Chapter Eight

The dream was all stark colours and glaring lights the smell of antisceptic stung her nasal passages and made her want to vomit. Others hung in the space around her and she saw their shapes forming and felt no fear at the dangling tendons and blobby organs sitting on glass. Warmth spread around her spiked by cold in ebbs and flows. She floated too.

Big eyes stared at her through distortion, dark and liquid grey mottled skin drifted past her vision. The world was new and crumbling, the glass hissed and spewed her forth, the world was pain, she was small and fragile and lost. Webbed fingers wrapped themselves around her foot and lifted her into the air – all was vertigo.

She shuddered awake.

She was curlled up painfully on the plastic chairs at the hospital unit, the same anticeptic smell as her dream permeated the air – a similar smell had been presant in the mid-wive apocraphies through out the ages. She gagged – it always reminded her of vomit.

Her necked clicked and fizzed painfull as she straightened herself out from the little protective ball she had been, she’d drawled down the acid pink bomber slightly, and scrubbed at it with her hand. Disgruntled she sat up and stretched, the room was too bright and too steril and too full of money that could have paid for Bodges and many other’s treatments. She gritted her teeth, health care was definatly somethng she felt was a human right though she never thought it was until it had come ito existance. She had seen the system way before the British’s doomed NHS and definatly before the UN mandates had made medi-allowences a global and orbital phonomina.

If you were inside a system, a government a Corp they were responsible for your medical attention and they had to allow basic medi allowances. The side effect of this was that the homeless tended to be shoes to another place so when they collapse, from cold or hunger or disease they were hitting someone elses pockets.

She had seen that before too.

A new receptionist smiled coldly and with far too much perfect teeth at her. She suddenly felt like a live lobster in a tank in a resturant knowing its fate lay on a bed of crisp rocket. Her stomache rumbled she wanted her morning grub and she wanted it now. She scrubbed the scratchy sleep from her eyes. Stretched some more and demanded to know how Snake was. He had passed the night in peacefull sleep though he still hadnt regained concousness.

Bodge was still on life support his position stable though said position was so low she didn’t even want to think about it. She went to see Snake and kissed him gently, she half expected him to awake but was far too cynical to really contemplate such things.

She left to shower and then headed for the Sea Room with its aqua light and fish surrounds, she ached to swim and dared not, the ocean thrummed in her veins as it always had. She ordered prawn satee and Tuna Stakes – of course Tuna had been extinct for about 100 years that was until 2 yrs ago someone had found an old food store with tined fish uninfected by botulism. Tuma, Salmon, Pilchards and Sardines where now all back on the menu though those that made onto the plate were synth and the results of those Lazarian reserection were swimming rather expensively past the diamond glass that was the under water resturant. The fish were not just released into the sea – it was still too toxic and they were still too expensive – they were in a second sphere. The rate things were going the entire ocean would be such fractual structures and the Ocean currents would die.

She knew the danger in this and so had the scientists a good 100 yrs ago but they tended to be ignored by those who saw a convience in environmental issues to gain power.

And then the US had splinted anyway and the rest of the world bearly felt the shock waves of its protracted death throws. The splintering had harmed academia in a way she knew to be irraparable, all the universitys with their labs and computer models gone, what was left in th eUS now was a fractured monster, religous cults and environmental disastors had plagued the place. The Corps had taken over whole bits of it especially the Japanese who’d made great Techno-Castles in harsh Montana and the Chinese who had been welcomed open armed to places that had once fort communism with a blooded tooth. China was one of the countries to still retian its government, it was also more than a super power. A creed had grown out of the place permeating other cultures aand distorting itself.

She chewed on her kelp flakes thoughtfully thinking of the stagnation of the ocean currents and the end of nutrient cycling, she stabbed her spoon back in the bowl and slurped noisily at luke warm tea.

She sat nonchantly in the chair staring at the little darts of silvered blue that was a shaol. The day was dragging but the hospital surround was starting to grind her down and it wasn’t like she was really being much help to Snake and Bodge by hovering at the hosptial. She should go and sort out their equipment – blood would probably have fried some of the electonics of Bodges stuff and then there had been the pressure bullets they had probably mangled quiet alot of important stuff. She’d fix it all up so it was ready for them when they came out of the coma.

She knew this for the displacement activity it was but just couldn’t stop herself. They had to be ok, but she had thought that so many times, wished it so with every bit of energy she pocessed and still she had seen those she cared about sluaghtered or burn up with fever. But she had to try.

She’d go now straight away and get her teeth into some micro-soldering, she didn’t move just remained there staring at the fish, thoughts racing through her head. When the waitress arrived in her silly mermaid tail in neon green she ordered another coffee and continued to stare.

There were other problems – if the equipment was wrecked they couldn’t work, if the clubs and bars they worked were totaled they couln’t work and if Bodge and Snake took a time to recover they couldn’t work. She was left with the thorny issue of what exactly the Corp would do about this. She could go and see the Advisor. But she was quiet frankly scared of the woman. Obviously she was linked to the Corp system, she had even seen a skin jack – the whole concept of making another orifice in the human body and one with alien objects embedded in it really seemed beyound stupid to her. They were prown to infection and rejection or worse assimilation. Having a skin jack was dangerous. But it did make the humans who had them – part of the system, the huge vast computing systems complete with tendrils reaching out globally and even onto the orbital plateforms.

Humans with jacks had become something else – they had also become somehow less human. Distracted when jacked and agitated when not.

The Advisor would make her a repayment plan, would organise a minial job for her on th ecruise islands or maybe relocate her to one of the other instalations that belonged to the Corp. If her debts got bad they would even concider selling her off to another corp. She was bound to them – it hadn’t seemed that scary a prospect until she suddenly had a laid out band. Of course she could just leave. She had her own secrets about the computer systems – she could cover her own trail up and emerge as a new identity – if she was willing to abandon Snake and Bodge that is.

She ordered a third coffee and added sugar to it.

She knew she couldn’t leave them but felt that perhapse she should be laying down plans to take them with her – what they would do once out of the cruise islands was anyones guess as the Corp would be very angry with them, very angry indeed and an angry Corp was not something to take lightly. She sighed and stirred more sugar into the now surapy mixture. The day was stretching out before her in gloomy tones.

Finially she got up and headed for the doors, she cuaght a movement but than it was gone – it wasn’t the first time she had cursed her poor periferial vision. Someone had reacted to her getting up to leave she stared around the resturant but couldn’t see anyone suspicios.

She shrugged the ice from her should blades away and left a little too quickly.

The venue was still all taped up but Gaz was on duty and let her in with the minimal of fuss to retrieve her equipment – the foresics had been and gone, as had the position moderlers. Everything that could be gleaned from the room had been.

She stared at the wreckage of the room, clubs and dance halls never looked pretty with the lights turned up but this was even worse. There was blood splatters everywhere and though there were often injuried such as cut eyebrows the pure volume and spray affect of the blood was enough to make her think she had thrown a few of her pain filled condoms during an act.

Tears stung at her when she looked at Bodges Decks – they were probably not worth repairing but she begain to collaspe the blood socked thing down any way. The other instraments where in bad shape too. She hefted them all onto the trolly, the physical exersion felt good, and the tuaghtness in her muscels was being pushed out, they felt tired and strained and the work made her feel a bit more alive.

With it all bundled up securely she left for the lock up. Gaz nodded bye to her.

At the lock up she was relieved to see the door locked down tight still and her things all still in order. She trembeled slightly as she sorted the cleaning solvents, blood and electrons didn’t mix well – you have sugars and stuff in blood – it fries curcuitry in a way water alone could never.

She lay her hands flate on the scared old style steal work top and supressed a sob. Time suddered around her, she tried to supres herself – the feelings that rose with in but still a droplet of salty tear joined the clenaing materials.

She begain the cleaning in urnest. Her fingers tingled from the Chemicals and she gritted her teeth against the corosive itch and continued. Finially all the blood she could see was gone she would have to use her scanner to check down on a molecular level but that was hard graft and may not be necassary for a useable repair. Stuff like that could in fairness wait for an over haul.

She decided to start on Bodges instrament first as it was the most totaled and totaled it really was – it was optical and copper spagetti, it was ceramic fractured and plastic melted. It was a mess. She know that with a wreck like this there really was only one thing you could do and so she stripped it down to its components and begain making piles – one of good bits one of repairable, one of maybe repairable and on of no way hosay that would end up in the recycling shoot.

The fact she could repair it was a UN achivement she was truelly grateful for.

That done she woke up her computer – linked into the islands system it was never the less hers and to be honest it was one of the more power full computers around – well that was at least portable! It was about the size to fit neatly into her jacket pocket – ugly squat and nailvanished a lurid pink, 150 years ago and it would have been running whole countries – now it was a toy – still a powerfull one. She’d made it, it was her’s and it responded only to her. She loved it lots.

Posted: Monday, November 23rd, 2009 @ 1:31 pm
Categories: Uncategorized.
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One Response to “Chapter Eight”

  1. Purple Monster » Blog Archive » Chapter Eight Recap Says:

    […] Chapter Eight Beginning […]

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