Powder Keg

The desolate landscape of war-ravaged San Francisco looms over you as you and your comrade, Cole, walk towards the Golden Gate. The burned out remains of the Exploratorium are still and deserted to your right, looking like nothing more than a monument to an age gone by.

Now, the forlorn hulk of the towering vaulted building, its once-graceful arches now cracked and eroded, stands vacant and charred by both fires and the sporadic acid rain that burns everything in its path. One can never be too careful, these days.

You wonder what it was like to have been a child in the days when you could still visit museums. Back when children were actually allowed to be children, and weren't forced into slave labour, prostitution, or dosed with so much radiation that they mutated within scant few months or years. In this year of 2208, there is only one thing left that a child can do: survive.

Fifty metres from your scheduled rendezvous area at the midpoint of the bridge, you slow down and fall back as Cole takes point. Those you are meeting have already arrived, and seem prepared, waiting patiently as you both approach. Advancing slowly, time creeps by as you move into a defensive position at a slight angle to your partner, maybe five or six metres away along one battered railing of the archaic span. Your weapon cocked and ready, Cole gestures to the others and their leader steps forward. They clench wrists in a sign of mutual respect, then proceed with the negotiations.

Mere moments later, Cole utters an oath under his break and backs away from the man representing the other side. "You bastards. This isn't what we agreed on."

Before he has a chance to react, the leader of those you came to meet draws his weapon and shoots Cole in the head. Your partner crumples to the ground, lifeless, his right eye a gaping wound.

Damnit. Now what?

The other man looks towards you and gestures you forward. You walk up to him, trying not to look at uncertain as you feel.

"I know you have the authority to make this deal — Cole wasn't your superior, he was your equal. Will you do what he wouldn't?"

Your answer:

The End

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