Intercosmic - Chapter 38 - Invicta, Nyame


I can’t remember the name of the city I landed it, it wasn’t the lawless version of Earth that I had been told Nyame would be. I was bored out of my mind looking at common tourist attractions. Shopping malls, I didn’t buy anything, museums, always love them, parks, boring. I took in a baseball game, because there wasn’t much else to do. It was a common big city, nothing that made it stand out, it had everything and nothing all at once. Then, I heard about a city called Invicta and I just had to go.

I don’t know when I developed a love for the other side of the law. Maybe all the years in the military left me craving the darker more depraved sides of the world. I heard that Invicta was a town full of smugglers, murders and criminals hiding out from the law. Needless to say, I was disappointed. It was just a city, but a magnificent city. Built on a massive lake that stretches further than I can imagine it’s a port city that has boats coming in and out all day from different rivers and other cities across the lakes. Watching the massive ships move in and out all day quickly became a joy of mine. The city itself is full of different shops. Shops and foods. Not all of these things are legal within Sol, but there doesn’t seem to be anyone making a fuss about it. I’ve seen law enforcement walk by and not say a thing. Need an organ grown discretely, there’s a shop for that, need to purchase an assassin, there’s a shop for that, need some illegal vegetables, there’s a shop for that. On every street corner a person is selling something completely different than the last corner. It’s not all low quality, fake or illegal goods either, this is the home for some of the most expensive urban fashion lines throughout Sol. I’ve never been a materialistic person, but walking through Invcita makes it all too understandable how someone could become obsessed with brands. It’s not just humanity that has made a home here either. The city of over 46 million is home to large districts populated primarily by Ghuk, Qhex, Smilodonians and surprisingly the Naengi. All of them are members of the Galactic Federation but Naengi only joined recently and don’t yet have voting power. The Ghuk are leading the weapons trade, The Qhex have set up churches and libraries throughout the city and Smilodonians have helped forge a unique art style including architecture for the city. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I haven’t met many Naengi but I’m surprised they’ve managed to carve out a niche in various markets. Even taking weapon sales from the Ghuk by focusing on hand to hand weapons. The entire city seems to work in harmony. It isn’t perfect, but no city is. If anything, I suffer from sensory overload here.

At night the city changes, bright lights, holographic advertisements. Live music playing through various corridors running past the main streets. The walking paths that were filled with families this morning are now filled with intoxicated people. Shops are closed but now there’s night life present that wasn’t visible in the day. Nightclubs, bars, brothels, drug dens and anything else you could want. It’s all business during the day and pleasure at night. Banks and law offices sharing walls with multi-floor strip clubs, everything about this place is amazingly dysfunctional, but it works.

I’ve got some time so I decided to wander through the massive park boarding on the lake. Down in the plaza a group of teenagers are gathering people for a show.

“It’s show time,” one yells and blasts off a firework from the palm of his hand.

The crowd begins to clap just from the small fireworks display. The four boys start to dance in unison, soon holograms make it appear as if they’ve multiplied. Weaving in and out of the holograms we all lose track of who is real and who is fake. One after another several of the boys are boosted into the air. Three are caught by their friends. Two of the boys land in bold poses smashing holograms into light displays that excite the crowd. Soon it seems as if I’m watching a dozen similarly dressed boys perform some combination of a dance and choregraphed fight complete with flips, more fireworks. Soon just the original four boys remain, hands to the sky shooting off fireworks in unison.

“If you liked the show, or we entertained you just a bit,” one of the boys speaks between deep breaths. “Then feel free to give us a few credits.”

I swipe a few credits to the kids and move on. I’m looking for a bar called the Redemption Omen that shouldn’t be far off the main road. A notification comes in on my wrist comp. A video of the performance with a thank you note and a link to more. These kids are great at marketing. I’ll check it out later. I find the bar and take a seat at the counter. I order a glass of water, preparation for what’s to come next; I need to be hydrated for the inevitable drinking. I got here early so I’m able to watch as people drift in and judge the regular crowd. A band sets up and begins warming up playing some funk music. It’s interesting how there is so much music lost to time, even modern music from the last year or two. Yet, genres remain and evolve with the time. I spot the man I’m meeting tonight making his way in.

Dressed in bright white with hints of orange, a faded haircut with some patterns cut out around the sides. Way too many earrings and a few tattoos I can’t make out. Still as skinny as I remember and seemingly fighting every urge to jitter and sprint around the room. A pair of tinted glasses, no doubt some kind of tech. He looks a lot different than the last time I saw him. Despite all the changes, the same pecan colored skin as my own, failure to grow a beard and need to stand out let me know my brother Edan has arrived.

“You really came to Nyame? Invicta at that, are you okay? Do you owe someone money? Is it terminal,” Edan puts his hand on my forehead.

“Good to see you too baby brother.”

“I’m a man now,” Edan yells and we laugh in unison. He’s still a joker.

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