The cutting was the worst bit, though, especially if the wind dropped. Because then the midges would get you. Tiny biting flies. The Scottish curse. The single midge is so small you can hardly see it, but they gather together in clusters, great black clouds of them, getting in your hair and your clothes and feeding on your flesh.
Their predecessors had made the journey in open boats on mountainous seas because they had to, to survive, to feed hungry villagers. Now they went out in a trawler to bring back a delicacy much sought after by well-fed islanders.
It’ll all be there on the DNA database. Your grampa died of cancer, or maybe there’s a history of heart disease on your mother’s side. You’ll get knocked back for a job because your prospective employer’s discovered that your great-grandmother spent time in a mental institution, and your bar code looks a hell of a lot like hers.”