Cyberpunk: The Verd
Toxik shook her head, messing her short black hair.
“Look, Razor. The code is wrong here.” She pointed a bright-blue fingered glove to the PICU deck display. She began typing away at the interface before her, changing several lines of text. The dark room she and her sister were hiding away in made the virtual displays almost blinding, but both of them were used to it.
“Sis, I know how to program an icebreaker, I’ve been doing it for years!” came the frustrated reply from the younger sibling.
“If you’re so experienced, then why can I do this so easily?” Toxik typed a few lines of code into her own PICU display, waited a moment and turned to her sister’s. The virtual display looked as though it were melting away and fell to a puddle of error messages at the bottom. Razor made a face at Toxik and began to reboot.
“Sis, that wasn’t fair. You stole that ICE from Xitrada’s level four security sector! I’m not trying to go THAT far yet!” Razor tied back her long, neon orange hair while she waited for her system.
“My dear little sister, I’m just showing you what you’re up against,” began Toxik, “if you can encrypt yourself better next time, this won’t happen so easily. And that’s not ALL I stole.” She grinned.
Razor gave up her angry reaction when she heard a loud crash.
“What was that?!”
“Shh…” replied Toxik as she poked her head round a corner, “when I say so, we run.”
Razor nodded, her eyes wide with near-panic.
The older sister returned her gaze from the corner.
“Four Lacra, just broke in and are searching this floor. Won’t be long before their thermal readers’ll be online. That light over there. We run, downstairs, now!”
The two girls sprang from their hiding place behind old machines and began to sprint across the warehouse to the stairwell. All four Lacra immediately took notice and their photoreceptors followed the pair.
“Razor, listen to me,” started Toxik, halfway down a flight of stairs, “you get back home as quickly as you can. I think I have something that can slow them down.”
“But sis!” protested the younger sibling. She was cut off by the intrusion of a metal body that landed between Toxik and her.
“RUN!” Yelled Toxik. She ducked an incoming Lacra arm swing and dove from the top of the stairs past the automaton. Razor darted down the stairwell, quickly getting out of the Lacra’s vision and leaving her sister behind. She fought back tears and resolved that she could not run again. Not after last time. Memories of a ghostly white Lacra blade and her father’s limp body flooded back.
Toxik charged the nearest door, bursting into the room as the rusted door frame broke under her weight. She scanned the bare room, finally settling on the window as her next route of escape. She covered her face, throwing her body through the window as shards of glass embedded themselves into her arms. She fell several metres, landing hard as searing pain pulsed through her legs.
Just ignore it and keep moving, she told herself. Three Lacra were hot on her tail, leaping to the window like animals, though they appeared mostly human. Toxik had sprung again to her feet and run to a wall across the courtyard. One of the three figures revealed a glowing white blade from its arm and slashed at the window. A swift kick and the bricks fell to the ground along with the window frame. The Lacra leapt gracefully from the height and landed on strong metal legs. Toxik had found her way over to a narrow corridor between two brick walls. She punched in a quick sequence using her PICU deck, trying to disrupt the Lacra. Damn it! Why wasn’t it working? I guess they learned their lesson last time. She ran through the brick corridor and turned to see her attackers were gaining on her. This might be it, she thought.
“SIS!” came a yell from nearby. The voice was Razor’s.
“I told you to run! Why didn’t you listen?!”
Razor’s smile spread into a wide grin as she leaned to the left and sprung out her right foot directly into the brick wall. A crack made its way up the wall in less than a second and the bricks came tumbling down right on top of the three Lacra. Razor came over to her sister throwing an arm around her, but Toxik pushed her away.
“Look, we’ll have time to celebrate once we’re gone. There’s still one left somewhere.” Razor nodded and they both took off across the warehouse parking lot and down the street into the night. Far behind them, the now-still avalanche of bricks stirred and three metal forms lifted themselves from the rubble. Another metal form very quietly pursued the sisters from the rooftops, concealed by the deep shadows cast by buildings on streets lit by bright neon.
“When did you get a cybernetic leg, Razor?” asked Toxik demandingly.
“After what happened with dad,” began Razor, “I wanted something to protect you and mum. Something more than just a good hiding place or lines of code. I’ve been working for a few friends, earning favours.”
“Well, don’t you EVER do something that stupid and reckless again!” Toxik punched her sister on the arm.