Devious16 wondered why time existed…. if time existed at all.
He attached the power pack to the modified rotary assault rifle. He switched it on, pressed the trigger and the disk above the weapon hissed, spinning at two thousand and a half meters per second.
He saw intense yellows and reds swirling across his blurred vision. He saw blues and greens turn to grey.
Fuck this shitsalt.
He became aware of Twelve stirring on the broken sofa nearby. The stocky man seemed uncomfortable. With sweat running down his short stump of a neck, Devious16 guessed that the shitsalt dose was due to wear off soon.
“Hey.” Devious16’s gruff voice hurt his ears. His refugian accent sounded deeper than usual.
Was this normal?
I need more fucking shitsalt.
“Hey, it’s time.”
Twelve lay comatose on the sofa.
He may be dead.
Devious16 began loading the rotary spindle. Modified to house 25,000 more rounds he felt comfortable that, if need be, he can carry on a firefight for an entire day.
Fumbling a cassette, he spilt a batch of ammunition, scattering the .025 calibre ceramic-coated tungsten balls across the littered floor. Some rolled noisily towards the apartment door just as Major T entered the room.
“Who is this fucker?” Twelve seemed disorientated.
“It’s Major T, brada. Look at your fucking tattoos.”
“Stop fucking looking at me.”
“Look at your fucking tattoos.”
Twelve looked down at the graffito text tattooed on his chest.
IS MY BRO.
Major T showed him his triceps splattered with graffito. “Cee ya, stupid cunt. We brada’s bro.”
“No more shitsalt for you, brother. It fuck up your brain.”
“Who the fuck is this cunt?”
Devious16 leaned close and spoke into his brother’s ear. “You trust me brada?”
“This here is Necroface. He pays us a lot of money. We need the money to keep the party going. You understand, brada?”
“Yeah man, I do.”
Devious16 turned to Necroface and laughed. “He’s good. How are you, bro?”
“Now that I’m hanging with you guys, I’m in my element.”
“What’s the score?”
“The score isn’t important.” Necroface’s eyes burnt through the skull mask.
Devious16 wondered what his face looked like. “You must be one ugly motherfucker underneath that head job if you’re still feelin’ the need to wear it, out this way?”
“We are kinsmen out here, bro.”
“We are not kinsmen, my friend. We are merely bastard children of refugees, made up of desperate tribes fleeing a burning world.”
“Anko, nia komuna kazo kontra la bluezonas estas kion faras nin familio.”
Necroface’s eyes glared intensely. “It’s ironic.”
“Only a few generations ago, these Bluezone City-States were built out of nothing, primarily to give ecologic and political refugees a safe haven. No country wanted them, so a group of pioneering Ubermen orchestrated the biggest investment deal in history.”
“Shit. Kion’li faras?”
“Are you not aware of any of this?”
“Nah man. Historio ne esta mia afero ”
“Check this out. These wealthy guys went out and bought hundred-year, sovereign right leases on large chucks of land from a few cash-strapped countries. You following what I’m talking about? Then, they go strike a deal with the struggling World Refugee Organisation. Give us your poor, your persecuted, your asylum seekers, your displaced persons; they invited them all. And these refugees came, and they built thriving communities out of mud plains and desert.”
“Ahhh sheeze, man. To think that deez fucking Bluezoners were once refugees themselves. Why ya join up, man?”
“You’re no Scorpion stooge. Why you join up?”
Necroface leaned closer to him and whispered, “Strategy.” He noticed the other gorilla of a man. “Hey Major T, I have a present for you.”
“You got us a maser?
Necroface winked at him.
Major T slammed his knuckles together.
“Right on. Let it rip.”
Twelve sat, teary-eyed, in the back seat of the stolen, mauve 570 Serpentino. “Did it get running?”
“Yeh man,” said Major T, driving.
“So, the mazer’s good then.”
“It’s charged, yeh?”
“We’re here,” interrupted Devious16. “Pull up.”
The Serpentino entered an empty car park and screeched to a halt in front of the Vancobank-Northlakes Building.
“Pay time.” Devious16 hoped to hell that it would turn out to be the case.
“What is our window?” asked Major T.
“Fifteen minutes,” replied Devious16.
Although they had diligently rehearsed it, he felt relieved to go through it one more time.
“Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit…,” cried Twelve.
The three beefcake ruffians helplessly watched on, from within the Serpentino, as police autotrans entered the car park and began congregating in front of the bank’s entrance.
“Someone has tipped ‘em off?” declared Major T.
“What we do?” screamed Twelve, “Dis is fucked up.”
“What are we going to do, Major T?” asked Devious16.
Major T studied the local and government police congregating only a hundred or so meters away.
Devious16 could hear the undeniable sound of turbocopters hovering nearby.
“I don’t know. Kioni opinias?”
“We go in as planned.”
Devious16 did not feel disappointed with the decision. “I ain’t getting deported. No jail either.”
Major T nodded sincerely at him.
Devious16 nodded sincerely back.
The pleasures and decadence of the City of Cities had spoiled them rotten. There was no going back to their previous lives.
“We ain’t going anywhere,” yelled Twelve, “We got da mazer.”
With that, the trio stepped out of the battered old Serpentino and switched on their power packs.
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