Short story segment

Drail swivelled around in the driver’s compartment and pulled out a large battery from inside his left boot. He took the device out of its holster and replaced the primary cell, putting the non-lethal tazer back in its place having heard the satisfying click. From where he was seated there was a clear view of the Shell Dunes which glittered with the reflection of a million photovoltaic cells, he calibrated his sunglasses to optimise them for the glare, and was able to look past the endless glistening rise and fall of dunes, where in the distance a horizontal line cut a false horizon and gave way to the steeples of civilisation. The towers cut through the sky, and if by a mad chance there was a cloud in the sky, they would have pierced right through it and continued on into the stratosphere. The top most portion of the biggest towers disappeared from view as they reached up outside of the atmosphere, with the most powerful Chaebul having built towers that interlinked directly with their own space docks. These were clearly different with enormous pipelines running down each side of the building. One would be a vacuum lift often with a G force in excess of 6, while the other would house important calibration mechanics for the building including an Air Management Unit, a mass of pipes kilometres long. This city had 6 Chaebol Headquarters.


The worn brown leather of his jacket was getting hot under the collar, he moved his legs back into the vehicle and pulled down the hatch. The cabin repressurised and the temperature instantly adapted to his pre-set. Drail toyed with the holographic map after discarding his sunglasses, an ancient mechanical contraption that saved him updating his iris tech. There was a grunt from the back seat and the car shook. Drail made as if to turn around, but was to intent on the map to bother.


‘whats got you going big shot.’


Tensed and grinding his molars together the man lent forward elbows digging into his bulbous quads. ‘……. The fucking lack of momentum’. He swiped mid-air, catching the back of the drivers seat. ‘Fucking Legal Aid popup shit gets under my skin. Why do I have to get stuck with the only Hunter who insists on manually plugging in coordinates, that’s what’s it there for, let the Nav decide’ he trailed off into a slur and leaned back into his chair. His eyes wondered out of the cabin and leaning his forhead on the glass he looked down at the ground hunting for specks of movement, but his eyes quickly tired of the challenge. ‘why you gotta drive this high anyway, not like I got a big escape plan.’


Drail was lumbered yet again with a character, normally his passangers were either sweating or crying at this point. But not this one, he just looked like he was killing time, if not a little impatient. Drail didn’t like the guy’s attitude, it was out of character for someone about to be sent to the most secure Lunar Penitentiary in a matter of hours. How had he landed this cargo anyway? Looking back, this wasn’t where he had wanted to be five years after piloting school, the only reason he always drove at maximum altitude was because he craved interstellar space travel. At the moment he felt like a heaping mess of dissatisfaction, nothing was working for him.


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