ribbons, painting the thief's tired face in electrifying color.
She'd never seen her city from this perspective. The streets that she knew so well were distant now.
From this high in the sky, the thief could just make out downtown. The skyscrapers were like monoliths in the darkness. She was headed there now, her fate a mystery.
The thief shook her head. This life was going to catch up with her eventually. She knew that. But it still didn't feel real.
As a child, the thief dreamt of riding in a flying car, of escaping her neighborhood and the great city. She would lounge in the sky, free of worldly responsibilities.
In these dreams, something was waiting for her above the clouds, but she always woke up before she found it.
In some twisted way, it seemed like her dreams were coming true.
The thief wasn't proud of where she was raised, of the streets that had molded and tempered her into the fierce woman she was now.
But despite all that, and even though she was just a few hours removed, she missed it.
She missed the danger, the excitement of a job pulled off successfully, and the relief after emerging unscathed when things went south.
Of course, it wasn't just her. Her crew was always there with her. They celebrated the victories and weathered the storms, together.
Would she see any of her companions again, she wondered? Maybe they were on their way downtown, just like her.
The thief hoped that she'd be afforded a chance to say farewell before this chapter of her life was closed and shut.
It all came back to the job. Who was to blame? The corporate representative? Her employer? What about the courier? He was just a boy, no more than 12, but it was still a possibility.
The thief supposed it didn't matter now. She was in for a turbulent journey no matter what.
Besides, she knew the truth would come out eventually, and when that moment came, she would do her damnedest to enact retribution.
That was the way of the streets. An eye for an eye, and when it came to it, a life for a life.
But first, she had to get out, and the thief wasn't sure that would ever happen. It's not like she could give back what was taken. It was far too valuable and far too temporary.
No, she would have to face this head-on. She was strong enough; the streets had taught her as much.
Downtown was close now. People of the thief's station rarely got to this part of the city. The buildings were grander and more imposing than she could have ever imagined.
The police cruiser weaved between these alloy obelisks; a smooth rocking motion that reminded the thief how tired she was. But she knew it would be long before she could sleep.
First, she had to answer for what she'd done. Beg for forgiveness from those unwilling to grant it.
But did the thief want to be forgiven? Would it make a difference? She didn't think so.
There was only one path to redemption. The thief would have to find a way to forgive herself for her transgression. That was the way forward. That was how she'd learn to live after taking a life.