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Andrew Dobell Author

The Cat, the Rat, and the Spider-Mech - A New Prometheus Short Story - EBOOK

The Cat, the Rat, and the Spider-Mech - A New Prometheus Short Story - EBOOK

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EBOOK

A New Prometheus Short Story - Book 3.1

On Halloween night, a rampaging Spider-Mech threatens innocents, and only Frankie stands in its way…

It's Halloween, and even Cyborgs like to let their hair down.

Taking a trip to the undercity, Frankie visits a friend to pick up a Halloween costume she's been modding.

Thrilled with the cat costume, complete with armour, claws and a cyber-tail, Frankie sets off for the party, only for the festivities to be interrupted by a rampaging Spider-Mech.

Desperate to stop the mech and save lives, Frankie takes it upon herself to stop the attack and take it out before more lives are lost.

But who's controlling it, and can Frankie bring down a walking tank single-handedly?

A fun and fast-paced Cyberpunk Halloween thrill ride and a must-read for fans of Ghost in the Shell, Blade Runner, Dredd, Appleseed, Akira, The Matrix, Robocop and Total Recall.

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-Are you coming?- Gibson asked through the neural link, his voice sounding loud and clear in Frankie’s head.
-Yeah, I’ll be there,- Frankie replied and glanced at the time displayed in her HUD. She’d be late to the party, but not by much. It would be worth it, though, she reasoned.
-Well, don’t take too long.-
-I won’t. I’m just collecting my costume now.-
-You’ve gone to a lot of trouble to get this costume, Frankie. You should have just ordered one.-
-And where would the fun be in that?-
-Well, I’ll be expecting something amazing.-
-It’ll be good. I just wanted to get a few modifications made to it, that’s all.-
-Surely Xenox could do that for you.-
-Yeah,- she admitted. -But, then he’d know what the costume was, and so might you. I wanted this to be a surprise. Besides, I wanted to visit a friend, anyway.-
-You have friends?-
-Piss off,- Frankie shot back.
-Alright, well, don’t be too long,- Gibson said. -I’ll see you at the party.-
-Will do,- Frankie said and closed the link as she turned into a small pedestrian plaza set back off the main street. Neon signs above stalls and shops bathed the area in blues, purples and reds. People were standing about or walking through the space, going about their business or talking in groups. Several of them were in Halloween costumes, laughing and whooping as they went. A few homeless people sat against the walls, huddled under blankets and plastic sheets, tucking into noodles or bread. Looking up, she spotted the small neon sign she was looking for.
The words CyberDoc Payne, glowed in yellow and blue above a door in the corner. Beside the door, on the floor, a pumpkin glowed from within.
Frankie struck out across the plaza, making for the corner as she threaded her way through the other people in the space.
As she passed by a group of men standing and talking, one of them gave her an approving look with a raised eyebrow.
“Hey, babe, where you goin’?”
Frankie ignored the idiot and pressed on.
“Hey, bitch, don’t be like that,” he said. “Now you’re just being rude.”
Don’t try it, she thought to herself, and she continued on her way. Don’t be a stereotypical macho asshole. But as she heard a few calls of encouragement from his mates, she felt a hand on her arm, trying to get her to turn and face him.
Frankie sighed and turned. “What?”
“Where you goin’, tonight?” the man said. He wore baggy clothing with a hood and had an exposed cybernetic arm, covered in wires and actuators. Crude tech, but very common. “Maybe you could spend some time with me if you know what I mean?”
“Leave her alone,” one of his mates said.
“Nah, man. She’s been rude,” Cyber Arm said. “I don’t like rude girls.”
“That’s not what I heard,” another of them quipped, much to the amusement of the crowd.
“Look, she’s borged. You can see the lines,” another commented, pointing out the seams that were visible up her neck and over her cheeks.
“It’s just synth skin, man. She ain’t all that,” Cyber Arm replied and sidled up to her with cocky self-confidence. “How about it then, babe? How about you make me a happy man, and I’ll let you leave without trouble.”
He reached for her.
Frankie batted his arm away. She’d already scanned him, found his wireless access port and dropped one of her breaching programs onto it. A second later, it cracked his firewall, and she was in, accessing his cyber brain.
Cyber Arm froze. “Hey, what…?” He’d noticed.
Another second later, she took control of his cyber arm and used it to grab his neck. “Aagh, what the… ack… ugh!”
“What the hell?” one of his mates exclaimed.
“Holy shit,” another said.
“What are you doing to me?” Cyber Arm asked, his eyes wide with fear.
“Didn’t anyone ever tell you it's rude to touch someone who doesn’t want to be touched?”
“I didn’t… aargh.” She tightened his arm’s grip, and he fell to his knees.
“Excuse me?” Around her, Cyber Arm’s mates backed off as they watched, their wide eyes flicking between Frankie and their friend.
“Alright, alright. I’m sorry. Just… please… uck, arrgh.”
“Dick,” she muttered and released his arm. He let go of his own throat and gasped for breath. She rolled her eyes and turned her back on him, making for the door to the cyber clinic. Behind her, the gang whooped and cheered, while taking great pleasure in mocking their friend.
“You just got owned, dog!”
“What a cuck.”
“She kicked your scrawny ass.”
Frankie pinged the intercom beside the door as she approached and admired the carving work on the pumpkin that sat beside it.
“Hello?” a slightly tinny sounding female voice said, echoing from the beat-up speaker.
“Hi Gema, it’s Frankie.”
“Frankie, come in.”