Author : Duncan Shields
Itâ€™s Sao Paolo all over again. Iâ€™ve got three bullets left in the low-tech and half a charge left in the high. I have six pencil holes straight through me that are cauterized from the setting on the sniperâ€™s gun. They want this to be extreme cat and mouse. They want to me to suffer and experience fear.
So far theyâ€™re doing a great job.
The thing about being shot with a plaser? You donâ€™t feel a thing. Youâ€™ll be brushing your teeth that night and notice in the mirror that thereâ€™s light shining through a collection of holes that have turned your kidney area into a sponge.
Of course that doesnâ€™t work if they hit your heart or head or anything vital like that. They have to aim carefully. Perhaps sever a tendon. Freak out the pancreas a little by punching a hole through it.
My left arm is useless and my suit is a ragged mess of torn tuxedo and smeared mud. Iâ€™m missing a shoe. I look like a time traveler in this poverty stricken suburb.
I was kidnapped from the party and set loose here. Itâ€™s been non-stop fun ever since they kicked me out of the van fifteen minutes ago.
Iâ€™ve had my cover blown before but this is the first time Iâ€™ve thought that I might not make it.
If I can get to a public webstation, I can alert my handlers and glaze the area, maybe get airlifted or even downloaded. In the parts of town with money, webstations are as common as McStarKings. Hereâ€™s theyâ€™re as rare as clock radios.
I prime myself for the dash across the alley necessary to put me into the flood of foot traffic on the main ramblas I can see through the crack in the buildings. I have no concern about body counts anymore. You can smooth out ruffled feathers if the collateral damage is poor.
I hold my breath and push forward like a frog across the orange dust of the alley.
I hate Mars.