I looked back down in time to see him explode.
Playback on full recall shows Ralfi stepping forward as the little tech sidles out of nowhere, smilling. Just a suggestion of a bow, and his left thumb falls off. It’s a conjuring trick. The thumb hangs suspended. Mirrors? Wires? And Ralfi stops, his back to us, dark crescents of sweat under the armpits of his pale summer suit. He knows. He must have known. And then the joke-shop thumbtip, heavy as lead, arcs out in a lighting yo-yo trick, and the invisible thread connecting it to the killer’s hand passes laterally through Ralfi’s skull, just above his eyebrows, whips up, and descends, slicing the pearshaped torso diagonally from shoulder to rib cage. Cuts so fine that no blood flows until synapses misfire and the first tremors surrender the body to gravity.
Ralfi tumbled apart in a pink cloud of fluids, the three mismatched section rolling forward on the tiled pavement. In total silence.
The LEDs that told seconds on the plastic wall clock had become meaningless pulsing grids, and Molly and the Mao-faced boy grew hazy, their arms blurring occasionally in insect-quick ghosts of gesture. And then it all faded to cool gray static and an endless tone poem in the artificial language.
Fragmentos de Johnny Mnemonic (1981), de William Gibson.