Rehab is like prison except with a slightly better view, thought Diamond as she stared out the window. She heard a car tire squeal and she was sitting in that car again.
She was in Seattle in summer. She had the stolen car running with the AC on. The glare off the cars was lessened by the tinted windows and the shades she wore. Diamond sat up straight, shifting in her seat, trying to look everywhere at once.
“Come on. Come on.”
She had just been kicked out of the army and rent was due. She needed a fix. She searched the glove box and found nothing but wadded up papers and the metalinks she had insisted her crew leave turned off in the car. She started going through her purse. She began to sweat, turning out her pockets. She saw a guy standing in a nearby alley. A low rent orc thug stood holding a pistol in his pants. Diamond rolled the window down a crack and looked at him.
“I got that Jazz, Cram, Kamikaze.” he said to people passing by.
Diamond looked around again and then at the time in an ARO.
“They shouldn’t have started yet,” she said.
She did one last look around and saw no one.
“Fuck it,” she got out of the car and locked it. She walked quickly to the alley mouth, clutching a pistol in her pocket.
“What you want?” asked the orc the gold tips of his tusks glinting in the sunlight.
“Jazz.” said Diamond handing him a certified credstick.
The dealer handed her the drugs and she heard gun shots. The orc turned and ran. She turned to run back to the car and saw her new associates running out of the bank shooting over their shoulders. A security guard shot, Biter, the orc in the back with a Ruger superwarhawk and he went down. The troll of her crew, Aggro, let of a burst from a machine pistol. The guard went down in a spray of blood.
Aggro and Yolo, the human exganger, got to the car and the doors were locked.
“Fuck.” she said to herself and used her commlink to unlock the stolen car. They opened the doors on the passenger side and jumped in.
“Diamond!” Agro yelled.
Before Diamond could move police cars sped around both corners and surrounded the stolen car. Aggro came out shooting and went down in a hail of gunfire. Yolo threw his weapons down. Diamond turned her back and put the inhaler in her mouth tears running down her cheeks. I fucked up. Just like the army, she thought.
She squeezed the inhaler and the Jazz hit her like a lightening bolt. She walked faster stretching out her limbs and rolling her neck.
“Are you ready?” asked Father O’tool with a smile and an Irish accent. He ran the chapel at the St Jude Medical Center inpatient rehab program.
“I remember first meeting you and thinking you were using magic on me.” said Diamond.
“The lord has blessed me with power but with great power…anyway do you know what you’ll do now?” he asked.
“I have no family. They told me I was dead to them when I was drummed out of the army. I’ve got no nuyen and nowhere to go. So no. I don’t know what I’m going to do.” said Diamond.
“You could always stay here. I could find you a job…” said the father.
“I’ve relied on your charity too long as it is. I gotta get out there and do something for myself.” said Diamond.
“Well our door is always open if you change your mind.” said the father.
Diamond stepped down from the eighteen wheeler’s cab and said “thank you.” She stared up at the Welcome to Boise sign with bullet holes in it.
It was a cold spring night but clear with a full moon. All the light commercial buildings had their lights off. She heard music from a bar that looked like it hadn’t been renovated since America was one whole nation. She walked up admiring the bikes out front. A few had a flaming bat logo. Walking in the smell of spilled beer and sweat hit her along with the sounds of loud music and fighting.
An orc slipped free from a troll and kicked his legs out from under him. He then helped the troll back up and clapped him on the back. Everyone laughed and money exchanged hands.
“Looky here.” said a white man in a Hellbats cut.
“Sup.” said Diamond.
“I’m Oggy. Hey boys look at what fine brown sugar we got here.” he said.
Diamond punched him in the face and knocked him down. She walked over him and took a seat at the bar. The crowd roared. Oggy got up his nose bleeding.
“Cad I buy you a drihk.” he said holding his nose.
“Yeah. You can.” she said.