Outrun Stories #23

Welcome to Zimbabwe

“Why do you say it?” the teenager asks as he pulls his leather gloves tight on his hands.

“What?” he pauses, looks around, the headlamps from the Porsche piercing the night and reflecting a metallic hue off the shipping containers that rattle in the background with the rain.

“You know, ‘Welcome to Zimbabwe,’ all you old timers say it.”

He turned to the kid and ground his teeth before pulling a hand down his wet face and over the stubble on his chin.

“Okay, okay, I won’t ask, you don’t need to tell me twice,” the kid said, shrugging his shoulders before shuffling, kicking a piece of dirt and faintly under his breath saying; “You’re all the same.”

“Watch your mouth, and watch the scene, we’re not being paid to talk.” Fucking kids these days, he thought. Thirty years in this business and each year they seem to get cockier, or was he just getting older? He knew he was getting older, they wouldn’t let him forget it, but no number of implants or tech would ever beat his experience. Shit, his implants were top of the line 20 years ago, he’s an old warhorse now, and this kid, he might be able to shoot 'round corners, but he doubted even that would save him if they was trouble.

“Fuck me, it’s cold, when do you think they’ll be here?” the kid said hopping between feet. “Gotta keep the blood moving, right? How can you just stand there like that?”

“Will you shut the fuck up? Do your fucking job.”

“Look gramps, I’ve got nano-dialectic implants, brass-catho flux lines and this puppy,” he patted his gun with a wet hand. “This thing shoots where I fucking look. Ain’t no problem, ain’t no thing. We get the briefcase, we get out of this fucking rain, we get paid, someone thinks they can do something in the meantime, well I got something waiting for them.”

“You better be right,” but he knew he wasn’t, fucking kid, for all that shit pushed into his brain, he didn’t spot the huff of cold breath release itself from behind the far top right container. Didn’t spot the reflection flicker passed the chrome streetlamp at the end of the ally, didn’t hear that rustle of bodies through the rain.

Boom, the first shot ricocheted off one of the containers and zipped passed his ear as he dived. Duel beretta's drawn, flying backwards through the rain, old muscles reacting, old joints creaking, old implants signaling, sixteen rounds, both clips half empty before he hit the floor and three bodies fell off the containers around him.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck!” the kid darted away trying to take cover behind the car, firing blindly behind him covering his head but the bullets just dart off in a million directions, pinging off the containers until one clipped him in the shoulder and another went straight through the back of the head.

The old man barely finished rolling and turning onto one knee straight into a firing position as one clip empties, then the other, two more bodies hit the floor and he holds his breath for a second before he knows it’s over.

Standing, moving over to the kid splayed out on the floor, blood being quickly washed away by the hammering rain, he stands over the body, flicks the catch on his guns as the clips drop to the floor. “Welcome to Zimbabwe, kid.”

Musical inspiration – Neon Vandal – Hologram City

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Outrun Stories #23
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