Four minutes before my shift starts. I insert the catheter – it stings and the pain lodges somewhere in my gut. The neural net is next – it clamps onto the spineport. It’s second generation and it feels like a weight. The way it trails behind realtime gives me a headache. The shift is five hours long. I can’t afford a break – they dock your wages for every minute you are away from the till.
The door swings open. My first customer moves with the grace of a tank – he’s a gorilla splice – giant with subnormal intelligence to match. He wants a hammer and some bolts.
Over his shoulder I can see the morning freighter arrive. An old lady, caught in the downwash is blown to the side of the landing pad. Her body is crumpled and unmoving. If she’s still there at shift end the dogs will clear her up.