05 Apr Cyberpink #2 Test Art
Here it is!
Test artwork by Samuel Bermudez for Cyberpink #2: Butt-Abs Life!
And here’s an excerpt from #2. Enjoy!
NewHoll Center sprawled under the dry late-afternoon sun, a cacophonic retail maze of gaudy 3D signs, mixed holo and old-school LED billboards, shoppers, skateboarders, and scattered trash.
A gaggle of excited tourists from Earth passed, taking photos with taps in the air, using holographic windows only they could see. Slouchy teens walked past looking like they were just trying to kill the day as, up ahead, a homeless robot with a pink mohawk pushed a shopping cart.
In the distance, above layers of facades and advertising, a windowed skybridge showed people and robots moving through the indoor mall.
“I hate this place,” said L as a hoverboarder skated past, barely missing them, pursued by a barrel-chested security bot.
“But the tourists love it,” said Maya. “Even some locals come here.” She watched Eva frown. “Believe it or not.”
Some surfers in bright pink flip-flops and board shorts, probably on their way back from a weekend at Nectaris, walked past, high-fiving each other.
Eva wrinkled her nose.
“Doesn’t feel like our scene.”
“We won’t necessarily be playing here,” said Maya. “Mickey bought all the clubs: that means everything from NewHoll Bowl to Mr. T’s, Spaceland …”
“Okay okay,” said Eva.
“Must be rich,” said Infiniti.
“Big shot from back home,” said L as they walked. “I remember seeing something about him in the news. Made it big in asteroids.”
A few meters later, the girls came to a low, square building with a giant holographic rat on the roof, eyes blazing as it whipped its tail back and forth, and glowing letters reading “MICKEY RAT’S”
The girls looked up at it.
“Yeah,” said L. “That’s not weird.”
“Remember,” said Maya, “Mickey is the guy now. So behave.”
Everyone looked at L.
“Why are you looking at me?”
“I’m just saying,” said Maya, “if we’re in with him, we’ve got gigs from now on!”
“I get it!” said L.
Eva cracked her knuckles.
“Let’s do this.”
The room was humid, with the vague chemical smell of mothballs.
Along the wall behind were band holos, with names like “Alien Skullz,” “The Face-Huggers,” “Dreambot 7.” The bands looped through signature moves: dancing, smashing synthtars, or just looking mysterious and cool.
Mickey — a skinny man, mid-40s, with star-shaped, rose-tinted sunglasses and a loud paisley shirt — sat with his feet up on a desk, eating pistachios and watching a holographic TV.
On the holo, the girls hovered a few feet above the ground in an open practice space. Infiniti pushed big, illuminated buttons on a synthtar, driving out a power-chord like arpeggiation as Stacyÿ sang into a glowing holo ring, her red hair falling over most of her face.
In this dumb anthem
Distance makes me an enemy
And the dark sky follows
When I’m home to see my family
Maya’s levitating keyboard created swelling synth pads, L’s bass pulsed a four-on-the-floor beat as Eva drummed out a hi-hat / snare pattern, looking a little bored.
The song concluded and the girls floated down to the ground.
Mickey swiped away the video, switching to back to news.
He nodded silently.
Across from him, the CP girls sat on a long sofa, a robot secretary visible through a window behind them.
“The grav pads were a nice touch,” he said.
“Yeah?” asked L.
“Yeah, but you could do more with it. Like … fly or something. I don’t know.”
There was another long silence.
The girls shifted uncomfortably.
Maya leaned forward.
“We’re always on time, and we work hard to —”
“I get it, I get it,” said Mickey, picking out a pistachio and prying open a pistachio with his fingers. “Look, you’ve got a good look, music is solid. And you’ve had some decent shows.”
He popped the pistachio into his mouth as a news anchor appeared over the chyron: “BREAKING. NEW DISAPPEARANCE.”
“Jeez, another one?” asked L.
Mickey shook his head.
The girls winced. He craned his head to see if his robot secretary had overheard. The secretary sat staring off into space.
“Ha!” said Mickey. “Good thing this room is soundproofed. Am I right, girls?”
The girls shifted uncomfortably as Mickey cracked open a pistachio.
“Actually …” began L.
Maya grabbed her arm, clutching it tightly.
“You’re hurting me,” whispered L.
“Anyway,” continued Maya, “we can bring people, and … we’re so excited to be working with you, Mr. Rat.”
An intercom buzzed, and the secretary’s voice sounded in the room.
“Your nephew is here, Mr. Rat.”
“Great!” said Mickey.
He turned to the girls.
“My sister’s kid’ll be running the day-to-day. He’s kind of a dingus, but he’s family. Might as well meet him.”
They turned to see the outer office door open.
Rich stepped into the waiting room.
“Oh nooooo,” said Infiniti.
Rich looked at them in surprise. Like a sun rising over a landscape, the look was replaced by dawning realization and a wide smirk.
The girls turned back to Mickey, cringing.
Mickey gestured to Rich.
“No, you come in here.”
Rich was saying something, but it was muffled.
“What?” asked Mickey. “Just come in here.”
Mickey continued looking at Rich in the waiting room behind them.
“Wow,” said Mickey, “he really wants my attention.”
A moment passed as Mickey looked at Rich behind them.
“He’s gesticulating wildly.”
Mickey stood with a sigh.
“Hold on girls, be right back.”
Back in front of the club, the door opened and a tall, muscular bouncer pushed the girls out. They tumbled to the ground.
“Hey!” said L.
“Watch it!” said Eva.
The door slammed behind them. The girls picked themselves up.
“You know, “ said L, bushing off dirt, “with a name like ‘Mickey Rat,’ you’d think —“
“He’d be extra cool,” said Eva.