Off The Grid

“You there!”

She kept walking, not at a hurried pace but a purposeful one, shoulders hunched, head down against the cold and the drizzle and the overhead scanners.

You there! Stop!”

She heard the jangle and clop of security running behind her, knew she could not avoid them, turned, waited for them to catch up.

Two, always two. The smaller, less out of breath, said: “You didn’t register. When you went through the checkpoint, it didn’t—”

“My chip is malfunctioning. I have a note.” She fished out the forged note, hoped it was still convincing enough, hoped that they stopped her more out of boredom than thoroughgoing professionalism.

The big one huffed and glanced around and hiked up his pants; the smaller one read. “You need to get it repaired.”

“I already have the appointment scheduled. There’s a backlog—”

“Isn’t there always,” he muttered. “On your way now.”

“Thank you.”