excerpt from a speculative fiction thing.

I was working on a story earlier in January, and ignoring a deadline for a competition – and the story I planned to write for it… I guess it’ll be Super Ready when this comp rolls around next year…. so I submitted the beginning of something that was in progress. It was meant to be longer that what I submitted, but carved it down to just under 4000 words to be eligible. I think it worked out well. Below is the first couple paragraphs from a draft. (It must remain unpublished for now.)

It’s more of a vague ephemeral label, really. Reality, that is. But to be honest, it’s not entirely my fault people think I’m nuts. When I got tapped for the job as the Truth Seeker / Fact Finder / Mystery Solver, it came with the tools.

After noticing your aptitude for such things, you’re tapped. And after that, you’re roped in – whether you want it or not. It’s what you’re good at. That thing you have a nose for. After signing your life away in blood; then, the real fun begins. They upgrade your natural gifts, and make them way way bigger. Better. Stronger. Intenser. A little DNA editing, a dash of body mods, and a sprinkle of augmenting; and Bob’s your uncle. You’re a Robo-Tuned Super-Detective.

It’s actually pretty great, for me at least. I like unraveling the mysteries. I thrive on putting the parts together. But over time, it’s affected my reality. In ways that the un-augmented don’t understand. Because my sense of ‘time’ is no longer linear, there really is no time. The wall that exists between reality, and waking – also… not so much. And that’s where the so called not having a ‘grip on reality’ comes in.

It bugs people, they think I’m insane. Think that I don’t know what’s real, and what isn’t. But, that’s just part of the freak flag that comes with this work. Because that’s the other part of the blood contract. It’s all prohibitively classified. Can’t tell anyone what you do, or what ‘upgrades’ have been applied to your meatsack. There’s an RFID chip inserted under your skin for medical emergencies – with extremely strict non-disclosure data about the meatsack’s treatment. Detailing what may or may not be done to said meatsack, during times it isn’t capable of telling you itself its consent. What contracts the practitioner is committed to arbitrarily, because they’re the lucky one treating you. And who to contact to return your body, dead or alive, expeditiously.

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg of what the action of scanning your meatsack will trigger, in the event of critical care needed. The agreements we enter into when we sign, are farrrrrr more… oops. Never mind. Probably already breached my contract saying that much. In fact, if this ever gets traced to me, I’m doomed to a fate far worse than death. Even without disclosing my identity, the information being given is more than enough to incur the worst. (You have no idea how much of this I just backspaced and deleted already.) But here we are. It’s already too late, if I’m caught. So, I may as well tell what I wanted to. If I’m here long enough to finish it.

They don’t tell you about the whole ‘shifting multi-layered-reality-and-no-concept-of-time’ thing…..

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