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   Chapter 15 No.15

The Time Saving Agency By Christina Engela Characters: 5866

Updated: 2018-06-29 12:02

"It is." Said Scrooby. "Now, shall we go? We're –"

"Running out of time?" Gary suggested smugly, and then started laughing. Other TSA staff in the canteen area stared at them as if they were mad. Scrooby gave him a look.

"Jokes like that could prove fatal around here, Mister Beck." He countered humorlessly. It took a few non-minutes to get Gary to stop laughing long enough to leave the canteen.

* * *

In the enlightened age that was the 22nd century, Atro City had few homeless people – and yes, while it is true that even snails carry their homes on their backs – there will always be those who feel entitled to live on the streets, to wander them freely and expect charity from lesser mortals who actually worked for their food, drink and accommodation and the inalienable right to be shamelessly capitalistic consumers, in debt and miserable.

Agnes Longbottom, or 'Saggy-Aggie' as she was known, appeared to be one of those individuals. For years she had wandered the streets of the city pushing a squeaky old shopping trolley that contained all her worldly possessions – despite the best efforts of local charities and assorted religious – and even (much to their embarrassment) public health bodies, to get her off the streets. Her history prior to arriving on the streets of Atro City was unknown because nobody had ever bothered to check, and since everybody who had not been born here within the last half-century had come from somewhere else, it was generally assumed that some tragedy in her life had caused her to lose touch with reality – and her sense of hygiene – as well as some of her teeth.

The rhythmic squeak of the trolley wheels and the clinking of half-empty liquor bottles buried deep inside the basket marked her pr

wrong gender – and with great determination set out to rectify the problem. After having spent her life up to that point in abject misery while trying to please society, her new life as a female, and a civilian, was bliss by comparison. For one thing, people didn't shoot at her quite as much.

But it had not all been gain. To start with, she had lost all of her old friends, every single one – and had just barely managed to hold onto some members of her family. At least with them she had found acceptance – which was especially important in the early stages of her transition when she felt she had been little more than an awkward looking dude in a dress. Some of her uncles and aunts were approaching 80 years and they somehow accepted her with apparent ease, whereas some of her cousins her own age had rejected her out of hand, basically on their own dubious interpretation of second-hand religious opinions. She judged the tendency to reject people for things which in no way affect them to be at worst, some kind of borderline insanity and at best, some kind of admission to a case of claustrophobia brought about by too much time spent in their own closets.

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