The Story in the Blood
Emma stood in front of the stone-like base and grabbed the grip of the sampling device.
They had been first used in immigration corridors. Quotas being so low they had to give priority to indigenous lineages: the device sampled DNA markers and calculated its genetic distance to a government-defined English baseline. Too far and you had no priority, and no priority meant delays equivalent to refusal.
Then the device was put in police checkpoints, to help catch illegals. A un-English ancestry required extra proof of citizenship, which was difficult to obtain and expensive to maintain. As resources dwindled it was used for triage in hospitals. When protests became endemic it helped ensure the privacy of safe citizens by shifting the potentially restless to more intensively monitored public transportation and service areas.
Emma had been a soldier in His Majesty's Armed Forces. She had shed blood in training camp. She had shed blood in the Gaslight War. She grabbed the grip. She was being asked to shed blood to be told which train she could use on her way home.
Something rose from the still waters of her loyalty. Emma gripped the device tighter and instead of letting it draw blood she ripped it from its base. When a nearby guard pointed his sometimes non-lethal weapon at her, she swatted it aside and bashed the guard's face with the bits of sampler on her hand.
There would be no legend about her, but that was the beginning of the war.