Sovereign Dronestate


Marou thinks: day after day, year after year, it’s monotony. Stamp a holofoil here, send it down the assembly where some other luckless meatbag got drill duty. His stimsuit is itchy and cold, his mask feels like breathing plaster. He knows it’s not the worst job around, and he gets three meals a day (which is pretty damn good compared to working a crustcrack gang like the old man). He just wishes one of the masters would call him by his name and not his number. Or that he could just get a taste of a talent ration.

Maybe he should ask for a day in the rut warrens – get his mind off all this junk. He’s been good. Surely he’s been good enough this year.

And then he sees this thing, and it just makes him mad.

Out on the catwalk in plain view, an overseer is ruining some poor girl barely out of the Creche, and he’s got no idea she’s even related to Marou. The bastard thinks he’s got it made, he’s just so untouchable. He doesn’t even consider that Marou might be faster than he looks, barely has time to say ‘get back to-‘ before he’s face to face with the ground five stories below, just a red stain at street level. And then Marou has his little sister in one hand and a chunk of overseer hair in the other.

Marou thinks: maybe I’ve gone too far. But that drilldog at the end of the line has got his fists in the air. And the stampers and the junkers are all saying ‘Marou’ like he’s got a real damn name for once! Suddenly, he’s some kind of hero, with a half a hundred drones all calling for blood, and he’s a little reluctant until he spots his little sister throw acid wash at a riot guard and Marou thinks: what the hell.

When it’s all done, there’s a pile of dead talents on the assembly floor and a whole pot of anger just boiling over. His little sister, spitting fury, she gets this holo going, and it says RISE BROTHERS. And Marou thinks: maybe there’s a place for us, out past the wall, where we could spin all this hate into gold.