On the run in the 24th Century.

23 04 2011

Now that his cover ID had been used up getting away from the African Space Elevator Hamilton was an Unperson, an individual to whom the many security networks, financial systems and government records of the  Solar System did not exist. Though he had a physical body in the digital eyes of the society in which he lived he no longer existed. The old adage “if it’s not on the Internet then it’s not real” had never felt more apt then it did to him right now.

He was a blank, an anomaly and totally under the radar of “decent” society who preferred the lie that nothing fell through its cracks any more.

The dramatic crisis of faith in the methods and motives of the planetary security bureau which had given him a sense of purpose and dignity for well over a decade had been a dizzying fall from grace. For the first time in decades Hamilton Green was adrift in the currents of 24th century life.  In the space of a week he had become the kind of miscreant and subversive  who used to be dragged into his interrogation chamber, strapped to a couch and digitally mind-raped for information or reprogramming into a more productive and contented member of Terran society.

If he weren’t careful he would be back to where he was all those years ago in his naive and direction-less youth, sleeping under a heat exchange pipe for warmth and having to suckle from a hacked nutrient feed hose for sustenance. In making a stand for what he thought was right and turning his back on his friends and colleagues who no doubt would be hunting him down as he hurried away from the busy crowds of the local transit station Hamilton had thrown away all that he had built up since those dark and dangerous times in the forgotten slums of Earth.

He needed a place to stay and figure out his next move. With being an unperson without ID he couldn’t hop into the local hotel. Thankfully his past had given him a feral foresight in taking advantage of opportunities when they presented themselves. Buried in a hidden file within the portable bespoke data drive encased in one of his teeth was a  sack of digital cash, ideal for the traveller who wanted no questions asked and left no footprint for the AI’s to sniff out.

His many years of shifting through the secrets and plots of the misguided romantics and raging mentalists who plotted and conspired to overthrow the status quo of Earth had given him an insight into how to avoid detection from the omnipresent security of Terra and her allies throughout the Solar System.

Swaggering through the minds of those unfortunates brought drugged and confused into one of the many secret facilities the security agencies had for such a purpose Hamilton was cunning and paranoid enough to make a private note of how staying off grid was possible. When his supervisors weren’t looking (or so he hoped) data, contacts and sometimes even personal effects were squirrelled away for a rainy day, for when the balloon went up and everything came crashing down around him.

He was sure he wasn’t the only one of his peers who did it, no-one really trusted the state to protect them should politics turn against them. Maybe the true ideologues believed in all the rhetoric but for most of his co-workers for whom their work was just a job (albeit one with many perks) paranoia and distrust was as part of their lives as office gossip and a cocktail of narcotics to wash away the sins of the day.

As we weaved his way through the rush hour foot traffic of whichever anodyne and characterless city he had randomly arrived at Hamilton recalled how seven years ago he was involved in the debriefing of the head memeticist for the deep green genocide sect “End Humans Now!”

She was one of the true fanatics, who couldn’t be bought off or otherwise “persuaded” that her actions and beliefs were just not acceptable for a crowded world with the illusion of affluence. Somehow, and even after the first few terrorist attacks her organisation had inflicted on the 10 billion drones of Earth she had managed to stay off the grid. For months her  webcasts were cast adrift on the meme-currents of the Solar System internet and despite recording her tirades against modern life and how Humanity had become a perversion on a once beautiful living world in r/l nobody had managed to use the interior decor to track down where the mad bitch was preaching from.

By arresting and interrogating one of her acolytes during a peaceful demonstration outside the offices of high profile geoengineering company it transpired the demagogue had an arrangement with a local housing company with contracts to many offshore habitats in the Eastern Mediterranean.  The recycled habs were dynamic pre-fab towers designed for low income transient populations which grew and shrank according to local demand, stacking up piles of apartments with ease like a child’s toy.

Every few days a new hab was attached to a central tower and the ecoterrorist queen would move into it, taking advantage of the freshly formatted blank nature of the domicile IT systems. After a few days she would pack up and move her gear into the new hab next door and begin again, broadcasting and taunting to the “unbelieving” who refused to accept humanity was an abomination that should commit mass suicide (with her help if needs be) for the good of Earth.

The company who had hidden the terrorist was still in operation (it was considered too big to be punished with dissolution) and the individuals who were complicit were, thanks to nepotism still working in the company.

Once again Hamilton thanked the centuries old culture of corruption and indifference which the beloved mother planet still cling too. Feeling the effects of being awake for three solid days he snorted a Jaxx under the shadow of his coat to keep him alert and coherent. He was careful not to stride too much like a man with purpose as he made his way to an air coach station, the AI programs which watched the public like a hawk were programmed to watch not such people under the influence of barely legal stimulants but to spot anyone in the crowd of worker drones who strode the streets and corridors like their life had a meaning.



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