Jael was picking through the latest deposit of excess baggage left beside the evacuation field. There weren’t people among the stacks anymore, not since families like hers had discovered that residency registration for everyone was truly important and the government had realized the true size of the population, including unregistereds. Sometimes though there were pets and much of what was left behind was useful, which was why evacuees had overpacked when they were leaving. Weight and space on the evacuation ferries were limited and the government was scrambling to find enough capacity for everyone.
“Looter!” The man knocked Jael to the ground with a body blow. He’d approached from her blind spot while she documented the storage boxes forming a wall of the deposit labyrinth.
Glad of her anti-security system body armour, Jael had it flash her official id at him. “Nope. Municipal salvage cataloguer. Who are you?”
He paused and looked at her as if seeing only just recognizing the uniform, “Stemson Industries security. I’m guarding the corporate luggage until it’s loaded.” Behind his head battle debris left burning streaks across the sky as it entered the atmosphere.
“Mate,” Jael used her best official voice, “This is a rubbish dump, not a luggage check. You’ve been ditched - someone else’s probably used your allowance. Want help finding your stuff?”
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