"Mirror's Edge: Exordium" is a comic series written by Christofer Emgard and released by Dark Horse Comics. The series has a limited run of 6 issues, and serves as a prequel to Mirror's Edge Catalyst.
The series follows Faith, directly before the events of Catalyst. As a young and confident runner eager to make a name for herself, Faith's actions land her in the path of Dogen, a local crime boss who happens to possess a rare piece of Faith's past. While giving her the action she's been craving, this association causes tension between herself and her mentor Noah as well as ultimately forcing her to make a decision between her objectives and her entire way of life.
According to writer Christofer Emgard, "Exordium" is the first half of Faith's coming of age story. A number of events set in motion will find resolutions in Catalyst, and a handful of characters will make re-appearances.
The story opens with Faith sat atop a rooftop, observing the ordinary lives of the employees below and contemplating her own situation. She proceeds to attract the attention of a group of guards and leads them on a chase, allowing for another two runners to sneak into a building they were guarding.
Faith accidentally leads the guards to a rooftop meeting between gangs, causing a fight which Faith takes advantage of to escape-though she is later found and apprehended by two of the gangsters present at the meet. They take her to the office of their boss, Dogen, though instead of punishing her for her actions he takes a liking to the runner.
In the office, Faith is shocked to find one of the pieces of art decorating the walls is familiar-it was created by her deceased mother, once a brilliant scientist and a core figure in the freedom movement. After Dogen tells her the piece would cost her more than she could hope to pay, she elects to take it from the wall and run-interrupting the crime boss as he offers her a job. She stumbles on the way out, dropping the picture but making it out of the building.
Later, Faith is sneaking into an abandoned building- the home she shares with her mentor, Noah. He is waiting for her inside and berates her for her behaviour. He is angry that she helped out with a datagrab job without his permission-he considers her too hot headed and reckless, not yet ready for the more high risk running jobs. The argument escalates when Faith reveals she was caught-Noah is fearful about what harm Dogen could have done to her, calling him scum and warning Faith against further association with him.
Faith and the other runners of Noah's cabal are gathered on a rooftop. They are surprised that Faith escaped Dogen with not only her life but a job offer as well. The two runners who infiltrated the building state that the mission was a success, but that Noah has ordered them not to include Faith in any more jobs for the time being-much to her chagrin. The meeting is interrupted by a rival runner gang, led by Celeste, a woman confident in her abilities who doesn't hesitate to establish her superiority. Faith holds multiple records for dashes in the area, a fact which piques Celeste's interest as she challenges her to a race.
The race is close, with both runners clearly matched in abilities-though Celeste appears to use a system called the "beatLink" to give herself a tactical advantage. The race is close, and ultimately Celeste is the victor-though only by a few centimetres. She is clearly impressed by Faith's abilities, and asks her why she isn't "beatlinked"; Faith replies that she "doesn't need [to be]".
Later that night, Dogen is waiting in his office. Faith appears behind him and he welcomes her back.
Issue 2 opens with a gay couple enjoying dinner. Faith interrupts them, crashing through their table while be pursued by Krugersec guards. Faith continues to run, until she meets the edge the building she's on, peering down on the streets below. We then jump to an image of Dogen, arms folded, listening to Faith as she explains her escape. Cutting back to Faith on the rooftop, Faith jumps and grabs onto a drone, escaping the Krugersec guards.
After escaping the guards, Faith heads to her intended destination, a rendezvous point to meet with mysterious hooded woman. Faith and the woman exchange packages, and we cut back to Dogen's apartment. Faith inquires about the contents of the package, however Dogen assures her it's none of her concern, and that in their business, inquisitiveness is frowned upon. He goes on to explain that if Faith completes all her assignments, she will earn her mothers drawing from him. Faith then leaves the apartment.
Later on, Faith is scene playing a video game with Noah. After Faith beats him, Noah mentions a low risk job that would be easy scrip. Faith refuses, sarcastically saying it might be too advanced for her, since she's 'not a real runner'. Faith heads to her room, leaving Noah looking frustrated.
In her room, Faith browses her tablet. A message appears from Dogen, in which he reiterates what an excellent job she did earlier that day, and that does her esteemed mother credit. In the background of the tablet, a news report plays, with the news reporter explaining that 5 bodies have been found with their throats slit, and that the murders follow the patter of The Singer, who's picture is shown and is revealed to be the woman Faith met with earlier in the day. Faith is visibly shocked by this, and lays back into her bed, staring emptily at the ceiling.
We later see Faith sitting on top of a billboard with one of her fellow runners. She tells him of Dogen and her mothers drawing, and he tells her that Dogen "isn't one of the good guys". Faith then gets another message from Dogen, and heads back inside.
As Faith packs a bag, Noah asks her where she's heading. Faith, reluctant to tell Noah about Dogen, tells him that he's not her Dad and she doesn't owe him an explanation. With that, Faith leaves and heads out.
We see Faith running across the city rooftops, overlaid with text messages from Dogen, explain how he wants her to steal a prototype vaccine from Raposa Medical. Faith infiltrates the building and reaches the vaccine room, only to find the vaccine missing. An alarm sounds, and an employee is seen rushing towards Faith.
Continuing from the last issue, we see Krugersec guards scrambling. Alarms continue to sound as Faith makes her escape from the building, she throws a medical cart in front of her to jam a door, jumping over it just in time before the doors slam shut. A guards swarm around the door, Faith lights a piece of fabric on fire, filling the room with smoke. As soon as the guards open the door, Faith rushes out, plowing through them, and makes her way out of building, exiting onto a rooftop.
As she exits the building she's met by gunfire. Dodging the bullets, she disarms the two guards, knocking one of them out. The other one still standing, she prepares for a fight. Dodging a baton strike she counters with a punch to the back of the head. This causes the guard to stumble, falling off of the rooftop. He manages to grab onto a ledge, and Faith rushes to save him from falling. She is too late, however, and Faith screams "No!" as guard falls to his death.
Faith is later seen at Dogen's apartment, explaining to him how she failed to retrieve the vaccine. Dogen, disappointed, tells her that they are not suited for each other, and that she will not continue to work for him. Frustrated, Faith heads back home.
Back home, Celeste and the other runners are hanging out on a rooftop, and it's raining. Celeste challenges Faith to another race, along with Caleb, a runner from Noah's cabal. They race, until Caleb slips and falls. Celeste heads back to save him from falling off the roof, while Faith continues to run, ignoring Caleb. Faith wins, and looks back to see Celeste helping a limping Caleb.
Back inside, Noah yells at Faith, telling her that in his cabal, they look after one another, and that he raised her better than to not help Caleb. He tells her maybe she doesn't belong, and Faith agrees, storming off.
Faith is later seen running across the rooftops of the city again, while she messages Dogen, telling him that she will get him the vaccine. Dogen, while not one to give second chances, agrees, telling her that if she fails him again, there will be consequences.
Faith then visits a friend, an older black man with beard, and a white dove resting on his arm. She tells him about the vaccine and the guard that died, until Celeste interrupts them. Shocked to see her there, and that she knows the man, they exchange insults until the man tells them to shut up and shake hands. He introduces them to each other, and sets them off to retrieve and egg for him from a nearby spire. As they reach the spire, they realize they'll need to work together to reach the top, and that this was the mans intent all along. At the top, they find not an egg, but a breathtaking view of the city skyline. They head back to the man, who looking content, tells them to be off, as it's time for his nap.
Faith tells Celeste she's known him since she was 9 years old, and Celeste says that some say he was the first Runner. Their conversation gets interrupted as a security drone spots them. They smash it as a larger drone fly's behind them, telling them to stop and submit. They sprint away as the drone chases them.
The comic opens with a man and a woman inside a board room. The woman questions the man on why he's given himself an 'above target rating'. The man explains that he's put in a lot of effort and extra weekend throughout the year but the woman interrupts, telling him that the company expects nothing less, and that his execs think he should be more confident and assertive in his role. She finishes by telling him he's been given a below target rating, and that "We expect the best at Silvine, hard work is rewarded". During this exchange, we see Faith and Celeste run past the window, running from flying security drones.
Faith and Celeste continue to flee from the drones, eventually reaching an area that appears to be under construction. Faith is hesitant to head in, saying they can't go in there. Celeste tells her not to worry, that it's her turf. They head through, losing the drones. Faith says they shouldn't be there, alluding that it is Black November territory. Celeste assures her that they're not a problem, because they have an understanding.
The drones sight Faith and Celeste again, and they sprint towards what appears to be massive storm drain. The drones explode, and Celeste replies to Faith astonishment by simply saying "Black November". Celeste leads Faith back to her place, underground. There appears to be a lot of homeless people in this place, as they head into a subway tunnel. Celeste tells Faith she's been there for almost five years, and that Black November provides protection for her and her group and in return they do occasional run for them. Celeste tells Faith of her plans to leave Glass and head to Aurora.
They finally reach their destination, a door tucked away inside the tunnel. Inside are Celeste's friends Firebird, Kaspar and Tomas. Behind a curtain lies a bed ridden woman named Avani, who Celeste explains is her sister, and that she has melanoma cancer. Celeste says she managed to reverse the metastases, however a vaccine is needed to cure the cancer. She goes on to explain that Black November told her about a vaccine being developed by Raposa that could cure the cancer, and that if she stole it from Raposa, they would synthesize the vaccine and give enough back to her to cure her sisters cancer. Faith asks her if she stole the vaccine already, and Celeste tells her she has, the night before. Faith asks if there's another cure, to which Celeste replies there are treatments, but nothing like the vaccine.
Celeste then asks if Faith has any family, and Faith explains that she has a kid sister, but she died along with her parents during the November riots, and that she was raised by Noah.
Faith then leaves, and heads to Dogen's place. Faith tells him that another runner has the vaccine he sent Faith to get, and that the runners sister is sick and needs the vaccine. Dogen appears unimpressed that she didn't take it back to him. Faith tells him that she can't steal the vaccine, because it's against the runners code to steal from another runner, and stealing it would mean she wouldn't be able to run for any of the runner cabals ever again. Dogen tells her to disregard the code and to follow her own. He tells her she doesn't need the runners and that he'll always have work for her, and reminds her of her mother drawing. He then ends the conversation by saying "two days", and walks off.
Faith is later seen sitting on the edge of a billboard alone with her thoughts, until one of her runner friends shows up. He takes her to a night club, where he plans to use a device called a skimmer to steal scrip from the patrons. As he danced through the crowd, Faith strikes up a conversation with a woman named Beatrix Bloch, who belongs to the Bloch family, a rich family in Glass. They chat about their contrasting lives until Faith's friend get's into a fight. Discovered for stealing scrip, Faith demands that the man holding him let him go. Faith knocks him out, and along with her friend make an escape from the night club.
Later on top of a roof, Faith tells him about the choice she has to make, either break the runner code, or never get her mother drawing back, and that she has to make her decision by that night.
The issue opens with Faith returning home, to find Noah waiting for her. Holding her tablet, he tells her there was a message from Dogen, and that if she's working for Dogen then he doesn't want her living there anymore.
As Faith packs up her things, a message from Dogen is shown, saying that he has a code too, and that if she didn't bring him the vaccine then he would have her mothers drawing burned and her ankles broken.
Faith dashes across the rooftops, advertisements blaring in the background. She reflects on how Noah is her father in all ways but blood, and that she's hurt he would kick her out, but that it was better for everyone this way.
Faith eventually comes across a man being harassed by Krurgersec guards on a roof. She intervenes, knocking out some of the guards, and the man runs off. After being overwhelmed by the remaining guards, Faith dashes off, escaping the guards and blending into the crowd in the streets below.
Now in a clothing store, Faith picks through a rack of clothes. A sales associate approaches her, telling her "Pirandello believes all Cascadians have the right to dress well. Even those of... lesser means". Faith rudely tells him to go away. Faith then asks herself if that could have been her; if it hadn't been for Noah would she be just another employ. If her Mom and Dad and her sister Cat had been alive, who would she be then? Faith continues to shoplift articles of clothing into her bag until a Krugersec guard catches her, and another chase ensues.
Back at her friends place, Faith is huddled up in the corner, wearing the clothes she stole, a hoodie, white pants and boots. Her friend arrives, and doesn't see her until she speaks, asking him if he'd still be her friend if she broke the runner code. Assuring her he would, she tells him she left her things there, and heads out.
Faith is seen heading across the city again, trying to reconcile what she was about to do. She tells herself how important her mothers drawing is to her, and that she's sure Celeste will find another way to cure her sister. Jumping on top of a train, she rides it across the city, until arriving at Rezoning, the area where Celeste lives. Telling herself she's made her decision, she feels relief.
With her hood up and hidden in the shadows, she waits for Celeste to leave her home, following her to the outskirts of the city, a dirty shantytown that contrasts greatly with the City of Glass. Celeste meets two members of Black November, Celeste begins to hand over the vaccine, but before they can take it, Faith, who's identity is unknown to Celeste, jumps down and steals the vaccine, dashing off with it, with Celeste in pursuit.
The issue opens with a group of homeless men gathered around a campfire outside of an abandonded, crumbling building, while one of them reminisces about his previous job at Krugersec. As he leaves the group to go urinate on a wall inside the building, Faith runs by, with Celeste on her tail.
As Faith reaches a dead end, she climbs up the narrow passage way by bracing herself on each side of either wall. Celeste looks up and, shocked, realizes the identity of thief is Faith. She continues to chase after her on the rooftops of the run down buildings in the district.
Reaching another dead end, Faith realizes her only option is to fight, and turns around to face Celeste. As they fight, Celeste yells at Faith, telling her that runners don't steal from Runners. Faith replies, saying that she's not a Runner anymore. Celeste delivers a hard strike to Faith's abdomen, knocking her off her feet and sending her crashing down through the floor onto the next level of the building.
Faith uses the opportunity to escape, running down the hallway and crashing through a window, jumping into the window of a building across the street. Celeste pursues her until this point, stopping after reaching the window. Celeste looks out, and sees Krugersec guards on the ground swarming into the interior of the building Faith just jumped into. Taking a running leap, Celeste jumps across to it, but not without the Krugersec guards spotting her.
Faith hides in a kitchen in one of the apartments, with a frightened family huddled in a corner. Faith shushes them as Krugersec guards search the building. Celeste is seen walking through the upper levels, until two guards spot her. Back in the kitchen, Faith hears the guards report that Celeste has been found, and that all teams are converging on her location. Becoming overridden with guilt, Faith decides to go and save Celeste, assuring the family that she'll lead the guards away from the apartment.
Celeste is seen being detained by three guards, but not without a fight, as there is three more guards on the ground unconscious. Faith bursts in through a doorway, kicking one of the guards in the head. She incapacitates the remaining guards, and frees Celeste. Returning the stolen vaccine, she tells Celeste to run, saying she'll hold off the remaining guards. Celeste runs off, and more Krugersec guards burst into the room. Fighting off as many as she can, Faith is eventually subdued and detained.
We now see Dogen in his headquaters, as a door slams open in the background. Noah pushes through his bodyguards and demand that he 'fix this', and that he doesn't want Noah as an enemy. Dogen explains that he already has fixed it, saying that Faith will spend a year in juvie, and that was the best that he could do. and that they were originally going to send her to the Greylands. Noah begins to storm off, before seeing Faith's mothers drawing. Realizing this is why Faith was working for Dogen, he inquires about it, with Dogen replying he might burn it, or he might keep it. Noah offers to buy it from him, but Dogen replies, grinning, "No". Noah continues to storm off again, while Dogen tells him he should be proud, because in the end Faith chose him over Dogen.
A bus of inmates in orange jumpsuits unloads at a detention center, with Faith among them. She looks solemnly back at the city skyline, bandages on her face, before hanging her head down, walking in line with the other inmates as they make their way toward the facility.