Somebody's Dream

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Arnold took up the weapon and climbed. He found it where agents had left it for him, in garbage where garbage never was removed, never disturbed. The alley lay open under the crowded night sky, dangerous, so he climbed away from it, and away from any passing eyes in that sky; climbed, because those eyes always searched the ground. Inside the ruin, up broken staircases that hung over darkness he scrambled, scattering chips of tiling that fell away, and clattered below the long moment later. In places, the glow from the city cut across the black-white chequered steps: Arnold passed here in the shadows, climbing steadily, through this husk of somebody's dream.

The weapon fitted his hand: already part of him, and it would be part of him so long as he had need of it.

Then, finding himself as high as he could climb, fitting himself inside the space directly beneath the collapsed roof, he waited, because it was time to wait. Regarding the weapon now part of his hand, he registered that it would be adequate.

"Even a brick can do a gun's work,"  said a man once.

Arnold mused how like a god a human could be in his thinking, how able to surprise, just like a god, or a monster.

And here was wisdom. The weapon comprised no moving parts. It was only metal and long and edged. Fashioned from garbage, it was indistinguishable from garbage, and not likely to be detected until too late to stop. And though he was not human, Arnold was to appearances human enough: Likely he could reach his target.

Suddenly, quiet inside his waiting place, at the edge of his awareness, Arnold heard the buzz of a passing security drone. Tipping his head after it, he wondered how it might sound, the music it would be broadcasting, the disarm and sleep tool that stopped the others before him.

The End

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