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longgd2
August 26th, 2006, 10:50 PM
Hi everyone, new member here. This is an excerpt of my cyberpunk short story. It's in the draft stage right now so i would appreciate any help I can get. Thank you in advance.

Dead Loyalties
By Long Nguy



The vid-phone rang again as Abram jabbed the stim-shooter against his wrist. With a sucking hiss, amber liquid in the vial emptied. He jerked his head back, clenching his teeth as icy numbness flooded the rear of his skull. Every fiber of muscles in his body relaxed instantly. He slumped over on the sofa, face pressed onto a pile of spent vials.

Sweat dripped from his chin; the tank-top clung to his skin like a wet rag. Above, a ceiling fan wobbled at its maximum setting, whirling the same hot air in circles. He could smell the stink coming from the jammed garbage chute.

The ringing ceased and followed with a stretched beep. “Abram, answer the goddamn phone. This is important.”

Lifting his head, he searched for the origin of the voice. On a wall by the kitchen, he found the vid-phone with a shaky video feed of a woman. It took him several seconds before his eyes focused her face. “Jane…” Crawling off the sofa to his feet, he stumbled across the floor littered with eaten instant dinner trays and emptied beer bottles. He fingered the reply button on the vid-phone. “Yeah?”

“What a surprise. You’re wasted, again.” Jane had that same bitchy look on her face.

He leaned close to the camera, fogging the lens with his breath. “So what of it?”

“Never mind…it’s your life.” She brushed a strand of dark hair from her eyes. “I just met with Detective Denver at the police station. The department will be suspending the investigation to Mick’s murder due to insufficient evidence. Then…that son-of-a-bitch said if I slept with him, he might bring the case back for review.”

“I told you not to waste your time with them. They’re all the same.” The cops could not care less about the trash living in the Zones.

She glared at him. “And what the hell you’re doing about it? My brother was your best friend and all you been doing is pumping **** in your arm day in, day out.”

He adverted his eyes from her. “Whatever.”

“You haven’t changed a bit.” She lean forward and said, “Your still a useless loser.”

Abram bared his teeth. “Just because I used to do you, don’t act like you’re my wife!” He slammed one hand on the wall and punched the disconnect button with the other, knocking the vid-phone crooked. He continued to stared at the dead screen afterwards. “Damn it…”

He stumbled back to the sofa and collapsed onto the torn cushions. The Lucky Wok’s sign outside by the window flickered on, bleaching the room in washed-out blue and pink. He squinted at the invasion of colors. Next door, a man and woman argued, while another couple were screwing their brains out in the opposite unit. He leaned back and closed his eyes.

*******

Hard knocking on the front door shook him awake. He sat up with head in hands; his brain felt like it had been baking beneath the hot coils of a oven. The clock on the wall showed it was already fifteen minutes pass eleven.

Whoever was at the door continued to hammer away. “Alright already!” he shouted. He massaged his temples on the way to the door.

“Hey, man, you home?” The voice was muffle through the heavy door stained with dirt and finger prints.

“Whatever you got to sell, I don’t want it.” Abram spied through the peephole, but discovered someone had smeared grease over it.

“It’s me, open up.” He sounded familiar.

“This better be good.” Abram unbolted the lock and slid the door opened. Jet stood on the other side wearing one of those jersey with the fake bloodstains that made him look like he was bleeding to death. He lifted the tinted goggles to his forehead, revealing eyes that flared crimson in the dim hallway. “****, how you managed to get a pair of those Demon-eye lens? They aren’t even on the streets yet.”

The spiked haired, Asian kid cracked a grin. “Ice, ain’t it? Some chick I know works at the R&D department of Rin-Techa. She hooked me up with a preproduction model scheduled for incineration.” He pushed his way into the apartment and plopped himself on the sofa. “I’m was cooking like a bitch out there, got anything stronger than piss to drink?”

Abram went to retrieved two beer bottles from the fridge. He tossed Jet one and popped the other for himself. “This is as cold as it gets. The chiller’s acting retarded, and the landlord been hooked up to a metal lung after his old lady poked him with a butcher knife.”

“No worries. I ain’t picky as long as it’s smooth going down, and out.”

“Any news on the bitches who killed Mick?”

“Trevor and the others are still checking around, but I ain’t heard nothing yet.” Jet downed the beer in one shot and breathed a satisfied sigh. He left the bottle on the sofa arm, then eyed the apartment. “Man, your place turned into a real ****-hole since Jane took off.”

Abram grunted and took a swig of beer. “I don’t mind it too much. More peaceful this way.”

“Speaking of Jane…Ketchup told me she got a job dancing the poles at the T&A Factory.” Jet shook his head. “Kinda feel for the girl, you know, without you or Mick to watch out for her.”

Abram leaned against a table and stared at the half emptied bottle. “It’s a tough world out there…no one’s going to give you a ride for free.”

“I know it’s ain’t really any of my business, but maybe you should try to patch things up with her.”

“I just spoke with her. Nothing changed.”

“You need to do something, because ever since she dumped you and Mick got popped, you been looking like you came out of a dog’s ass.” He picked up one of the empty vial and held it out. “Keep using this **** and you’ll soon end up like those dead-heads.”

“I can handle it.”

“Bailey said the same thing in the beginning. Now he’s too messed up to even stick a hotdog in his own mouth.”

Abram slammed his beer on the dinner table, splashing his hand. “I had to listen to this bull from Jane every damned day. Give it a rest already.”

“Cool it, man. Only trying to educate you.”

“Just forget about it.” He drowned his throat with the remaining beer, then wiped a forearm across his mouth. “Goddamned it.” He skipped the bottle across the floor.

Jet’s earphone began playing a Chinese ring-tone. “Call, give me a sec.” He pressed a button on the earphone. “Sup?” His face grew serious. “Alright, we’ll be there. Don’t kick the party off without us.” He stood from the sofa. “That was Yale. We gotta meet him and Ketchup outside.

“Yale? Why would I want to hang with that grease bag after he tried to stick his dick in Jane? He’s lucky you guys stopped me short of snapping that stick neck of his.”

Jet stared him straight in the face. “They got them…the got the bastards who made Mick dead.”

“You trying to be funny? Cause it’s not making me laugh.”

Jet was already making way towards the door. “This ain’t a joke, pal.” He replaced the goggles over his eyes.

“Mother-****ers.” Abram went for the amp-jacket draped over the back of a folding, metal chair. Outside was at least a hundred degrees, but he slipped on the synthetic leather and don a pair of knuckle-busters anyway. He drew the Sung-9 from a holster woven within the lining of the jacket. Nicks and scratches covered the matted paint of the short barreled flechette.

Thumbing the release, he caught the clip as it fell. Blocks of ceramal tipped needles lined the plastic casing to the top. With a nod, he slapped the clip back in and returned the gun beneath his jacket. “Lets go mess them up.” He locked the apartment door behind them.

They skipped the elevator with a faded out-of-order sign and used the back stairway instead. An boney addict named Speedy, laid sprawled across the entrance to the third floor. His eyes was locked on a graffiti of two men engaging in sex. Blood caked his nostrils and lips. A grimy nose-funnel sat on the floor by his hand.

“What a faggot,” Jet said.

They stepped outside and were enveloped in a haze of neon lights. Third-rate pawnshops, sex shows and takeout joints clustered streets littered with people. Abram watched a group of fanatics draped in red gowns parade through the crowds, shouting the coming of the apocalypse.