An opening fragment

Something I’ve just started. Also posted this sample over on KW, but the hack means it can’t be read there at the moment [Edit: the post was lost entirely. May repost when I’ve written more of it.]

I was dying in a corner of the old junktown when the machines found me. They took me in; patched me up; better than new. Hurt like hell – the bastards don’t understand the human body so well. They don’t get the whole ‘pain’ deal. So they cut me up, fix what’s broken, and stitch me back together again. I wake up with a blinding headache and smooth skin where the scars should be. Not that I’m grateful for it. Likely I was better off dead than alive, with Enforcement after my skin.
  Didn’t even do that much – bit of trafficking for the big man, mostly. It got complicated, though. Should’ve seen it coming. Big man goes down, suddenly everyone’s after his people, even part-timers like me. Couple of lackeys track me down, there’s some nasty business with a gun, and suddenly I’m all over the newsfeeds, face on every docsheet. Guess the cleaners didn’t get round soon enough. Forensics all over the place, lifting every hair, every skin flake, and there I was, bleeding my guts out in some scrapheap on the perimeter. Fucking robots should’ve let me die.
  Instead, here I am, all better. Better is the word for it all right. Where they couldn’t stitch flesh back together, they replaced it. I’m still not sure how much they ‘fixed’, they patch you up too well for that – not a bruise or scar to show work’s been done. Head’s been killing me ever since, though. Sometimes gets a little hard to take, but the worst parts pass soon enough. The machines told me it would stop in a day or two, but I think they just wanted me to shut up.


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