It turns out that Leticia, a childhood play-mate of his, who lived with her dad, just a few streets down from his mom’s house, has been disembowelled. She is not dead yet: head cradled in the night-watchman’s arms, she lingers.
Besides him, Shikara deftly slips off her kurti, revealing her breasts, ripe and exquisite. “Don’t be afraid. I won't hurt you.” She continues stripping, peeling back her jeans, exposing lush thighs.
Looming over Bulumko, the serpent crackles with power, filaments of flame spawning from its front – drifting, sizzling. Undaunted, Bulumko pulls up an abandoned cocktail table, climbs onto it, shoves his face towards the electric conflagration.
On the podium, lead singer, Giant Wolfman James, stomps and hoots like a runaway locomotive, relying on the wooden pulpit canopy behind him to project his already monstrous voice.
He gestures, and a stream of sparks condenses in mid-air, chases into a rotating ring that drifts away from them, pulsing through the colour spectrum from violet to red and back. “Wow!” breathes Shikara.
A young woman walks out of the ocean. Coffee complexion, with straight waist-length black hair. Sleek. Busty. Her clothes are not wet.
“I am Volition… but you can call me Will.” A silvery humanoid icon appeared, shimmering.
Sean thought of Jordan: Sprat’s gonna be too big for his boots now. Need putting down… The image of a mop-haired poodle came to mind, and he chuckled poisonously. Yeah, like a sick dog. Get my flash-drive back first though.
“I’m not overdosing. And it’s not my fault if someone trolls me. Don’t overreact.”
Grumpet rested his plump hand on Jordan’s afro; dug his fingers into its thick, lush fuzz. Jordan bucked. He could feel Grumpet’s flabby belly pressing against his shoulder over the rim of the chair-back. Whoa. Freaky!
An incoming message pinged his glasses. Bunnylicious99@…? He accepted. A pic flashed on screen. Weird shape. Flesh-toned. A body-part?No ways!
…She feels bad about offending an angel. Not good. Really not good.
Mid-song, a disco beat thumped from the speakers as a silvery humanoid shape flashed centre-screen, dancing, riffing to the music: “…should have changed that stupid lock; you should have made me leave my key. If you’d known for just one second, you’d be bothered to see…”
‘The virus…you’re responsible.’ That’s what I hear Arno say.
The AI ceiling: any software that exceeded parameters for independence and self-awareness found running free on the net was culled by Initializers.
Poliamuel flutters down to place a scroll on the cushions near Leandré’s free hand. At first it’s no bigger than a rolled up postage stamp, but in seconds it swells into a handsome cylinder capped with a sliver crown.
“And that’s going to turn it into an AI?” gawped Jordan.
“Nooo. Twit! I already said not. Mostly they just freeze and die. Junk code’s all that’s left. But sometimes…” Sean tilted his head for emphasis. “Sometimes, they come out drooling idiots, like. When that happens it’s a laugh.”
“Nothing in heaven or earth will save her. If you fail her.”
Simone wore fairy wings. Butterflies haloed her, flitting in and out of sight at the boundary of the v-effect. And her hair was an ash-blond bob that seamlessly flowed into a sparkling shower of jeweled rain that vanished as it hit the sun-parched pavement.