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They were exploiting a gap in the schedule. Gretz had figured these out from his reliable stint with Additional Patrol. He picked up the job on Vertris when they started hiring older-model privately driven vehicles for lockdown duties in dead zones. Previous-gen vehicles didn’t have as much trouble with the signal jamming, the ships and hovers forty or more years old. Kinetryx 2 performed smoothly; Gretz maintained it for function over looks, with of course some surprises under its bonnet. It could take the road. With the cargo thorax in parked storage, Kinetryx fit well in Vertraia’s medium-sized byways.

While he was on duty, he did the job politely and efficiently: vigilance, courier, passengers, escorting. But he also served the roles he believed he should have been given, which authority failed to specify. The lockdown state was turning on its citizens. It was too much, some things were just not right. He got almost no trouble, maybe because he was actually helping people. He was giving them access to their own businesses and supplies, allowing them to redistribute their resources as they saw fit in this time of emergency.

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