Updated: Apr 18
Arthur's face lit up and he smiled with delight. He moved quickly for a man of his age as he walked speedily around the windowed butcher counter.
"I’ll be right back,” he said to Cindy on the sausage. Arthur's pace quickened as he met the teenager yanking open the glass door. Immediately, the older man ushered the girl back through the closing door.
“In a hurry much?” Asked Jinx with annoyance as the man rushed her out to the curb.
“Put them on. Put them on,” said the older man in an Eastern European accent while pointing to the Second Sight ® virtual reality goggles across the top of Jinx's head.
She positioned the goggles over her eyes and pressed the green button marked, “Go”. Within the blink of an eye, Jinx was transported to a Tokyo style lights display. The neon advertisements of Cyberspace cluttered the walls , sidewalks, and even the sky. Storefront signs, travel and sightseeing information, and historic, virtual memorial plaques fought for Jinx's attention.
“Look, up,” insisted the owner. Jinx looked up above the two story building. A short animation of a cartoon rat dodging a butcher’s knife repeated itself. At the end of the reel, the rat squeals in pain as the knife violently cuts it open.
“Can you remove it?" Said the old man with a worried face.
“Sure,” Jinx said. The owner sighed in relief. Jinx made a dramatic effort to inpress her employer. Mr. Arthur Rattossi, read the name on the check.
In half an hour's time, Jinx had deciphered the Cyber graffiti's geo-lock and derezzed the dancing rat for good. Jinx even managed to get the job of programming a suitable logo for the butcher's shop.
Jinx counted the five and ten dollar bills fanned out in her hand, she rounded the alleyway corner. An instantaneous analysis of what she seen caused her to leap back behind the corner. Jinx crouched down and peaked around the corner.
Jinx watched as a woman dressed in leather supervised the loading of a dozen women in their twenties into the back of a Sav-a-Buck Moving Truck.
“What are you doing,” asked a menacing voice standing behind her. Jinx froze in place. In a flash, the cash in her hand disappeared in a large, manly hand attached to the aggressive voice.
With cat like speed, Jinx stepped to the outside of the man and pivoted. Still crouched, she pulled out both of the four inch boot daggers. Jinx's left arm moved over head to block a possible attack while her right hand stabbed the blade deep behind the man’s knee.
The stranger screamed through clenched teeth. The man dropped the cash and grabbed for his knee.
The cash swirled behind Jinx as she ran out of the alley and down the street. The teenager stopped at a hole in the chain link fence. Her lungs burned from the three block run. Jinx looked around. She didn’t see anyone following her. She knelt down and slid the boot knives back into their sheathes placed just behind the ankles of each half calf boot.
She reached up and took the goggles off the top of her head. She tucked them under her arm and brushed through the fence opening.
Jinx caught sight of a silver van leaving the warehouse drive away. After catching her breathe, Jinx picked up her pace to a jog.
Jinx retold the incident over and over in her mind. Each time, the story became more embellished and dramatic. I lost fifty dollars, Jinx thought to herself, but I have a hell-of-a story to tell.
“Have I got a story to tell.” Jinx said as she strutted to the center of the warehouse where stood the rest of the Globe 'Troders. With her arms reliving "the fight" and many facial expressions, Jinx relayed the tale. She smiled and looked around at the others.
“Donny,“ said Digits, a new face in the group that Jinx did not recognize. “He hired me to stop whoever has been plastering cyber graffiti across his store front.
All heads instantly turn to Jinx. Jinx opened her mouth in her own defense, but manage to find nothing to say.
“Well,” spoke up the girl standing several feet directly across from Jinx. Jax sported a mohawk, torn jeans, and a sneer. “What’s he doing with all them women?”
Jax looked at Jinx, who also sported jean pants and a jacket. Jinx smiled brightly at the support from her surrogate sister.
“Donny is a big supporter of bringing families to the new world,” said Digits feeling all the eyes of the group upon him.
“But just the women?” Jax questioned. Everyone looked at each other and then at Digits.
Digits raises his hands in partial surrender. “Hey,” he says, “I see him only when the Italian sausage cyber graffiti shows up.”
Again, everone looked at Jinx from the corner of their eye. Jinx turned her head , but failed to stifle her smile.