Chekhov’s Katana

Bad Girl In The Future by Didiusz, available for $12.26​ on Etsy:

The car was definitely and thoroughly broken down. Melinda couldn’t jump the engine because the trees weren’t even sparking. There was no sizzle left in them — she could tell. It was an old car anyway, running on 2078 software. The dealer probably jailbroke it in the first place. Melinda shook her hair out of her eyes, halfway shaking her head at the results of buying a cheap car. She would have jacked one, but it took ages to strip the tracking gear out of a stolen model.

Melinda sat on the ground, and a grey cat inched toward her. It looked ready to nudge her outstretched hand, but it was staying cautious, anime eyes wide open. Gene-manipped pets were cute but sometimes their exaggerated features verged on creepy. The animal’s tail twitched. Melinda eyed it suspiciously. She wasn’t sure that it wouldn’t bite her fingers. Who knew what bad habits they picked up in the wild. Maybe it was hungry.

Melinda was hungry, certainly, but not hungry enough to try manipped meat that wasn’t tailored for human metabolisms. Sick of waiting for the cat after thirty seconds, she picked up her satchel and drew her katana. As soon as she moved, the creature darted away, joining its companion on the hood of the car. Melinda weighed the sword in her hand. Keeping it out was impractical for walking, but she wanted to be able to react quickly. Traveling on foot felt insecure, at least outside of the city.

She thumbed the switch, unlocking it with her fingerprint. The blade split silently and its sharp edge emerged. Melinda’s hip buzzed with the 2FA notification, and she pulled her phone from her pocket. If she didn’t enter the passphrase within ten minutes, the katana’s edge would retract and she couldn’t cut anything. It was still useful as a cudgel, but better as a sword.

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