As the bus slalomed down one of the dustier hills leading to the harbor-burrough of Dock Furke, Barry felt a strange sensation emanating from the middle of his skull. Between the hemispheres of his brain, it could have been. Wrinkling his brow, he tried to crack it like he would his neck, subconsciously cracking his fingers as he thought about it. Barry guessed this was his headgear realigning itself to the Dock Furke network, but it could just be a side effect of the special cigarellos he got from the driver. His nerves felt rattled enough.
“God.” he mumbled. “I hope this doesn't happen every damn time I take the bus.” He pulled his hat over his eyes and sank back into his chair a moment.
As the hardened rubber wheels of the bus shook down the rough dusty road, Brit ignored Barry as a gap between the low-cost housing and fish markets widened into a flattish stretch of sandlot overlooking the harbor. Enormous, horizon-straddling cargo ships hovered over the water steadily, a slow nonstop rumbling just barely detectable over the din of the rattling thin walls of the bus all that gave them away apart from their unquestionably large size. Brit watched a ginormous loading crane pick up a transport pallet the size of a bungalow and maneuver it into the hold of one of the ships, just as her view was cut off as the bus made a turn down a street already lit up with the neon night. She sighed and smiled.
'There's a reason all the good people moved out here.' She thought.
Barry stirred as the light flashed over him and calmly grabbed for the 'stop' lever above his head, heaving himself up with it and massaging his eyeballs with his thumb and forefinger as a soft 'ding1' chirped out of a speaker behind the driver. Suddenly, he felt a twitch and loud pop emanate from in his head and fell back into his seat, plucking his hat off and rubbing his temples.
“Oooh...I heard that, Barr.” Brit said, placing a hand on his shoulder. “Are you okay?”
Barry made a small nod, then stood up quickly, his face erupting into an anxious grin.
“ThiszszourSTOP!” he shouted, surprising the bus driver who made an effort to slam on the breaks to knock the lumbering Barry off his feet out of spite, but it slid to the same easy, comfortable stop it had made every single time prior. Barry dance-sprinted to the front of the bus and wordlessly tossed some change into the driver's tin.
“You're still tactless!” he called behind him, jerkily prancing into the street. Brit calmly stepped out, nodding at the driver and smiling halfheartedly. He shrugged his flabby shoulders and pretended to polish his sunglasses. As the bus rolled away, the old woman near the driver perked up and shambled into the aisle, watching her footing and grinning at the driver through his mirror.
“We were just as bad.” She quipped.
The driver kept quiet.
Brit made an effort to walk as calmly as possible as Barry twitched along beside her, the pocketwatch chain hanging from his pants rattling around noisily. The few people on the street made a deliberate effort not to get in his way.
“Och, what're you doing, Barry?” Brit asked, keeping step. Barry paused, and jerkily straightened out, trying to walk properly.
“It was them jump-darts what the drivah had.” He rattled in a kentucky drawl.
“No, it's your damn gear not resetting to the network.” said an irritated voice behind them. Brit and Barry jumped and turned around, Barry landing rather awkwardly all over the ground and Brit catching herself on a signpost.
“Aw gee, boss.” Brit said apologetically. “We didn't mean to be late.”
Ron “Ruck” Rickerton stood behind them frowning. His tool belt hung just visible on his left under the “Furke Fracturer's” coat which sat open in the light spring air, an article of clothing he made himself as a wearable advertisement to his self-owned manufacturing plant. A pair of wrinkled work pants scraped unhemmed on the sidewalk below him. He scratched his dirty blonde hair and scowled.
“You're not late. I just got a message from Barry...well, about Barry saying he got his headpiece put in. I'm the only person you know who can actually realign you to the Dock Furke network. Otherwise you just get shit like this all the time.” Ruck gestured at Barry's spasming frame.
“Ya d-d-don't say?” Barry pleaded. “Ah god, I feel like I'm about to break somehow. Reset me up. You reset me up! Rated 'R' for reset.” He babbled.
Ruck wordlessly pulled a media player out of his pocket and disconnected the headphones hanging from his neck to reattach it to what was called a 'Frequency Allocater', but was really more of a ranged, almost unnoticeable tazer.
“Line in.” he said, looking at Barry plainly. Barry yanked a clickety-clacking wire out of his headgear and lodged it into a second wire hanging out of the Frequency Allocater.
“Awright. This is going to look and feel pretty stupid.” Ruck said. Some passersby looked with mild curiosity as Barry yelped in surprise as his mechanical components all synced up with his headgear.
“I can't believe it took you this long to get something that has network support.” Ruck grumbled. “Cocks!” he added quietly.
Barry stood still a moment, steadying himself bow-legged as all of his parts began working in-synchro.
“Yesssssssss.” Barry said smoothly.
“Cool.” said Ruck. “We done here?”
“Uhhh, I guess.” said Barry. “Brit?”
“I don't have metal parts jutting out of me. I'm pretty okay in general.” Brit responded, crossing her arms.
“Alright, good.” Ruck smiled. “Be at the north plant in ten minutes or you're both fired.” He then climbed into a Taxi, continuously giving them the middle finger through the window as it rolled away and turned a corner.
I see you jockin' me.
Last edited by Mac Sirloin; 03-15-2011 at 09:12 AM..