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Deadstock by Jeffrey Thomas

By Jeffrey Thomas

Punktown: proven via Earth colonists on a remote global, a crime-ridden megalopolis peopled by way of numerous races. there's Stake, the non-public detective with chameleon-like skills he can't keep watch over. there's his prosperous shopper, Fukuda, whose corporation mass produces lifestyles kinds for exertions and as playthings. there's Fukuda's appealing teenage daughter, whose important distinct residing doll has been stolen. and there's the doll itself, transforming into in measurement and resentment. in the meantime, at an deserted house complicated with a gloomy heritage, a difficult road gang and a band of mutant squatters were trapped inside of through bioengineered lifestyles types mindlessly bent on destroying them like an infestation of vermin. The destinies of some of these participants will converge and collide.

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As soon as he was through, he unholstered his own gun as the others had—all except Tiny Meat, who didn’t use a gun, though they could smell the sharp chemical bite of his rising bile. Satisfied that the last of his friends was now inside, Hollis moved to the open doorway across the room, pistol held ready. “Moron,” Javier barely uttered under his breath. He motioned for Patryk to hasten and cover Hollis. Patryk nodded, flicking a switch on the goggles he still wore to avail himself of their basic night vision function.

This man, Watt, was a Choom veteran of the Red War, older than Stake, his crew-cut hair silvered and one arm replaced from the elbow down with a nimble-fingered, plastic prosthesis black as an insect’s limb. Despite his grunt of greeting and perpetual glower, he was one of the few men in the Post whom Stake spoke with at any length. ” Stake picked up and sipped the foam off his beer, swiveling on the stool a little to scan the other occupants of the barroom. Sitting at a table in front of glass cases containing framed portraits of past Post commanders, various plaques and medals of valor, and trophies won by school sports teams the Post had sponsored, were some more Red War veterans and some similarly boozylooking women.

Javier saw the gray things coming. ” The faceless beings had almost reached it. Though their smooth, abstracted bodies were devoid of muscular detail, Javier still saw in their body language that they were tensing themselves up to spring at any moment. 70 Deadstock Nhu’s index finger jabbed a button on the control strip. The window began to lower with the barest whisper. One of the gray beings sprang. Then the other. A thud against the safety pane. Palms spread across it with a splat like suction cups, first one pair and then the other.

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