The Title

by David Caldwell

Black and White: Part 05.


Victor thumbed the safety off his weapon. The mark briskly walked ahead of him, scarcely avoiding collision with other pedestrians. The alley was more like a narrow street, lined with back door establishments catering to the criminally mundane to the flagrant and flamboyant, and illegally exotic. Victor unbuttoned his overcoat. He wanted fast access to his weapon. Ready to use it on the mark or on some sub-human who tried to jack him for his wallet or clothes. The mark stopped by a small kiosk that was situated by the rear entrance to a particularly seedy flesh palace. The mark mumbled something in Cityspeak to the diminutive Multi-Ethnic man behind the kiosks counter. Victor eyed his immediate surroundings. Pedestrian traffic was surprisingly sparse. The street people around him were either engaged in some type of illicit barter or lewd sexual act or shuffling about in a chemical induced stupor. Victor reached for his gun, his fingers barely touching the butt of his weapon, when the mark whirled around and smiled at Victor. The mark's harried demeanor suddenly evaporated and was replaced by a cool confidence that momentarily stopped Blu from drawing his pistol out any further.

"Hello Victor. Out for as stroll?" The mark said calmly. Victor was stunned, but managed to pull his pistol from the holster.

"I guess not, my friend." The mark spoke softly. His hands buried deep in his overcoat pockets. Not moving. Clear, penetrating blue eyes steadily fixed upon Victor. A sharp laugh escaped from Victor's mouth as he brought the gun to bear on the mark's torso. Victor could almost feel his neural synapses begin to sputter and misfire. 'What the hell is the matter with me? I've killed before. Pull the trigger and be done with it.' A voice spoke to him. One that he rarely heard. The voice of his long buried conscience. 'Yes, you have killed before. Have you ever killed a man? A truly organic biological entity? That is the burning question. This is not a fugitive replicant or one of your rep-prostitutes that fails to come up with her 'protection' pay, now is it?' Victor gritted his teeth, whispered a barely audible 'no' and began to squeeze the trigger. He began to get tunnel vision. His ears seemed to be filling with water. The muffled report from the gun startled Victor. His eyes ultimately managed to focus on the burning hole in the mark's coat.

'Got you. You poor, hopeless, son-of-a-bitch.' And then, nothing else mattered to Victor Blu.

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