From Lightspeed #82
The official verdict that I am no longer classified as human arrived in a windowed envelope bearing the return address of the Bureau of Lineage Affairs. There is one envelope for me and one for you, although I haven’t opened yours. Except for the return address, these envelopes look like something from the bank, or perhaps an offer for home insurance, the kind we throw away. Inside mine is a letter folded in thirds, and on it, something like a death sentence, although a very formal and polite one. It’s here beside me–I’ve read it many times already. It breaks the bad news without much ado, then goes on to list the names and numbers of several organizations to which we may apply for further information and support. This is strongly encouraged. There is also a number to call if I feel a mistake has been made. This is not encouraged at all. Somewhere in there I’m given my identification number, which is 73281. This number is mine for the remainder of my life. Worse than all of this: they provide the numbers that have been assigned to our children: 73282 and 73283.