Edit: Bolded and underlined chapter heading. Italicized the stuff you had italicized. Nit picker.Alright, going to be posting this in several segments as I write them. Bit of an explination for this first bit. The "Black Market" BBS always bugged me. It comes with the Faceman advantage and to me that always just meant you knew the right people. Enter Isaac as a plot device. Enjoy the story version of events.
Bit by bit reality crept back into her mind as her eyes flickered open; a little over three cubic meters of smoked plastic with a cheap plastifoam mattress. Some reality. Drea yawned sleepily and rubbed her eyes with the backs of her hands, stopping abruptly with a yelp as a trickle of blood ran down on her forehead. With a flick of her wrist Drea retracted her monocryss Katar.
â€œFucking subdermal relayâ€¦ second time this week,â€ she muttered quietly to no one in particular.
Drea yawned sleepily as she pushed the door of her cube open and crawled out into the cube-room, arching her back like a cat as she came to her feet. Security has its price, she mused to herself, and it ainâ€™t paid in credits.
She made her way slowly out of the club and out onto the streets. The hot, humid air thick with smog hit her like slap in the face, filling her lungs and threatening to choke her. It wasnâ€™t the kind of thing you got used to even after a lifetime lived in the city.
Hands in the pockets of her well-worn duster she made her way down the sidewalk doing her best not to make eye contact with anyone as she went. She hadnâ€™t had a chance to update her clone the night before and it wouldnâ€™t pay to get into any trouble now. Lost in thought and half asleep as she walked, she didnâ€™t even see him standing there near the entrance.
A quick grab and a sudden tug sent her sprawling sideways into the donut shop.
Damn, so closeâ€¦
She turned, cat quick in mid air and landed on her feet, her katar springing to life once more, this time at her will.
A small drop of blood formed at its tip where it was pressed firmly against the throat of the man who had grabbed her. Back to the wall of the donut shop he had no where to go. The shop owner pretended not to notice as he continued packing a box full of glazed donuts for an oblivious cromag at the counter.
â€œEasy girlie, I didnâ€™t mean to scare you, well, no more than I 'ave toâ€¦â€
His voice was coarse and matched his lined face well. Dressed in a mix of leathers and worn rags he had an unimpressive air about him despite his large, bulky frame.
â€œIsaac?! What the hell. I wasnâ€™t in their territory. You know I wasnâ€™t, do you even try to tell them I wasâ€¦â€
â€œNow thereâ€™s the girl I remember. Relax. Times changeâ€¦â€ Isaac looked Drea over thoughtfully, â€œAnd people, well, people donâ€™t. Not as readily anyway. I havenâ€™t been playinâ€™ lookout for your old friends for some time now. This, well, this is something else entirely. Now if youâ€™d be so kindâ€¦â€
Drea grinned sheepishly as she retracted the katar with an ominous metallic scraping sound, but moved her outstretched hand an inch closer to Isaacâ€™s throat, the threat clear. â€œWhat the hell, Isaac.â€
Isaac smiled broadly, â€œWell, as to that, I think we best find somewhere a bit more private to talk.â€
Drea glared at Isaac, â€œLast we crossed paths you made a pass at me, stabbed me in the back when I turned you down, and then tried to sell me to the Jerks. You got somethinâ€™ to say, say it. You donâ€™t, well, I canâ€™t reach yer back from here but seems to me I owe you a good stabbinâ€™â€¦â€
Isaacâ€™s smile flickered briefly but didnâ€™t fade, â€œYou got me all wrong girlie. Timesâ€¦ times were hard. Harder even. A man does what eâ€™s gotta. Canâ€™t blame me for thatâ€¦ Anyway, I came to make good. Iâ€™m getting old, and Iâ€™d like to get a good deal older. You anâ€™ I both know if it comes to blows today I ainâ€™t walkinâ€™ away. Now trust me when I say yer gonna wanna hear what I have to say.â€
Drea watched her old friendly uncertainly before giving a single curt nod and returning her hands to her pockets.
They walked wordlessly down the street, Drea trailing a short distance behind the hulking form of Isaac. Isaac led her down the street and dodged his way through traffic at the corner. Drea followed after muttering a soft curse.
As Drea made her way safely across the busy intersection she just managed to catch a glimpse of Isaac heading into the deserted courtyard adjacent to a failing coffee shop. Pausing only half a heart beat, she followed him inside and took a seat at a shaded table in the corner, opposite Isaac.
Drea shifted uncomfortably in her seat as she watched Isaac lean forward across the small table. The table creaked under his weight as his elbows pressed against its coarse surface. She bit her lip idly, anxious and terrified of what Isaac might have to say.
Isaac leaned closer still, the tableâ€™s rusted legs groaning in protest, â€œSo then, how about a kiss for old times sake?â€
Her hand darted out faster than Isaacâ€™s eyes could follow and caught him on the cheek, the sound of the slap echoing briefly in the empty courtyard before being drowned out by the sound of passing hover traffic.
â€œThereâ€™s for old times. If youâ€™ve got something to tell me, say it.â€
Isaac nodded slowly, â€œLike I said, people donâ€™t change much.â€ His chuckle devolved into a racking cough. It was several minutes before he regained his composure. â€œRight then, so itâ€™s like this. Iâ€™m a manâ€™a the streets and the people, like you were till you did for that Zach boy.â€
Isaac was ready for her this time. As her hand darted forward he caught it by the wrist and bent her small hand back powerfully with his thumb. â€œThat mechanical handâ€™a yours feel pain?â€ He studied her face, a grin slowly spreading across his cracked lips, â€œSure looks like it does. I can tell you for sure my face does so how about you sit there, shut up, and listen to what I have to say before you make matters worse between us.â€
He pushed her back into her seat forcefully. Drea cradled her wrist in her other hand and watched Isaac across the table. Outside a loud screech followed by a metallic crash heralded a car accident nearby. Neither person at the table turned to look.
â€œRight then, so itâ€™s like this girlie. Word got to me like it always does that you got yerself into a worldâ€™a trouble with this fella Ben Nighthawk. Not a name to be taken lightly. Guys got almost sâ€™much of a reputation as I â€˜ave.â€
Drea bit her lip idly as she studied Isaacâ€™s lined face, shaded as it was by the coffee shop to the west.
â€œTake it then that you arenâ€™t gonna bother to deny that bit?â€ He grunted, cleared his throat, and spat before continuing on. â€œRight then., well, I find out today heâ€™s lookinâ€™ for somethinâ€™, a little burnt out ROM-card made by some Ronin company. Details are hazy. Donâ€™t know what itâ€™s for or why he wants it. But sâ€™long as heâ€™s after it he must have a reason. I figure whats good for him is bad for you. Thing was last seen on the other endâ€™a town near Bayfront and Josekii. Just thought you should know.â€
Isaac rose abruptly and turned, making his way back out to the street.
â€œWait! I- Iâ€™m sorry.â€
â€œSo am I girlie. I ainâ€™t throwinâ€™ you freebies because I feel like you owe me, believe me. Just take careâ€™a yerself, yeah? You live to be my age I might get to feel I did one thing right in this city.â€
With that Isaac made his way out onto the street leaving Drea alone in the deserted courtyard.
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Repost of Drea's story from Kab's forums here: www.newcarthage.net
Last edited by Fossa on Sat Sep 08, 2007 3:32 am, edited 2 times in total.