The Light After
Crime scenes shimmered for the former detective without conscious effort: he saw victims, suspects, and clues framed in mournful haloes of copper-toned light. He had worked hard for this --neural coprocessors, database senses, hypnotic training, subtle genetic tweaks-- starting too early and going too fast to ever try to disentangle his own from his fathers' desire. A third-generation cop and a next-generation cyborg, he quit in that brief window where burnout hasn't yet become that deeper form of corruption known as indifference.
The first few weeks of his retirement he went to the same bars he had gone before. There were no cybernetic augmentations for figuring out civilian life. He soon realized, and in due course accepted, that regular cops no longer needed to pretend they wanted him around.
So he traveled. Not to cities, he knew better than that, but to Nature, where he had never had reason or time to go.
He walked through and then ran away from dying forests covered in subtle light.
He watched nightfall and its aftermath from a lonely cold shore. The sea remained bright despite the clouded moonless sky.
In a bitter self-mocking imitation of his father's retirement, he sat on a park bench for half an afternoon and never again. Too many kids playing. Too many lights.
He asked for an aisle seat during his daytime flight home, his eyes behind a sleeping mask the whole time.
Back into his apartment, he put away all the mirrors and resolved to stay inside. He wrestled with temptation for a vertiginous predawn hour after watching by accident a series about Oedipus, but he did not need eyes to dream, and as the AI on his augmentations kept adjusting and improving long after it was of any use, he struggled to find a memory not suffused by light.