5 seconds of summmmmmer dawg
I woke up, ears ringing. My mouth was dry and felt like something had crawled in and died. Looking over to my nightstand my holo-clock read 10:17, I reached for my pack and pulled out a half bent cigarette. They weren’t the same since the council of five corporations replaced tobacco with a synthetic, but they still gave you a head rush. I sparked it and thought about my day, I had to go Cosco corner store and pick up more ziplocks, weigh out today's product and bag it up, and then go out for the night’s work. Pulling on the cigarette, I blew out lazy streams in the air, watching them mix with the holo-sun and dust in my apartment.
The shrieking wail of the Corporations Personal Security Department sirens cut the morning silences, shouts and a commotion started outside, but I couldn’t be bother to stand up and look. It was the same any other day, the CPSD had gotten a lot stricter and were starting to crack down on the lower dealers and looters and thugs. Four shots rang out, cutting through the air like a knife. More shouting and then the low monetized voice that everyone had heard millions of times. “Do not resist detainment, you will be given a fair trial and released if innocent”. No miranda rights, the Council got rid of that as soon as they replaced the government. One warning before they open fire, unjust policing to an extreme. But everyone had quotas, I knew that better than anyone.
I sat up in my bed, looking around for my shorts, pulling them up hastily. I dragged myself to the kitchen to put on coffee. While the water boiled I ground the coffee and rummaged through my fridge for something to make for breakfast. I popped two slices of Costco bread in my toaster and turned on the dropped down tv to the news, idly thumbing through the channels, more of the same. Apple finally purchased IKEA for 10.8 billion, the corp prisons are overflowing with detainees, and the same old stuff about riots and looters. The commotion outside had settled down and I peered out my windows seeing fresh blood stains on the cement. Clean up would be around soon so I decided I might as well pick up the new pack and start bagging while they sprayed down the block.
Ever since 2025, 20 years ago from now, corporations have been growing in size and power, swallowing up smaller companies into them. Apple, Google, and all the big tech companies had a choke hold on the world and no one could say or do anything without incurring their wrath. Everything was branded as a product from a corporation and small businesses ceased to exist, nothing was organic or locally sourced, we were polluting and polluted.
I threw on my old beat up Jordan 1’s, tossed on a hoodie and made my way to the door of my apartment. Pausing briefly, I grabbed my gas mask from my coat rack and kneeled down to reach under the table next to it. Drawing out an old fashion Colt 1911, I tucked it into my waistband, pulled my sweatshirt over it and reached for my keys. Locking up my apartment, I waited trying to remember if I had forgot anything. Keys, check, strap, check, gas mask, check. I was ready.
I pulled down my gas mask and walked down the 3 flights of stairs to the bottom floor. I took one last breath of clean air before I stepped out into the smoggy streets of lower eastside Boston. Since the corporations got larger than life, factories where everywhere, churning out toys, beds, food, whatever could be made. They released countless of tons of smoke and chemicals into the air. It was enforced policy that everyone wear a mask because factories had replaced most of the hospitals and only the rich could afford the corps healthcare.
I hurried down my street, making sure no corp drones or goons were around or following me and got to an old storage locker. Checking around once again I opened the chain link that encased the the door and flipped up the hidden modern lock system, it scanned my retina and I placed my hand on the cool keypad typing in 17500. The mechanical hiss and whir of the bolts and traps disengaging as the locker door swung in. I stepped in the chilled room and closed the door behind me.
Walking over to the shelf with my I.D number, I grabbed 2 blue IKEA brand bags filled with parcels taped shut and made sure each had 20 in them. I left the containment unit and casually walked home, nodding at Ole’ man Jenkins where he usually sat, perched on his stoop, corn cob pipe in hand, straw hat pulled over his nose. He nodded back and gave me a knowing look and smile when he saw what I was carrying. “New shipmen’en, aye”, “I suppose’e you wouldn’ have nun extra to spare”. I smiled, “Gotta bagg’em up and weigh out todays lot, I’ll be back with some for ya in a couple hours”. He cracked a wide grin, “bless ye son, the prophet's be smile’n on those who art kind”. I kept walking and gave him a little wink.
Once back inside my house, I ripped off my mask coughing a little, they helped but nothing could cut through that smog. I put the two bags on my kitchen counter and grabbed my digital scale from the drawer and started lining up the packages like toy soldiers. Pulling out an exacto knife; I slit open the seam of the parcel, wrapped in brown wax paper and tied with twine. The contents spilled onto the counter, piling into clusters, some spilling onto the floor. I picked the pills that had fallen and went to grab a container, pouring the rest of the package in. I grabbed the baggies I had printed with a skull and crossbones on them. The label read in bold “X6 - Hydra”, proper name Xenoterramorphine Hydromethazine.
Popularized in the lower income neighborhoods, X6 was a hybrid drug that acted as a stimulant and mood stabilizer. Side effects included in large doses hallucinating and internal bleeding. It was originally prescribed to those who were looked down upon intellectually, the thinking being that if they couldn’t be smart they could be productive and non violent. I smiled at the irony of the use they ended up with. Now everyone and their mom’s popped X6, from harden drug addicts to the blue collared middle class, everyone needed their fix. The Council finally shut down the drug legally back in 2028 because it reduced profit of their brands of help, secondary reason because people were getting hurt.
It seemed as if I had been destined to sell X6 since the beginning. Growing up with the daughter of one the top scientists I just happened into a brief romance with her back in my highschool days. I smiled thinking about Samra and her very smart but incredibly stupid father. We had split ways happily and still stayed in contact. I mailed her 20,000 a month and every two weeks she would have the lab ship me 6 kilos of X6, or 300,000 capsules. Luckily she had payed attention to her father and when they got shut down, she had me and some of our friends persuade some of the lab workers to continue their production. Thankfully I didn’t have to count out and bag all 300,000.
I picked up my phone, punching in 1-857-600-6855, let it ring twice, hung up and called back. On the third ring I heard the click and the smooth slightly seductive voice of my partner, “Hey Playboy, what took you so long?”, I grinned and wondered how I hadn’t been tricked into sleeping with her yet. “Shooting and detainment outside my apartment, had to sneak around clean up” I replied. “Send over the boys, I need some work to be done”, I could hear her huff in disappointment. “If you insist love, want me to bring over anythi-”. I clicked off my phone, sighing and running my hand through my messy still bedhead birds nest on my head.