Short Story - A Damp Night

Note: This is just a quick shot at a short story. I used to write a lot, but haven't done it in a while, so trying to get back into it. It should be noted that this story was not edited and is purely a brain dump. This was inspired by a drawing on deviantart.

The city is quiet. A dog trots by. A man smelling of shit and urine sits under a brightly lit sign window. An empty paper cup sits by his foot. No one is on the street to fill it.

Around the corner, down a one way street, under a stair well, a blob of blankets and old clothes snores, just loud enough to obtain a glance from the dog as she searches for food.

The air tastes crisp from the thick fog that creates a ceiling at three stories up. Sky scrapers penetrate the fog like sharp knives in silver Jello.

A lone police car moves slowly down the street. Offices above are vacated. Empty store fronts promise beer, stain removal and cheap greasy food. The only darkness from these windows comes from the unlit open signs.

The police car slowly continues down the street. The man and woman in front don't talk. They scan the storefronts windows above, looking for movement, but the world is dead.

After an hour, they arrive at the docks. Here, long lines form into deep tunnels with a green glow. Men, women and children stand in line with a few suitcases and down trodden expressions. Slowly the lines move forward. Groups are scanned by beams of light, and arrows light up on the floor.

An older woman pushes two small children forward, following the lights.

Two tunnels down, a large red counter hits zero, and a gate raises from the ground. Those left behind in line scatter towards shorter lines. The ground rumbles, and a man leaning against a pillar stares as pill shoots straight into the sky on a thick black cable.

The man exhales as the police car comes to a stop in front of him. A window rolls down, a visor raises on the unisex armor to reveal young blue eyes.

"Morning Frank."

"Morning Natasha. Yo Jesus. How are the streets?"

The passenger gives a quick nod, and stares at the lines. The young-eyed driver yawns as she speaks. "It's quiet. The devil must still be asleep if the docks are this calm."

"Yeah. The fog is probably keeping him cool. You kids want your coffee?"

Natasha nods and turns up the heater. Frank turns his head up to an open window above with a pale light and steam emanating from it. "Jimmy!" He yells. "Two hot coffees for the heat."

After a few seconds a small panel slides down under the glowing words "Last Chance Quickee Mart" slowly pulsing red. Frank pulls out two metal cylinders with steam growing from them. He passes them through the open window. Both of the officers pockets beep, acknowledging the transaction.

"See you later Frank, stay dry." The window slides up, and the visor slides down. The police car rolls away and Frank lights another cigarette.

Around port five hundred, Natasha and Jesus are half way done with their coffees. The slowly pull to stop fifty yards away from gate 513-C. All of the doors at Port 500 are closed, except for the C Gate, which has the number two glowing in red above its entrance, and eight dead bodies lie in puddles of blood. Three men are arranged in a Mexican standoff in-between the bodies and the tunnel entrance.

Natasha grabs a shotgun from the gun rack and begins walking towards the trio. "Afternoon gentlemen. Could I have you please lower your weapons?"

A young man in a red jacket with two pistols glances over his shoulder towards Natasha in doubt. His opposite shoulder explodes with a crack, and he and the man to his right collapse. The third drops his guns and pulls the upper half of a body through the tunnel entrance. The counter decrements to zero and the door shuts. The elevator pill shoots to space.

Jesus calls in the report from the car as Natasha watches the pill slide into the sky.

Inside the pill, a man in black jeans and a thick brown jacket sits in his compartment trying to restart the android body. The pill has around a hundred of these capsules, each with a small family shooting into space. They slide up a black cable towards a platform with transports to anywhere in the galaxy. Out there, job offers, adventure and death await.

Young Michael flies upwards towards a seedy platform, the cheapest of the cheap, with the clothes on his back, a broken android and a small phone. He makes a small checklist. What does he need to survive? To repair this piloting android? Where can he get a gun? As the atmosphere thins, and he looks back at the dark planet, he wonders, what did it use to be like? When all of humanity hadn't decided to bet on other floating rocks. He pushes the thought away as he sees the vastness of space, and the hundreds of ships sitting on the other platforms, waiting to take off.