Two hours ago Roman’s life had been normal, now it wasn’t.
It started when his wristpad received mail. Roman checked it and saw it was an overdraft bill. A bill so long it took him seven minutes to scroll through it. The net result was that he apparently owed eighty trillion yek to the Bank. Which was ridiculous, the whole City didn’t produce that much in ten years.
He went to the Bank, which wouldn’t accept his chip as ID and let him in. He had been forced to slip in behind another customer. When he was finally seen, the Bank could find no record of the overdraft bill or of Roman at all. He was gone from the system.
Desperate to prove he was who he was, Roman opened his wristpad to show them the bill he had been sent.
It was gone.
Everything personal was, the pad was in factory settings.
The Bank official had summoned the Peacers. With no way to prove he belonged in the City, Roman would be lucky if they just sent him Downbelow. But even Greasers had records, so they would most likely just space him.
In a panic Roman escaped through the Bank doors as someone else came in and ran into the road.
Where he was promptly mown down by a bus.
The Peacers were shocked by what they found on the bus’ recordings.
In playback the bus stopped suddenly and then the driver and passengers gathered around nothing on the road. In live view, despite the dead man still being there, the screen still showed nothing.
The bus didn’t register him at all.
“How do we write this up?”
“Clean up and then forget about it. Looks like everything else has already erased the poor sod.”
© Robert Spalding 2011