*Begin Part 2*
Akemi offered to walk Zhang home after the scan, but she was having none of it. “I’m out of your way, and it’s not like I’d kiss you good night or anything, so it’s your call.
“I wasn’t looking for a good night kiss, but thanks for the warning.” Akemi attempted a snarky retort, but everyone within a ten foot radius could tell he wanted a kiss.
They seperated at the city dump, Akemi heading north, Zhang south. Akemi paused for a moment and gazed at the mountain of waste and filth. He had opted in for an olfactory shortage years ago when he first moved to the city, so, just like everyone else in the city, he was unmoved by the stench. He watched Zhang walk away in hopes she would turn around, but she walked straight on because she could feel his eyes on her.
Akemi inhales the stale air through his altered nostrils. His scent was the only alteration Akemi had ever opted for. Being born to a low-socioec household meant her was mod-free at birth, and had never seen any use for the plethora of add ons and adjustments available from the varying degrees of legitimate plastic surgeons on the ever shrinking continent. Hence the mountain range of trash filling up what was once the Mississippi river.
Akemi continues northward. He lived in the upper east side in an abandoned DoubleTree hotel in Skokie. He could catch a EcoTaxi once he got into the River North neighborhood. No vehicles were allowed this far into the city center anymore. Cars no longer gave off fumes, but they still gave off heat, and the city center was already a constant eighty-seven degrees as it was. Akemi moved to the lo-fi beat in his teardrop and made good time toward home.
The street was full with Socialites making their way to their perspective suburbs. No one was aware of anything outside of their holographic screen, Akemi included. Since the INuec XI, all devices had been synced with GPS and guided the pedestrian along the streets without the inconvenience of needing to swipe out of media. Akemi caught up on paperwork as he strolled along with the masses. Reading off messages to be sent to headquarters and completing the permanent DisarmForm for Pembleton. He sensed a human’s eyes on him before he felt the hand on his shoulder.
“...you have no idea!” Hit Akemi’s ear as he swiped out of his device and back into the screen-free world.
“Whoa!” Was all Akemi could muster as he separated himself from the angry fists of Holton Pembleton.
“You think you did something? You think you saved people?” Pembleton was crying real tears. Akemi hadn’t seen authentic tears since he had been in elementary school, and the sight of Pembleton’s face contorted in pure emotion was enough to make Akemi retch.
“Back up.” He allowed procedure to take hold; Akemi gave Pembleton his full attention as he tapped out a quick notification on the INuec in his pocket. As he raised both his hands to show Pembleton, “What do you want?”
“You don’t give a shit about what I want.” Pembleton spat back, thrusting his hand into his own pocket. “You think I’m just another Anti-Nuecer case, but your training didn’t prepare you for me, Dissarmer.” It was the first time Akemi had heard the word used as an insult. The Anti-Nuecers still lingered at around 12% of the population, but Akemi had never encountered one for more than the few moments that it took to scan them and move on. Statistically, they faded back into the ether of fellow bomb bashers for comfort and to regroup, but this outlier had decided that today was this day, and this was the agent to prove a point to.
“So, what are you?” Akemi remained calm. This was off putting, but not altogether bad. He could handle it, and maybe Zhang or Jenkins were on their way to assist right now.
“No, I don’t want to talk. I’m not going to give some dumbass speech to a random agent. Your damage probability is dropping.” A slight smile twinged Pembleton’s lips. Akemi tapped his INuec for reassurance, and Pembleton was correct. The streams of Socialites were getting further and further away as the seconds ticked by. Soon they would be the only to living things within the Nuec Containment Zone that encompassed the Magnificent Mile. Chicago was the first city in U.S. Corp to earn the prestigious label as NuecProof. This did no refer to the people of Chicago, but rather the buildings. If people were NuecProof the INuecs would lose all their significance. Keeping the infrastructure of what remained of the North American contenint intact had become priority number one after the Armament Bill of 2043 was passed, and it appeared like Pembleton knew all of this.
“So, your a legit suicide, or do I know you from somewhere?” Akemi felt the soft vibration of a notification on his leg. Zhang had responded. He nearly hoped for her to turn around and start running to save him, but then he thought about whatever it was that Pembleton was caressing in his pocket.
“This isn’t about you! Fuck, and they said Dissarmers didn’t follow media. You’re just like any Socialite, worse even.” With a flash Pembleton revealed the long blade that had been buried deep in his pocket. “Give me the scanner.”
“Did you think that would work.” Akemi hid the quiver in his voice well, but he could not stop the fear from flashing across his eyes. “Are you going to disarm me?”
“Stop acting like a cliche. This is about the Nuec. You could have been any Dissarmer. Your just the unlucky bastard they sent today. Now you get to be the newest victim splashed all over media, but you know who’s name they’ll all remember? Mine. Because I’m the one that set off the first INuec in history. I put the first statistic on the board, and after me, the mimics will just flood in.”
“I thought you said no speeches.” Akemi was starting to veer away from training, but he didn’t mind a little improvisation, especially if it turned out to be the last conversation he had. “So this is just all about you? A bit cliche in itself, don’t you think?”
“This is about everyone, you fuck!” Pembleton was letting his emotions take hold, which gave Akemi some hope. “They need to see it, they need to see an INuec in action in order to fear it. You can’t be dwindle something as powerful of nuclear energy into an accessory and expect the world to function. Something is going to give and the only way to show these SocialDems the absurdity of giving Nuecs to children is to blow some fucking children up!”
“Sounding awfully speechy, buddy, and if you hadn’t realized, I’m full grown.” Akemi decided poking the bear was the best bet here. These super villain wannabes had to make sure your understood their why before they could go through with the what, but the knife was a serious twist. Akemi hadn’t had a knife pulled on him in his twelve years as an agent; he hadn’t been trained on how to deal. His only real defense was the INuec, and as an agent he was capable of disarming himself in case of such an emergency. He didn’t get how Pembleton was planning on actually getting the INuec to go off.
*End Part 2*