Viscura: With Extreme Prejudice
by Lee Hulme
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Three people sat in a windowless room, around a table barely visible through the piles of paper, takeout boxes, disposable coffee cups. All three looked exhausted, their eyes barely open, heads drooping, clothes rumpled. They looked like students pulling an all-nighter before a big exam, except the papers scattered and screwed up in front of them were covered with scribbles far beyond the scope of most people.
The youngest was red-haired and pale, as much from tiredness as his natural skin tone.
The oldest was barely moving, her face craggy, hair grizzled grey.
The third person stretched, rubbing her eyes, olive skin slightly flushed from excess caffeine.
In the middle of the table, coming from a barely-visible device, a holographic image spun slowly. It was human in shape, though neutral in gender. Even in the holograph the figure was strong, and somehow radiated a sense of inner rage.
At least that’s what the third person thought as she looked at the revolving figure. Though that may be because the only contact she had with the full-sized and very solid version of this figure had been short and violent, leaving her unconscious, with a deep scar across the right side of her face. A thought slowly occurred, stumbling through her tired brain until it hit her mouth, “We need to show everyone else what it is, and let them take care of the problem.”
The other two looked up, brains ticking over the sentence and all it implied. Continue reading