I Don't Know Me

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“We will take back your lives,” he said. “I, President Perez, will not rest until everyone and their identity is safe.”

I don’t know me. That’s the only truth there is. I am not an Original like she is. They are the most prized possession in our world. They have no synthetic social print. If someone managed to acquire an Original, they could manipulate them in any way they wanted. You could take them and initiate a Zeta Alpha print on them and get a pure, untapped experience because Originals haven’t been shared by anyone.

People were always looking for a person who had been hijacked the least in order to get a more potent sync. Each time you were an unfortunate victim to a life-crime such as Absorbing, your emotional markers lost something. They lost a part of what makes the rush so addictive. After a person has had their Zeta Alpha print stolen multiple times, their emotions would eventually lose all their effect. That person was now like a cigarette you see tossed on the street. You could pick it up and finish it but you’d rather have a fresh, new cigarette. That’s why absorbing an Original was the highest of highs because they had no such degradation.

To be an Original in today’s world is almost like being made of gold. No one knew your next move. No one could predict what you would do. No one could take what was yours. You were really you. And the emotional potency of it was priceless. Originals were sold, auctioned off and even stored for simple pleasure. They were rare. It is a modern miracle that an Original could even be possible now.

The government tried its best to protect Originals. After all, the President promised everyone that their identity would be returned. There was no better way to promote this than with Originals. He promised all kinds of protection for anyone who was an Original. He promised that they’d be the key to undoing what Synprint had done. That promise sounded good but in the meantime nothing was helping with the continued rise of life-crimes.

The streets were constantly monitored for perpetrators. We discovered that absorbing left a trace. Cameras everywhere were fitted with a special lens that allowed us to see what we never could before. This lens came courtesy of a Synprint whistle blower. He was considered a critical part of the fight against absorbing. I guess that’s why he became the chief of the precinct. With his help, cameras could identify whoever had committed a life-crime.

After you stole someone’s synthetic social print even if that person was fitted with version 1.0, it left a thin coating around you. The lens could see that coating and we would arrest you on the spot.

We used that for a while until the criminal world got smarter. When word spread about the new lens, new ways to steal someone had to be introduced. Remote access was still possible but with the increasing security measures it became too complicated and too risky. People moved on to using direct connections. The least expensive tools left marks that were easily found and could then be digitally traced.

The puncture would leave a unique signature that authorities could follow. But if you had top dollar you could acquire a tool that allowed you to puncture a person wherever you wanted in order to get access to their Zeta Alpha print and it would leave no signature. It was for maximum discretion and concealment.

These new tools have made it nearly impossible to find someone responsible for a life-crime. The worst part is that we can’t tell when your life is being lived by someone else. The precinct has been on edge for years scrambling to answer to the politics and to the public. People want to be protected. The President wants life-crimes to stop. I just want to know that I’m me and that the people I go to war with in the streets are who they say they are.

This new tool has been a nightmare. But suddenly we got our greatest weapon against it and life-crimes.

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