Black Painted Hammer

I paused in the shadows long enough to consume another anti-emetic, sliding the carapace mouthpiece of my helmet up and around long enough to expose my lips, the chalky taste of the pill an assault on my senses, its cooling mint flavour lost in the reek of ozone in my nostrils, the pressure on the nape of my neck, the lance of pain across my chest where magic happened.

I drew a sip of water from the straw of my camel pack, the careful baffles of its structure sending bubbles tickling up my spine, more or less. The ragged sensitivity of my skin was nearly distracting, and I could feel an actuator, the dead hand of reason, stroke another wash of chemicals into my bloodstream and suddenly I was awake.

Very very calm, and full of desire, and burning, and with the stink of plastic on the roof of my mouth, and dark in the shadows, and watching a set of lights that I wasn’t entirely conscious of doing things I could feel tickling in my skull, and it was time, time. They sometimes tell people we are robots and they are less wrong than we would like.

You can find the complete version of Black Painted Hammer in issue 66 of TBD.

Andrew Robertson