It had been a long time….

It had been a long time. He found himself wanting to say ‘It’s been a minute’ like the kids used to say. ‘Kids’. Huh. Those ‘kids’ had been grown up for years, decades, even, and the vernacular had long moved on to far stranger things…

…but that was beside the point. If he started thinking about that, he’d be back in Vienna again, and he didn’t have time for that right now.

Rollick paused for a moment. No footfalls. Either that meant no one was following, or they were even more careful than he was, something else he didn’t care to think about right now.

Emerging from the alley, he started to be able to almost feel the beat coming from Collatz. Even the most advanced dampers couldn’t damp the ground displacement of a truly heavy bass. He put in his earpieces and joined the line, tapping them twice to change modes to ‘club’.

Quick survey of the line. No one he recognized, but they could be using a face skifter. He never used them because they were far too detectable by automated systems. He preferred to use his hat and his trained ability to shift his facial muscles. Front of the line. Standard pat-down and scan. Bouncers were no-nonsense, your standard retired linebacker-types. No piece today, not on a mission like this. Just causes more problems than it solves, especially in a crowded club.

Waved through, the door opens. The first wave of the beat is felt more than heard. Down the corridor, no coat check today, with the temperature being ‘ambient’. He enters the club proper, and is assaulted by the sound for a split second before his earpieces kick in. ‘Ah, modern technology.’

He glances at the booth. Good, she’s not spinning right now, so there should be just enough time.

Working his way through the crowd, he moves just enough to the music to look not too much out of place, but not so much that he stands out. He risks a longing glance towards one of the more open areas of the dance floor, but that might be a little too visible today.

He can’t help but look at the endlessly changing light mathematical light display that gives the club its name. With difficulty, he manages to draw his attention away.

Passing the bar, he heads back to the head (natch). No one in the hall, good.


[door buzzes]

He pushes the door open and slips inside.

“You’re late.”

Music: Charlotte de Witte

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