The Title

by David Caldwell

When Shiva Starts to Dance: Part 02.

Familiar places, familiar faces

Taffey Lewis sat in his usual booth surveying the crowded main bar of his Chinatown nightclub.

"Good crowd Taffey" the waitress said as she placed a drink on the table in front of the morose looking owner.
"Crap, these ope heads ain't drinking or playing the games, if I didn't have the Opesynth franch for this district I'd be screwed." Finishing off his drink he placed the glass on the waitress's tray. "Hit me again toots."

He was wondering to himself again why he didn't paper the right pockets and get himself a pass for Off-World. He was thinking he could get himself some good looking black market skinjobs and start a high class cathouse somewhere when he found himself looking at a familiar face across the room.

He told the waitress to summon the club's Ubermusc, the Cityspeak title for his Security Manager.

A few minutes later the large blond security man sat down beside Taffey.
"What's up Mr. Lewis?"
"See that character over there?" he jabbed with his cigarette without looking at the man in question. "He's Blade Runner, when he was in here a couple of years ago he retired my star attraction. Find out what he's up to and tell Opal and Rolf to stay in their dressing rooms." The security man nodded and rose from the booth.
"And Mikey".
"Yes Mr. Lewis"
" If he's here on a job, take care of him." Taffey said stubbing out his cigarette.
The Ubermusc nodded, turned and moved into the crowd.

Deckard had enough credits left for one more drink, to follow the three he had already had. Why had he come here he wondered, where else could he go was the answer. His apartment would have been reassigned long ago, any friends he once had in the squad would have him on their prejudice lists now, there was no one else left, no family, if there ever really had been.

His only chance for survival was to merge into the rag tag, flawed multitude that now made up the population of the atrophying city and this bar was as good a place as any to do that. He remembered the last time he had been here, how he had left the replicant Zhora a bloody, torn mess on the street outside.

Feeling his hands begin to shake he turned to locate the waitress and found himself instead staring into cold, blue eyes set in a familiar face, a face that could not possibly be there in front of him.

"Roy!" was the only word that Deckard was capable of forming.
"Good evening Mr. Deckard, we need to talk, why don't we go somewhere more private," the security guard said having inclined his handsome face so close to Rick's ear that he could feel the man's breath on his neck.

Not waiting for any response from Deckard, the Security Manger, the man who had the face of the expired replicant Roy Batty, put his arm around Deckard's shoulders and propelled him gently but firmly towards the exit.

Taffey Lewis watched the pair leave the club, "It's just one friggin aggravation after another, I've gotta get Off-world before this place gives me a friggin' stroke," he thought to himself as he lit another cigarette.

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