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The headline flashed up briefly before his retinal implant. SUSPECT APPREHENDED IN E-MOD THEFTS. Inwardly he breathed a sigh of relief, the lower wards would be slightly safer to traverse now, at least in theory. And it made his job easier, catching perps was harder now his implants were slowing.

The dispossessed. The vagrants. The urchin underclass had nothing in the way of prospects, no way to be genetically legitimate and access the benefits of family and security. Often the unwanted liaisons of their social betters, unwilling to pay for the requisite genetic modifications to make them productive members of society. Some, his wife included, romanticised the notion and felt sorry for them.

He snorted in disgust.

People like his wife never saw the aftermath. The bodies. The urchins took only what would sell, and that was the implants, neural circuitry, E-Mods... It was butchery. Skulls cracked open, masses of flesh exposed and stripped of the organic wires and processors. Corpses left where they fell after the neural shock.

Justice. That's all it was. Can the talk of 'protection', screw the whispers of 'enfranchising'. They deserved all they got - one less mouth to feed, one less person clawing their way up the shoulders of another. All they had that was useful was their bodies and they would be useful indeed - repurposed for donation.

Justice indeed. He allowed himself a small smile as he entered the lower wards for his shift. Behind him, a shape shifted in the shadows.


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