ShadowRun: Live to Rise

No Time to Breathe

My body gave one last heave as I leaned over the toilet in my apartment. Gross. I grimaced and shuddered at the unpleasant taste of the strange slime I’d just purged from my stomach. Having just spent most of the last week and a half completely submerged and breathing in whatever the stuff was, there had been no avoiding a gut full of gunk.

Trish had done her best to get most of what she could off of me, but my hair remained coated and heavy However, now that the worst of my vomiting fit was over, It was time to take a nice, long, hot shower. I supposed I was technically really clean, but oh man, did I need it. The smell of artificial sterilization stuck to me like spray from a skunk.

I peeled off the sticky leather jacket that had been several sizes too large. I wasn’t a far of baggy clothing, but since it had been my only article of clothing on the way home, I was certainly willing to make an exception. I turned the shower knob and the water streamed down, soon causing steam to begin to rise from the floor. Goosebumps flowed up my chest and across my limbs as my skin anticipated its much needed pampering. The water felt every bit as good as I’d hoped, making the knots in my aching muscles melt away.

At this rate, I was certainly better than I was only hours ago. Spending most of my time in a void with no sensory input had been surprisingly unpleasant, maybe even something of a nightmare. It hadn’t done my claustrophobic tendencies any favors either. My brain had begged to feel anything at all, creating strange and unsettling hallucinations with a variety that spanned all five of my senses. With the death of Sean Mire still weighing heavily on me, my time in the float tank had been simply painful. If I hadn’t known any better, I could almost still swear I’d heard the sound of his voice in there. Hardly what I would call good circumstance to grieve.

I felt broken, like a piece of me was missing. Time almost seemed to stand still and I had no idea how I was going to make it without the one I’d once called “Soul-Mate.” He was always there when I needed a shoulder, and always piping up with his stupid, inappropriate jokes. I once hated his heckling, now I wished I could have heard it one last time. While my other half has been severed, I can’t allow what’s left to fray. I have to try to stay strong and intact, if for not for myself, then for Sean.

I shut the water off and wrapped myself in a dry towel before stepping out of the shower. That was quite enough pondering for my taste. My father had always taught me that action and initiative were one of the key to success, and frankly I was beginning to feel that excessively dwelling on the matter was become self-destructive.

After getting dressed, I prowled into my kitchen to sate my next desire: a juicy steak with a side of eggs. I felt like I’d die of hunger as I watched the meat sizzle and steam on the pan which, given my extreme hunger, created an unusually attractive aroma. It seemed my body was painfully aware that I’d been fed primarily off of an IV tube, and it was going to make certain that the smell of the fat and protein rich meat felt irresistible.

Finally, my steak and eggs were before me. It had seemed like an eternity had passed before the outside browned properly. I had every intention of slowly savoring the sweet taste of the juicy meet, and no one could change my mind. Despite having barely been freed from captivity, Jim had already thrown me into the fire with another assignment with no time for physical or emotional recovery. I was hardly pleased, but such was the nature of mercenary work, and I needed the money.

When I was done, I sighed with satisfaction and turned my attention to my next course of action. I didn’t really have time for any reading, nor was I going to get away with sitting down and watching a romance for over an hour. With nothing else to do in my short window of time before I would be expected to return, I dressed myself in sweat pants and a tank-top. I couldn’t really be bothered to care about my appearance in my depressed state of mind. If nothing else I could take the edge off of my grim thoughts with some booze from the bar before getting to work. The duration was dissatisfying, but I did love the sheer kick of that Pixy Dust. I’d need plenty of it to get through the long day ahead of me.

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