I vomited. Everything was a blur. My consciousness was slipping. I was a murderer. My mother was dead. I had killed four, mercilessly. I had fought two professional killers, and won. I had survived 3 gunshots and a blade wound. How did all of this happen? How was I alive?
I had to stay awake, I had to leave. I had to erase the evidence and leave Eden. No one left Eden. What else could I do? I had killed four men, two of which were in the Guard! Killing a Guard was the most vile thing that one could possibly do. And I had killed two! If I was caught I would be subdued, beaten, and burnt in the street. If I was lucky. Civilians are encouraged to hand the Unclean, such as myself, over to the Meeting. If that happened, I would be Cleansed. A punishment worse than death. The Cleansed did not speak, did not think, did not live. They did what they were told. They walked as if they were not even human. It was an eternity of suffering. They did not sleep, eat, drink, see, or feel. They had no rights, no freedoms. They slaved. Whatever a Cleansing was, I could not, and would not, accept it as my fate. So it was settled.
I was doing the impossible.
I was leaving Eden.
I took what I could. The blade of the senior guard, their ammunition and medical supplies. Their money, my Mother’s diary. I removed bullets and sterilized wounds. I slipped the tweezers into my pouch. It looked like in my new life, I was going to be shot frequently. I reloaded my sleevegun with the pistol rounds I collected. I had 6 in the chamber, and 20 rounds beyond that. Taking their weapons was too risky; they were bulky, flashy, and visible. They would give me away for sure. And their armour was almost certainly tagged with location sensors. And lifesystem sensors. More guards would arrive soon, it was time to go.
I broke the gas main behind the stove, and ignited a burner. A moment passed. I gathered the scattered shrapnel of my wits, inhaled deeply, and went out the front door.
I had gone three blocks, trying my best to stand tall despite the searing pain across my entire being. My house, ex-house I should say, exploded. The past was behind me. I did not look back.