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Outrun Stories #57  

Pale Blood — Part 8 of 10

“But you said you didn’t get the power, when you got the needle?” Chapman is as fucking stupid as the rest of these agency clowns.

“Look, you don’t need the power to receive. There’s two ways, one is direct from a mutant, the other is via a vessel. I was just buying in for a direct transfer. The real money comes from using the vessels to get the girls out of the incident zones and into States, there, they’re shipped off all over the country, all over the world, to the highest bidder, full of whatever memory the person has ordered. And trust me, these fuckers aren’t buying ski trips and other shit. There’s a whole god damn network of people across the globe trading in this shit and you’re all so clueless, I mean, how dumb can you guys be?”

“We’ve got people working on the network, it’s the source that we’ve been trying to crack,” Chapman says, he’s uncomfortable as I am.

“Yeah, well, 16 years ago the incidents happened, about ten years ago they started discovering what they could do, about five years ago they figured out about the vessels, so, you’ve been sat on your hands for a real long time.”

“We’ve been working it, Cutty!” Chapman slams his fat paws down on the table.

“Settle down, big man, we don’t want you having a heart attack now do we? Listen, I’ve had the needle and I can pass as one of them, I’m in the underground but can’t get close to the telepaths. I know I have to pay my way in to get my own transfer, so I think up of something this scum might have on hand, something cheap that I can afford with the bit of money I have. So, I go with a murder. Yeah, no surprises there, right? They’ve got a huge stock of murders, all the fucking colours of the rainbow.”

“Did you do it? Can you remember it?”

I lower my head and hold it in my shaking hands. “What do you think, Chapman?”

“Shit.”

“Yeah, you know how long I’ve been a cop, you know about my history. I’ve been trying to battle this shit my whole career. This is what I’ve been fighting against. Every day I wake up, same shit, kids murdered, women raped, men battered, people robbed. Fuck, I tried to make sure it didn’t get to me, I tried to push it all down, but it slowly creeps you know? It creeps in the back of your mind, it becomes part of you, it’s what you are, all this mayhem and hate and chaos. Then you wake up one day and there’s nothing else, you’ve been through it all you think, you’re part of it now, you start to forget which side you’re on, just what the hell you’re trying to do here, trying to achieve. Some kid comes along and reminds you you’re human again. Says you have a kind smile, says you’re their friend, and it starts to come back. Then one day, they’re gone, and you’re fighting for them, you’ve given up everything else, any other thought of any other life, other than trying to save theirs.” I pause and grit my teeth. “And to do that, I have to become what I’ve fought all those years, become one of them, become a mutant, become a murderer, and even after all that, she’s still dead.”

“We can’t bring her back, but we can help you,” Champan says.

“Only a bullet to the head can help me now.”

“We can do that,” he looks me dead in the eye.

“Not yet,” I reply.

Musical Inspiration: Molasar — "Following"

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Outrun Stories #57  
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