Jill leaves Earth with a focus on starting a life where her genetic background was determined by her DNA and not her appearance. After allowing implants in her skull, she makes her way to the Great Archive of the Alliance and is installed as one of their archivists.
Looking through ancient contracts on request fills her day until the moment a pregnant woman comes through the door and everything changes.
Rimash is Jill’s escort and bodyguard, protecting her against those who would capture and profit from the information of the Archive. When the client places a burden on them that neither expected, Rimash steps in to protect the archivist against those who would part her from her new phase in life.
She touched the back of her head where the battery was nestled inside her skull. The link to her temporal lobe was contained as well. Nothing showed externally. Inside her head was another matter.
Every second of every day, she now could access all the contract details of the Alliance Archive. It was hard-wired into her mind.
The means to gain her daily uploads was a fine network of wiring that ran through her ocular nerves. That was the part that would have freaked her mother out. Tampering with her eyes was something her parents would not have approved of. They loved her eyes.
At no point in her teenage years did she ever imagine that she would become walking Wi-Fi, but now, that was exactly what she was. She could call on any old contract and scan in any new one with just a flick of her eyes.
Her language download had taken most of the time. The oldest of the Alliance records had been handwritten on old methods of recording. Their scans were in her database, but she had needed the languages to decode them. Some of them were still not easy, but she managed to decode and decipher what she needed.
Listing the terms as spoken had taken another few weeks of speech lessons. Many languages were not pronounced as they appeared in the database. She had to listen to the current speech patterns and use logic to work her way back.
Jill spent time alone and with a tutor, but she got most of her practice on the flight away from Lunar Base on her way to the Great Archive.
Never in her wildest imagination had she thought of some of the items that had been contracted for—everything from weather patterns, friendships, right of access and sexual favours, to weddings and usage rights for the genetics of animals. Each contract had to be signed by both parties and witnessed. Some were signed with blood, other ocular scans, and she had access to the database that would let her know if something was an actual match to the contract. She was becoming part of the actual archive, an annex in living form.
“Archive Ahamad, we are nearing the Great Archive. Are you ready?”
She ran her hands over the soft dress and checked on the placement of the headpiece of rank that she had been given. It felt like she was dressing for a wedding, but this was apparently how she was supposed to look for a position dealing with petitioners who sought clarification on an old contract.
She could not imagine there being a line for that kind of service, but she had been told that there would be plenty of work for her. With the expense of the surgeries they had put her through, she was pretty sure that they had designed her for a particularly useful purpose.
“I am ready.”
“They are sending a shuttle to bring you in through their security.”
“Thank you.” She grabbed her bag and slipped it over her shoulder.
“Bay three. Your escort will meet you there.”
She put her palm on the door of her quarters and took a steadying breath. Training time was over; it was show time.