Mechanical Intelligence Page 1 Version 3
Where was he? Alice gnawed her bottom lip while she scanned the night sky for movement. Across the bay Manhattan’s electrical glow flickered from the leaden clouds like white noise from a broken screen. Mile high towers shimmered in the haze, distant tips connected by the glittering upper lanes while the lower routes stood dark and empty. She walked under the expressway and leant back against a freezing concrete pier. This was not good, Conner knew tonight was going to get heavy.
A taxi whined overhead and she followed the red taillights as they faded into the sulfurous distance. Cars were aerial these days, only the poor and unemployed down at ground level while the highways belonged to the autonomous trucks. Those vast rigs raced overhead ka-thump, ka-thump, as they hurdled expansion joints at two hundred miles an hour. The vibrations ran down the forrest of columns surrounding her to make the ground shudder with every crash.
She looked around. The floor was strewn with fried electronics and pyramids of trash that stunk so bad she had to suck air between gritted teeth. To her left a flooded road offered oily reflections of ancient cars as they crashed through cavernous puddles, drivers fighting for control. The wind changed and a waterfall of freezing run-off found every opening in her bullet proof jacket. It was tough but the warming filaments failed last year and she started to shiver. Hands bunched in slim pockets Alice counted the minutes.
Still no sign.
She thought about calling it in as her shoulders tightened with anger. Stay calm, she thought, don’t blow two years work because you’re pissed at him. More cars flashed by, streaks of red and white in the gloom. Enough, time to go. The bar’s flickering neon yellow sign was just visible through the polluted haze. It was a dump but anywhere was better than this, Conner would have to find her this time. She shrugged inside the jacket, shook the sludge from her heavy combat boots and ran across the road as cars blared their horns, drivers screaming obscenities and getting a mouthful in return.
PART OF AN ONGOING EDIT THIS VERSION WAS REVISED 20TH JULY 2017