No one coddled the workers quite like Eichmann
up against the darts board
It was a faint blip on the engrams now, but EK vaguely remembered Scientist 3, 1 and 2 talking about Fo Tan once, saying it was a place locals used to shoot everyman porn, but when he checked the map outside the MTR all he saw was industrial units.
Picking one near the edge of the slope leading up to the mansions of the infamous spectral tycoons, EK walked past the security uncle without hassle and took the stairs to the 16th floor. There were twelve units along one corridor, lots of crates and tubing lying around outside, and two of the doors were open.
One was Redder Rum Post-Future Gallery, which shut at 9pm, and the other was YAK DESIGN LTD.
EK tried the gallery first, looking for sockets and places to conceal himself, but there was nothing concrete, only a few loose cushions and a green “winners” podium placed in the centre of the room. A tall, foreign woman, possibly Kenyan, stood by the far wall, back turned, touching the edges of a painting. By her feet, a laptop with a cable running behind a taped-up box…wah, a socket. Had to be. And the woman still hadn’t noticed him.
Creeping up behind the woman, EK positioned his hands an inch away from both sides of her neck and initiated ‘twist’ mode…but, as soon as he rehearsed the killing, a shock of green hit, lighting up his forehead and forcing his arms back down to the side.
The faint ‘grah’ sound EK emitted got the woman’s attention and, when she realised how close he was, instinct threw out a claw.
EK dodged, thanks to his LIV-LET reflexes, and took five steps back, almost tripping over the ‘third place’ block of the podium.
‘Waaa…’ said the woman, dropping the claw and quickly reclaiming it.
‘Sorry, I walk very quietly.’
‘I don’t intend to hurt you.’
The woman said something in an unrecognised language a few times, possibly fuck, then hurried over and half-offered a hand.
‘Are you okay?’
‘I did not fall.’
‘You startled me, coming in like that…’
‘That was unintended.’
‘…but it’s my fault too…’
‘…I left the door open and had my back turned.’
‘Just…try to make louder footstep sounds next time.’
The claw in her hand wasn’t a weapon as EK had suspected, it was actually some kind of artisan tool, and she returned to the canvas with it.
‘Is this painting yours?’ EK asked, delaying his real questions.Continue reading