The number stared up at me from the aching back of my hand. It was obviously drawn with ink of some sort, the dark black colouration spreading along the creases in my skin like cracks through glass creating a rough, fuzzy number seven.
The number has always been there, ever since I can remember, which admittedly, isn't all that long. It's always ached too, a throbbing pain that emanates from beneath the number, seemingly from deeper than my hand would actually allow. It aches in the morning, it aches in the evening. At aches when I'm happy, it's aches when I'm sad. Whatever I am doing, wherever I am, the ache is always with me, bubbling up from beneath the number.
As I was saying - I don't remember much. I woke up on the streets of what I discovered to be London three weeks ago. I had nothing, no money, no memories, no possessions other than the blue overalls that stopped me from freezing to death. And of course, I had the number.
In those three weeks I learned a lot. I had to. The year was 35PF or Post-Fracturing. I was in a contested district of London being fought over between the Technomancers and the Aetherics. I still wasn't entirely sure what either of them were, but it was clear that the Technomancers had a claim on most of London and had access to powerful and pervasive technology. No-one seemed to be particularly bothered by this faction, perhaps because they were all members. I call them factions but perhaps really they were governments or religions or something else entirely. That was something else I still had to learn. There was another faction that I hadn't yet come into contact with. They were called the Mendelians and they eschewed technology in favour of bioengineering. Of course, technology of a sort was required for this, but they didn't seem to realise or care about their apparent hypocrisy.
The Aetherics took me in. Aetherics seem to be masters of magic or psychic forces or something else they like to call the Aether. It's dangerous apparently, the Aether had something to do with the Fracturing, an event I still know little about. They were intrigued by my memory loss and offered their services. With nowhere else to go, I gladly accepted their offer despite knowing that they must be hated or dangerous to be messing around with the very thing that caused this mysterious event I have yet to hear much about.
Three weeks past and still I've learned nothing, not even my name. No wait, I have learned one thing. Nothing is free. Despite my lack progress the Aetherics still want some form of repayment for my care, which I suppose isn't all that unfair an expectation. With that in mind they offered, by which I mean forced me to accept, a job.
My name is Seven and I'm a terrorist.