He woke up to the familiar silence of his appartment. He had worked hard to achieve those amenities, like the huge appartment in Neocrons finest district, Via Rosso. Or the big car, the drugs. The Strippers he got from his many friends in Pepper Park. Yes, he had many friends.
As he slowly rose from his bed, he thought about the definition of friends.
Surely, there had been many people helping him get to this point. Business partners which helped him make his first million - and then some more. But they always profitted, too. Waking up was a hard task for him today. And altough all his success was built on him always being the first man up to the task, he rose sluggishly from his bed this day. It was the tiredness of a runner who had everything already, and he didnīt felt like getting any more of all those things was a thing he wanted.
His life of fighting and drug abuse showed its ugly side once more.
With a huge headache, he felt for the pain pills on his nightstand. He got a hold of the box and fumbled two out, washing them away with some Powerbooze laying on the floor next to his bed, just waiting for him to abuse it once more. The years of injecting nanites into his body to heal his many injuries, many fatal if he hadnīt poked some into his veins in some dirty street at night took their toll also. The commercials always promise that using those poses no harm. Itīs not true. If you take them for years like he did, and repair even the most gruelsome injuries with them, they alter your body. They cant repair everything to a perfect state. They slowly mutilate your body, leaving a small scar on every patch of skin they repaired.
Sometimes, he dreaded himself, when he was home alone and looked at his body, so malformed by time and violence. The bottle became his best friend over time.
He finished what was left of the booze and got dressed. he left the appartment, alone. And he was alone when he walked through the little mazes at the feet of the huge towers that formed the Via Rosso and Plaza Sector of Neocron, those alleys brimming with commerce and the people looking for runs and the way to the top.
Tiredly, he arrived at the Medicare at the Plaza-Sector 1. He went out with the idea of buying some more stuff which would get him through the day. On his way to the counter he saw some familiar faces; some greeted him from a distance. He vaguely remembered those faces. Some belonged to those he fought with on the battlefields. It brought back images of blood, gore and glory, but also of those who couldnīt tell their stories anymore. Some he pictured in those clean and elegant offices on the higher floors of the huge office buildings, making deals with him that would bring him his fortunes. Not in a particular mood to chat, he acknowledged them with a faint smile and went on, into the MediCare.
He got his usual package: A mixture of something to keep him awake, to keep him happy, to keep him from failing when he pulled those ladies from the Park into his bed, something to keep the pain away from every bone, every tissue of his body, and finally, something to keep him sleeping when he was done, done with the mess he made everyday, the mess that had became his life. He went out and passed all those who wanted a life like his, offering their services and their muscle to anybody with the right amount of credits in their account, just slaving away for the next quick fix of pleasure or the breakthrough, whatever would come first. He looked at them with a mixture of ridicule and sympathy; he was once like those people, but he made it. Only a few of them would actually make it, he thought. He had seen too many go down in flames.
He took the Subway back to Via Rosso. The rotten stench of piss and trash was disgusting him. It was something he would never get used to, even after living in this city all his life. He had seen all parts of the Wastelands. He even fought in the gloomy corridors of the Dome. He had lived a long life, and had seen every abomination of this world, and every horror. But the life in those lowest parts of the city still sickened him to his stomach.
A soft breeze of salty air welcomed him when he stepped out of the subway entrance to the Via Rosso district. The sky was clear and he could see some birds resembling seagulls from the old age flying in the sky. He knew that because he was well read in history; something he was very fond of. Almost all of his now exclusivly spare time he spent enhancing his knowledge about those times long gone. Something kept him from beginning his usual routine of forgetting. He walked to the glass wall that overlooked the sea from high above on the walkway that came out of the underground. Beatiful memories graced his mind. Of the day the war was over, and he wasnīt destroyed as it was planned all along.
Of days untarnished by violence, when he could be just a human being, if you want to go so far and call him that. Out there in the distance, there were other Cities, too, with people, just like him, wanting more, and sometimes stepping over other people to get what they want. Everything money could buy waited for him in the place he called his appartment, but he just stood there and looked out at the sea, entangled by those episodes from his life. They say that people like him are emotionally dysfunctional. He Disagreed with them: He was very different from all the others, yes. But he still felt. His view wandered to the ground, shortly, just to return to the infinity of the water one second later. He closed his eyes and smiled, and felt.
Iam no native english speaker so please excuse any shortcomings in my language.