I do dream of the Armageddon.
Buzzing electric sheep chewing old computers' cables, fields of bronze art deco gears, cybernetic glass pipes smoking detectives. The years is the Aluminum - here we don't use the advent of a prophet like they do on other plans. The planet is the fifth of Agata's solar system. The weather is boiling hot, miso soup, feverish dark storm. In my dreams, I dissolve in thin powder and leave an unpleasant smell of bonito flakes. Before horribly dying though, I'm flying above the City with my winds. They're extremely frail, they just grew back after thousands of years. I feel the warm air through my feathers. And I don't notice I'm flying way too high. The feathers start burning, the skin peels off, the eyes release vitreous humor. Then, the gamma-ray hits me and I'm not me, we're millions. Particles of Morton falling like grey snow on the city. The kids here, that never saw any snow in real life, laugh happily and let themselves be covered by my ashes.
When I wake up, I'm drenched in sweat. If I didn't smell like the bedsheets of a brothel after an orgy, I might also look sexy. The long wet hair always gave me that je ne sais quois, in my lovers' opinion. Nivahl always agreed but liked to brush it off. Oh, Nivahl, right. I should hurry. She's coming back soon but I still haven't checked Toby's material. I jump into the circular bathtub, adding just a few drops of essential oil. Keep calm & stay fabulous.
Out in the City is like wallowing in a dirty broth. It's unbearably hot, especially for the unlucky passersby covered in fur. I see some Klaws trying to freshen up by swinging their tails. I walk quickly towards Spleenjuku, but my mind is still thinking about tonight's nightmare and I feel something on my shoulder blades. Idiot, stop wishing for them to come back. It's easier for your dignity to re-appear. I laugh by myself, as I ring the Organist's doorbell. A Litza glances at me with worry.
"Easy, my friend doesn't like bodies with scales!" I shout.
The Organist opens and throws me in, the furious snout is curled.
"What's your prrrrogblem, angelito?" he asks me. Every syllable splatters muddy saliva on my face.
"Hey, Toby, amigo" I try to calm him down "I was joking, he was a random Litza, he wasn't in the Union. You know, I -"
Toby lets me go, with too kindly. I land on the taffetà couch stained in blood. I clean my hands from a clot of blood and try to sit gracefully. Toby is doing something with the Extractor, I imagine he wants to offer me some undrinkable liquid made with OGM roots. Good manners, I know. I will have to accept. As I wait for Toby and his mash, I notice the shop is strangely empty. No case pieces are hanging from the ceiling and no full ones on the dissecting table. The last witnesses of the flourishing Organist business are the blood on the couch and in the floor's fluting. Another clue that could betray Toby: the apartment's temperature. Out there, the City is burning. Here it's bitter cold, almost like in my heart - please insert a bitter laugh here. And of course, anyone would have this temperature, but you can't imagine how expensive it is. No common shop owner could afford this. The air vent on top of the walls blows frozen breaths that are needed to keep the material intact. There must be something left, in the other room. Hopefully my order.
The windows are closed with robotic shutters, tilted perfectly to hide the insides of the house. But thin blades of gold cut the stainless steel room with cutting blows of fire, meeting the light of halogen bulb. Finally, Toby puts a mug in front of me. I spy its liquid and nope, it ain't that lovely coffee from that other plan, it's a Corziga concoction, a lovely tuber grown in the subsoil of the City. It has an obscene taste, but it has a quite pleasant calming effect. Hallucinogenic, if drank in big quantities, like that time I -
"Morrrrgtton. You're late. The body you wanted..." Toby drinks the extract, his eyes close, his breath slows down. His facial protuberance relaxes on the curve of his abdomen. He's chilled now, words come out from his mouth without any distortion.
"It's gone, amigo. You came here hours late." he justifies himself, lighting up a pipe with some kind of synthetic powder. I sigh and slouch on the blood-cow-printed-couch. I can't hold this against him. It's my fault: I know full cases are highly requested. But I gotta make this better. I drink some Corziga.
“Okay, Toby. Easy, mea culpa. But now I gotta find another one.”
“Ehi, Morton, that's on you.” Toby says, moving his robotic hands.
I stand up, walking around the dissecting table.
“Look, that's true. But my problems have a magic power. They affect others, too. This isn't the usual job you get. It's not a case for the new politician or for the toy boy of the Imperial Televizor. Nope. This is for someone who could easily kill us without having any hand. Someone who's probably watching us, right now.”
Toby smokes. Then drinks some more.
“If I didn't see you naked, that time you didn't wake up even with hundreds of calls on the synaptic bracelet and I had to come to your place and you were in the tub, drank and completely high - right, you should thank me for saving your ass - well, if it wasn't for that, I wouldn't believe you. But I saw what you hide. And I know what you're in contact with.” grumbles Toby.
I feel my shoulder blades burn once again.
“Okay, angelito. Let me make a few calls.” he finally adds.
“Thank you, Toby. I'll see you tonight at the place. I owe you a free vision.”
“More like two, amigo.”