Continuation of Day 189.
Rex meets me in the new room, rolling a cart with three bags on it. I grab my gear, my arms shifting and flexing as my enhancements go to work. Nothing like super strength to make lugging gear easy.
I watch as Rex sets up his rig, scrolling through my contacts and sending meeting requests with my all favorite scumbags.
“Okay, all good.”
“Of course,” he replies, smirking as he plugs the last jack in.
“Keep in contact. Stay safe in there, Rex.”
He nods and I flip the switch. I watch as he twitches in the chair, his voice echoing a moment later in my skull through the comm implant. It’s like he speaking into my bones, a rattling echo that unnerves me every damn time.
“File is legit. Still working on the goons.”
“Roger. I’ll start tracing. Ring if you find anything.”
He gives me a mental thumbs up and I shake my head, spine tingling at the sensation. I strap on my gear, the skintight armor adding bulk beneath my clothing. I throw a few knives in my boots and pull on the heavy synthleather coat. It’s a warm day, but I need the storage.
My first meeting is in the back room of a pachinko parlor. I weave carefully through the gambling masses, the neon noise of the machines near deafening. A guard motions me through the back door, smirking as I pull the coat off. He pats me down, none too gentle, missing the knives in my boots. Amateur.
Bolt is smoking a cigar when I get waved through the door. I raise an eyebrow and sit across from him, carefully sizing up the muscle casually leaning against the wall beside him.
“Mind if I bum one?”
He exhales smoke slowly, turning to look at me like he doesn’t have a care in the world. Risky play for someone with a shit doorguard.
“Of course, Davis. We’re all friends here.”
“Are we? This doesn’t feel friendly. This feels like a setup.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Taking a girl’s weapons… so untrusting.”
He chuckles. “These are dangerous times, ma cherie. Can’t be too careful.”
“Cut the bullshit, Bolt. What do you know?”
“That depends. What are you paying?”
I roll my eyes and dip, rolling out of the chair and burying a knife the muscle’s arm. He screams as I break the lock off the door, keeping whatever guards he might have waiting at bay.
“What the shit, Davis?!”
“You need a better guard, ‘ma cherie.’ Didn’t even check my boots. Not that it would have changed this outcome, but it definitely made this easier.”
I flex my hand, letting him see the barest tip of claw, giving him a crooked half-smile. He pales, raising his hands.
“What do you want?”
“You know what I want. Who bought the sixer’s drive?”
“Jesus. You killed Roy?”
I shrug. “Is that a problem?”
“Look, Dyl. You don’t know what you’re stepping into here. This is corps after corps. This is dozens of background schemes. This is thousands of pawns on a chessboard way above our pay grade.”
I’m quiet for a moment, clicking pieces into place. The timeline, the urgency, the tails… Something has been off.
“So talk,” I say, sitting and lighting up a cigarette, throwing the carton on the table. “Tell me what I don’t know, what this fucking game we’re in is all about.”
He sighs, taking a cigarette. “I don’t know, Dyl. If I knew, I’d probably be a name on your list. All I can give you is someone else’s name.”
I raise an eyebrow and exhale. “Whose name?”
“Roy’s real name. That’s all I’ve got.”
The fear is cold claw in my gut. Good enough identity to fool Rex’s check means this comes from money and in this world, money means chaos. Money means traps and certain death. I need to warn Rex.
“His real name is- was Travis Delton.”
“You’re shitting me.”
“Wish I was, Dyl.”
The fear adds another three claws to its attack. I stand, snubbing out my cigarette on the cheap plastic table. His guard is still whimpering, pinned to the wall by my knife. I pull it out, fast and brutal.
“You’re going to want a patch on that before you bleed out. Thanks for the info, Bolt. You’re a good friend.”
He exhales a half-hearted laugh. “Yeah, you too. Thanks for not killing me.”
I yank the door off its hinges, raising an eyebrow at the small contingent of guards waiting with weapons drawn.
“Let her go.”
“Did I stutter?”
They glare at me and I wink. “Oh, Bolt, one more thing.”
“Get some better guards.”