Chapter Eight – End

The Uniform Room had a gruff wirey old man in it, she paused, she thought she recognised him, he looked like someone she had known a distnat relative maybe. A name formed in her mind Lennon, one of the last Reform Cops but she knew it couldn’t be. Ghosts in the living – she was always seeing them, people from centuries ago would spring up with different coloured eyes and a slightly different skin tone. They would talk with the same inflections though in different languages and accents.

She felt very very lonely suddenly. She didn’t belive in the spiritual shit she was pretty sure that what ever she was she had science at its core. She stared at the man, ringlets of iron grey hair framed his face. He was cheerfully greeting Gaz when he laid his eyes on her, he froze and she knew the lie he’d told her, knew the hurt he’d inflicted. ‘I’ll kit her out Gaz’ he said sounding far away. Gaz shrugged but he had plenty of stuff to be getting on with.

They both watche das the door closed, their attention snaped together. ‘Alicia?’ he asked questioningly, almost afriad. She glared at him, ‘you bastard’ she said quietly.

He flushed, ‘I was dead Alicia they reconstructed me, it took months.’

‘You must have had a cluas then,’ she said bittily. He nodded and lost eye contact with her.

The Medi-Cluase six if you diead and were in a profession that only paid half your insurance than they would reconstruct you anyway and depending on the cluase they would contact the next of kin to try and get the money or they would tell them you were beyound repair and you belong to which ever Corp had patents on the recustruction tech. Of course that happened if your family couldn’t pay as well but they at least knew you were alive. There were all sorts of tax and debt clear outs to do it and if you had a family they would get your life insurance pay-out – you were legally a new person if you did this.

She had infact had his pay out, had arrange a funeral and set a memorial stone on it, mainly for his mothers sake. ‘Do you’re family know?’ she asked he shook his head.

‘Most of them are dead now too,’ he said in a hollow voice – he would not have been able to attend their funerals unless he did it in a covert way.

‘You should be now too?’ she said furrowing her brow, he’d be what 108? He grinned.

‘Reconstruction, sort of altered things, I’m half machine, I couldn’t have seen you as I was after the surgery it was before athetics became cheap I looked like I belonged in the Terminator. Do you understand?’ The pleading in his voice was pathetic she wanted to hit him but she couldn’t quiet get over the joy he was alive. The hurt was becuase ultamatly reguardless of his motives he had rejected her – as they all had. He’d talked about ending it a few times before Fire Storm ended the concept of Bobbies on the beat.

It would all have been fine and she could have belived him if there hadn’t been a gold band round his finger. ‘How many kids you got?’ she asked. The question cut him, he sort recoiled from her.

‘Four surviving, 11 grandchildren. Alicia I’m sorry.’ he was coming out from behind his counter of uniforms. ‘I met her after wards honest.’ she turned her back on him.

‘I’m not Alicia, she never existed Lennon, you always knew that. I’m The Punk now and I’m 21 ok? she suddenly got nervous about the possibility of being monitored but then their convo could just show her to have had a sugar daddy perhapse before she was legal – such things happend on a regualr basis especially around the resort islands. No one would even question a name change when she owed the Corp as much as she did.

How many times had this happened?

How many of them had forgotten – how long before Snake dropped her for a family life. Her throat hurt and her lungs felt full of lead that could not be squeezed. The anger flared and allowed her to turn towards him.

He stroked her check she wanted to hit him, she wanted to cry and to be held, she hated him suddenly, ‘you really don’t age do you?’ he said softly. He almost kissed her – she pushed him away – she was strong, it hurt him dispite his machine innards.

‘Don’t betray her,’ she hissed at him.

He smiled sadly, ‘She’s dead Ali.. she died 30 yrs ago.’ The Punk felt small inside but she could not forgive the batrayal.

She wanted to ask what she was like, wanted to know everything about the woman, how she compared to her but it was only a burning gut and hatred that lay in that direction.

‘Get my uniforms please sir,’ she intoned formally. He looked hurt and like he would argue but he just sorted out what she needed – he didn’t even have to check the cloths size.

Curiosity still stired in her intestines, ‘why are you here?’ she asked bluntly.

He smiled, it was sad and small, ‘I’m still paying off the reconstruction plus I’ve had to have more stuff done – my heart gave out at sixty you know the normal stuff.’

She hadn’t really been paying that much attention to the medical advances in the last 100 years or so but if this was the case then did the Corps all have pentenures enslaved as middle aged looking cyborges who owed them their enter existance? That made ehr blood run cold.

‘Why are you here?’ he countered.

She smiled, it was a mirror of his, ‘my Band are intensive care and we’ve all lost our jobs, medi-allowance only stretches so far and the Corps aren’t so free and easy about shelling out loads for medi-care anymore.’ he nodded.

‘You were in the club raids?’ he asked, the policeman in him was straining for the investigation she could tell. Somehow he always did remind her of an alsation puppy and with his curly iron hair the illusion was somehow more pronounced.

Looking at him closely she could see his skin was made of synth – could see it for waht it was – too perfect, too flawless – there were no pours to fill with the filth of the atmosphere and erupt into spots.

Fire Storm was on of the worst terrorist attacks the world had seen it, affected nearly every country or at least those that had a formalised police system. Soldiers police the lot were affected and she new few surrived.

‘I was lucky they paid,’ it was almost WW III there for a while if the Corps hadn’t stepped in…’ he paused denying the trueth that she and many others had suspected – the very nature of the attack suggested Corp involvement.

She lay her hand on his shoulders – reguardless of how he had hurt her with the cluas, he had been hurt far worse, she had seen some of the surviors, hell she’d seen half the dying, seen how their flesh had metled onto their bones, had smelt boiled innards, had wept at those whos fluid losses had not killed them quick enough. And they hadn’t just been third degree burns they had been chemical burns, nasty corrasive chemical burns. To find him alive was amazing and even with the intevening time she found she still loved him though the passion was replaced by endearment.

She put her hand on his shoulder, ‘how did you survive?’ it was truelly amazing.

‘I couldn’t find my trousers or police issue vest so I just put on a pair of my dad’s old ones I had lurking, You’d not done the laundary again.’ he grinned mirthlessly. She grinned crookedly back.

‘The washing machine exploded, I ended up in A&E.’ her eyes clouded. That was why she had been there when the victims had started to arrive. There had been so many of them. And she hadn’t been the only family memeber cuaght in what was laughingly called the cross blast. Some of it – well most of it she would prefer to have consigned to the swiss cheese part of her memory that was the distant past.

‘My helmet was also knocked off my head during the riot.’ He shrugged, ah yes the riot, most of those poor sods, the protesters were just as much a target as the police and army had been. Anti-globalization didn’t sit well with the Corps, she supressed that thought.

‘A global protest,’ she smiled sadly if she hadn’t been living with a cop who would be struck off she would have been on the protest. Ironically the attack lead to anachy but it was not the sort she liked.

‘I didn’t know the machine exploded, I thought I’d saved your life by stopping you being at the riot.’ she nodded she couldn’t think of anything else to do.

‘Did you follow up on it?’ she asked she knew what he was like the cop on him was far too stronge to have let it lie. The attack destroyed governments, it killed the nhs in the UK as it insitution owed most of the days resources to the Corps who had stepped in with cutting edge untested medi-care. Stuff they just happened to have laying around.

It had also been the first use of nano-tech as a weapon. She suddered at the memory. ‘Sort of makes me not want to give you this uniform you know.’ he said. She nodded not really suprised, all the uniforms, or as many as they could get too of the police, armys and fire departments of the world had been targetted the shear amount of planning, money and time that must have gone into the plan. it was a strock of genius and she doubted one Corp could have been involved, It was never traced and was blamed on the Green Anarchy movement.

It was cold and calculated and need access to multiple industrys and nano tech – bucky-tubes minute filled with different chemicals, woven into the fabric, undetectable with optical electronic recevers. When the signal was given the tubes where fractured and the chemicals mixed to become a burning exothermic event. The uniforms melted and ignited on their bodies. And those off duty had their waldrobes and laundary baskets exploding generally in the room they were sleeping in.

If she had been ‘normal’ she would not have survived the washing machine explosion.

She too the uniform, ‘guess we just have to trust these days,’ she said shrugging. Lennon shock his head, ‘I check it all under I had them put in a lab out back.’ he jurked his head to indicate to her were the lab was. She nodded – that ment he held alot of wait here she was suprised.

‘What level are you?’ she asked suddenly, his eyes seemed to pierce her.

’15,’ he stated. She hovered on the brink of opening the door to the changing rooms to check the uniforms. That was a top level that ment he was half UN agent. It also ment he was a danger to her – he knew she hadn’t aged and he was mostly machine at his own admission. Even if he didn’t actively passed info on her over her paronia told her that he might be part of the system. In which case they all ready had her and there was no where she could run. She gave herself a little shack and turned the door handle.

The changing rooms were cold and dinging and somewho still smelt of cheesey socks even though most modern fabrics were impregnanted with antifungals. She changed into the ‘excercise’ uniform, it fitted perfectly so she proceeded to the physical. To her suprise thise was less than thura. They bunged her on a tread mill to see how long she could run for and weather she could duck stuff thrown at her – though the last bit she suspected of being an additional add-on invented by Rookie and the group of cronies he’d turned up with. It infuriated her – they were behaving like such – girls!

She got back to her room 12 hours later – she had ignored her concousness and avoided the hospital – she was just too tired. She slept deep and fully clothed.

Posted: Wednesday, November 25th, 2009 @ 10:26 am
Categories: Uncategorized.
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