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Page 1 of Beat!
The beeping monitor on my wrist felt like needles in my ears. Spammy piece of drek.
Pedaling hard around the corner, I had to dodge the people walking home from their shifts, the afternoon sun glowing off the white, curving walls of the huge dome buildings lining the sidewalks. Shouts followed behind me, telling me to slow down, warning me of the knockout. As if I needed warnings. I'd worn the Personal Assistant on my wrist since leaving the Nursery at age four; I knew about the knockout.
Everybody did. It hadn’t cured the Bug, but it protected us, saving humanity from extinction.
I studied the path ahead through the spaces between the people; I was still a hundred meters from the Enjineering Dome. I forced myself to breathe slower and deeper. I glanced at the beeping Personal Assistant, which everyone called the Papa, on my wrist, ignoring the three flashing digits telling me my heart rate. The time readout was small, but I was used to focusing on it. 14:28.
I wished I'd had time to deactivate the bugging speed suppressor in the cycle; I had two minutes to get to my position in Development 4. But if an Admin or Enforser caught me tampering with the cycle, I'd not only be in for a longer shift in the Enjineering Dome, but I'd also get a shift in the Dumps. Working with Rojer was nothing but tek paradise, but scrubbing kilometers of smelly conveyor belt sucked bug, and Enforsers could tell when you were going faster than your cycle was designed to.
You had to be careful and lucky if you wanted to have fun in New Frisko.
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