Written in 365 parts: 4: Re-entry

“Well I told you my name. I’m Marsh. I grew up in Cumbria and I used to be in the military, I think. Some of that is really confused as I don’t recall leaving it.”

Drick stayed still and quiet for a few long moments. They were weighing up the options and at this point they were all heading into very uncertain territory. “Look, Marsh, I don’t know if that’s your real name or a nick you use, but there is something badly wrong. Everyone, I mean every person has a skindent. Heck even people who didn’t have one from a Tube Tag, and it does happen, get one as soon as possible. It is how you do anything. You couldn’t move without one.”

“Well I don’t have one.”

“What’s the last thing you remember?” Drick sucked a deep breath in, “do you remember being sprayed, anything just before that?”

There was a loud rumble outside the walls of the vehicle and the panels started to shake. Drick noticed Marsh looking around fearfully.

“What’s happening?” They yelled out in a mild panic, “are we crashing?”

“Atmospheric re-entry, don’t worry about it.”

“What the hell do you mean by atmospheric re-entry? Are we in space? How come there’s a gravity? Did we go to the moonbase?”

Drick laughed, “No, who calls the moon colony a base. We are headed to the justice facilities for processing, investigation, trial and possible incarceration. Though with a K tag you are looking at some form of a custodial sentence, Marsh.”

“So are they on Earth? Or did we go into space for some other reason?”

“Earth, what you mean dirt? Or are you talking, Earth, earth? As in Terra?”

“Of course.”

“So you’re a Terran?”

“Isn’t everyone?”

Drick stared at Marsh again for long seconds trying to work out if they really believed what they were saying or whether they were trying some ruse. It felt real and the monitor that had been injected into Marsh and was scanning and uploading data to Drick’s retinal plant was saying that they believed what they said. But it was all so impossible.

Marsh spoke, “hey, your arms and legs?”

“What about them?”

“You are not bound or shackled and you don’t have this plain outfit on.”

“Well I don’t have a plain outfit, no, but you were arrested in that suit. As for restraints, why would I need them?”

“I guess you don’t, I imagine it is just K grades and similar, violent types. I would have thought all prisoners would be treated the same.”

“They mostly are, Marsh. But whatever made you think I was a prisoner?”

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