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One day

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Yes I'm missing
all the things I knew
yet wish
I knew nothing at all

Do you ever wonder about all those people you kill? The security personnel who are dead on paper the moment you accept the offer, and agree to take what they are hired to look after. Must be a risky job, working corporate security. Life expectancy: one shadow-run. You wonder what the benefits are like: health package for your family, legal representation, company car, share options? They go out there and put their life on the line for some overweight custom-fitted corporate suit, or worse still, a piece of plastic and silicon worth 200 times as much as their house.

That’s where you come in, waltz past their security and best laid plans, and make off with the Drekk (or Drekk-head). And if some employee gets in your way, (ensconced in their corporate issue body amour, holding a H&K-227) you turn their brains to confetti with your street-customised killware or Dikoted razors, and then go home feeling pleased with yourself.

What is it you think of, when you look in the mirror washing the blood off your hands? Do you think of the rush going in, the barely concealed satisfaction on your employer’s face when you give him the Drekk, or maybe how you’re going to spend the Nuyen? Or do you stop to wonder that the red stuff gurgling down the sink-hole used to be part of someone like you. And now they’re meat on the table, and you and your friends go for beer.

Most of us don’t think of anything. We think its pretty damn lucky we’re not on the slab instead of the other guy. Hell, it’s a war out there, one that most folks don’t see. You take up arms in pay of the Megacorps- and you take your chances. From then on, you’re not a civilian, you’re a combatant, right? If it was the other way round, they wouldn’t hesitate. And besides, corporate security have their radios, and smartlinks and drones on call. On balance, when you look at it purely in terms of fire-power, they have you beat hands down. You do the job, you take the risk- that’s how it works. Every war has casualties, so forgetaboutit, go have a drink and enjoy today cos tomorrow it could be you. Am I getting close?

Well I’ll tell you what I think when I look in that mirror, and then down at the red water flowing on the porcelain. I think- how many was it today? And what about those two last month? And that one the month before that? And those two from KE before that. I’m thinking that once it used to mean something. I’d sit at the counter and look through the scotch glass and think here’s to you, whoever you were. Now I’m just standing here washing my hands, and its gone, whatever it was. I try to remember what it felt like back then.

There are side-effects. Sometimes you look at somebody and wonder what they’d look like hit by explosive ammunition. But it goes away after two weeks downtime. Except once in a while, you catch yourself staring at a TV-show or movie, especially when the guy on screen does something stupid or wrong or particularly heroic. And for a split second you wonder: what’s it like for the other guy, the one who just got wasted. If only he did it this way... and what the hell was he trying to achieve? Drekk doesn’t make sense. Then a split second later the dead are forgotten, movie goes on. And me? I walk away, wondering at something lost on the edge of perception.

Posted by Anonymous
March 2063