Outrun Stories #54  

by Outrun Stories about a year ago in science fiction

Pale Blood — Part 5 of 10

Outrun Stories #54  
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“Cutty, this thing’s not going away, help us help you. You know?” The interviewer lights up another cigarette and takes out that hand-cannon from the holster underneath his right arm.

“That thing chaffing?” I ask as I eye him, and I know he’s right, this thing isn’t going away, but I also know as soon as I tell them what they need to know, what they know I have, I’m a goner.

He tongues the ulcer on the inside of his cheek and lets out a long sigh.

I shake my head. “Not much space for an honest cop in this town, right? You fucking scumbags, it takes someone like me to do the job you were supposed to be doing all along. What the hell were you waiting for all this time? Sixteen god damn years and everything that’s happened since the meltdowns. Don’t like to get your hands dirty do you?” I spit on the floor. “You’ve been sat on your ass for years whilst the few real cops that were left did all the work for you, but you know just as well as I do that none of them got out alive, none of them ever made it back when they went into the gangs. None until me, right?”

“Cutty, you’re a special case.” The interviewer palms the back of his head. This whole thing is getting to him, he’s weak and old and fat and corrupt, just like the rest of them. “We’ve had operatives go in, don’t you think we haven’t lost men too? Good men.”

“I’m sure you’ve lost men too, but I’m also sure you don’t give a shit. All you care about is what the mutants have, what they’ve discovered, and if you can weaponise it.” There’s a long pause and I shake my head. “Yeah, just as I thought, no denying it. Well, one thing your good men didn’t have was a network of people they could rely on built up with years of experience and living in this shit. I went at this with a plan and I called in every favour I had. I’m alone now, don’t you fucking realise that?”

“What do you want from us, Cutty?”

“I know what you fucking spooks are like, you play me like a fiddle, I spill what I know and then you’re out of here and I disappear into a hole somewhere. Always the same.”

“We can protect you, Cutty.”

“You fuckers just don’t get it, do you?” I laugh and close my eyes. “I don’t give a shit about me, I never have, and I certainly didn’t do what I did to try and get some sort of fucking nice feeling in my gut about helping someone. I did it for her, plain and simple and now she’s dead.” I lower my head. “Look, I know none of this will make any difference, whatever I tell you, you cocksuckers will go on just the same, but you know, at least try and lie to me. Tell me that you’re not going straight to the agency’s weapons division, tell me that you might at least try to make people’s lives a little better with what I can tell you. Save a few of these poor bastards.”

“We’ll try, Cutty.” The interviewer leans in and puts his hand on my shoulder. “I’ll promise you that.”

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Outrun Stories

Short sci-fi stories in 500 words or less deriving from the Outrun, tech-noir and NewWave aesthetic.

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