Crude Changes

Mortimer cackled as he worked. He could not believe how the tables had turned. Once again he was doing what he did best, dancing on the edges of science and morality, pushing the boundaries of what could and should be. He moved from instrument to instrument consumed by his craft... his art!

He turned up the heat on his burners and watched the green flames blaze beneath cauldrons of vile liquids. Two naked corpses were laid upon the outer two of three medical trolleys. Abigail sat upon the third watching his work with interest.

"What are you doing?" her voice came into his head without warning and his smile faltered at the shear volume of it. He stumbled and only just caught himself on the nearby table.

"I am preparing a vapor that will allow me to operate on you without causing discomfort. You will remain aware but feel no pain. I am also creating an alchemical solution that you will need to drink..."

"Not trying to poison me are you?" she asked and then answering her own question, "No... I see."

"It will enter your nervous system and relax the fibers that are causing your more aggressive tendencies. It will give you more control."

"And the bodies?" she asked.

"That is the hard part. I require their brain tissue infused with another of my mixtures to act as a sort of salve on the incisions I will be making and then..."

"Thaumaturgy.." she gasped in mock horror, "Mr Mortimer I never knew you had it in you."

"It is the simple manipulation of energy," he snapped somewhat defensively, "the mind is little more than tiny electrical signals and we will be manipulating yours to bring back some of who you once were while retaining and enhancing much of what you have now become."

Abigail jumped down from her trolley and walked over to one of the corpses. Grabbing the flacid cock she waved it towards Mortimer, "Such a waste." she purred.
The scientist grimaced at the crude behavior and shrugged. I only need the heads, do what you like with the rest of them. Abigail flashed a wicked grin before snatching a scalpel from the nearby table. Mortimer turned his back on her macabre play and concentrated on his preparations.

***

Abigail lay strapped to the central trolley. Her eyes flickered wildly from side to side as she followed the movements of Mortimer as he made his final preparations. All around her the small cell was filled with the bubbling of liquids and the soft hum of machinery. She recognised the stench of Flagesium lacing it all, of course it would have to be so.

Mavromichali Mortimer stood over a basin now washing his hands. She noticed for the first time how tall the old man was as he loomed over her. His hands shook as he washed them, not the most encouraging trait in a brain churgeon.

She reached into his mind and found dark flashes of memory. The hall of judgement, a memory of shame and fury. A dark cell, much like this one serving a decade of penance. He turned and glared at her sensing her mental touch and she forced a smile.

At last the work started and for hours she lay there, strapped to the trolley, trying not to fight against the restrains. The vapors did their work and most of the time she swam in glutinous dreams. She did not feel it when the razor took her hair and the scalpel sliced into her skin.

He sawed deep into her skull and plucked out a disk of bone, making a sucking sound as it popped free, the carefully he smeared a thick bloody salve around the point of incision before gently cutting into the clear membrane around her grey matter. The clear liquid tried to escape and congealed against the salve forming a putrid yellow ring around where he was working. There came the sharp smell of burned flesh as Mortimer used heat to drive away inflamed cells and then a feeling of pressure and a thin iron was pushed into the her head.

Mortimers work was delicate and precise as he cut away old material and applied his salve to areas requiring healing. Abigails mouth worked as if she were screaming and her arms and legs twitched of their own volition.

Mavromichali Mortimer stoked the fires of his analytical engine and placed its copper wires in contact with the metal rod embedded in her brain. Carefully he turned the dials and adjusted the flow of energy that would alter her thoughts and allow old memories to resurface. She began to choke and the smell of urine and feces filled the room as she lost control of her bodily functions, and still Mortimer continued to adjust the controls.

At last his work done and Abigail patched up as well as his equipment would allow he stood back and looked down at the woman with eager concern. His work was crude but if she survived then she would be a woman to be feared. She would try to turn on him of course, of she decided she no longer needed him, but he was to clever for that. He had worked in a fail safe, a reliance on the drugs that only he could create. Without them she would lose control, without them, she would die.

Stumbling over to a nearby chair he almost fell into it and as he sat there watching her, sleep stole over him and took him into darkness.

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