You wake up to your phone crawling across your face, buzzing hard against your cheekbone. Snatch it up on muscle memory and the little plastic cilia retract. The screen is achingly bright, needles your eyes. Squinting, you see an avalanche of notification flags. Incoming calls. It churns your scraped-raw stomach. Something is wrong. Wronger.
The summer sky was stacking dark clouds when Pau trudged up from the concrete gullet of the parkade. Sweat stuck his shirt to the small of his back and the biolocked handle of his Ceylan Industries suitcase was slippery. Looking over the shrunken brown swatches of lawn and the acid-yellow waterstat holos glowering from apartment windows, he hoped, fervently, that the rain would fall.
Barely a sliver of skin was left exposed to the sun’s glare, but there was a whisper in the back of her mind that it didn’t really matter anymore. It didn’t matter if she had soft and beautiful skin, because the God in the Pit had made his decision and never unmade them.