Three days, or nights later, 3am. First I twisted and broke open a disposable razor and sliced open the flesh above the identification chip injected under my flesh below the left elbow. Once it was removed, I was just Stanton Wilson a guy six foot two weighing 183 with dark brown hair and light green eyes. The digital version of me was gone. I wondered if I would eventually miss it.
I drove my electro towards the only opened road. By the time I was within a half mile of where it exited the county, I saw the blockade at the approach to the Pangbourne Bridge. White red and blue lights strobing as if they alone could create a barrier. Engaging all wheel drive and inflating the tires for off-road I turned onto a narrow dirt pathway not used in decades. I knew since I’d driven it to escape before. But this time I wasn’t planning a return. A few dozen miles into the forest untouched by logging in almost a century, I discovered that the last major storm downed trees totally blocking the dirt roadway.
I shut down the electro and gathered my supplies. By the time I finished a light rain fell. I shrugged into all weather gear and disabled my vehicle. It would not run or power up without the chips and fuses I removed and sealed in a waterproof pocket in my backpack.
To be safe I left the dirt road, and headed in the direction of the Atlantic Ocean. I was at least a week’s walk from the shoreline, but my time was now mine again. After several hours as night slipped dark fingers around me, I strung a hammock twelve feet above the ground between the trunks of long leaf pines. With a climbing rope, I carefully rolled on the hammock hanging my pack above my feet. The rain stopped and the moon poked between overhead tree branches. It looked like a silver white lopsided grin, that seemed more threat than invitation.
For the first time since the pandemic dragged its blood and flesh dried claws throughout the land, I felt safely protected by obscurity. Sleep was a welcome companion and I wrapped my soul around its stillness and slept until dawn.