Sixth district was a mess of activity and panic, dust settling through the cracks in the pavement as it was ruptured like a balloon, spewing water from aqueducts hidden below. Down the street we’d find a steel factory that was shut down moments earlier, workers in soot stained clothing charging the doors like excited ants. A woman in a black business suit tracked through, pushing men twice her size out of the way. She rounded several hallway corners, found a break room, then sat, waiting. Through the door walked the man she wanted. Nagare Tomaskin.
“You’re Nagare, right?” she asked, turning her thick rimmed glasses over and over in her hands. She let her long black hair spill down her back in the air conditioned room as the man, young with a near unmarked face, grey hair cropped to his shoulders, consider her, showing little emotion.
“I’m not going. I don’t care” he said, the tag on her chest giving her away with the letters 'GJA'.
“The association isn’t any of my business. I’m just a forge worker.”
“You haven’t payed us back yet, Tomaskin.”
“I told you I don’t care.”
He kept walking, she jumped up, followed him, then pushed him back into the wall. His face contorted with annoyance.
“My commander is ready to retract the offer. You understand, right?”
He grimaced, kept walking, the woman trailing behind on red high heels.
“I’ll go, then. Just leave me alone.” he said finally. “I just want to do what I did when I was alive, that’s all. Just give me that one day. Please.”
They stepped out into the street and the panic that was there before had long since vanished, leaving a dead lull that hung in the air. He stood in the center of the street, cast his heavy leather smock to the side before metal fingers spread from the back of his neck, kicking up a whirlwind that stirred up the trash in the street. He looked at her as claws formed over his mouth, then vanished, chunks of building falling to the abandoned street marking his passing. He crossed the twenty kilometers in half a second, time crawling to a stop as he jumped building to building.
He spotted the metal creature between a wall of gunfire and panicked dusters, and came down on it like a lightning bolt, kicking it in the chest. It flew away from him, through a building, then reached out, grabbing his leg and throwing him across town. He passed through several residential apartment complexes, spearing them like squirming fish, before skidding to a stop on the corrugated steel roofing of a morgue building. Spikes sprouted from his back, screaming out like angry snakes when the Roach appeared, carrying him through the building impaled on squealing tendrils of electrified metal flesh that bored through like a drill, digging towards the Roach’s brain-core. They hit the ground after falling for two hundred feet, Nagare on top, punching the Roach in the neck as sparks flew in violent arcs, black tinted mercury gushing from the cracks. The Roach screamed loud, clawed and thrashed, then became still, the entire block flooded like the back room of a slaughter house.