The drifter handed over the stack of cash: it is holding every cent I have, he thought. Metallic, and real, corporeal reality. Kekn Maqid’s head was pointed at the feet below it. His feet: they were pointing at slanted angles, away from the black-market dealer’s, which were pointing directly at their heels.
“I’m ok with not leaving the atmosphere in it,” Kekn Maqid said. “I just want to fly.” Kekn Maqid smiled strangely. He wanted to know if the dealer had an expression, so he flipped its hood down off of its head. A blank, robotic head stared back at Kekn Maqid, through a webcam protruding from where its nose would be, if it were a breathing, human being.
The dealer just nodded. It handed over keys, which opened a storage unit, far away across the city. Kekn Maqid took the G-train there. He drummed his feet the whole way, as if he were playing two bass drums.
When getting into it, inflect-armor deflects any and all forces away from the body. Except a little gravity, and maybe some radiation.
The upside: you can fly one of those things hellishly-fast, crash into and destroy anything you like, and all that while consuming very little fuel (that you have to buy or steal, at least).
The problem is: inflect-armor burns oxygen. If you fly one too much in a climate controlled climate, it can upset the capsules atmosphere and climate (if either oxygen is not in abundance, or the counsel running the unit does not have enough funds to replenish it).
Fuck the counsel. I’m only going to be here a short time longer. Inflect-armor is all that I need to get me out of this God-forsaken enclosure. I’m going to hijack a ship, that’ll take me to Denver. That’s where my brother is. He’ll take me in.
While test-flying, Kekn Maqid knocked over a pedestrian-walkway sign. Just for fun, after it got in his way while he was taking a turn. The 3-D, holographic map inside of visor didn’t tell him it was there.
Instead of stopping or slowing down, and sustaining the negligible amount of gees it would have caused to him inside it, Kekn Maqid blasted through the “One-Way Slide-Walk” securely in his inflect-armor, cheerfully.
Many people saw me. But I didn’t care, because to me, they were all regeneration junkies with nothing to live for, except longevity. Buying my inflect-armor took hard, hard, hard work, especially because I had to save up for it, on top of paying for my daily-minimum food pills. Mulling it over: I could have done without the inflect-armor, and still gotten someplace nice. If only I knew: even the best armor can’t protect you from the government.
Kekn Maqid robbed a convenience store. To practice.
It was an easy job. In and out was all it was, really. “Take it easy” is all I had to say to the guard. He was a human, with no bullet-proof glass or anything. I just slipped in on the air-waves, thanks to the built-in auto-flight, and wrapped both hands around his neck. With my inflect-armor, I could have broken him like a twig.
“Ok” is all he said. I should have asked him why he was working there. Who was paying him to do his job? Had they not heard of robots? For two-months of his salary, I could buy a droid that would do my laundry, cook my food, and clean my inflect-armor every day for me. In fact, I might just do that, when I get out of this stinking, recycling prison.
Kekn Maqid planned out his departure from the capsule he lived in: he was born in it, actually. Twenty-three years before his escape. Meaningless to him; the capsule was just not enough. Has a place every felt… necessary to you? Denver did for me. Does still. It always felt inevitable, so tobviously, I had to make it there at some point.
Within his inflect-armor, Kekn Maqid just projected slight nudges, and twitches, to articulate his glowing carapace through cement walls, standard hulls, and breathing human bodies in order to take over a small transport ship. Thirteen bodies, to be exact.
And flew to Denver.
Do you know about recycling prisons? The government uses them for their most… rebellious rebels. I’m one of them. I have fifteen hundred bodies under my skin. And I remember every one of them. But recycled prisons: they recycle literally everything, and feed you your own shit over and over, until you die of natural causes. Seven-hundred years later.
Kekn Maqid flew to Denver, inside the Ridge Galley. The ship had four stasis-pods. Enough for three passengers to survive to Denver. But Kekn Maqid brought none. Oscillating his warp-frequency at random intervals, conserving fuel in the warp-streams of mega-sized transport ships, stopping for no space hitch-hikers, Kekn Maqid made it to Denver.
My God, my brother had changed since the last time I saw him. He got a scholarship when he was ten to go to Jakarta for school, but his money ran out in Denver. There, my brother became quite the rebellious rebel, and built up his own little empire. I knew every one of his minions; have been friends on Facebook with most of them since the day I was born. When I got there, though, the whole dynamic for the entire dome felt… constricted.
The city people I met were like puppets, with sticks up their asses, and voices that weren’t theirs coming out of their mouth. Actually, I met a couple of real puppets, you would think, depending on how you look at stuff. That’s mainly why I killed.
Where did it go, my inflect-armor? Did the government break it apart? It was illegal, but it was mine. Payed for it. Wondering: whether or not this universe has justice in it. It was decided: what’s yours is only yours only as long as you payed for it, and until stuff drags it away. It will drag you away. Into a recycled prison. Where you eat your own shit every day and wear clothes made out of dead people.
Thank you for reading! This is one of few of my stories on this forum, but is probably around the hundredth short story I have written in the past year. If you have any thoughts on how I can improve it or my writing, or just thoughts about either in general, please leave a reply! Thanks again, and have a nice day!