Beads of rain ran down the window casting flickering shadows across the bedroom and a rumble of thunder would shake the glass every so often. A series of drawers were set into the wall along with a closet, only thin lines outlined where the compartments were. Clothing was strewn about the floor and the sheets where crumpled. A small red light pulsed slowly on the wall next to the bed, below a black thirteen inch screen.
Jack Aric O’Callahan sat propped up against the cool glass, his muscular chest rising and falling rhythmically. His thin, coarse brown hair was slicked back which made his receding hairline slightly more obvious. A silver chain with a single dog tag hung against his chest, a momentum to his past. Cordell wore it’s companion around her neck. He had given it to her as an engagement gift, since he couldn’t afford a ring. In his left hand, a cigarette was balanced between his fingers, and his right arm, a series of wires, servos, and circuits was incased in a flesh-colored carbon fiber-kevlar blend casing, was wrapped around the shoulders of a naked woman, laying asleep next to him.
Cordell, now she was a special type of woman; she had stuck by his side through everything for the past seven years. She worked down at Yutani’s Gentleman’s Club. Jack knew that she did more than take her clothes off an strut around naked for rich snobs in three-piece suits. He didn’t care how many exec knobs she fiddled with, as long as she came back to him at the end of the day.
Cordell had choppy, heavily layered purple hair. Protruding from the top of her head where triangular ears, similar to that of a cat’s, that twitched occasionally, and folded back against her hair when he ran his hand across the top of her head. Protruding from her lower back was a fluffy purple and black stripped tail, that flicked happily over the edge of the bed. Jack inhaled through his cigarette causing the ember to glow bright for a moment. He looked down at the woman. He could see her eyes moving behind her eyelids. He envied her for being able to sleep so easily. He was haunted by visions of horror, violence and gore every time he closed his eyes. The therapist he had been assigned to told him it was called “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,” and had prescribed him some sort of drug called, “clora-prostate,” or some other bullshit medical name. They helped, but not as much as he would have liked. Instead he enjoyed his cigarettes and booze, preferring to smoke away, and drown the memories.
They had talked about moving to one of the colonies; to get away from the clutter and pollution of the City. Jack liked the colony of Elysia, a green jewel of a planet. It was known as a vacation destination, and was mostly a farming colony. It was calm and peaceful. Jack thought about lounging on the pale beaches, splashing in the waves with Cordell. Paradise, he thought. But they would never have enough money to move out there. Travel alone would cost him two years wages, and buying a house, maybe four years. He took a good long drag off his cigarette.
Cordell shifted and wrapped her pale arm around his waist and pulled herself close to him. Her warm, honey soft breasts pressed against his leg, causing him to stiffen slightly.
He rubbed the back of his neck with his mechanical arm. The finger tips felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand as the colder carbon-fiber touched his neck. There was a round metallic hole at the nape of his neck, his neural connection port. He hadn’t used that for ages, not since he retied from the mercenary work; seeing as his current job as a warehouse worker didn’t require it. Everyone had one, though not everyone used it.
He reached over and touched the screen with the pulsating red light. The screen flickered to life and a displayed a simple monochromatic UI that illuminated his chiseled jaw with soft blue light. He tapped the symbol that looked like an analog clock eclipsing a sun. The screen flashed to black and back to blue before displaying the weather, date, and time.
He hit the window with the back his head in frustration. It looked like it would be another sleepless night. He ran his fingers through Cordell’s hair and a purr of pleasure slipped from between her thin lips. He stamped out his cigarette in the glass ashtray sitting on the window ledge. The rain seemed to let up for a moment. He heard a door close in the other room. His muscles tightened as adrenaline shot through his veins. He pushed on one of the panels on the wall which silently slid open to reveal .45 Automatic. He took it in his hand; the metal against his skin and the weight of it felt calming. He gently released himself from Cordell’s embrace. She stiffened as he got up, but soon relaxed back into sleep. Jack slipped over towards the door control panel. He hit the manual override switch and slid the door open softly and slipped into the room beyond, sliding the door shut behind him. He could hear someone moving about in the kitchen, but when he peered inside, no one was there.