Chapter 1: “Our Sad Little World”

Chapter 1: “Our Sad Little World”

A Chapter by David Ravencroft

The night was cold, colder than usual in downtown Los Angeles. I’ve read historical documents about what L.A was originally about. It was a city built on striving dreams and ambitions, now, it’s just a shell adorned in skyscrapers and neon lights. I always wanted to look up at the sky to at least see the stars but was always met with nothing but the lights from the gigantesque towers, almost replacing the stars. I considered Los Angeles to be a city equal to a mausoleum, everything was grim and dark, covered in the colors of brown and dark green. As much as the bright obnoxious colors of neon lights and billboards were beginning to hurt my eyes, they always alleviated the sense of depression and hopelessness the normal colors of downtown gave me.
I walked down the alley leading to my apartment complex, and the sight was the same. The ally was littered with the homeless and the disgraced. I was one of them once, I was for the first eighteen years of my life. My parents were street rats their entire lives until they had me. When I was fifteen, they were shot for the combined four dollars they had; right in front of me. The police did nothing, figuring it was another squabble with the homeless and just took their bodies with no sort of investigation. They were buried in the Nameless-Section of the cemetery; I've forgotten where. 
I gave the closest child the ten dollars of change in my pocket, hoping it'd help her. But the thought of the same fate that happened to me, was most likely going to happen to her. It was the cycle it seemed; live with nothing and die for nothing. She said her thanks and idled back over to her family who sat on a soiled blanket next to a barrel with a dimly lit fire. 
The dark beige concrete ground was wet, and water dripped from the overhangs and balconies of the surrounding buildings as I continued my walk home. I checked my thigh to see if my prized Desert Eagle was still in its holster, thankfully it was. I had given it the name 'Lifesaver', for it had protected me on more times than I can count. It's been a family heirloom since the twenty-twenties. In my line of work, your life is in danger the second your eyes open in the morning. My head was still throbbing with pain from earlier that day when a bounty clocked me with a steel pipe from behind. Lifesaver wasn't too pleased about it. After taking the man's eye as the man who hired me instructed, I went and collected the five grand and immediately deposited it into my account. Imagine if someone found out I was carrying five whole grand with me; it'd be like the sheep wandering into the wolves den. I knew I had a concussion, but I wasn't going anywhere near a hospital. You'd go bankrupt by just going for a check-up. My plans were to just pass out on my couch and call it a day; and do the same thing the next day. 
I entered the premises of my complex. It was like a jungle of steel, canopies, and dried out fountains. It was originally a grand hotel back in the nineteen-thirties, but once twenty-thirty came, it was a shell of its former self. The government then turned it into an apartment complex for low income Californians. Now you know why I see this city as one big mausoleum.  
Seeing the Securi-Tech 'Guard-101s' patrolling the hallways and corridors always made my skin crawl. They were made of stale gray titanium, and their rectangular yellow eyes gleamed brightly in the night. Their cold mechanical gazes always put me on edge. They seemed to stare right through you. Water rained down on them, but they showed no sign of concern. One arm: a laser blaster, and the other a steel baton interchangeable with a regular cybernetic hand. They were wirelessly connected to a network that fed back into the security office. If they'd see something that was programmed as illegal in their systems, they'd send an alert to the security office as well as Securi-Tech's main building in Beverly Hills.   G-101s were the bottom of the barrel when it came to Securi-Tech bots but were still nothing you wanted to f**k with. 
Climbing the rusting metal staircase, I saw my neighbors sitting in front of their door completely high on crank. They were fiddling with the locking mechanism to their door that required a card you receive when first moving in. Apparently, they had lost theirs and were trying anything they could to open the door. Now, the doors were metal plates paneled in wood and secured by Securi-Tech technology. These crackheads were going to have to find another way in. As I walked by, I heard them whispering among each other about robbing me of mine. I pulled Lifesaver and held her up in full view. They went completely quiet and scurried off, tripping over themselves. I let out a proud chuckle and entered my small apartment. It was just a small room with a kitchen, and a bathroom the size of a closet. The kitchen sat cramped in the corner, and my couch was my bed. 
"TV, on!" I said, causing the 48’-inch television to turn on to the news. It said the same old stories; shooting here, robbery there, and a war crime to spice things up. I don't know if I should be worried that these things are happening in the first place, or that I've become completely desensitized by them.  Murder and death has pretty much has been a staple in Los Angeles but for the last eighty years it's quadrupled. The city sings of desperation and hopelessness. 
I tossed my keys and Lifesaver on a nearby table and collapsed onto my coach; still wearing my battle-scathed leather jacket and black military cap. My survival knife was still fastened to my belt, and Lifesaver's holster attached to my thigh. My head was pounding, but I was too tired to go to the bathroom to grab some Aspirin. The day before, a bounty took a rock to my knee, but I still took out the b*****d one-legged. Bounty Hunting was a physically taxing job, but it kept my head afloat. That week, I made a total of twenty grand. I was saving up money to move away from the cesspool of Los Angeles and move somewhere where I could actually see the sky. 
My head sunk into the leather arm of the couch, finally finding a comfortable enough position to try and rest the concussion away. I already had a condition where I got chronic migraines, so this situation wasn't new to me. The sounds of the city obnoxiously blasted through the windows, and only added to my pain. Technology was inescapable, pretty much no one could survive without it. Nothing could be done without the assistance of technology. Everything ran on electricity. Humans like to find or create things and then absolutely exploit them. 
Another day in the books. Another yet to live.


© 2018 David Ravencroft


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Added on June 20, 2018
Last Updated on June 20, 2018
Tags: science fiction, sci-fi, cyberpunk, cybergoth, goth, future, futuristic


Author

David Ravencroft
David Ravencroft

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About
I love writing. I love creating characters, worlds, and atmosphere. I write mainly in the horror/sci-fi genre, but I hope to branch out with other projects. I also have accumulated over the years var.. more..

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