If you know how to look–if can get past the NDAs, the gatekeepers, and the security systems; if you can get past the encryption, the proprietary formats and the jargon–you could probably find, at any large organisation, a number of documents, policies and procedures pertaining to risk.

Managing risk is the topic of a billion tedious corporate seminars. How do you identify risks? How do you eliminate them? If you can’t eliminate them, how do you minimise them? If you can’t minimise them, how do you mitigate their effects?

Business continuity plans. Contingency matrices. Decision trees. The reality of “risk” at the highest levels of the corporate chain is often a reality that is held at arm’s length–if not a galaxy arm’s length–with many physical and social barriers to protect those who, ultimately, are responsible.

For a REZQ recovery operative living and working from overlapping job to job, there are few tasks that don’t carry some kind of real risk. Whether physical, financial, psychological or existential, a REZQ operative gets used to the kinds of risk that can’t be held back. Risks that have to be faced down, or faced up to.

And, sometimes, a situation comes along that threatens a risk that is profoundly grave. And as powerless as someone like Thom usually is to eliminate or minimise risks–not being in a position where he could, for instance, choose to avoid or offload a task onto somebody else–the only path left is to mitigate the effects of that risk.

If you’re the kind of creature that has them, you tie up your long floppy ears out of the way. You find the hardest-wearing clothing you can scrounge up from whatever old lockers are aboard your ship. If you can afford it, you rent a few plates of 24-hour self-destructing body armour from a public 3D Printer to protect some of the key areas.

Then, finally, you think about the risk, and you compare it with the others in your life. The risk of unemployment. The risk of debts being called in. The risk of being chased down by a Revenue Protection agency and the fatally vicious circle of a Debtors’ Colony.

You think about the risk. And because you can’t decide, time makes the decision for you. And once again, it’s irrelevant what the nature of the risk is: all that matters is that the risk is yours alone.