Day 188

Continuation of Day 185.


I hit a bar first, dancing through the beating mass of bodies, the thundering music beating in time with my heart. Jinx is in the back, roped off in VIP like he’s not afraid to be found. Bold move for a man with a standing 35k bounty at every station in town. Then again, taking on Jinx would be suicide. He’s got friends in low places.

I motion to Katja, sending a drink past the fading red rope with a note for him. Just a name. He read it and takes a sip, slowly swirling the ice. After a moment he nods, downing the rest of the vodka and handing the slip of paper to one of his cronies. He gives me a nod, smiling, and ten minutes later I have a location. It’s easy to find people in hiding. Selling out your neighbors is a profitable business.

The address is only a few blocks away, not all that surprising. Everyone thinks if they want to disappear they need to come to the slums, get away from their rich neighbors. There’s no loyalty in the slums, no community. You pay for protection or you get yourself a new face. No middle ground.

I scope the address for an hour, perched on a rooftop scanning the scene. There’s a heat signature inside, occasionally moving. Sleeping, from the looks of it. Could be a decoy, but I doubt this guy is that smart. I slide down from the roof, waltzing through the alley like I own the place. That’s the easiest way to get anywhere without being stopped. No one messes with confidence.

His door has a simple lock, nothing twenty seconds of probing won’t release. I step inside, shutting the door quietly behind me as I stare down the barrel of an old blaster.

“Easy there, Roy. I’m not here for trouble.”

“Like I’m supposed to believe that!”

He’s sweating too much for the tepid air, drops gathering on his forehead as he looks me over. Take a good look, Roy. I’ve got all the time in the world.

I leave my hands raised slightly, a sign of peace, waiting for my moment. It comes from the sweat, from that nervous habit even enhancements can’t quite erase, a quick wipe of the brow all it takes. In the end, it was fear that made him sweat, and fear that killed him.

Rex is sleeping when I get back, sprawled out across the bed, his face oddly peaceful. I take it in for a moment, the careless look of his face when the weight of reality is suspended. It’s a good look for him.

I smoke on the porch, drinking dark coffee and waiting. My console pings around 4am. Looks like he came through with the money. I wire Jinx his cut, flicking what’s left of my cigarette off the porch and heading inside. Rex shifts as I lay down, rolling onto his side. I wrap my arm around him and close my eyes, waiting for sleep to take me down from this high, to lift me away from this world if only for a moment.


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