Kent scurried through the wet alley dodging piles of garbage that were waiting to be zapped.  Regularly looking over his shoulder, he worked his way towards his personal portal.  A transparent and flexible bodyshield protected him from the incessant warm rain and relentless wind that he looked forward to escaping.  At his destination, he opened a crack in his protective bodyshield.  Hating the discomfort of the water wicking up his sleeve as he reached through the opening, he pressed his hand on the yellow stucco wall before him.  He felt a slight prick as the BioSense lock sampled his skin to confirm his identity.

Within milliseconds after sealing his bodyshield, he disappeared and re-appeared in a random location selected by probability analysis and his compatibility biomarkers.  He knew there was still a slight risk of being found by the authorities.  It only added to the thrill of who would be there.  One of his kind.

What a rush!  Kent felt the cells and atoms in his body vibrate and flip all at once.  Then, an instant of nothingness followed by a bright light.

The location was a sunny, beach side nirvana where he saw about a hundred people wandering around naked and dancing with drinks in their hands.

Eagerly, he peeled away his bodyshield and pulled off his clothes.  Music flooded his mind from the receivers in his brain that was no longer protected by the shield.  As he quickly stuffed his clothes into the invisible shield, it compressed smaller and smaller.  When it became a tiny, flat disc, he slid the disc under the skin flap he had surgically installed on his hip.  His body coverings were now safely sealed onto his body, all he needed do in an emergency was tap his pouch two times and he would become instantly armored.

“Hey, you!”  Kent turned to look at a young man in his twenties stumble up to him in a dance across the hot sand.  “Wondered if I’d see you here,” slurred Mozambique, not his real name, of course.   No one used their real names.  As each customer entered their location, they received by brain signal a temporary name to use.  Kent’s temporary name for today was Utah.  These archaic place names from thousands of years ago held no value or sense to their new namesakes.

“Hey, you.  Uh….Mozambique?”  Kent tried to pronounce.

“Yeah.  Just call me ‘Moz’ for now.  Utah?”  the anonymous young man replied.

“Where are the drinks?”  Kent searched the surroundings for something to slake his thirst.

“They went fast.  Hopefully, they’ll send more soon,” he knew better than offer the rest of his drink to Kent.  And, Kent did not expect him to do so.

Everyone knows you keep your bio to yourself. Even, the drink containers are programmed to zap out as soon as they are empty.

As soon as Kent finished his thought, Moz drained his glass which immediately disappeared in a flash of intense light.  SelfDisposal by incineration.  At least that was the hope.

Not the only thing disappearing from the scene.  Kent focused on the women and men walking toward the tents set away from the party goers on the beach.  Just stepping into the tent that one time lost me hours of sleep at home.  Crap.  I almost fell asleep on the job the next day.  Someday, maybe the owners will let me take a couple weeks’ vacation.  Yeah.  Sure.

Page one excerpt from Road Noise Short Stories To Thrill and Chill  2016 © Belinda A. Allen

Return to Story List            

Return to Home