Rules are pretty simple, write a short story in the space of a few hours that fits in a single forum post. Just see what comes off the top, don't worry too much about the premise or planning. Try to go with the flow and see what you can come up with.
If you don't wrap up, just come back to it with another installment a little later, linking to your older post,or just edit the original post with new content.
Discuss, critique, etc. Gotta post one before you start goofing on others' work, though.
His chip itched under the skin behind his ear. It always itched when he was nervous.
"Step forward, hands at your waist"
He hadn't tested these new credentials, but he didn't have time to. He needed money, and he needed to get out to make money. His lungs couldn't take another month contracting in new Kowloon, and he knew it. "They tell you coughing up that black slime is normal, that it'll get better in a few weeks as you 'acclimate.' Bulllshit..." he muttered.
The guard at the turnstile motioned for him to assume the position. Grunting a terse directive at him that hed didn't quite catch.
"Keep it together" he thought to himself. It didn't help at all with the butterflies in his stomach, or the burning patch of irritation just above and behind his left jaw muscle. The pat-down was carried out by the guard hastily and without gusto. It wasn't the physical search he was worried about, though.
You see, things could have been a lot easier for Terrence. He wasn't born a dreg, and he scored well on all the trade placement tests during private contract selection. He didn't have addiction issues, as so many of his contemporaries did, and he wasn't get involved with any of the underground syndicates (at least at first.)
Terrence's problem was that he loved to tinker. He more than loved it. It was a compulsion, he couldn't help it. That need to fix things until they stopped working, to hijack and game the system, to find any way he could around the technological rules that governed his world, got him where he is today. Namely, half dead in the depths of a megacity, living on corporate hazard scrip and grey market crypto from odd-jobs, alongside the dregs and criminals.
Terrence thought about this fact quite a bit. He often pondered, as he was now, while the security officer's hands palpated for contraband under his scrotum, about how different his life would be if he just kept his head down and got that job in the industrial design arm of Kowloon Consolidated. "Chip."
"Hey jerk-off! Chip!"
Terrence was yanked back to reality by this simple declaration, eyes refocusing on the face of the now disgruntled guard.
"Oh -- yeah right, chip, Here." Terrence sputtered, cocking his head to the left and pulling back his ear, as a barber does to get at those hard-to-reach short hairs. He did his best to hide his anxiety.
Aaaand that's all I got for now.