Lock Down

Ten past midnight and the streets of Downtown Oracle were empty. The lights flickered overhead as the distant power plant struggled to maintain its supply to the city following the New Way attacks. A burned out squad car sat in the centre of the road, smoke still rising from the charred bodies of its occupants.

Overhead an OCON flyer tore through the night sky it’s search light flooding the street below causing the shattered glass of the shop fronts to glisten like countless jagged stars.

Boris peered out of the shadows of a dark alleyway as the flyer moved on and satisfied the coast was clear he ran out as fast as his bulky frame could carry him toward the familiar shop front of Sams place. He threw himself against the shuttered door panting and hit the intercom. There was a moments silence and then static before..

“Fuck off. We don’t want any trouble.”

Boris peered back down the street dreading the appearance of another flyer or an OCON patrol. They were taking this curfew fucking seriously. The seeping wound on his right arm was a testament to that. He hit the comm again,

“It is me Mr Sam. I am back.” Another moments silence.

“Boris? What the fuck? Where have you been?”

“It is long story Mr Sam, please you let me in and I explain.” More silence and then a flicker of light as Tina appeared outside the shop. Her AR form visible to a man of Boris’ talents though still ghostlike outside of the shop. Her bright green eyes studied him taking in every detail.

“It’s ok Sam,” she confirmed with a warm smile, quickly overtaken by a look of concern, “Sam he’s injured get the shutters up quick.” She blinked out of existence and the metal shutters covering the door began to groan as they moved upwards.

“Thank you Mr Sam.” Boris breathed, Thank you.”

Inside Boris made his way across the shop floor noting that it was almost empty, and what ever items did remain were boxed and labelled. He used the rear door that would take him down to the bunker, where he could tell from the power usage in the building that he would find Sam and Tina waiting.

“Where the fuck have you been?” Was the greeting he received downstairs as Sam jumped up from his data screen and rounded the table to meet him. Things had changed down here too. The hydroponics had been packed away and the green had been harvested. As Boris sat down he peered around him with a questioning air.

“We’re getting the fuck out of here.” Sam explained, “another day and you would have missed us.”

"Take your Jacket off Boris." Tina stood nearby, a dainty hand rested on Sams shoulder.

The muscled Borka did as he was told and dropped his brown leather jacket onto the table. Sam gave a low whistled echoed by a low moo from Daisy. Boris gave a wide grin at the sound from the cow. She at least had not been packed away.

"It is good seeing you Miss Daisy." Boris called over as Sam began to cut away the arm of his shirt ready to clean and stitch the wound. The bullet had passed clean through the flesh. A parting shot from an OCON patrol up near the heights.

"Hold still." Sam warned, "This is going to sting like a bitch." he pressed an ethanol soaked swab into the wound, allowing the liquid too seep in to do its cleansing work.

"Ngah! Perhaps before you stitch me up I get a drink yes?" Boris asked as he tensed up against the pain.

"That sounds like a wonderful idea." Tina cut in before Sam could protest, "Sam be a dear and go grab a bottle of whisky from from crates. I'll get Boris here all caught up."

"Disappears into the night without a word and turns up bleeding on my floor with not so much as an apology or..." Sams words faded into a distant grumbles as he made his way up stairs and out of ear shot.

"You'll have to excuse him. He's been grouchy since OCON shut down non-essential access to the Grid. All work and no porn makes Sam a dull boy.." Tina giggled as she placed a hand on his arm. Unlike Sam Boris did not possess a dermal AR FleshNet so he felt nothing at her touch.

"It is good to be back." Boris returned the smile. "Things are very bad here?"

"The New Way pushed one too many buttons with the brains up top." Tina explained, "They declared martial law three days ago and well you know all about the curfew."

"Draconian." Boris spat as he glared down at his wound.

"That's one word for it. You should teach it to Sam, most of his descriptions are of the four letter kind. Anyway, it seems that the Slums are due for clearance and Downtown is to be on lock down for the foreseeable future. There's even talk of forced labour communities. Needless to say we're out of here."

"We do not fight back?" Boris asked.

"We do not." Tina snapped, "They have an army and we have a shop full of dildo's and blow up sheep. We are moving to the Hive."

Boris was silent for a long time then, until Sam came bustling back into the room taking a swig from an open bottle and carrying another under his arm.

"It is decided then, I will come with." Boris said quietly earning an approving nod from Tina.

"Well of course you will." Sam replied cutting through the gravity of the conversation with his usual casual ignorance, "Someone needs to milk that bloody cow."

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