I walked up the old stone steps and past a giant piece of reflective ‘art.’ Some called it a bean, some called it a cloud, I called it annoying. I looked out over Mill Town. Row after row of cheap, hastily assembled tents. A few fires dotted the landscape. People were cooking while they still could before the rains set in and by the look of the rapidly darkening sky the rains were coming in fast.
History told me this used to be a very nice park; that tourists flocked here and took dumb photos with their dumb phones and rich people had picnics of wine and cheese. They had named it Millennium Park at the turn of the twenty first century… Creative. Now we just call it Mill Town. The refuge of the poor in the shadows of over priced shops and sky scrapers.
Theresa wasn’t too hard to find. She never is. Over the past few years Theresa had become my unofficial informant. A woman in her mid-twenties that still looked like she was a runaway teen. She asked for food or credits out on the loop while wearing massive headphones, outdated tech to be sure, but people don’t look twice at a poor girl having outdated tech. Most of the rich muckity-mucks out there on the loop preferred to pretend that she didn’t exist. She liked it that way. She didn’t pander to make money. She traded in information. People let out all sorts of details around someone they’re pretending doesn’t exist. She probably had dirt on half the city. I know she had dirt on me.
“Theresa! You are looking more gorgeous every day!” I shouted as I spotted her sitting on the steps listening to her headphones as always.
She actually was a very attractive girl underneath the dirt and sneer. A punk rock attitude towards authority and half her head shaved with one of those badass hair cuts. Two of my weaknesses. She was wearing cute shorts and a dirty old tank top that I was desperately trying not to peek down. You do what you can to stay cool when no one can afford AC.
She ripped her headphones off in disgust and terrible electronic noise masquerading as music spilled out. “What d’ya want now, Rex?”
I like Theresa. She’s direct.
“I’m having trouble with a case.” I said.
“When’re you not?” she replied. It’s true I only tend to come to her when I get stuck.
“Touché. You know anything about missing Robots. Who’d want to take them and why?” I asked.
“I know a lot about a lot of things.” She smirked up at me and held out a hand for me to help her up. “Let’s take a walk.”