Author: Mark Renney

There’s a new drug on the market but it’s exclusive. You can’t buy it from the Runners, you have to seek out the Supplier. Both he and his place are an integral part of the trip or so I have heard. It isn’t something you can take away in a phial or tablet form and whilst that is certainly a part of it there is more but along with the Supplier that something remains elusive.

The subs money isn’t great but I have a cell and I am clean, have been for almost a year and I am able to save. As I roam from Enclave to Enclave I have come to realise that the people here rarely move. They tend to stay put and the Sector is rife with rumour and conjecture and wherever I go the perspective on this particular story is a little different. Everyone is having their say and it is difficult to glean anything solid. But on a couple of factors at least all are agreed; that a visit to this particular Supplier is a very singular experience and for those who can afford it, it is the drug of choice. Although expensive it is rare that anyone needs to indulge more than once. It is literally the trip of a lifetime.

I keep moving from first light until after dark. I return to my cell when possible but mostly sleep rough. Settling down wherever I find myself and as long as I am clear of the Communals I am able to rest easy.

I find myself constantly checking the money – counting it and re-counting it, moving it about my body. Not because I am concerned that it will be stolen but rather that I might lose it. Surprisingly, money isn’t really a part of the equation here in the Sector. We have our subs and those who can be bothered make a little from scavenging. But it is all destined for the Sector’s epicentre.

The Communals are an Enclave of long since disused cell blocks. Gutted and most of them roofless, it is maze like, a murderous place. Business there is violent and bloody, guns and knives are prevalent and the decisions are made there as to what will be available in the Sector at any given time and how much it will cost. The Runners deliver the product every day without fail and it is critical that the Sector’s citizens are able to get high and that they can afford to do so.

News of the new drug has reached the Communals and the Runners are asking questions. Clearly, they are acting upon instructions and are both bemused and amused, considering themselves above such a wild goose chase and resent the task. But they are merely henchmen and I wonder who is pulling their strings.

It seemed impossible a year ago that I would be able to save the money. And now I am sure that I have it yet I am no closer to reaching my objective. I have taken to tailing the Runners, dogging their every move, which mostly consists of standing still, lurking in doorways or loitering on the pavement and doing my best to appear nonchalant. I am growing restless; my frustration is rapidly worsening. It would be so much easier if I was high.

It has been so long since I scored but I don’t even need to talk. I hold out the money and the Runner takes it. I look down at the derms in their cellophane bundle and they look so delicate and so precious.