Oz takes the bandages from my new prosthetic hand and sets the new parameters for my fine motor skills. Try. Obediently I clench and unclench my fist. Feels weird. The hand sweeps accidentally to the right, nearly smashing the coffee cup from the table Oz calls his office. He gives me painkillers. He forgets I can switch my sensory input off. Probing the feel of it, I do some exercises. The movements are grainy.
Next time I print you a better one. He sighs. Has to suffice for now. The feeling of a doubled limb glitches through my arm and head. Oz calls it phantom limb. You’ll get used to it. I disconnect the sensors and reconnect. There is no pain at all, just this sensation of a vague hand dragging me across the movement.
The doors slam back and whistle. The lights turn into sick neon green. Exam lights. I see my nails glow purple. The ultraviolet part peaks. The air filters kill off millions of germs. I imagine them scream.
The e-beds hum to life, sterilizing themselves, except for the occupied one. Oz pulls his gloves on and hollers. Emergency’s on the way. I whistle the Strix United jingle backward, and he doesn’t notice.
Thank you, Doctor Obvious! Ha! That look! He doesn’t like it. Even his profile betrays the snarky remark he fights to swallow. Note to self: Annoying Oz is surprisingly funny. I switch off the feedback sensors on my hand and fall back on subroutine control. Just the basics. I stand up and leave Oz to his work. Stay here. Maybe I need a helping hand. Really? The new or the old one? I put gloves on and wait.
Thumping noises rush down the corridor. DOC! It’s Frazer! Rains carries her in. She’s unconscious, bleeding profusely, and barely breathing. Doesn’t look good.
Activate 3! Rains puts Frazer into the lowered e-bed. He wipes with his left hand over his face and hair. What happened? He has blood over his face and hair. He shakes, I wonder why. His lips tremble and he doesn’t let go of he hand.
Micrometeorite shower. Punched holes into the hull. She was out, checking the heat shield! Rains’ voice trembles too. His hands drip with blood. Punched holes into Frazer too…
Color code: Captain Edward Wong; Lieutenant Marius Rains; Lt. Anatol Decker; MD Oscar (Oz) Wellington; Dr. Samara Frazer; Crewman* Proto Septimus;
pic: Corona from Magnetic Rose (Otomo)