Chapter 1: Rose Coloured

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 319
Comments: 1

Chapter one

 

The lights flew along the window as my cab passed through lower Kings Way. Always a popular area, consisting almost completely of night clubs and designated drug dens; the Minister calls them drug protective facilities, facilities! It still cracks me up.

“We’re here!” the cabbie yelled from behind the smooth black wall that protected him from any low life that wasn’t wrapped so tight, it was fair I suppose; cab robberies are pretty common these days.

“Thanks, how much?”

“48.30” the cabbie answered as one small portion of the black screen slid to the side.

“Do you take credits?” I asked and my response was a small chuckle that dripped through the opening in the screen.

“No credits, cash only,” I handed him the cash through the opening and left the cab. It was strangely cold for this part of town and I could already feel the vibrations through my chest as the gigantic club lay before me; Mania. I approached the back of the queue and observed the crowd. It was pretty standard really, I was the oldest in line by at least 10 years. Human beings of different shapes and sizes had crammed themselves into the purple and silver jumpsuits that signified which club took your fancy. I raised a cigarette to my lips and took in the environment surrounding me. The air seemed to hum and its colour alternated between a red and blue glow depending on which light was blinking from the seemingly endless stretch of clubs and dens that lined Kings Way.

 “Hey, is that one of the new X burners?” I turned to a young blonde ahead of me in line.

 I answered her with a large plume of smoke, I was taken aback by her appearance. Despite being donned in the silver and purple; she was extremely attractive. Good bone structure and bumps in all the right places, save the red tint in her eyes that made it apparent she was a long-time patron of the dens.

“Oh it’s a smoke, forget it,” she turned away from me quickly and our short correspondence appeared to be over. I took another drag of my cigarette and watched the letters in the Mania sign blink sporadically. After twenty minutes I eventually made it to the end of the line, receiving a strange look because I wasn’t wearing the club uniform of purple and silver. The rather typical bouncer tried to sum me.

“Judging by your clothes, I’d say Kings Way isn’t really your thing?” he was right, it wasn’t but I couldn’t raise suspicion.

“I’m meeting friends, I usually session at Foundation”

“Foundation?” he straightened his shoulders, preparing for that chance to smack me one.

“Yeah, you know the one on the corner of Kings and Term Way”

“Ah right, right,” the bouncer sighed as the cogs clicked over in his head, “well I guess I you’re alright, don’t cause trouble. I’ll be watching.” Foundation was a clean club, well usually anyway; with any luck the scanners would focus more necessary patrons now; otherwise this would get a lot worse before it got better.

I crept through the dance floor, a sea of people bending and swaying in synchronisation to the heavy bass that echoed throughout the complex. Meyer had told me the guy would be on the 3rd level, so that’s where I headed. The man I was searching for went by the name Abe. Cheap augments were pretty common this side of the city, they were primitive though, bulky and obscene. There were far more sophisticated ones hitting the market now; so long as you knew how to get them. Abe was apparently; a man who knew how to get them.

I climbed the narrow staircase, and took care not to bump into any of the wavering patrons who clung to the railings as they talked all sorts of substance fuelled nonsense, locking eyes with only a few of the prettier ones. Level three was far more subdued than the rest of the club, there was a large array of long stretching crimson sofas filled with semi-conscious humans as well as a modest bar populated with a string of lovely women surrounding a tall and handsome, though slightly dishevelled man. He pulled softly at his moustache with a grin of self-assurance and arrogance spread across it. The crowd around him fell into a hustle of laughter all at once and It became clear that he was putting on a show of sorts. I began to make out the commotion as I drew closer, catching first the shrill voice of a short blonde, hard body.

“Come on baby, do it again!” She called longingly, letting herself hang from the bar slightly as she swung playfully from the railing. “Again!”

The handsome man pulled at his moustached again and the grin crept in, “alright, once more. Any volunteers?” he announced, swinging his arms outstretched like a showman in a 20th century magic show.

“Oh my! Pick me Abe!” my ears pricked suddenly as the unknown voice rang out, my instincts had served me well.

‘Alright, alright….What’s your name, my dear?’ he reached outwards a young redhead, she was short and excitable, even cute if she wasn’t covered in metallic installation holes.

“It’s Izzy, Izzy Maebell” she lowered herself into a low curtsey, pulling at where the frills of her skirt would be if she wasn’t wearing the purple jumpsuit. “And...” she let the syllables roll out slowly, ‘If you guess right again....’ she attempted to lick at her lips seductively before falling into another fit of inebriated laughter. Abe motioned for calm with his palms faced up towards the ceiling.

“Needn’t say more, my dear’ he paused for suspense, and looked the young redhead up and down, ‘you are wearing, oh my, nothing at all!’ the crowd erupted into laughter. Izzy Maebell took a step backward and her face grew as red as the hair upon her head.

‘I thought I could trick you with that one, I took them off in the bathroom’ the comment only encouraged the slick talker.

‘You can’t get one past me, my dear!’ for I am the great, Abe Kohli!’ I decided to break the silence.

‘Either that or you have a highly illegal optical enhancer that you’re completely putting to waste.’ The crowd fell silent, only the faint humming of the music from the lower levels still filled the room. Abe Kohli’s eyes bore down upon me, his face fixed in a state of hot panic and rage before snapping back to the cavalier grin of the showman.

‘A daring imagination my friend, but I assure you I possess nothing of the kind! I merely possess telepathic abilities! A myth from the southern regions you believe no doubt, but I sir am no myth! Besides where would I possibly have obtained an “optical lense” as you claim” he fell back into his seat with a sarcastic giggle and began to turn his back me, “Now Izzy Maebell, my dear! Get over here, we need to discuss that “if you guess right again” comment don’t we!”

I let a small smirk creep across my face, flattened out my coat and planted myself on the seat next to him. “Say Abe, sorry to interrupt again but that sure is a lovely coat you’ve got yourself there, looks a hell of a lot better than mine that’s for sure” Abe coughed into his glass of scotch,

‘Yeah I don’t doubt that either’ he didn’t even swivel on his seat, just continued consuming his beverage and flirting with Izzy Maebell. Izzy was doing all the right things too, swatting her hair back and forth softly, smiling and laughing a lot. It was a shame, really.  But I needed information, and I needed it from Abe.

“Hey Abe, say that really is such a nice coat, where did you get it anyway?” the question lead him, and he began to swing his chair towards me with his mouth already open ready to deliver his witty response. Sadly he never got the chance as my hand simultaneously came down across his back and made his face parallel with the bar, staring eye to eye with the large metal cylinder in my left hand.

His mouth flapped open and shut like a fish before squeezing out ‘What, what is that?’ I swallowed slowly,

‘Oh Abe, considering you know how to get an optical lens graphed into your skull without it showing, I’m damn sure you know a direct focus magnet when you see it” I let the statement sink in, “Would I be correct in that assumption, Abe?’ He nodded his head slowly.

‘Fantastic! Well then I don’t need to tell you, that at this range, this device will pull that optical lens straight out through your eye. Hey I wonder if Izzy would still be interested?’ I looked over across the back of Abe’s red coat and thrusted my chin upward towards the poor redheaded girl, ‘What do you think Izzy? Still a handsome devil with only one eye? No?’

The poor girl probably didn’t need that I’ll admit, she began to shake violently before relieving her night’s drinks over the bar in a violent mix of orange and blue. She rose her head slowly with small dregs of orange liquid still flowing down her face, I chuckled ‘Well, at least it matches your hair right?’ I really was a bastard sometimes. Izzy was too embarrassed to notice though and made her quick exit to the bathroom. Red hair bobbing ferociously.

“Well, Abe. Now that your lady has left you for the evening, what say we take this conversation outside and somewhere quieter? Sound like a plan?” He nodded his head softly again

“Yeah sure, whatever you say my friend! Just please let me off the bar now!” I released him and he sat up again, slowly rubbing his neck; still creased with red lines from the edge of the bar.

I fell back in my chair and stiffened my back,

“Right then Abe, let’s get out of here.”

 

I kicked him in the arse and he fell into the alleyway. It stank of garbage and sex.

‘Fuck man, fuck!’ he spat. ‘What’s your problem? I’m a no body, man!’ I grabbed his collar and held him up high.

‘No one with your gear is a no body’ I said as he squirmed in my grip. ‘What were you doing at the club?’

‘Just put me down and I’ll tell you, man! Just put me down, for fuck sakes man!’ I dropped him. He fell hard.

‘Oh come on’ I said, lighting a cigarette. ‘It could be much worse Abe. You want a smoke?’ He nodded slowly so I threw the stick at this feet.

‘Now Abe’ I lit his cigarette. ‘Who were you meeting at the club?’ He took a few puffs from his smoke. Weak grey streams rising up.

‘Her names Avery. She meets me at the club sometimes to give her updates on the how the gear is moving.’

‘You do that often?’

‘Do what?’ I gave him another smack behind the ear. ‘Ah fuck! Yeah alright, alright. Often enough I guess. Maybe twice a month’

‘Right’ I said. ‘What time?’

‘Should be in about twenty minutes, man. I always come early to talk to the girls’ He gave a bloody grin.

‘Well thanks Abe…Guess I’ll be taking your place tonight’ I said as I turned away. ‘Oh and by the way Abe. I figure I’ll need that eye piece after all’. I turned the magnet on…

 


Submitted: August 29, 2015

© Copyright 2022 Keith Loveday. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Glenn Paul

Definitely a dystopia, at least in this part of town. The main character is interesting. I want to know what he is after. He obviously does not shirk from violence. I wonder if he hates augmentations as his motivation or is he a detective for hire.

Sat, August 29th, 2015 3:33pm

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Thanks heaps for the read. I'll publish more chapters as I write them so stay tuned.

Sat, August 29th, 2015 8:53pm

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