Part VII – The Wrong Guy
By the time he gets to the Level Two Common, the show has already started. Rock Tone and the Element really have the crowd raging. They’re in the middle of their classic ‘Clone Heroes,’ their new bassist really keeping up quite well with her new band.
Not that it matters much to him. He’s plugged into his own player listening to something completely different. He looks up at the band, then around at the crowd. ‘I’ll never find them in this crowd. I’ll just keep busy, then meet up at the end of the show. We’ll have plenty of loot by then.’
He works through the crowd, pickpocketing along the way. He gets bumped by some guy dancing and drops his hoverboard.
“Hey, watchit yobbo!” he yells. “That’s a Hosoi 1600. Cost more’n you’re worth!”
He looks up at the unhappy bald man and his tall partner.
“Excuse me?” says the bald man.
“Whoa, sorry guy, I thought you… I mean I didn’t… ah… uh; bye.” He stumbles away into the crowd quickly. ‘How crass. Old guy gotta start shit here at the show, and he ain’t got cash. Just this stupid crystal ball. Gotta be worth somethin’ to someone.’
He feels a tap on his shoulder. “Excuse me. I think you have something that belongs to me,” the voice says. He turns to see a tall man in an armored trenchcoat, pulled back slightly to reveal an old slugthrower.
“Oh, sorry, here,” he says, throwing a wallet at the man and running into the crowd, toward the street. He turns to look behind him and sees the man running after him. ‘I need to get in the open, use my board.’
“She’s got a gun!” someone yells, and the crowd starts screaming and running in all directions. The sound of assault rifle shots is almost drowned out by the screams of fleeing concert-goers.
‘What the…’ he looks back to see the Element’s new bassist shooting wildly into the crowd and at security personnel. ‘Shit!’ He drops his board, jumps on, and heads for the street as fast as a Hosoi can go.
He hits the street amidst the fleeing crowd, and is immediately chased down by the bald man in an aircar, cursing wildly at him.
‘Shit; I picked the wrong guys to steal from,’ he thinks, as he speeds through a red light, barely missing crossing traffic. The aircar flies right over the intersection, inches above the traffic.
After rounding the next corner, the bald man is right behind him. ‘Gotta get to the alley. He can’t tail me into there.’
Just as the aircar is about to run him down, he turns into a tight alley, too narrow for the wide, gleaming aircar.
“Yes!” he shouts, looking back and laughing at the cursing bald man. ‘Now to find my crew.’ He takes the turn from the alley onto the street too quickly, adrenalin clouding his judgment. He doesn’t even see the truck that runs him down or hear its brakes as it hits him.
“Did you find it?” the bald man asks his partner.
“No, did you?”
“No, but we better. We went through a lot recently. I’d like to have something to show for it for once.”
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for the next installment, Part VIII - The Eudoran Setup, in a couple days.