I turned over the forged work visa to the flat faced guard. The guard scrutinized me first but she took it, begrudgingly. Most of the guards in the Demolition Zone didn’t care one way or another about who crossed from zone to zone. If you were stupid enough to willingly cross into a zone where there were active landmines and explosions, then you deserved your entry. This guard however, she seemed to still hold a sense of duty for her post. It was misplaced but I understood. Why betray the upperups when they were the ones that gave you a job?
The Visa inspection took longer than I liked. I refused to shift around, to draw attention to my non-sun burnt hands and face. I tried to look away, but the sound of the computer scan kept my barely veiled eyes on the check-booth. The sweat that rolled down the guard’s cheek disappeared into the high collar of her uniform, and all I could do was mentally fidget for her. My ‘guise was no better under the harsh heat but I wasn’t coated in sweat. Feeling the sun on what skin it could reach, I corrected my estimates. If the guard took any longer I’d be redder than the night’s sky.
Normally I wouldn’t mind poking at the concept of a job. There was a certain warmth that spread whenever I saw the light dawn in the eyes of the ones who thought they were mightier than us because they had a true job. Their questions would merge with doubts and then they would battle the inevitable hard-wired rationalized puzzle pieces. But today wasn’t the day.
I glanced down at the name stitched into her uniform. Davies. The name was new, which explained her slow, meticulous check.
“Stay out of Areas 7-10.” She ordered, handing the paper back with a harsh glare, and snapping me out of my irritated stupor.
“Rigging?” It wasn’t a job the uppers would do, and the explosions had to be arranged eventually.
Ignoring my question, Davies’ mouth pressed into a tighter line. “You’re only cleared for active demolition. Stay within your clearance.” Her glare didn’t lighten but she did answer while I tucked my Visa deep into my pants pocket. It was more than I really expected so I nodded, fully intending to ignore the warning, and walked through the looming iron gate, unafraid of the blaze and smoke in the distance.