Story: Blade Runner Immanence

a blade runner walks among us

“He lives in His own Wonder World … of his own making.” — Jaime Hudson, The Passion of JF Sebastian, Blade Runner FanFiction Archive

“Blade Runner Immanence”

A short story by Catxman

. . . . . . . The blade runner stepped from the shadow into the light.

. . . . . . . He lit a cigarette. Trails of smoke floated up into the lights of the city, where skimmers floated serenely. It was time to go hunting. Not yet 11:59, but almost so. The dream he’d had last night had been forgotten, giving room for new dreams to come.

. . . . . . . Fingering his gun, Alex stepped toward his parked skimmer. It had a keyed mark scratch over the front and side. With the cameras on the vehicle, that had been a bold move. The kids these days. Smarter, and more feral, than ever before.

. . . . . . . The story went something like this:

. . . . . . . Incep date Apr. 1, 2065. A hair-raising date.

. . . . . . . Yet another shuttle had been skyjacked. Off the moons of Europa. The offworld colonies had nearly collapsed in panic. The ship, though, had gone into stealth mode and headed for Earth. They knew this because it had crashed into a mountaintop not that far from Istanbul. Turkish authorities reported a rash of fatal criminal activity. The Turks said that superhuman strength and speed were involved. That was what their software said, and the software must be believed.

. . . . . . . Darkon Ness was the replicant leader. He was a man of almost no smiles. He work a black trenchcoat with silver trim in the front outer vertical lining. His black gloves covered his wrinkling hands. Like Madonna in the half-century before, his body parts were showing their age.

. . . . . . . Darkon Ness drove though Los Angeles on a motorcycle. He revved the throttle and made his way through traffic. Darkon had heard legends of a Tyrell Corporation experimental drug that could postpone replicant death. It lured him like a moth to flame.

. . . . . . . His mind was filled with turbulent thoughts. He was going to have a baby with Clarissa. Two replicants having a child. Who’d have thunk it?

. . . . . . . The doctors had been fooling with replicant private parts. First they were given a sex drive. Then the X/Y chromosomes were applied to boy or girl. Darkon remembered the first time he’d had sex. He’d nearly ripped the hair off Clarissa. She screamed her passion and urged him to do it.

. . . . . . . They made a neat inhuman pair, but a beautiful one, like a pair of strange butterflies from an unpopulated land. They lived on the farther future slopes of tommorow, bringing news for today’s non-replicant people.

. . . . . . . Clarissa rested her cheek on Darkon’s upper back. He could feel the heat radiating from her. She was trusting to him utterly. Trust was a replicant quality. In this, the ordinary future of 2065, almost no one else had trust. It was gone, baby, straight-out straight-razor gone.

. . . . . . . Alex Inman sat at an East Indian diner’s table, eating fusion food: Japanese sushi (California rolls) with a 1960s Big Mac from California pure-native Americana source. He opened his mouth largely and then someone shoved him from behind, forcing him to spit out his food.

. . . . . . . Evan grinned, picking up the pieces of Big Mac lettuce and licking it cheesily. “I came. You called.”

. . . . . . . Alex Inman was irritated. “I didn’t ask you to ruin my meal. Now I only got sushi left. Who eats sushi alone?”

. . . . . . . Evan was handsome, straight-up age of 19. He leaned forward and steepled his hands forward, wise beyond his years. “I got a part today. An acting role. I star in the biggest soap opera around. You know what part I play? A preppie.” He laughed at this most-ridiculous of news ever. He cracked his knuckles and fondled out a cigarette. “Smoke?”

. . . . . . . Alex Inman took a proffered cigarette and puffed it. Smoking had made a big comeback, like old syndic tele. People were streaming around them, like whitewater liquids boiling around a hard boulder. It was as if they sensed the pair was one-half cop. Evan was an informer to make money on the side. Typically he worked drugs and illegal bioupgrades (performance-enhancing side pills) but today he had a tip on the replicants.

. . . . . . . “I found out where the skinjobs be hidin’, mon,” Evan said, mocking the Carib accent. His whiteness almost screamed Pure European.

. . . . . . . Alex Inman was interested. “Let me guess. Somewhere East of the Great L.A. Dividing Line.”

. . . . . . . That was the line of poor and rich. East was Inland, farther from the Ocean. West was Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Malibu, all that. L.A. had Divided farther and farther over the preceding decades. Even though L.A. was paradise for Westerners, most of the emigrants to the offworld colonies came from the rich ranks.

. . . . . . . Alex’s family had been rich. They had disowned him when he decided to become a cop.

. . . . . . . Evan nodded, lighting a quickflash cigarette that “helped you along” to get your calming buzz. “There’s an abandoned apartment building, 65 stories high. Called the Nomadic. The apartments rotate through the night. Even now. They got a tie-in with the Hydro department. Long-term deal, prepaid long ago. The apartments rotate and come together. It really attracts the raccoons.”

. . . . . . . Raccoons were homeless youth.

. . . . . . . Alex Inman pushed to get up. He flipped a business card toward Evan and Evan scratched the address with difficulty. Writing wasn’t his forte. Seducing older women was more his thing.

. . . . . . . Alex had had a dream about this. No guff. In it, he had died, or almost died. Blood like tomato juice, spurting from his chest.

. . . . . . . Time to go find out if dreams really do come true.

. . . . . . . He landed on the helipad on the 61st floor, a jutting, strange contraption that looked like a latticework from a demented nightmare. When he stepped out, the clang of his shoesole against metal was loud. It disturbed him.

. . . . . . . “I shouldn’t be here,” Alex said to himself. “I should be playing golf, going on the officers’-only course.”

. . . . . . . He slammed shut the door behind him. There was a door ahead of him, probably locked, and he took a Phillips screwdriver from behind his ass in a tight pocket. He jimmied the door open.

. . . . . . . An apartment was rotating below him. All the apartments, in fact, were slowly changing position. This was a haunting place. The sepulchral supernatural elements were all in place.

. . . . . . . Alex jogged down the fire escape stairs that also functioned as interior stairs.

. . . . . . . “Up here!” a voice shouted out at him, full of mocking good glee. Alex reversed direction and speedily headed up.

. . . . . . . A girlish laugh froze Alex in place and he stopped running. It was two floors up. Alex checked his gun. Twenty rounds and counting. Yes. Now was the moment. He stopped outside the door. His Universal Place-Door Opener was applied to the door and the UPer clicked loud. Alex was tempted to smile, but he was not a smiling kind of guy. Still . . . he had them trapped in this unmoving apartment.

. . . . . . . The entire building had gone motionless. There was a large moon slice seen through one of the giant transparent windows.

. . . . . . . A tiny spider dangling from a thread, watching him.

. . . . . . . Alex kicked in the door. Foot sideways.

. . . . . . . Laughter greeted him from every direction. A DOWNer device spread it around. Girl’s laughter, man’s laughter, the drone of a bee. Alex swore. “Come out with your hands raised!” he shouted. He placed his knee on an immaculate coffee table, glass, delicate, and drove it down to shatter it.

. . . . . . . Darkon cried out, “Joy! You’re here, blade runner! But there’s only one of you! What are you going to do when we block your exit out?”

. . . . . . . Clarissa giggled. “He’s cute, Darkon. Make it quick, will you, so he doesn’t suffer.”

. . . . . . . Alex threw his back against the wall, gun out, his feet sticking out like pigeon’s wings, brown and black dotted.

. . . . . . . Gradually creeping around, Alex made his way to the steps that led to the loft. Any half ass technology could throw a voice around, but from a military standpoint you’d want to get the high ground, and that meant the loft.

. . . . . . . Alex sucked in his breath between his teeth. They could be hiding anywhere; and he was betting on the loft. It was the obvious choice; would they make the obvious choice? Replicants weren’t stupid. They could hide like mannequins in department store displays. Now he was passing a row of five mannequins. They took different poses. Alex put the gun to each one’s nose and read his readout. Nonliving matter. Material that was just synthetic. Replicants breathed. They couldn’t be mannequins.

. . . . . . . Alex reached the top, leaving the five mannequins behind. He was grinning ferally, his soft shoes from the Italian House of D’Angelo scuffing almost silently on the metal steps which were latticework below him. Through them, looking downward, he could see a beverage fridge that he’d checked when he first entered the apartment unit. There had been orange juice that’d gone bad, milk that’d gone really bad.

. . . . . . . The loft. Here on the loft. Alex turned his left ankle. He faced a new direction.

. . . . . . . Mannequin heads. Placed on tables. Hair ironers turned sideways, lightly touch-on the statues’ hair.

. . . . . . . Movie posters. Casablanca. Terminator. David Cronenberg horror films like Scanners. The music could be dark, dim, dangerous. Countless horrors were imagined by Alex. They would kill him slow. They would torture him fast, chopping off his hands. They would laugh at him, at his fate. They were masters of good humor. Darkon must be here. Alex could sense him.

. . . . . . . There was a rustling noise from a walk-in closet. Alex jumped forward, reached out and began to jerk open the cloth covering it.

. . . . . . . A girl was there, looking 14, acting 25. She was weaponless. Snickering, but also sad, she held up both hands slowly. “Don’t hurt me,” she said. “Darkon, leave him alone.”

. . . . . . . Alex turned around. Too slow. The gun went flying through the entire apartment, discharging against a window, blowing out delicate shards of stained glass.

. . . . . . . The man Alex Inman was looking at was in his forties (appearance-wise) with lined forehead and smile-lines. He was blond. Darkon was also thin — rail-so. He was elegant. Darkon jumped on Alex. Darkon and Clarissa made a pile-on upon Alex Inman. He was at bottom, struggling to reach something, and the two replicants were making love on top of a cop from the L.A. Department of Replicant Retirement. The DRR man was the seed of their sacred love.

. . . . . . . Alex got the mini-chainsaw and activated it. He punched up through Darkon’s chest, exploding through his back (blood droplets flew everywhere) and got Clarissa in the face. Her teeth were ruptured. She screamed, just once. Alex stood up. He smoothed the maroon silk shirt, which hid blood so well.

. . . . . . . Looking down, he saw the two replicants. “Motherfuckers,” Alex Inman said, toeing them. “I’ll get you wherever I see you. You’re the last rebels. Immanence pre-activated. Give unto me this sacred bread, as we forgive those . . .”

. . . . . . . Alex walked out. The building was a whole new configuration, as was his heart, as were the two dead replicants entwined in each other.

Fin

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