I decided that, as I have not been posting over the summer holidays all that much, I would share with you a teaser. I am currently working on a cyberpunk piece of original fiction that I hope to get published, though it will at least be self-published on Kindle. I have been coming up with the characters, plot lines, how things will fit together and so on and so forth. I will not share the exact details, but what I will share is the prologue. Enjoy!
Rounding the corner, Kim heard the impacts of bullets on the metallic corner of the building. She instinctively ducked her head as she ran, though her pace remained constant. Her heart pounded incessantly in her chest, her legs burned as she ran. It was night time, around one in the morning and the streets were largely deserted, most people either in their homes or at one of the city’s many nightclubs, apart from the illegal tech dealers, the homeless and the prostitutes who all seemed to disappear into the buildings when they saw Kim running. Shots rang out again, a spray of bullets whizzed past her and caused her to flinch, though she just continued running, darting into another darkened alley. She continued running briefly before she glanced over her shoulder back down the alley to see that her pursuers had not yet rounded the corner. She dived behind a large bin, curling up and sitting completely still. Her only hope now was that her pursuers did not find her sub-par hiding spot, she was running on adrenaline and could not maintain the chase for any longer. She cursed her lack of foresight, not stocking up on Kickstarts when she had the chance. Her breathing was heavy and by now her heart felt as if it was going to explode out of her chest. She placed a hand on it, feeling the rhythmic, albeit racing, beat as footsteps echoed down the alley. They stopped dead in their tracks.
“Sir, target has been lost… No Sir… Yes Sir… We’ll do that, Sir. Out,” came the voice of who Kim assumed was the leader of the pack that were chasing her. His voice was powerful with a prevalent North American accent. Kim was curious to see what her pursuers looked like though she did not dare to poke her head around the corner to take a look, fear kept her rooted firmly in place. “We’ll head back and call it a night for now. We’ll catch that bitch eventually,” he continued before Kim heard footsteps once more, though this time they faded away until again, all was silent barring her heavy breathing and pounding chest. She stayed huddled behind the bins for a few minutes longer as she caught her breath. Peeking out from behind the bin, the alley was completely deserted. Still breathing heavily, Kim got back to her feet and stepped out into the darkness, after a brief pause that Kim used to scan her surroundings. She could not see anyone else, so she slowly crept back to where the alley met the street, peering around the corner of the T junction to see the usual life of the city streets; people were moving from club to club, the prostitutes approaching the most desperate looking individuals and people were carrying their friends back home, the ones who had over-indulged on cheaper luxuries and left themselves in an incapacitated state. She slid into the night life swiftly, manoeuvring between people and making her way through the streets towards the Damned Angel. She needed to unwind after being chased through the streets by unknown assailants. That and she needed some information.
Walking through the door her senses were immediately assailed by the smells of alcohol, body odour and narcotics, the sounds of electronic music thumped, overshadowing the sound of multiple conversations coalescing into one messy, intangible noise. She strode confidently over to the central bar, a circular counter in the middle of the club, outlined by the neon yellow lighting that ran along the edges. As she walked, she removed her POD and tapped at the screen. The outlines of her vest, arm warmers, miniskirt, goggles and boots lit up with dark blue light, the fabric itself emanating the light and illuminating her slender figure, the colour matching the highlights in her hair though the ambient lack of normal light in the club meant that this connection could not be seen.
“Hey there, what can I get you?” came the voice of one of the bartenders, a skinny man clad in black leathers that glowed yellow over the shoulders. Kim rested her forearms on the counter, bringing her hand up and holding up two fingers.
“Two chips of Serenity,” she replied, a sly smile across her face, “and I need to talk to Zen if he’s around.” The bartender looked at her with a frown, turning away to access the large data-banks that made up the central pylon within the club. The palm of his hand opened up to reveal a standard interface port in which he connected a wire that linked to this large cylindrical data-bank. Briefly, he seemed to stay perfectly still before two chips encased in metal popped out of a small hatch next to him. He removed the cable from his hand, his palm melding back into place to form what appeared to be a normal, human hand, before he grabbed the chips and returned to where Kim was standing. He looked to either side before leaning over the to her right, his head about three centimetres from her ear.
“Who’s asking?” he inquired, quietly speaking directly into her ear.
“Kim Yun-seo,” she responded, whispering in the same manner she had been addressed. There was a brief pause.
“Booth number seven. I’ll pass the message on and the response will come to you in booth number seven,” he whispered before retracting his head and handing her the two chips. She took out her POD and waved it over the terminal, smiling as the message was relayed directly into her brain that her payment had been accepted. She smiled at the bartender with a nod, pocketing her POD, placing the chips into her bag and heading to the bathroom. She wanted to freshen up a little before indulging. Weaving her way through the rather large crowd of people that covered most of the floorspace in the club, who each had their own glowing light patterns, she entered the bathroom and walked over to a spare mirror. Another woman stood to her left, the bathrooms empty otherwise, though she appeared to be packing up. The two traded smiles before Kim started rummaging in her bag as the other woman walked out, looking for her miniature make-up case. She found it buried near the bottom, placing it on the side of the sink at which she stood. She took the time to examine her reflection in the mirror after briefly tapping at the panel to the side of it. Some of her eye-liner had smudged due to the sweat during the chase and her eye-shadow seemed to have completely eroded away. She looked down and tapped the button on the side of her make-up case, causing it to spring open and expand into much more than it appeared, with different shades of various eye-shadows and lipsticks neatly filed, and a holographic advertisement for De Santi brand lipstick popping out the top towards the back. She frowned as she stared at the advertisement.
“I really need to get this to Leila so she can fix it so these damn ads stop popping up into my face,” she murmured, leaning on the sink before looking into the basin. It was black and metallic, fading into obscurity in the metallic bathroom that she stood in. She smiled at the simplicity of it before reaching over to her make-up case. Her hand did not reach its intended location before she felt a sharp pain lance through her body, from her back to her chest on her right side. Her hand remained extended for a moment before retracting slowly, as she turned her gaze down to where the pain was greatest. A thin, silver-coloured blade protruded from her chest, the point slick with her blood. She slowly placed her hand on the blade, her eyes wide with shock, but it was wrenched free shortly after she was able to touch it. She felt her legs give way and she clung to the edge of the sink as she fell. Breathing had become incredibly difficult and every time she tried to inhale, it seemed as though her chest was filled with liquid. She coughed, spraying blood against the side of the sink at which she still clung to before her arms gave up too. She wanted to move, every cell in her brain willed for her to do something, anything. Her fingers twitched and her eyes moved to look behind where she had been standing as she crumpled to the floor. There was nobody there, just the wall and nothing else. She felt a warm, wet sensation creep up to her face which rested against the cold, metallic ground of the bathroom.
Then there was nothing at all but a black, empty void.