The Clinic

(Joint post between LSP and Gardenstale)

Sy stepped out of the shower. Usually she'd use the quickblast setting and be done and dusted in under 40 seconds, but every now and again it was just too nice to let actual hot water run over your body. It was expensive, but it was worth it. She unwrapped her hair, pulled a few dreads towards her nose, sniffed, winced. From an endtable she picked up what looked like a bulbous helmet, folded it around her hair and tapped the side. A few violet flashes lit up the apartment like lightning, and when she pulled the contraption off, a few tendrils of fragrant smoke lingered momentarily before dispersing. She sniffed again and smiled, content. Then her eyes fell on the clothing she had draped over a chair and her face sank. “Hundred’s o’fuckin’ years o’human civilization an’ we still got no better at wranglin’ a couple o’boobs,” she sighed, picking up her best bra as if it was a slime-covered snake. “But I gotta make a spectacle of mah self I reckon. ‘S how it is outside the slums.”

She put on the bra, her panties, and a dark purple, loosely fitting pant-suit of a silk-like rayon that looked more expensive than it actually was. It was by far her most fancy outfit. She slipped on a pair of industrial-looking Mary Janes and sighed at how strange the shoes felt on her feet. “The things I do for gettin’ cut open and havin’ a bunch of tech shoved under mah skin,” she smirked. She looked at the small pile of components she’d pulled out of her hair, now sitting on the kitchen counter, and weighed her options. She liked weaving those into her hair, but she wasn’t sure whether it would be appreciated where Sirius was taking her. In the end she decided to leave everything but the cables, which she used to tie her pile of dreads together into something less unwieldy. She packed her sneaking shoes, a compact screwdriver set, a long sharpened screwdriver, and the carefully wrapped glove with the sewn-on tech into a small pack, threw it over her shoulder and waited for the hour to head over to Sirius, already feeling uncomfortable in her bra.

As he headed home Sirius made a few calls, setting up to get passage across the checkpoints. he’d need to be ready for any question and know who the guards would be. If he knew them he would know what type of person they are and if he could simply bribe them. After getting enough information to make a normal man’s head explode he reached his apartment. Passing by an old woman in the hall with a cat the he modeled his AR message avatar after. One of the few people he liked since she brought him cookies, was quiet, and didn’t ask any questions. She was just a nice old lady living her golden years in this dump.

Sirius got ready in the same vein, a quick shower, sloppily dried hair, and clean clothes that looked the same as his usual clothes would be what he would be wearing. He wasn’t really much for clothes the were different. He bought his shirts and pants in bulk it seemed. He hadn’t bothered watching the time or getting ready to quickly since he figured most women took their time to look nice. He slipped on a pair of boxers with little green aliens on them before there was a knock on the door.

“Coming.” he said loud enough Sy would hear but not disturb the neighbors. Opening the door still in his boxers. “Just finishing come in.” he told her as he grabbed a pair of dark jeans from a plastic box and a shirt from another. Still not seeming to care about personal boundaries.

“Nice boxers,” she smirked. She stepped into the dimly lit apartment and looked around. She’d only been there once or twice, and the last time had been a while ago. All in all, it didn’t differ much from her own place: messy and small, with tons of tech just lying around, though Sirius had a lot more computers and monitors as opposed to her many random hardware components, cables, pliers and screwdrivers. She looked back at him, now getting dressed in a lightly crumbled shirt and pants. “Am I overdressed? Cause that’d be a first, tell ya what.”

Sirius looked her up and down. “You’re fine.” he said. “You’ll fit in great as long as I do the talking. No offence.” he said. “Women on the other side like the dress nice on the weekends. I just look like any normal guy going out for a drink. Should be easy to get to the clinic, and get you back no questions asked.” he said. “But, we need to go over the plan.” Sirius told her. “If you are asked we are visiting the clinic because one of the augments in your arm is acting up.” he said, handing her a small microchip. “Stick the near your shoulder under your shirt so it can’t be seen. If they scan you that chip will read their scanners a defect code.” he explained. Then handing her an arm sling. “Make it look more real.” he quickly explained, as he started to dig in a box for something. what he took out would be considered strange to some. It was make-up.

Sirius stepped into his small bathroom and applied it under his eyes to make himself look more normal and less like someone way to into drugs. “Okay are you ready? Because we can’t afford to mess up. I’d rather not get shot tonight.” he said.

Sy put her arm in the sling and tucked the chip underneath her sleeve on her shoulder. It pricked slightly, but it was less uncomfortable than the bra. Then she looked up and smiled warmly. It was so different from her usual sarcastic smirks, it was almost startling. “Of course, darling,” she said affectionately, in a smooth and soft tone with barely a trace of an urban accent. It was uncanny. “Let us proceed to the clinic. My arm feels ever so uncomfortable with this augmentation irritation. We shall make haste and move out fortwith.” Her smirk returned and she quipped: “Shoulda become an actress, I can pull off one o’them bimbo airhead rich cunts no sweat. Got me out of a jam or two befo’.”

Sirius laughed, “You sure can pull it off. But unless they ask you directly let me do the talking. I know the guards shifts and have this all planned out.” Sirius explained.

After a short walk they were at a border line between the districts. For the first time Sy saw Sirius standing upright with no slouch. “Good evening officer.” he said, with energy in his voice. “Lovely evening isn’t it? Shame you don’t get to enjoy it.” he said, as the man raised his had for them to stop.

“What’s yer business?” he said, Looking the two of them over.
“Ah, you see.” he started. “We passed by one of those new chip readers to pay for the train and it messed up my girls arm. Just got to get to the clinic before she has to go to work in the morning.” he explained.

“Likely story.” The Officer said approaching Sirius before giving him a pat down. Finding nothing, he pulled out a scanner. “Miss, step forward.” he said, holding up the scanner. “Please stand still.” he said waving the wand over her arm the device beeped like crazy.

“Jesus, how are you even standing…” he asked.

“Because she’s tough.” he told the officer. “Are we done? You saw yourself, she’s in pain but trying to still be beautiful let us through?” he said, and was waved through.

“Easy as pie.” he said once they were out of ear shot.

“What did the chip show the scanner?” she asked. “Pig seemed ready ta faint. Mah arm s’posed ta be fallin’ off or what?”

“You ever drop a glass on the floor?” he asked. “Imagine the tendons in your arm doing that to your bones.” Sirius explained. “Basically the worst break you can imagine, caused by a malfunction of the prosthetic muscles.”

She nodded appreciatively. “Tell you what,” she smirked. “Your girlfriend is one bad ass muthafucka.”

It wasn’t long before the reached the clinic. Its fluorescent light almost overly bright even in the city. Walking in Sirius leaned on the counter. “She is her for an appointment with Dr. Bimmithy Crews.” he said, and the nurse looked at the records.

“He will see you in a moment Miss Brooks.” she told them. “Just have a seat.”

Dr. Crews wasn’t long, coming out and getting the two to follow.

In a hushed tone. “What are you doing here Vaxis.” the doctor asked him, seeing both pissed and nervous.

“You owe me, it’s an easy job. Work out the pay when it’s done.”

The egg head sighed. “Fine what’s the job.”

“Tell him.” Sirius motioned to Sy.

Sy dropped her demure act on the spot. “Aight listen up doc,” she said, taking her arm out of the sling and rummaging in her bag. “I done made myself a very nice new toy. So nice, matter a fact, I want to keep it with me forever ‘n always, ya dig?” She pulled the wrapped glove with the scanning device (I still gotta name my baby, she thought) and displayed it to him. “Now I done sewn this on here, but this whole construction here?” She held up her left palm. “You put that shit in here, jus’ under the skin, aight? I made this baby thin enough for it ta be no sweat.”

The doctor inspected the device. “Fascinating,” he murmured. “What is its function?”

“Nunya biz,” she snapped. “Also, I gotta few wires runnin’ through mah arm up to mah skull for a visual cortex hijack. I gotta link that up when I’m all opened up, takin’ this point here…” she pointed to a small external connector just below her wrist, “into the skin ‘n hookin’ that shit up to mah new baby. So local aneasthetics only, aight?”

He looked a tad distressed. “I can do it, no problem,” he said. His forehead glistened with a thin layer of sweat. “But implanting illicit augmentation? Can’t I repay you some other way, Vaxis?”

“This is the job. You want to be square you do this. It’s not like you aren’t getting paid and it isn’t like I am asking you to put a bomb in someone’s chest.” he started. Seeming to skirt around what the payment was for. “I don’t want this to become a thing, alright? You just gotta do a job like you always would, you are just repairing damaged tissue from a augment malfunction, and you were forced to insert muscle stimulators to function as new nerves.” Sirius said. “It’s easy, almost no supplies won’t be paid for. The costs are covered. You are just doing something slightly different than the records show.”

“I can’t just.”

Sirius raised an eyebrow and the man’s head dropped. “Fine. But if I get caught I am taking you two down with me.”

“Perfect. We have a deal then.” Sirius said, reaching out to shake the man’s hand but the shake wasn’t hand to hand. They grabbed each other’s wrists, and Sirius grinned. “Pleasure doing business with you.” he said. As he left to go back to the waiting room.

Sy sat down in the operating seat, her sleeve rolled up tight, her hand palm-open on the armrest. Without a word, the doctor clamped the arm down tight and injected the anaesthetics. Within seconds, Sy’s arm felt like it stopped at the elbow. “Aight,” she smirked, as the grim-looking doctor approached her with a set of scalpels and clamps. “Let’s get this muthafucka opened up.”

Two hours later, she walked into the waiting room with an excited grin on her face. “Operation succesful,” she grinned. She could barely contain her giddiness. “Doc reactivated the nerves so I can move my fingers ‘round a bit already. Hurts like a bitch but fuck it, it’s worth it.” She showed her hand. Several dozen fine cuts ran across the palm, up her fingers and down her wrist. The connector that had been there was no longer visible. The cuts were covered in a thin layer of biogel, which was already knitting the fine network of cuts back together.

Sirius seemed happy for her but a bit dejected, “I feel like a prick. For using Bimmy like that.” he mumbled. “He should be happy when he sees what I paid him.” he shrugged, standing up and stretching. “I hate chairs.” he complained to no one before walking up to Sy. “Better get you home. You have work tomorrow, right?” he asked. “Besides we need to get back through before shift change.” he explained. Walking with her out the door, and back to the check point. “She’s all fixed up.” he said. “Gonna be a pain to pay for, but what you gonna do?” he shrugged as they were let through.

“Contact me if you need anything. I will be in touch for the job.” he explained to Sy.

Unexpectedly, she turned around and hugged him, before he had any chance to stop her. “Mate, thanks so fuckin’ much,” she said. “I’ll be ready whenever ya need me. Just gimme the call an’ I’ll be there.” She let him go, kissed his forehead, grinned at him and skipped off home, eager to try her new augmentation as soon as the biogel finished repairing the damage they’d done.

After she let go Sirius walked away into the dark streets giving a wave over his shoulder as he vanished. Heading home to plan, and wait for Sam. He washed off the make-up, cracked open an energy drink and went back to his usual business.

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