New Age Blues
All around the hall sat sinners and good men in need of the sinners. Not much caught the attention of these people however they all directed their eyes to a man silhouetted against red burning light. He was a man of this new age of humanity; but also appeared to be distant from it. He looked back into the blackness of this bar and he marched forward without fear for he knew everyone was holding their breath.
This was not the place for a type of man like John. Then again, nowhere was quite the place for him, imposing in height, strength, and cybernetics, he would always be deemed a threat, even In a bar like this. He walked through the metal door frame that was about one foot too small for him, forcing him to duck underneath it. Everyone made it a point to divert their attention to John for a slight moment but quickly broke eye contact and returned to their drinks. John made his way against the crowd that danced and moved in rhythmic patterns, blanketed in a blue hue that reminded him of the old days of LCD monitors, which were now nearing extinction. The days of monitors and user interfaces were coming to an end, replaced by cybernetics, just as the days of written letters were ended by the invention of email and social networks. John knew this; he knew it, the moment during his college years studying cyber security he saw a video of a man using the power of his mind to operate the motor of a mechanical arm...So when he was forced to choose between his life and augments it was a no-brainer. The operation ended with the amputation of his arms and legs, replaced by something more powerful than what he had been before. He was the man of the modern age, capable of any great feat that was previously only possible by gods and demigods of myth and lore in works of fiction.
In his early 20s, John had a question that floated through his mind if Neuro-Augments were making things like the smartphone and personal computers become an obsolete tech. What would be the thing that would come to make the very machinery that had been permanently grafted to his bone obsolete? That question was answered almost twenty years later from his youth as a young augmented man. That question was answered with hellfire and death, and the United States lost a star on its flag, The bluntly titled “Honolulu Incident”. The answer to his question was Humanity would not survive the next progression in its own technological evolution. Thus it could not be permitted to happen. Now he sits in some sleazy bar searching for the offspring of that event. John leaned his body against the counter next to a man with a scar that started below his neck and climbed up to his chin.
“You hear about that murder down in Fifth avenue?” John asked the man, he looked up with relief and comfort, John did not scare this man.
“You ever think about saying hello for once in your life, John?” he rasped.
“Not while I’m on the job; I gotta find this person,” He looked at the scarred man with his dead blue eyes and waited for him to spill what he came for.
“Can’t say you don’t do your job, even if it’s a moot point..,” he poked at John, it was a common belief that John’s division was a waste of money, Humanity was always going to be on the line between total annihilation and progress and if we weren’t going to willingly stagnate, then we might as well already pull the trigger. However, those questions of philosophy and policy were not John’s to care about or even his to influence. The corporations had made their choice and the politicians had taken the money, now John sat around being a figure of peace of mind. A big man with a big gun in a room full of people who were not quite sure to be thankful or afraid.
“Do I look like I’m in the mood for jokes, I need you to help me, you know our deal,” John was serious. This job was not fun, but it was necessary, so that was the attitude he carried.