A sample from cyberpunk thriller ANIMUS PROXY by your very own @KehlBayern!
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Pushing towards a sanctuary still unknown, she ran forward in desperation. Her feet were heavy, her shoes were soaked through, clopping along the black streets. Behind her was the sound of trash barrels clanging as they keeled over and the frantic, ragged breathing of five men and one woman, black pupils engorged and bloodshot, demonic
eyes boring into her skull, seeing her thoughts, filling her head with despair and heightening her panic. Phantasms sprang to life from thin air, silhouetted in the neon light of the megalopolis. Moments ago she was asleep in a known drug den, one of the many flophouses for the city’s lesser sorts, its users and losers, its poor and its addled. She was all of the above. Now she struggled against visions she was not certain were real
but were terrifying and tried to escape from deranged junkies bent on rending her in pieces.
Desperation had led her to seek shelter from the rain. It was a rat’s nest underneath a hollowed-out, derelict corporate tower in a now-obsolete old city financial district. The den was abandoned with few perpetual residents. This both made her uneasy and more secure at the same time – knowing that no one wanted to hang out here, given the
options. She had found a few scraps of cardboard box and had made a patch on the wet ground to lay down.
When she awoke, she noticed she was joined by strangers surrounding a fire in a metal barrel. They paid no attention to her as they prepared two dirty syringes and tied off their arms, exposing veins in a ritualistic manner. She realized they never knew she was there and she sought to keep it that way by remaining as quiet as she could manage, breathing in shallow gulps and watching them with fevered interest, her heart pounding
in her ears.
The group made her feel uneasy with their rough manner and shifty demeanors, but that was everyone in the undersprawl. They laughed and cackled, going quiet after they shot up the chems.
She thought, as long as she huddled in the dark in a corner, bundling herself against the cold with a bug-infested blanket she had carted around for far too long, that she would be safe. The night would pass, she would find somewhere else once they passed out.
It was then that the group began to overdose, dying right in front of her. Their bodies convulsed, the woman emitting violent hacking-hissing sounds before breaking her arm in her furious flailing. Then the group laid still and silent, cold and dead. The rain poured in sheets outside – not the best time to leave, but she knew she needed to get out.
Something prompted her to leave that building then and there, in spite of the rain. She stood up and gathered her scant belongings, knocking over a heavy piece of scrap metal resting against the wall as she did so. It fell with a clang. She jumped back, yelping. One of the od’d men stirred, huffing and growling, a shadow struggling to push itself to its feet.
The reflected light from the fire in the barrel revealed dark blood soaked through the man’s shirt, oozing out from the pores in his face. The others in the group moved, standing up and, as she turned to go down the steps, the first man screamed at her. They chased her, howling after her as she fled down the stairs in the blue black darkness. She had evaded them for ten minutes now, screaming for help, her lungs aching from exhaustion, her clothes soaked, coldness seeping into her very flesh. A hobo up ahead was sitting underneath a broken, sparking neon blue sign, his bottle of liquor clutched in a tight grip.
The group fell upon the hobo and ripped him apart, tearing and snarling as they did. She paused, observing for too many precious moments a scene bereft of reason, a visage filled with horror. The drug addicts ripped the poor man apart barehanded, breaking fingers and tearing off nails in their ferocity. Now she was crying, crying for fear, for her life, and just praying it was all a nightmare, a drug-induced vision. She would wake up
and everything would fine.
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Three of the group broke away from the homeless man and continued in their pursuit of her, chasing her down yet another dark alley, a shaft of blue-white light at the other end beckoning her forward. She ran, her shoes plopping on the surface, the water splashing in every direction. A security vehicle was ahead, SEERS-SYNTHETICS in bold thick white letters on a sky blue diamond, the roof-mounted blue lights flashing in intermittent pulses, a pulsar in the abyss. Too focused on the horizon, she missed the half-open sewer grating and fell into the pit below, followed by one of the possessed men. Her legs shattered, bone jutting from her skin at horrible, unnatural angles, pain radiating like electric current throughout her body. The man pursuing her crawled towards her, flailing at her, screaming in a raspy voice. The other two addicts above had continued to run towards the security vehicle, the
The other two addicts above had continued to run towards the security vehicle, the drone’s voice booming overhead, its worda unintelligible. She was screaming from pain and agony, crawling in the darkness towards the unknown. She ran her fingers along an injector pen she had in her pocket, yanking it out and taking the cap off with her teeth,
breathing in furious puffs as she slid along the slimy ground. She pulsed the entire phial into her veins, an intentional overdose to end the nightmare. Then she heard them. In the black of the sewer tunnels echoed the running steps of herds of screaming people, ravenous creatures dwelling in the deep abyss of the great metropolis. Ripping and tearing her apart while she screamed. Her last thoughts were nonsense, the drugs drowning her in darkness as she took one last rest.
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