Old Wounds New Blood

Bullock wandered into the Lucky 38 Casino, a tall spire not unlike the old Space Needle in Seattle. Everything was quiet. Bullock pressed further into the building. The place seemed remarkably untouched, as if everyone had just dropped what they were doing and disappeared into thin air. Luggage bags were strewn about the place, old glasses full of various spirits and wines remained on tabletops. Bullock reached a door leading to the back rooms and kitchens and found a working service elevator.

As the elevator descended into the sub-basement Bullock readied his blaster, just in case someone was waiting for him at the bottom. Much to his relief no one was when the elevator doors opened. The basement was a long concrete corridor that seemed to stretch on to infinity. The lights were on though, a sign he was close. It took him a while until he began to hear voices echoing off the concrete. He slowed his pace, making sure no tripwires were in his path (something he was more than a little paranoid about, and with good reason). His shoulder ached slightly.

Then he found it, a laser tripwire. The beam was infrared, and thus invisible to the naked eye, but the emitter was as plain as day. He stopped.

"What did the snowman say to the other snowman?" He shouted. The voices stopped speaking, then some faint, frantic, whispers emanated from the room just ahead before someone stepped out into the corridor. It was a young woman, black, with long dark hair and bright red fingernails. She was dressed in a flattering green dress and translucent overcoat. She was carrying a rather imposing shotgun, triple barreled.

"You with the resistance?" she asked, leveling the shotgun at Bullock.

"I am. I'm here to get you guys out of here." Bullock said.

"You look like a cop," The woman said, cautious. Bullock liked that, good instincts.

"Haven't been one in a long time." Bullock said.

"Let him in Veronika," a soft voice with the slightest hint of a British accent. Bullock recognized it. "We can trust him."

Veronika switched off the laser tripwire and motioned for Bullock to enter the room. Inside were a handful of replicants. At the back end of the room sat a man with platinum blonde hair and sharp features. He smirked when he saw Bullock.

"Faucon..." Bullock said dryly.

Pierce Faucon, Nexus 8 replicant. Originally a privately owned pleasure model, now a militant rebel. Faucon was originally the leader of an extremist branch of replicant rebels in New York, he and Bullock had run into each other before.

Bullock drew his blaster on Faucon.

Suffice it to say, they weren't on friendly terms.

"Easy," Faucon said. Not to Bullock, but to the three other replicants who had drawn their weapons. "Mr. Bullock has plenty of good reasons to kill me." Faucon looked at Bullock's cybernetic arm. "Sorry for the arm, David. I really am."

"The hell you are." Bullock said, not lowering his blaster. "What are you doing all the way out here?"

"Protecting my replicant brothers and sisters." Faucon said.

"Blow up any more factories?" Bullock asked sarcastically.

"Suffice it to say, David, I have learned the error of my ways. Bloodshed and fire won't help others join our cause. You were right."

Bullock didn't believe it. "So why is this place rigged to blow?"

"The charges in the hall are meant to deter and incapacitate. Not kill." Faucon assured him.

"Well good news, now that I'm here you won't need 'em. You're all coming with me, the resistance has a new safe house picked out for you all."

"I'm afraid we can't do that David." Faucon said. "We need your help with another matter."

"I don't work for you, Faucon. Nor do I have to help you. I'm here to escort you all to safety, if you don't want to go where we're going I can get back in my spinner and leave you all to the runners."

"Would you, really?" Faucon asked.

Bullock didn't respond.

"You can keep up the facade that you don't care, David, but I know you. Even now, a shadow of the man you once were, you are a man of your word. No doubt you continue to fight for the cause in memory of Grace."

"Don't say her name." Bullock's grip on his blaster tightened. "You don't get to say her name."

Faucon nodded slightly. "Irregardless. You're not a callous blade runner anymore. You're a believer, like me. And we need a man of your talents. Do this for us... and we'll come with you..."

Bullock wanted nothing more than to kill Faucon right then and there. However, despite hating the fact, Faucon was right. Bullock lowered his blaster and sighed.

"Alright, Faucon. What do you need?"

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