The city in winter was a wet, sopping ruin. The darkness at night was total, except for what light there was from the few proton-bombardment streetlamps that still burned, and the daytime gloom was oppressive and soul-crushing. There was no escape from the rain; brickwork, soaked to its dusty core, crumbled overhead and underfoot, and it was almost impossible to keep even an everglo cigarette alight.
Almost. But not quite.
For most, it went without saying that the task of staying dry was easier said than done. Some joked that it was a job better left to professionals. It was an old joke, and although friends might laugh, if one were lucky (or blessed with especially good friends), the laughter was universally tired, if not exhausted. Worn jokes and sorry laughter: both were covers for the inescapable reality that it was far more common to feel soaked to the bone than anything remotely comparable to comfortably dry. More than anything, they were sadly defiant attempts at sanity preservation.
Fortunately for Marco, ever since the weather had changed he had found that the old methods really did work best…which was to say, well enough, most of the time. Between his trench coat and old-school umbrella, he was able to stay dry enough not to float away, and with clothing properly layered he could stay warm enough to to keep from icing over. He was surprised by how many people favored electrostatic repellers over umbrellas and the likeâ€”they were hardly foolproof, especially if you forgot to charge the powerpack, and they did nothing against the cold. In any event, although he could have afforded a set of repellers, it was always better for a man in his line of work, always of a confidential investigatory nature, to be less noticeable rather than more. And, used judiciously, an umbrella or turned-up coat collar would almost always go a surprisingly long way toward preventing easy recognition. Trying to conceal your face with repellers would accompish exactly nothing.
Of course the weather tonight was even more horribly drenching than the weatherwatson had predicted. Of course, because tonight of all nights he must spend most if not all of the darkest, wettest hours in a rotted-out alley, alone and hopefully inconspicuous, waiting and watching for the Superintendent. Not that the Superintendent should have any legitimate business in this part of the old city, but then after all legitimate was the telling, even operative word. According to his informant, one who had as yet never led him astray, there was indeed someone here who had attracted at least the passing attention of the Superintendent. And that was very interesting indeed, to a great many people, some of whom were paying, oh so discreetly, for his time and physical presence tonight. Cameras were everwhere, but at the end of the dayâ€”or nightâ€”nothing could take the place of a sharp pair of eyes and a suspicious mind.
Although it had been abundantly clear that the details were none of his concern, Marcos could not help but wonder who this mysterious other might be. A woman? (There was always a woman.) Unlicensed tech dealers? Some other shadowy underworld figure? Time would tell, as it always did.
Tonight of all nights. He sighed. The rain poured down. He sighed again, huddled closer under his unfurled umbrella, and hoped that the next several miserable hours would pay off. In spades.
LimerDesigner Flux’s mesh Trench Coat from Hoorenbeek is thoughtfully designed and carefully executed, with all the pros and cons, benefits and compromises we’ve come to associate with mesh clothing designs. The rigged mesh coat is provided in small, medium, and large sizes, so you can choose the one that best fits your shape. You’ll still need the included tattoo-layer alpha mask to make sure your avatar doesn’t show through the coat. It’s worth noting that I’m wearing the small coat here, and while it’s not especially large, this shape is larger than my own usual shape. The coat is detailed with heavy stitchwork, big glossy buttons, and fastening straps with shining metal buckles. The mesh rigging gives the coat a natural drape and flow over your avatar in most poses and movements, although in some more extreme or exaggerated positions the coat may temporarily look “broken”.
Two collar optionsâ€”oneÂ neatly flat, the other turned upâ€”let you protect yourself against the cold and wet, or not, as needed. You can choose from the additional selection of mesh attachments to add a turtleneck or shirt with necktie, both in a nice handful of colors. Sweaters and shirts are also included in small, medium, and large sizes, and while it looks like the sizes are intended to match up with the corresponding coat in the same size, it’s possible to mix and match, and in some cases you may find you get a better overall fit by doing so. On occasion, when there was an environmental light behind me, I did notice some interesting although not entirely realistic backlighting effects on the turtleneck. I didn’t find this at all bothersome.
In six muted colors, L$520 each, or L$2100 for a pack of all six colors. At Hoorenbeek (JT World 20 128, 28, 23). The set is No Transfer, but from the store vendor you can also give the coat as a gift. Unfortunately, no demo is available.