(Twenty-two months before the events of the first book)
Stanton, Pensy, Democratic Unity of America
Infinity Acres Retirement Community
Product Reclamation Floor
06.23.02.local_01_Jan_AU75 (2127 AD)
“Good morning, Ruuf. Tie one on last night, did you?”
“I musta had a good time, Gurry. Can’t remember half of it, ‘n’ Sheilah wouldn’t talk to me this morning.”
“You probably deserve it. Fecking stupid that the zoots even bother to have us come in.”
“How many we got cooking, anyway? Any chance of a light day?”
“We have only one induction, four maintenance, and three consolidations. Bravo twenty-seven smoked it overnight.”
“Only one start-off? Father me, I may yet survive the day!”
“You’re forgettin’, this is the day we start the new setup. The dose goes down to twenty-two on these guys. They say they get more geeks out of the process, but we have to keep fecking new records and do vids.”
“Thrilling. What do you want to start with?” said Ruuf as he donned his padded suit and fishbowl helmet. He grabbed up a two-meter pole with padded jaws on one end and moved to a line of gleaming stainless-steel doors that lined a wall.
A stainless-steel door swung open. Ignoring the stench and dodging the flung feces, Ruuf waited for a chance and then slipped the jaws of his capture pole around the Sisi’s throat before dragging the creature into the light. Immediately, Gurry pounced on the naked old man with a section of metal grid, pinning him, face down, to the floor. Ruff released his grip and retrieved the Sapp-gun. Gurry’s tattoo gun snapped once as the man’s arm came up to protect his face.
“Number 201000A-01_01_AU75. New Sapp dose, zero point two two mils of hundred gigaparticles per mil per meter squared times 1.73 square meter yields zero point three eight mils. Check the math, and here you go, Gur. Ready to boogie.”
“Check, Ruuf. Good to go.”
There was a nearly noiseless pop just before the screaming started. Within minutes, Gurry released the man as he subsided into whimpers, moans, and guttural nonsense sounds. From the ranks of stainless-steel cages, a wave of hoots, harangues, and a few shouts of “Wait till I write my congressman,” erupted. Ruuf shoveled the old man back into his cage as Gurry, looking at his tablet, started to laugh.
“Says here that guy was a professor of English. Wonder who needs to be taught their own language?”
“Beats me. Probably smart. Think he’ll rise within the ranks, then?”
“Depends on whether he can still talk in a week, don’t it?”
“Yeah, sure. They’ll be quieter when we get back.”
As they left the room, each put on a uniform hat. Instead of the usual DUFS uniform cover, each black hat bore a death’s head insignia.
 After the Glorious Revolution, many place names in the Democratic Unity were simplified.
 Unity date-time convention: hour.min.sec.time zone (GMT= zulu, local, EST, CST, etc.)_day_month_year (in Annum Unita = AD-2151). A timeline is available in the Appendix.
 Unfamiliar terms may be referenced in the Appendix. Sapp is the agent used by the Unity to turn their excess population into compliant foot soldiers.
 Democratic Unity Forces for Security. As posse commitatus has been repealed, all policing and military functions have been combined under the DUFS.
NB Decided to remove this from the MS for publication. This will probably never see the light of day other than this blog but it does pre-sage some of the events in later books.