#TeamCyberPunk - Part Three: Return to the Lost City of Crescent - @StevenBrandt

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Return to the Lost City of Crescent

by StevenBrandt


"I think I heard a shot!" a woman yelled. "I think I heard a shot!"

The colorless, bland-faced office workers of Achromatic Authority Offices scattered before Krono and Jegro's gun shots. Red sprayed across the white, gray, and black favored by the beaurocrats of the Efficiency. The fight didn't last long. A bullet caught one man in the head. Another tore through a woman's chest. Soon the screaming stopped.

Krono laughed.

Did these people imagine they were allowed to control minds and imaginations? Did they think no one would fight back?

Krono grinned as he surveyed the damage he and Jegro had done. The dead lay everywhere. He frowned. What had happened to him over the last few years that he enjoyed seeing this kind of carnage? Did that make him a bad person?

"I think I like being a member of the Ministry of Anarchy," Krono said.

"That's 'Alteration,'" Jegro corrected.

Krono scratched his head. He hadn't paid too much attention to the name. All he'd wanted was to fight back against the society that had taken his memory, suppressed his imagination, and stolen the color from the world. The carnage they'd just wrought was poorly described by the word, "Alteration."

"Um," Krono said. "Remind me a little: what do we do at the Ministry of Alteration?"

"We alter stuff." Jegro playfully slapped his hand against Krono's blue hair.

"Take this dead elf, here," Jegro said, unhooking his backpack.

"She's not an elf. There's no such thing."

Jegro gave Krono a withering look, then dumped the contents of the pack on the floor, spilling a variety of odd parts and machinery across the glossy surface. He poked through it until he found two large triangular pieces of metal. He pressed one against each side of the dead woman's head where she lay facedown. With a snicking sound, black fibers shot from the triangle's edges and embedded in her flesh. Her head wobbled, probably because part of her spine was missing.

"Elves have pointy ears, right?" Jegro asked.

Put like that, the two black triangles did resemble pointy ears.

"Huh," Krono said. "So we're making a dead elf?"

Jegro shook his head. He took a black cable and dropped it into the missing section of her spine. Like the ears, it integrated itself into the corpse, reconnecting the broken spine and wrapping itself about the neck bones.

"Um," Krono said. "She's going to stay dead, right?"

"Dead elves aren't much fun," Jegro sang. "They don't come when you call, they don't chase orcs at all."

He rubbed his chin, thoughtfully. "Something about those lyrics isn't right."

"Forget the demented song," Krono said. "We just killed her and her whole untidy crew. Shouldn't we be running?"

"Watch yer language," Jegro snarled. "Just because you kill people, it doesn't mean you have to use the u-word."

The u-word? Untidy? "You don't like it? Listen to this! Mess! Disorder! Disarray!"

Jegro placed his palms against the side of his head and scrunched his eyes closed.

Krono sat down. Had he known swearing would feel that good? Did liking it mean he was sick in the head? He was learning new things about himself all the time. Most of it suggested he wasn't a good person. Did that bother him? He wasn't sure.

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