District 21 Part Two

Cyberpunk by vladimirpetkovic on DeviantArt

Read all of the episodes of Kain’s story here.

Kain continued to track the woman through the streets of the district. Whoever she was, fear didn’t appear to be on her screens. No one approached her, not strange in itself, since most beings tended to keep to themselves. Still, there were other dangers on the street. Everything from king rats to the five-oh could take you down.

Finally, they arrived at a hotel Kain was familiar with. Ze had never stayed there zirself, but ze had done business there more than once. The red script on the sign was neo-kanji and proclaimed the building was dry and possessed clean sleep cells. Both of those claims were likely false, but anything to get out of the persistent drizzle.

When ze stepped into the lobby, ze wasn’t surprised to be met by a weapon. That it was a vibro-stiletto in the thin fingered hand of his prey, rather than a slug thrower or a shocker, was the surprising bit.

Her black hair, undaunted by the moisture, stuck out in all manner of directions. In the buzzing yellow light of the hotel’s lobby, her eyes were no less haunting and blue. Her lips were just as full and crimson. She wasn’t zir type, but Kain would be hard pressed not to call her a beauty under most being’s standards. “Why are you following me?” Her voice was a dusky contralto. It wasn’t electronically modulated and was probably her natural voicebox.

Did she not have any implants? Fascinating. “To kill you. Eventually.” Kain was many things, but ze was no liar.

“What’s to stop me from killing you?” Her gaze roamed over the bits of flesh visible on Kain’s face, seemingly unperturbed by the amount of exposed circuitry and scar tissue. Not to mention the metal plate bolted over the area where a mouth and jaw should be.

Ze spoke again, voice emanating from the vox-box at zir throat. “Nothing. Curiosity?” Ze shrugged. “Maybe we could both not chill the other, for a few seconds?”

The tip of the stiletto dipped, and it ceased its low hum. “Maybe. Tell me who hired you.”

Kain chuckled, the sound like an ancient gearbox failing. “Professional courtesy keeps me from that. I can tell you they don’t like you very much. Me? I’m beginning to appreciate you. I can also tell you, they want you dead for a nice chunk of cred and no one else in the Districts wanted to do it.”

The woman smiled. “I can imagine. That means you’re stupid and greedy.”

Kain shrugged, zir own slicker a misshapen set of lumps. “Also ugly. Call it how you see it. But I’ll chill you if I want to. You would have already been dead a bit ago, if I’d pulled the trigger.”

“Your mass driver would have misfired. I spotted you early on.” She slipped the blade under her left sleeve. Her head cocked to one side, she smiled. Her teeth were bright and even. “Maybe we’re both just that good. I’ve heard things about someone like you who calls themselves Kain.”

“Only one of me. They didn’t give me a name for you. What can I call you?” Ze glaced around the lobby, surprised the Otto who manned it wasn’t chattering at them. Then he saw the poor glitcher’s robotic head was separated from its body.

“Lilith will do.”

 

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