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Stand Your Ground

“I put my life on the line every time I run, and I’ve never been light. You wrong me, you lose me, and I promise you, you won’t find a better courier in any of the three cities,” you say adamantly.

“I could kill you for talking to me that way, KK,” Sagan says.

“If I was easy to kill, I wouldn’t be good at my job, would I?” you ask with a laugh, trying to lighten it up.

“I am forced to agree. It’s too much of a hassle to kill you, and you are a very good courier. In fact, I think I’m wasting your talents.”

“No waste at all. It pays the bills and I get plenty of exercise,” you say.

“How would you feel about working for me on an expanded list of duties?” Sagan asks.

“The things you do, no judgement here, but they aren’t the things I do,” you say firmly.

“KK, you guard your secrets well, but you don’t take these runs because you want to get in some cardio. You’re a GMO, red-class citizen. You’re supposed to be terminated on site.  How is it the cops don’t know that?”

“Because you altered the city database, and I agreed to do runs for you. I know, don’t bite the hand that feeds. I made a deal, and I’m sticking to it, I aint looking for other deals. Let me know when the next pick up is,” you say and stand.

“KK, I can get you a green card,” he says as he reaches into the pack and grabs six amps and hands them to you.

“Green cards are issued by state council.  I know you’re connected, but a green card? I doubt they’d give  a free pass for the terrorist,” you say.

“You aren’t like those other GMO’s.  Them, ‘Franken-kids’ were all off; murderous killers without understanding or morals. Terrorist, yeah there was terror, but you guys weren’t terrorists. No, terrorists have a reason, you guys were sociopaths, insane, nightmares; baby-eaters,” he says.

“We weren’t all bad. You know it was the drift, the blackwater, they weren’t made for it,” you say as you take the amps.

“That’s why we put you all down. Custom built kids, made to order, it aint right. They never did find the baby-eater,” he says as he looks around at the strewn toys.

“The thing that makes kids a joy, is that you don’t control them, you can’t predict what they will do. You do your best to convince them that you’re viewpoint, your morals are the way to go. Sometimes, its bribery, sometimes coercion, and sometimes the fear of punishment. There is no amount of sugar, spice, or spankings that will guarantee what a kid does next,” says Seth-Sagan.

“Assuming this green card is real, what would I need to do to get it?” you ask.

“There are couriers and cops that owe me money.  Sometimes I’ll need you to rough them up, sometimes rough up their partners, or kids,” he says holding up a stuffed bear.

“Jesus, you want me to beat up kids?”

“If that’s what it takes to send a message. Sometimes you’ll have to do more.”


“Green cards aint cheap.”

Seth-Sagan doesn’t ask questions that he doesn’t already know the answers to. If you accept, you’re going against everything you were bred for. Your very core programming is to seek justice. However, you may have already made that choice by running drugs for one of the biggest dealers in the red. Is it just a deeper shade of the same darkness? You’re not sure what to do. You consider lying and running, but being hunted by cops, dealers, and gangs all ends the same. You can run but eventually, someone will find you. The disadvantage of living on a ringworld, there’s nowhere to run away to.

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