Marisol, or “Sling,” as some of the Olders called her, held her rifle at shoulder level to peer through the scope, searching, hunting. The dark blue skies of pre-dawn cast a blue hue across New Chicago, and then she saw him, saw the man in the window, always staring out from that skyrise, one of the few that remained, gazing in her direction.
Well, not her specifically, but to the barracks inhabited by the hunters, the area where she and the other so-called “Apes” lived.
Their predecessors, cops and national guardsmen and the like, had worked to restore law and order after First Light (the local euphemism for the Unraveling, the purported solar storm that ended the old ways) and the populace, upon seeing them arrive for the first time in their militarized, then-shimmering black gear and body armor, had nicknamed them Apes.
The name stuck and the youngest of the Apes, Marisol, took some small measure of satisfaction from seeing images in the basin of the long-dead creatures with their muscle-quilted bodies and silver backs and faces seemingly screwed up in perpetual disgust. They were strong and powerful, and so was she.
Even though she had no idea who the man watching her was, she wanted to pull the trigger and watch him fall. Anyone who peered in the direction of the Apes often had to have sins enough worth dying for. An infatuation with their trade meant a love of death. (more…)