Chapter 22:

Chapter 22: Partner

Neo-Tokeyo 199X: M1

“You'll receive the rest of your gear tomorrow when you start your first day on the job,” said Chief Chesty.

Arron looked up from the heavy chest armor to see Chief Chesty already walking to another area with several dusty desks.

On top of one of the desks was a shining small parasteel container that looked to have been placed there not that long ago.

Chief Chesty placed his hand over the box and a loud click sounded out as the lock was disabled.

The chief took out three small data chips and one secure datastick from the box and handed them over one by one.

“This is the upgrade chip for you NerViz. All it does is unlocks a few hidden options that you need to work properly as an ERF member. This next chip is your Ration chip,” said chief Chesty.

“My what?” asked Arron.

“Your monthly Ration chip. Keep it safe as you need it for when you want to buy fresh food from any of the local shops. Each month it will keep track of what is on ration that month and will let you know how much you can buy. Since it changes every month some things may be expensive and restricted one month and the next month it may be cheap. Your SCS also affects how much and what you can get. With your current SCS, you don't have to worry.”

Arron was a bit surprised that something like this existed. “Why is there something like this? Isn't it better to use the NerViz system?”

“You should already know that the NerViz isn't 100% hack proof. Why would mother and father waste time on using something that could circumvent the ration restrictions? The chip is fully encrypted and if it loses connection to the main servers in the Office of Reason or is tampered with it will combust and become nothing more than scrap. They take their rationing and the SCS restrictions seriously.”

Arron was not sure what he thought of this revaluation. Almost everything was connected and used the NerViz system but Mother and Father did not trust it enough to use it for their Rations system?

“That upgrade chip in your hand will also upgrade your NerViz's security with stronger encryption, meaning others will have a harder time hacking and taking your information. I suggest you don't try to modify any of the systems as the security also protects against you hacking into it as well,” said chief Chesty as he pointed to the security chip.

“Oh... this is my first time hearing about all of this since everywhere else I have lived never had something like this ration chip.”

“Next, use this secure datastick to read through the Manual for the ERF. You are to have it fully read by the end of the next month. This last chip has your bonus signing pay as well as your first month's pay. The accountants have already done the paperwork for creating your new bank account with the city bank.”

“New account? What about my old bank account?”

“Outside bank accounts only work for one week inside the city. If you stay longer you need a city bank account to receive money and pay for goods, services, and any bills that need to be paid. Of course, you might have guessed you must have the right SCS to be able to have a city bank account.”

“I see...”

“Hurry and use the upgrade chip. Then you need to finish the setup of your new bank account and transfer the money to your new bank account. If there are any problems we can take care of it now.”

This was Arron's first time updating his NerViz Implant with something like a data chip. Normally he used his connection to the holonet to get a wireless update. The same thing was done for all cybernetic implants they received their updates wireless.

It was only recently during one of his classes did he learn about the possibility of updating certain things using a wired connection.

Arron inserted the warm glowing blue data chip into one of the slots at the base of his neck. It made an audible click as it locked in place. He felt the warm heat of the upgrade chip immediately spread out. Arron endured the heat that felt like it was going to melt his neck.

Ding! A loading holoscreen message popped up in front of Arron with every option on the menu grayed out.

[Upgrading system! 0%...10% ... 50%... 100! Completed upgrade!]

Click! The upgrade data chip was automatically pushed out of its locked state and ready to be pulled out now that it had completed its task.

Arron reached back and grabbed onto the now cold parasteel data chip. When he pulled it out and looked at it again the warm blue glow was gone.

Chief Chesty wordlessly took the chip and tossed it back into the small Parasteel lockbox.

Arron slotted the Payment chip into his wrist datapad and tapped onto a few options.

[Pending bank transfer... Checking Social Credit Score... Rank B... Bank accounts max allowance raised... Restrictions lowered... Transfer of 12,000 credits was a success! Account balance: 12,365]

“Chi...chief I think there was a mistake...” said Arron with wide eyes as he looked at the balance.

“What? Did the 12k credits not transfer?” asked Chief Chesty.

“No... they did... but 12K? This is...”

“What were you expecting more? I am afraid with our current budget we can't ...”

“No, It's not that. Is this really all for me?” asked Arron.

“Oh, I forgot you're from the boondocks as well as the military not paying much. Yeah, It's 10k for normal ERF monthly pay and the 2k signing bonus. If everything is all situated let's go meet your partner along with the rest of your unit.”

Arron nodded and followed The chief back to the Mag-shoot.


“Unfortunately the rest of your unit is currently busy working on something. I could only snatch away your partner and one other new member that graduated along with you,” said Chief Chesty as he sat down behind his desk in his office.

Ping! A small hologram of Megane sitting at the front desk fizzled into existence over the chief's desk.

“Chief, the two you asked for have arrived.”

“Send them up,” said Chief Chesty. He waved his hand over the hologram and ended the call.

Ting! There was a loud chime that went off when the Mag-shoot had arrived.

Chief chesty pressed a button on a menu Arron could not see and the doors to the office opened.

Arron looked inside the Mag-shoot to see who the two people were. One of them was someone he knew... It was Toothbrush, who had also graduated with him.

The other man standing next to him was of average height and was a bit skinnier than Arron. He was wearing the standard M1 dark blue Uniform with a helmet held in his right hand which happened to be cybernetic. The man's black hair was spiked with a gel. The tips of his hair were dyed white.

The man smiled at Arron with a friendly twinkle in his eyes, which gave Arron the feeling that he was looking at a handsome playboy. The man looked to be somewhere around Arron's age as well.

The two men stepped out of the Mag-shoot and into the office, to stand next to Arron.

“Arron, you already know Tiller Bruher,” said the Chief pointing to Toothbrush. “He has joined your unit as a junior logistics member.”

Both Arron and Toothbrush nodded to each other, recognizing each other’s presence.

“Officer Kix, standing on your right, will be your partner. He graduated a half year ago, although he has only been on the job for a short while this is still good considering the jobs… difficulties. If you have any questions you should ask him first.”

“Hi Probie. I'm Officer Kix Upreme,” said Kix as he held out his empty left hand.

Arron shook it and said, “Arron Wynterz.”

“Kix, I'll leave it to you to explain the basics to them. You should be able to handle all their questions. Take both Tiller and Arron to the apartment complex and get them settled in,” ordered Chief Chesty.

“You got it chief!” said Kix with a quick sloppy salute.