1.1 Laser Boy: Zero G Armed Robbery
“Aaaand it’s a lion at the intersex. A mother venting lion,” Vincent Pawn Gogh muttered to himself. He was grinning like a spack head.
The lion in discussion was flailing desperately in mid air, twisting in a rage-fueled panic in the busy zero g intersection of five large transit tunnels, each lined on all surfaces with hundreds of store fronts and display screens of every possible description. Pedestrians were floating or hanging onto every surface, orientated in every possible direction, staring at the accident.
The long magrunner that had been transporting zoo animals drifted slowly toward the outer edge of the main tunnel, tumbling end over end. The entire front was accordioned to a third of its original length. The lion let out a low fearful ‘merl’ sound as it rotated on all three axes simultaneously. A troop of six baboons was also present, surrounding the lion in a screeching scrambling mass of terror. A deafening bass roar cut through the falsetto chorus just before one of the primates came within reach of the lion. One of it’s fore claws hooked into the baboon’s neck and pulled it into the powerful jaws. The lion ripped an arm from the sinewy body sending a machine gun of dark purple arterial spray in every direction.
The giant Dino-Glass black wall screen displays that made up the walls and what was generally referred to as the ceiling were simultaneously showing the brutal scene from a myriad of angles at ten to a hundred times life size, projected from the implanted and hand held cameras of dozens of amateur film makers crowding in as close as they safely could to the action. No matter where you looked in the thronged junction, it was a kaleidoscope of golden and grey fur and teeth and blood a hundred meters across reflecting a primordial killing into the sentient eyes of the twenty seventh century masses.
Vincent wished for a second that the rest of his kras were present to appreciate the chaos of the scene. Then, because he was there on business, and because he was never one to waste a natural distraction, he launched himself out of his hiding place in the duct opening straight toward the swirling carnage before him.
His trajectory took him straight past the lion, and through undulating mollusks of baboon blood. A hairy grayish finger bounced off of his face, but he was an expert at avoiding sharp and dangerous objects on his flights. Slight tenses of his arms changed the angles of the bat like wings sewn under his arms to arc him safely to what sometimes passed for the ground in the axel of the station. His feet impacted and his knees bent to slow his rebound. When he did rebound, he pushed hard with his legs and shot straight through a curved doorway, right past the fat greasy proprietor who had opened the door to look out and see what the fuss in the intersex was all about. He barely took notice of the young slum rat that shot past him into the diner.
Vincent Gogh, who wanted to be called Ghost, but could not get anyone to oblige him, hooked one of his bare feet under an orientation ring, abruptly slowing his momentum. As he slowed he snagged his pistol with two fingers and pulled it into his extending grip. His arms and left leg pushed out quickly opposing his momentum to bring him to a complete stop as he formed a series of right angles and a manic sneer. His Z-3 series Beamer was pointed past the head of the waitress at the thick composite Dino-Glass wall behind her. Several transparent sections showed that behind this wall was nothing but vacuum and the cracked Earth in the distance, a burning and boiling hell-sphere about twice the size that the moon used to appear to people looking up from Earth… in the days before it broke. He made his voice as low and threatening as he could with his 16 year old lungs, but to his own ears it sounded weak and thin with the roar of the lion still echoing through the tunnels.
“Stakes! Now! Or it’s ventilation season mutards!”
The waitress screamed as a half dozen patrons swung their cameras away from the lion outside to focus on Vince. Outside the diner door, above which hung large yellow letters reading, “Leper Cheese,” several of the blackwall screens shifted from images of the lion to images of Vince screaming at the waitress. Pedestrians and commuters looked around in happy confusion at the double break in banality the day was providing.
The waitress started pulling the crumpled plastic currency out of the old and creaky register.
“Hurry up or I will kill us all! ‘Cept yo mommies! They gets the salamis!” yelled Vince at the terrified woman. She tried to move faster and dropped a wad of bills to the floor. When she bent to pick them up, Vin reached out and grabbed as many bills as he could from the register and shoved them into a bag on his belt. He spun and waved his gun at all of the amateur photographers surrounding him. His smile widened as they scattered.
“Gotta fly you clown punchers, ya moms is waiting on me,” he crowed in the fullness of his youth.
He unhooked his rough padded foot and pushed himself off at an angle to shoot out the door. He gave himself a slight spin and pulled his arms in to increase the speed of his revolution, his laser gun pointing everywhere and causing the patrons to leap away from him. Several of them obtained minor injuries crashing into walls and tables.
Out the door, the proprietor had caught on to what was happening and reached out to grab for Vince with both hands. He received a savage kick to the chin for his trouble. Out in the large open space of the axel, Vince spread his shirt wings and slowed his spin. He pushed off of a curved black wall that had an image of his own sneering face on it and returned to the air duct he had been in when he first saw the lion. He took a second to check himself out on the black walls. He looked good, smooth and mean, surrounded by animal carnage. His own hair vied with the lion’s mane for best hair in the axel. The bag full of money at his side filled him with a joy that caused drug-like sensations to fill his body and brain. His kras had pulled capers before, but this was all him. People would be talking about this.