Jim was just finishing his beer download, when Jun burst into the bar, looking ready to start a fight. This was his happy time, his mind melded with the technology, finally catching a buzz after so many years without a body, wandering the universe alone and straight with nothing much to amuse him and no company to speak of.
Junko N’Eau was not happy. None of her usual panache and style, it had been swapped for heavy weaponry and some hardcore body armor. “Someone wants me dead, Jim,” she announced, “and I am not so sure I want to find out what that is like, at least not yet.” Jimbot drunkenly stretched out his body in a cat-like posture, leant louchely back in the booth and thought twice about asking her what she wanted him to do about it. The barman, Jaki, came over offering a sober up quick deprogram for more than he had paid to get wrecked in the first place. Jim scowled in return.
Jun slid into the booth, opposite him. She was sure that Jim and his ghoul like predicament had something to do with things, how could it not, she thought to herself. After all what men would do to live on in an eternal fixable animated android body, free from the bothers of blood and flesh. Or perhaps the dead could be coaxed back into the land of the living to live once again, reuniting families. The secret to Jim’s successful possession of the Bot body could make people antsy, could make people ambitious….could make people violent.
“Who knows about you?” asked Jun. Jim shrugged, and Junko produced a small device from her pocket. “This is the kill switch, Jim. I can’t shut you down forever, but I could make that robot suit mighty uncomfortable for a while.” The events at the Whiskey, the loss of her friend, the bar being shot up by rabid Anubisians all conspired to wreck her existence of mundane quietude.
Jim wasn’t sure when he got on board with Jun, or started to co operate, he wasn’t sure if it was when the first laser shot took off the barman’s arm, the wires and circuits fizzing angrily, or when Jun, pulled him under the table just as another shot smashed the just for the ambience glass pitcher of amber liquid in front of him. It might have been when the back wall of the shack got hauled off by a large metal hook, and Jun dragged him by the arm into the alleyway whilst firing back in short concentrated bursts of red laser fire of her own. Certainly by the time Jun dragged him into a sewer, popping off the lid, and lowering herself down like a graceful dancer whilst grasping Jim by the ankle and yelling at him to ‘climb you stupid android’ he decided that the only decent thing to do would be to try and help as best he could.
The sewer was dark and cold, and dank. The pop and hustle of the computerized world above faded fast into the reality of physical existance, the drip drip of unknown fluids, the darkly threatening bobbing of rats swimming in muck, the smell he knew must exist and he could almost see it was so thick in the air hanging in a grotesque miasma of fat burgs and diapers, rat turds and urine, plastic bags from the ’00’s still clinging onto life uselessly declaring some long lost store or brand. If he could, he would have puked then and there, the vague memory of vomit lingering in his pathways and indenting itself on alien programming quirks.
“Ah!” He announced wistfully. This reminds me of LA back in the day, it almost feels like home! Jun flashed him a small smile, produced a flashlight and the tunnel ahead loomed foreboding.