It wasn’t as painful as I expected. In fact, it ended with a quick “Zap” and an almost pleasant sensation of burning at the back of my neck. And just like that, all the weight of my past was gone. At some considerable cost of course.
“All the biometrics are still the same but it won’t flag it up,” the tech is an older woman with a raspy voice. Bony with a full head of grey hair streaked with purple highlights. She runs through the code one more time. She raises an eyebrow in appreciation, admiring her work. “This is good work. As far as second chances go this is as good as it gets. I wouldn’t stick around here for long however.”
She is right. The whole point of a new bio ID is the option to start over, be someone else - somewhere else. I thank her, grab my gear and bolt. I have to be careful and fly under the radar until I get off this rock. There are still people here who don’t need a bio reader to recognize exactly who I am. I am keen to avoid such encounters.
The moment I am out of the workshop, I throw my bag over my shoulder and start to run. It’ll be safer if I made it across the station on foot, I don’t want my new ID to register anywhere just yet, but I’d better hurry - the last ship leaving the planet until the end of the solar year will be gone in just a few hours.
It’s still dark outside, I’ve timed it just right. The lights won’t come on for at least the next two hours. Extra cover for me.
Makes it hard for the street cameras to capture my image.
I better hurry, though, I am cutting it close. There is the familiar tightness of adrenaline in my system. I smile ferally to myself. This one last time. Almost there, I say. Almost there. I start to run.
Suddenly I feel droplets of water landing on my face. Soon, small puddles start forming here and there. I could never understand why we have always brought our malfunctioning weather simulators to every planet regardless of its designation but there must be a good reason for this added misery. It was originally designed to help us adjust to the new environment and adapt so our psyche could handle it better but eventually it just became part of the standard package and no one has ever bothered to question it.
I heard you could never predict rain on our origin planet and here we are, still not being able to even schedule one when we have all the tools. It still catches everyone by surprise. Maybe it’s a design flaw or maybe it’s just part of the experience, something to do with being human.
I sigh. Now I have to mind the puddles, too. The weather however works to my advantage. It clears the streets of the few hangers-on and gives me a clear run to the station. It also means that there are fewer eyes around to see me which suits me just fine.
I take a shortcut skirting the main street. I pull my hood on and pick up the pace. Out of the corner of my eye I notice a holoposter, silver edge glinting at me as I pass through the rain.
RED REAPER REWARD
FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE APPREHENSION OR DEATH …
The rest of the beamed message is lost to me as my feet take me out of range.