Day 189

Continuation of Day 188.


I trail my hand down Rex’s chest, sunlight playing across that pale expanse.

“Do you ever think about getting out?”

I twist my neck to look up at his face. He’s staring at the ceiling, pointedly avoiding eye contact.

“Sometimes,” I sigh, pulling him closer. “What’s on your mind?”

He’s quiet, the kind of quiet that leaves you silent, holding your breath in anticipation.

“You could have died last night.”

I roll onto my back and look up at the ceiling. “You reviewed the footage already.”

His pillow crunches as he nods and twists, looking at me. “That was close, Dylan.”

“Not as close as it looked. His blaster was an old kirisawa, two out of three times they misfire and blow up. He probably didn’t know any better when he bought it.”

“I still don’t like those odds.”

“He was never going to fire, Rex. It was a negotiation tool, nothing more.”


He rolls out of bed, walking to the small bathroom and turning on the water. I sigh, chewing my lip for a moment before swinging out of bed to join him. I trace my fingers across the ports on his arms, feeling the ridges where tech meets bio. It’s a miracle we aren’t all dead, let alone all this.

He lets me hold him for a few minutes, neither of us daring to speak, afraid the moment might end. The buzz of my handcomp ruins it, tearing us away from human connection back into this underbelly of a world.

I give him a light squeeze before stepping out, wrapping a towel around myself before answering the call.


“You do good work. I wasn’t sure you could work so quickly.”

I wait, letting him sweat, not acknowledging the backhanded compliment. Words are a dangerous game, Mr. Black.

“I’ve got another job for you. Information gathering.”


“For someone of your particular skill set, it shouldn’t take more than a few days.”

“How many targets?”

“That’s unknown. Roy- you remember Roy- he had some very sensitive information. It would seem he sold it quicker than I anticipated. I want you to secure the drive and wipe a few memories.”

I mull it over. Information is a tougher gig than assassination. Messier.

“It’ll cost you.”

“I have no doubt. Name your price.”


“That seems a little steep.”

I shrug, forgetting he can’t see. “More bodies, more cash.”

“I do mean wipe, not kill.”

“Sometimes things get messy. Never know how many cats I’ll have to go through to find the drive.”

“Fine. Anything else?”

“Half now, half at the end.”

“Sometimes I doubt you have any humanity left.”

“Thanks. I spend a lot of time cultivating that image. Good to see it’s working.”

“Sarcasm is a dangerous game, Davis. You’ll get your money with the file.”

I disconnect, letting him sweat out the details. Rex comes in, towel around his waist and hair dripping. For a moment, I can see it, us in a flat, living a normal life without netrunning and murder. It’s a fleeting vision. I file it away for later.

“Mr. Black has another job for me.”


“Drive recovery.”

He exhales slowly. “Messy?”

“Don’t know yet. He’ll be sending the file soon enough. I’m going to get us a new room.”

He nods, pulling on jeans and starting to pack up his deck. I pull on street attire, tucking my hair into a wig before I head down to the desk. Last thing I need is to get recognized. Black has probably found this room by now. Can never be too safe.

The young blonde at the desk is all smiles and friendly assistance. I slip her some credits to forget my face, taking the side door out. The alley is decrepit, littered with trash with enough of a chill that I pull the collar of my coat tight.

I take a long way around, buying a coffee at the shop down the street. I watch for an hour, waiting for the files from the mysterious Mr. Black. There are two cars idling, both suspicious. My handcomp pings. I don’t look at it, waiting and watching the cars. The occupants of one get a message a moment later, stepping out of their car.

My left eye zooms in, snapping a couple pictures of their faces for Rex. Let’s find out who Mr. Black has looking for me.


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