The roar of an engine roused Cayete from his sleep. Dazed and confused, he lurched drunkenly to his feet, swaying slightly. In his homeland, he had been a warrior, he thought bitterly He had a been a poet and an artist. He had been honored. But not here. Not in this hellish place of poverty, grief and science. A loud honk from a car-horn interrupted his reverie. He tried to focus his eyes, squinting against the blinding headlights which were flooding his alley – and all its disease-ridden contents – with the false light of technology. The engine roared again, and the car lurched closter.
”Apparently,” Cayete thought ”I'm in his way.”
The alley wasn't wide enough for the car to pass without running him over. He staggered towards the car, his heavily bearded face grim and his right hand on the hilt of his sword. The driver honked again. The sharp smell of gasoline reached Cayete's nostrils. He inhaled deeply, feeling his cold, calculating rage surface. With a sharp, metallic 'click', he thumbed his sword's hand-guard, exposing an inch of the steel blade.
With supernatural speed and strength, he swung the sword in a great arc across the front of the car. Metal parting and glass smashing, he cut a deep gouge into the black, polished helm of the car, He stood still, waiting for the driver's reaction. As he had suspected, the car door slammed open, and a man in a dark suit stepped out, swearing and sputtering. The man, face obscured by the dark shadows of the alley, reached into his suit and pulled out something black and metallic. Cayete heard the tell-tale click of a hammer being cocked. Before the man could bring his gun to bear, Cayete was on him. In two strides he was next to the man, and with a flick of his sword, he cut off the man's hand at the wrist. A lightning-quick slash cut open the man's throat and to silenced his cries of paint. In the same motion, he buried his blade in the man's chest. For a moment, the man stood frozen, shock and outrage lingering in his features. He was young, Cayete thought. Young enough to be his son. The man's body crumpled, and Cayete let it slip off his sword and onto the ground. There it lay in a heap, blood seeping from his throat and chest. Cayete sheathed his blood-stained sword and turned on his heels.
”Damn shame,” he grumbled, the memory of the boy fading from his mind as he walked out of the alley, and into the busy streets of New Kyoto. "I liked that alley."