“Excuse me, citizen.”
These border checks were getting ridiculous.
Karyk huffed and presented the gold-and-circuitry bracelet that everyone in Reldienne — or what had been Reldienne three weeks ago, at least — was required to have on their person at all times when crossing, or across, a border. “I’m going to the grocery store.” It wasn’t much of a protest, because protesting only upset the border guards, and when they got upset, they started asking for blood samples and stool samples and — it got rather unpleasant.
“You’re crossing over the border into South-west Reldienne. That’s a new nation and, as such, requires a border check,” the guard explained.
“South… west… Reldienne? When did that, ah, when was this border recognized?”
“This morning at two a.m. You are cleared to pass, citizen. Make sure to keep your passport on you at all times.”
Karyk walked past the lifted gate and turned to look back. “I’m sorry, but I have to ask. Where did I just leave?”
The guard looked like he wanted to give her trouble, but something changed his mind. “South-East Reldienne, as of 1 a.m. this morning.”
“And when I come back…?”
“Your passport has your place of residence,” the guard gestured. He didn’t have to guess — in the borders that she could see composing “South-East Reldienne,” there were two office buildings and one apartment tower. “–as well as your place of work and your primary family members listed.”
“That is, you have to admit, just a little bit creepy.”
The guard looked down at his communicator and frowned. “I’d cross back if I were you. The South-East and South-West Reldienne just declared war on each other, but you have a five-minute grace period.”
Karyk considered the state of her groceries, the state of South-East Reldienne, and the likelihood that the war would last longer than her grocery trip.
A small missile, containing mostly paint, landed ten feet from her, just into South-West Reldienne’s territory. The splatter of yellow covered Karyk’s entire lower half and a large portion of her face.
She turned around and headed back towards her apartment. “Somebody call me when we’re part of a more adult nation again,” she called to the sky.
Somehow, she was not at all surprised when a water balloon hit her from an overflying drone.Want more?