The Fan (Part 5)
was just making sure you were sending the final product to the chop shop
Mae has parts one and two. I am still tweaking 3-5. something just felt wrong when i re-read them, now I have that bit hammered out and gonna do another pass for my own OCD’s sake and send it on.
Mae, the resident Genuis??
for Junkie Mae’s Chop Shop, an anthology of fanfiction in the world of Sigler
can’t wait for more.
He’s like Gandhi! But better – he likes puppets!
I can’t wait to hear the whole thing podcast.
Junkie Jabber: Ok gonna keep this short and sweet this time. Make sure to check out Mae’s AWESOME podcast of junkie written fan fiction over at http://www.junkiemaeschopshop.com You can catch the killer first episode. Also I am sending in "improved" copies of The Fan "episodes". What you see here has become my "rough draft" stage, and Mae is getting sent (although I’m a slacker and have only sent parts 1 & 2.) the "Directors cuts". Again thanks for reading please if you think something needs improving let me know. I appreciate the feedback. Enjoy
The glossy black grav-car pulled to a stop in front of the Interstel’ Motel, its darkly tinted windows obscuring the occupant. The door rotated upwards and out stepped Kevin Pareshi. As the large man left the car it rose a few inches on its anti-grav suspension. He straightened his suit jacket, using the motion to check the various weapons he had secreted about himself: spiked brass knuckles, a vicious looking combat knife, and two different guns (one an old fashioned slug-thrower, and the other a sleek, one shot entropic pistol). Kevin had decided on the flight that he would use the knife on Gerald. Sure, it would be messy, but what the hell did he care? He wouldn’t have to clean it up. And besides, it would be a lot more fun. Kevin’s craggy face split into a smile as he peered up to where the building disappeared into the smog.
Kevin fished in his pocket and pulled out a slim gal-net phone and pressed the icon that represented Donald Ferguson. The screen flashed to a cartoonish image of a satellite beaming into space, then rang once. Before the tone had finished Donald’s oil slick voice came on the line.
“Is it done?”
“Just arrived,” Kevin said as he climbed the steps to the motel’s door. “The flight got delayed and the traffic was a bitch with people leaving the game. I’m here now though. Shouldn’t take long.”
“Good… Good. Call me back when you have the papers.”
Kevin pressed a thick finger to the buzzer and after several minutes a harassed sounding voice answered. “Yeah what the hell do you want?”
“Name’s Kevin Pareshi… Mr. Osborne sent me.” Kevin croaked into the speaker, and the door instantly slid open. He strode inside and sneered at the two heavy G humans as they attempted to look menacing. Kevin walked right past them and up to the desk.
“I’m here to have a little chat with one of your guests.”
“Y…yes sir, Mr. Pareshi.” The man stammered. “A…and who should I send for?”
“I’m looking for Nassir, but I would rather my visit be a surprise, we’re old friends. You can just give me the room key?” Kevin asked leaning over the clerk, his large sunken knuckles resting on the desktop.
“Yes of course.” The clerk said typing a quick staccato burst on a keypad. The computer chirped and a keycard slid out of a slot beside it. The clerk offered the new key to Kevin.
Kevin snatched the key from the sniveling man and went to the bank of elevators. He rode one up to Gerald’s floor, and walked down to Gerald’s door. Kevin used the key to let himself into the room. He took three steps inside and froze. The window display was still showing the sports channel, now on a program about orbital diving. From where he stood everything seemed normal, but something didn’t feel right. He continued in more cautiously, unbuttoning his suit jacket for easier access to his weapons. As he rounded the couch he spotted the thick smear of blood on the white carpet.
Kevin followed the trail of tacky, almost dried blood into the bedroom and spotted Gerald lying on the bed. It took him only a moment to take in the half scabbed over gash and red stained sheets. Kevin moved forward and looked down at the man he had been sent to kill. Gerald’s skin was as white as the unstained portions of the sheet on which he lay. One eye was closed and crusted over with dried blood, while the other stared vacantly at the ceiling.
“Only one day in the ‘big city’ and you already got yourself killed.” Kevin chuckled darkly. He reached down to roughly check Gerald’s neck for any sign of a pulse. After several seconds he gave up and straightened. “Well you’ve made my job a lot easier, just not very fun…”
Kevin shrugged and began to search the room. He tore drawers out of the dresser, and dumped
the contents onto the floor and bed. Not finding anything among Gerald’s few belongings he left the room, so absorbed in his search that he didn’t notice when Gerald’s foot gave a slight twitch…
Nothing. For a short time, or several millennia, he wasn’t quite sure, there had been nothing. Gerald had floated in a vast sea of black void without thought. Then color started to seep into the darkness. Bright orange swirls pushed themselves on his fragile consciousness, and he once again knew pain. Not a sharp pain like before, before?, but a dull throb in his head. With pain came other sensations. Touch, the feel of the soft bed beneath him, the air around him. Taste and smell, the acrid coppery blood. Sound, crashing noises accompanied by loud curses in a rough gravely voice. The last thing to return was sight. Gerald’s left eyelid fluttered, bringing moisture back onto his eye. He squinted at the light fixture mounted in the center of the ceiling. He tried to open his right eye, but something was preventing him.
Gerald groped at his face with one weak hand, feeling the sticky mess. Carefully he tried to stand. He wobbled a bit, but soon gained his balance. Gerald could feel strength returning to him as the numbness receded along his limbs. He reached up and peeled the spent patch from his arm as the last of the orange liquid was absorbed into his skin. As he stood there staring at the now clear strip of plastic a thought stabbed through the mist that seemed to cling to his thoughts. Crashing noises? Shouted curses? As he thought this something slammed against the wall between the bedroom and the kitchen.
Gerald crept to the door and peered out into the main room. A hulking man in a tailored suit was crouched down digging through the cabinets his face hidden from view. The man tossed the contents across the room heedless of where they landed or what they hit. One large pan spun lopsidedly across the room and shattered one of the panels of the window/view screen. Thick smog began to ooze into the room, the buildings processors unable to cope with it. Gerald coughed loudly as the stinking stuff reached him and to his horror the man stood and spun towards him.
“Kevin?” Gerald asked confused, still only seeing from his one good eye. “What are you doing here? I still have two days until my flight right?” He walked into the main room and swayed, grabbing the couch for support. “Oh High One how long was I out?”
Kevin looked confused, a slight tinge of fear crossing his face, then both were wiped away with anger. “You little shit. You think you can trick me?” He glared hatefully at Gerald.
“Wh…what?” Gerald asked seeing the dark gleam in Kevin’s eyes. Everyone in the mines knew exactly what that look meant. Gerald started to back away looking for something, anything to use to defend himself. His hand fell on the data-pad where it lay discarded on the arm of the couch. He glanced down quickly then back up not wanting to lose sight of Kevin for even a second.
Kevin’s grimace or rage broke into a sick smile as he reached into his jacket and pulled out the combat knife. The rust flecked blade was a good six inches long, razor sharp on one side and serrated on the other.
Gerald had to do something, but what? Turn on the security systems? Maybe fire suppression? No, even if he knew the systems that could take time. Time that Gerald didn’t have.
Kevin started to circle around the island that dominated the middle of the room. He grinned wickedly, drinking in the fearful look on Gerald’s face. This was more like it. This was fun.
Gerald watched, his mind racing. He was about to die, that was all there was to it. In under a minute Kevin’s knife would be buried in him and, if he was lucky, hit a vital organ to end it quick. With this realization came a sudden rush of heightened awareness. Odd details about the room began to leap out at him. The fake wood grains on the cabinets, the softly glowing clock on the insta-cook oven, even the muted light reflecting off of the brushed steel refrigerator door. Gerald blinked, the fridge sat just to the side of the open space between him and Kevin. He smiled just a little as a thought came to him, that could work.
“Something funny you little fuck?” Kevin snarled, and waved the knife through the air.
Kevin lunged forward aiming a vicious slash at Gerald’s stomach. Time seemed to stop. Gerald saw the glint of lamp light on the knife; saw the triumphant look on Kevin’s face. Gerald tapped a button on the data-pad, the button that commanded the room’s system to, of all things, order a root beer. He watched as the heavy freezer door sprang open to meet Kevin’s powerful lunge. As his face met the door Kevin’s feet continued forward, out from under him and he crashed to the floor. Blood flowed freely from a ruined nose. A small robotic arm flipped out to offer a frost covered glass mug. It automatically released the mug expecting an arm from the lower section to catch it. Instead the mug smashed into Kevin’s face, the second door unable to open due to Kevin’s unconscious bulk. As the freezer door swung shut Gerald could see a large, roughly face shaped dent in its center.
For a long moment Gerald just stood there, afraid that Kevin would sit up and brush off the hit. When he didn’t move Gerald took a deep breath. He came to his senses quickly, his head still throbbing, but the mental fog gone. He ran into the bathroom and turned on the water in the marble sink. Gerald leaned in and splashed to big handfuls of water into his face. The cold water stung as it made contact with the long cut. He grabbed one of the towels and began to gently clean the blood from around his eye. When he could open his eye again he examined the wound. It was long, but fairly shallow, it probably needed stitches, but they would have to wait. Gerald grabbed a few band-aids and tried to stick enough of them on to keep the cut closed.
As Gerald reentered the main room he kept a weary eye on Kevin’s unconscious form. He grabbed his side pack and ran into the bedroom, pointedly looking away from the bed. Gerald grabbed at random bits of clothing, and stuffed them into the pack. He changed into a clean shirt and tossed the bloodied one on the floor. Gerald grimaced as he finally looked at the bed, and saw how much blood he had lost. He walked over to it and lifted up one corner of the mattress to reveal the envelope that held his forged papers. Some of the blood had apparently seeped through the mattress leaving a blotchy stain on one corner of the envelope.
Gerald slid the papers into one of the packs pockets, then went back into the main room. He grabbed the data-pad and began to type, his fingers flying across the display. On what was left of the large window monitor. Programs opened and closed with blinding speed. After only a few minutes the screen went blank. Gerald looked down and saw the message: Local network connection broken… Establish Gal-net link now? Gerald tapped “yes” and filled out the information, creating a profile using the false Nassir identity. The whole process took only a few minutes, broken by quick glances at Kevin. When he had finished he wedged the pad into the bulging pack.
The smog was seeping in thicker now, creating a haze in the room as Gerald picked up the souvenir cap and gingerly put it on his head and moved to leave. As he reached the door Kevin began to stir. Kevin climbed unsteadily to his feet, and their eyes locked. The stare-down broke as Kevin reached under his jacket and pulled out the entropic pistol. Gerald darted out and ran down the hallway pas the door that had emanated music earlier. He reached the elevator and pressed the button repeatedly, looking up to see the digital numbers slowly tick upwards.
The elevator chimed and the doors slid open just as Kevin stumbled into the hallway. He clutched the pistol in one hand and held a blood soaked dishtowel to his face. Kevin collided with a decorative table that held to big ceramic vases. they fell to the floor with a loud crash. Gerald got into the elevator and began to frantically push the lobby button. Kevin brought the entropic pistol to bare and pulled the trigger. The gun hummed and took two full seconds to build up a charge. As the projectile left the barrel the door Gerald had passed burst open and a large man in a loosely tied robe stepped out into the hall.
"What in the fu…" The man started to shout, but was cut off as the entropic bullet hit him square in the chest. He looked down seeing the scorched depression in his chest, eyes wide. He watched as the wound began to expand, the edges glowing faintly like hot embers, and collapsed to the floor. Two more men in dark blue suits burst from the room and advanced on Kevin, each holding ignited shock-sticks.
As the doors slid shut Gerald could see the polished tips of the weapons spark menacingly. The elevator began to descend, and Gerald collapsed against the wall, his heart pounding as he saw the man being shot in his mind, the black decayed looking mark where the entropic energy had worked through to his back, and ate at the robe. He watched the numbers tick down, trying to sort out what was happening. There was no way that he’d been unconscious long enough to miss his return flight. Donald had given him a week away from the mines.
As the elevator reached the lobby the doors slid open with another electronic sound. Gerald checked the cap to make sure it covered the improvised first aid. He stepped out into the lobby and waved at the man behind the front desk. He gave Gerald an odd look before speaking.
"Uh… Nassir you had a guest. A Mr. Kevin Pareshi… Did he find you?"
"Oh yeah Kevin, I saw him on my way out." Gerald said thinking fast. "I let him in to get some rest, long flight and all that. I’m on my way out to do a little sight seeing while he sleeps it off."
"Oh well… Have fun?" The man looked at Gerald with a newfound respect, bordering on fear.
"Thanks." Gerald said and walked past the two doormen, and out the door.
Outside the streets were empty accept for two grav-cars. The black on his side of the street must belong to Kevin, but across the deserted road sat another much older green and blue one. Gerald took out the data-pad and started typing, bringing up a program for the Allah Traffic Commission. He typed in the older car’s ID and was given a basic menu displaying the owner, ticket history, even the date it last had its oil changed. Gerald clicked on the "report traffic violations" link. A screen popped up asking for a user name and password. Gerald opened another window bringing up a site that he had hidden on some random corporation’s servers all those years ago. Thankfully the page loaded, showing a screen that had a big red button in the middle, and the heading: Shatter the Mirror. He tapped the button in the center of the screen and within seconds the traffic page opened. Gerald selected a "double parked" violation then the option for "impound (officer to deliver)". The locks on the door clicked open and the engine sputtered to life.
As Gerald pulled away from the curb he saw Kevin come out of the motel, the two Heavy G humans following him. Kevin spotted him and he moved forward smacking one of the huge men on the back of the head and gesturing angrily at his own car. Gerald turned the corner and swerved wildly to avoid a pair of honor workers who were more used to the streets being empty. He pushed the junker to its limits as he passed the grimy storefronts, then was on the ramp heading for the upper city, and he hoped safety.
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