She wasn’t useful anymore, so they dumped her in the wastelands with a handful of supplies.
The pilot pointed to the East. “Ten days walk, if you’re steady enough. Five days of food. There’s a watering hole three days walk, if you’re steady enough.”
He boarded his hovercraft and blasted across the desert, leaving her behind.
The trial was cruel, but so was the world. If she could make it back to the city on her own, she’d be allowed to reenter. She’d be a citizen for another three years. And then, they’d dump her back out here again.
Not many made the journey.
She’d done it three times. She would do it again.
They shorted her on supplies, took her farther out each time. They even tried to give her wrong directions, as if she didn’t know the city was South, not East. They tried to kill her without having to get their hands dirty, and one of these days, they would succeed. But not today.
She threw her bag over her shoulder and started walking.