Cyberpunk City

Well it has been a long time since I posted anything. Have been busy with work and stuff recently and that isn’t really changing but here is a cyberpunk story i wrote to tide myself over.

The artificial sky was a brilliant blue and the white buildings of the Indus skyline seemed to glimmer in the artificial sunlight, giving the impression that the heat waves were rising from the metal despite the temperature being maintained at a steady 20 degrees. A comfortable temperature for all, neither too hot nor cold but regulated to make sure it caused the least possible distraction for the people working in the offices that filled almost every floor of the towering buildings of the city. Indus was a city of office blocks, the people inside working away to crunch the numbers of the various corporations and industries that filled the walls of the city. Indus was a city of crunching numbers; almost every building that wasn’t used for housing was given over to office drones working to make sure that the various outsourced operations that kept bringing material into the city were working as hard as they could for as little money as they could. These corporations had the neighbouring cities under their thumbs; shipping raw materials across the dangers of the wasteland that separated them. These corporations held the tallest buildings in the city, the highest ranking members on the top floors looking down onto the rest of the city and it was atop one of these towering monoliths that a dark figure stood silhouetted against the bright projected sky.

Lynx regarded the city with a mix of distain and admiration. The fact that something so clearly corrupt had manage to sprout up and then convince so many people that it was in their best interest was beyond her. Still as long as the corporations were willing to pay people like her to make sure the balance of power stayed in their best interests she was happy to accept their money. Lynx stretched and arched her back. The slim body suit she wore offered no resistance as she flexed. She had planned on having a nice easy day today, lounge around her small apartment and maybe watch something crappy on the vid-net but this job had come up and she needed to eat. Anyway it was straightforward Lynx thought as she looked over the city again her eyes resting on the tallest building in the city, Apex Tower. The Apex Corporation was the largest in the city and most people believed they were the only reason the city was still standing, brokering deals with everyone they could find they had carved out a little piece of the world and they ruled it almost unanimously. The smaller corporations all liked to think that they were Apex’s competition; sometimes they would even move against them, win territory off them and take over their establishments but in the end Apex always took it all back. The problem was that Apex were the sole producers of pharmaceuticals in the city, a title they held onto with an iron fist. Where they would sometimes allow smaller corps to muscle into their other operations if needed they would deploy their significant security service to hold onto their medical businesses by force if necessary.

Lynx sighed and tapped a few buttons on her wrist mounted computer deck and the harness attached to her back, arms and legs. Tiny needles pierced her skin and the rig started to show her vitals as she flexed again. The harness would allow her a greater range of movement as well as strength and agility boosts. She looked across the gap between her building and the next, not a great one, about twenty feet across and maybe ten feet down to the roof. If she missed the jump then it would be almost a hundred feet drop onto the packed road below. Lynx smiled to herself, Piece of cake. She took a few steps back from the edge and then ran forward before launching herself from the top of the building. The wind whistled in her ears as she flew through the air, her legs out in front of her ready to take the landing impact and her arms out to try and give her some balance. The rig she was wearing made a quiet whine of servos when she leapt but otherwise was silent. Lynx’s only problem was that the suit even dulled the sensation of butterflies in her stomach, taking away the rush.

Then her feet slammed down onto the metal roof on the other side, the harness absorbing all the impact and converted the energy to be used for later jumps. Lynx didn’t pretend to know the science behind it, she just used the kit and she had found the rig to have been well worth the four thousand credits she had dropped on it. She strolled casually across the roof and examined the next gap on the other side. This one was a bit further and Lynx flipped the small scanning lens over her eye. The monocle showed a red HUD in front of her vision and the device quickly calculated the distance between the two buildings. The display changed to show the gap to be thirty five feet. Not much further and still no work for this rig but still better safe than sorry.

Lynx paced back to the middle of the roof and gave herself a full run up to cross the gap launching herself off the edge she flew through the air and landed lightly on the other side. Her progress across the roofs continued with as little resistance, easily bounding from building to building with as little effort as if she was jumping puddles in the street. The rig took all the strain off her muscles and Lynx didn’t even need to stop moving until she found herself facing the solid wall of the side of a building.

Lynx’s scanner told her that from the roof of her building to the top of the next was thirty feet across and another fifty feet up. Looking up Lynx had thoughts about turning back and finding another roof to cross over but she pushed them away. Using her wrist deck Lynx power the rig up to maximum and then carefully walked to the far side of the roof. The walk was clumsy and looked uncoordinated, the rig so powerful that it only needed the slightest effort to move her body. Once at the far side of the roof she broke into a sprint across the roof, the power of the rig pulling her muscles so hard they hurt. Lynx crossed the roof in just a few strides and launched herself into the air, flying up like a rocket she soared clean up and over the lip of the raised roof. As she cleared the lip she saw a ventilation shaft running across the top of the roof. Too late to change her momentum she tried to tuck herself up into a ball in an attempt to clear the shaft but her legs clipped the corner as she flew over.

Crashing to the floor Lynx bounced and rolled across the roof. Pain shot through her legs where they had hit the vent and her head crashed off the metal. Cursing Lynx pushed herself to her feet and examined the damage, her arms were scratched and scrapped where she was sleeveless and her shins were burning where they had collided with the vent but otherwise she was fine, everything was just superficial. Lynx fought back the desire to swear as she waited for the pain to die down and she smiled to herself when she looked across to the vent and saw she had left a dent in the metal where she had hit it. Turning the power of the rig back to normal levels again she continued her flight across the city. Fortunately the next roof was a small drop down from the one she was on and she managed to regain her speed as she continued her journey.

Finally Lynx stood atop a roof and looked down on her target building, the Hagane Corporation building. The Hagane Corporation were responsible for importing various ores to Indus in order to be melted down into metals for building purposes. After a time of being one of the largest corporations in the city the Hagane Corp had hit hard times when the city’s expansion had ground to a halt after the disaster seen three districts of the city sink into the ground. After that Hagane had been struggling to keep their heads above water and most people would have said that their time was up. The building before Lynx was one of their two remaining buildings that hadn’t been bought out by the other corporations. It was still an impressive structure, large though not one of the tallest by far, with a strange roof designed to look like an old world Asian temple with a split down the middle, leaving a gap between the two halves which incorporated a garden. Lynx had never quite grasped the point of a rooftop garden when there was no real sun but then again she had never been into architecture.

As Lynx observed the rooftop a door to the garden opened and a single figure walked out, a man, in standard office style dress so not even security. Times must really be hard if Hagane had started skimping on rooftop security guards. Lynx looked across the gap at the Hagane building, it was almost level with the one she was on know, the distance wasn’t far and from there she would be in the perfect position she needed. She took a few steps back and launched herself off her building. As she tore through the air Lynx withdrew a small knife from a pouch on her belt, hardly more than a needle. As she descended she stuck out her legs and her outstretched foot slammed into the back of the man’s knee. He crumpled to the floor with a cry of pain which was suddenly cut off as Lynx slammed down on top of him. The knife flashed for a second in the air before Lynx jabbed it into the back of the man’s neck. He shuddered on the ground for a few seconds before lying still.

Lynx casually wiped away the single rivulet of blood that had escaped from the puncture wound in the man’s neck before using the same finger to check for a pulse in his neck, leaving a spot of blood on his neck. The pulse was very faint but it was there, the man lay paralysed on the floor breathing faintly and Lynx considered finishing the job but decided against it at the time, leaving the man to lie for a while Lynx attached a small device to the door the man had walked through and a few seconds later the device sparked brightly, melting the metal and welding the doors closed, then she strode over to the far end of the garden, casually running her hand through the flowers that had been grown and where letting off a strong, sweet scent.

When Lynx reached the far side of the roof she placed her boot against the trailing that separated her from the edge and adjusted the rig where it hooked to her boot before looking up and observed the Apex Tower, standing tall over the rest of the city. The walls were covered in huge windows and carefully concealed steel frames that gave the impression that the entire outside walls were made of solid glass at lease from the fourth floor up. The bottom floors being completely windowless, the metal walls covered in advertisements for all sorts of Apex products.

Lynx chuckled to herself as she looked at all the colourful propaganda designed to try and make Apex look like some caring and conscientious corporation. She doubted there was anyone who had lived more than a week in the city who believed those lies anymore and occasionally the opposition took offence to them. Lynx took a pair of hooks attached to her belt, one on either side of her waist and attached them to the top bar of the railing before hopping over the railing and sliding a way down the slanted fake temple roof, making sure not to knock any of the tiles loose. From her position leaning on the roof and hanging by the hooks Lynx placed her hands behind her head and relaxed. Breathing easily in the crisp, cool air pumped into the city by the atmosphere generators all over the walls she let herself drift into thought as she casually scanned the cityscape.

From her vantage point she could see all the way to the sty districts in the far end of the city. These were the slum districts; the places where those who couldn’t fit into the Indus idea of their population should be were put and kept. It had started with those who struggled to work and earn their keep, from those few hundred the population of under class citizens had swelled until their numbers in the three sty districts rivalled the population of the other eight districts put together. Lynx had never really noticed before that if you looked at the districts from above like this you could see the difference in the districts by the colour of the buildings, the Sty building being dirty and older until they became nothing but shacks and run down ruins in the far corners of the city.

Lynx sighed and started to prepare herself for her mission. She detached the rifle from her left leg and checked the sights; she then attached the scope she had used before to the top and made sure the sights were aligned again. Then she took the barrel from her right leg and screwed it to the end of the rifle before once again checking the sights. She withdrew a single bullet from her belt and loaded it into the rifle. Her weapon prepared Lynx lay back and set her sights on the Apex building, aiming at the seventeenth floor she scanned the faces of all the people she could see. None of them were her target and her target’s office was empty. She was early. Lynx stretched her back, adjusted her footing and waited.

For almost two hours Lynx sat in her position and didn’t move a muscle other than to scan the floor she was aiming at. She waited patiently for her target, ignoring the growing ache in her legs, even with the added endurance of her rig. Finally she saw him. Her target was a tall man, dressed in a dark suit and a long flowing coat over the top, he had clearly just got into the office was carrying himself with an attempted dignity and superiority that Lynx had seen a thousand times before in a thousand different corporate bosses who thought they were worth more than they were. This guy had a smug look on his face that said he was a major player in the game but from even the brief skim that Lynx had given his file she could tell he was hardly more than a pawn. And worse still he had turned up late to his own damned funeral.

As he slowly made his way through the offices Lynx followed his with her scope, waiting for a perfect shot. The man moved along the windowed walls like a target at a shooting range, almost like he was trying to make himself the easiest target he could. Lynx smiled to herself. In the few seconds since he had appeared she could have taken the shot multiple times but she wanted to wait for everything to be perfect. Then suddenly she saw something in the corner of her eye. It was in her target’s office. She looked but could see nothing in there that could have moved but at the same time something had moved. She strained her sight but still she could see nothing. Then it twigged to her.

 

‘Son of a bitch

 

She whispered to herself as she took aim again. Her target was approaching the door quickly and she had to take the shot before he got into the room. She took a deep breath and held it. Her target reached his door and fumbled for his lock card. Lynx fixed him in her crosshairs. Just as the door swung open Lynx pulled the trigger.

The rifle bucked in her hands and she strained against the power of the shot. Despite how powerful the rifle was there was little more than a cough as the round left the chamber and cut through the air. Lynx watched through her scope, not releasing her breath until her targets head burst, scattering blood and chunks of skull up the wall something in the office moved again and she smiled as she saw a shape dart back into the corner of the room before darting out of sight.

Breathing again Lynx threw her rifle back up onto the roof and clambered back up herself, sliding under the bottom railing and disconnecting herself from the top bar she disassembled her rifle and wandered back over to where she had left the paralysed man. He was not lying with a small pool of blood leaking from his mouth and when Lynx pressed her hand to his face he had gone cold. Lynx propped him up against the wall and smiled cruelly down at him. Shame, she thought, she had hoped he would still be alive for the fall he was about to have.

Lynx picked the man up and carried him over to the opposite side of the roof to where she had just fired from and sat the man down on the railing.

Just then the deck on Lynx’s arm lit up and she threw it a curious look. Lynx turned her screen on to see that she had a message. The message was a posting of a new job to her watch link. Lynx read the description and chuckled to herself at the irony of the situation.

 

‘looks like I still won’t be going home to relax’ Lynx said jokingly to the corpse of the man before pushing it backwards off the railing.

 

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