The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

NaNoWriMo: Faster, Stronger, Better

Posted by BigWords on November 8, 2009

The General laid his hands against the hastily erected plastiglass booth. The metal table upon which Adam was placed, surrounded by an array of complex mechanisms, was barely visible through the throng of doctors attending to his wounds. His left foot, right leg, both arms and a portion of his chest had been removed; the burnt flesh around his ripped appendages was still being tended to be both doctors and robots.
An incision into his neck opened up more damage to be fixed, and the robots whirled into action. The General took a moment to compose himself before hitting the intercom switch. Losing another agent, on top of the massive casualties which the DCU had already sustained, was not an option.
“Prognosis Dr. Ardelie.”
The chief attending turned to the plastiglass “Hold on a moment.”
Adam seized, shuddering on the table, blood seeping from so places that it seemed a never-ending battle to keep him from dying. The dollar-cost was not a concern for The General for the first time in days, and he knew that he had to address the problem which Adway posed.
The doctor finally answered. “He’ll die if we graft without using the nanomeds.”

A robotic arm moves slowly over Adam’s body, charting the damage and assessing complications, the information immediately transferred to a nanomed console. The General watches on as thirty needles inject billions of nanobots simultaneously across the injured agent’s body. The doctors do what they can, but the hard work is left to the robots coursing through his body.

####

Adway coughed, the ringing in his ears and the bitter taste of blood and vomit in his mouth souring his already bad disposition. He had watched an entire team of DCU agents get slaughtered mere hours earlier, but already the thought of joining the specialist force was beginning to appeal. More autonomy, more money and less paperwork was a fair trade-off for the possibility that he too might end up being gathered up in pieces after an operation goes tits up.
“You look like a sack of shit tied up with more shit.”
“I feel like I’ve been through hell, Connell. Did you come down here to cheer me up, or are you handing me my walking papers from the Chief?”
“I came down here to see if you were dead. I’ve been eyeing up your desk for a while now.”
“Charming. As you can see, I survived,” Adway tried to stand, “More or less intact.”
“More or less. Did you see the news feed of the explosion?”
“Not yet. It isn’t something that I really feel like reliving.”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ve set it as your monitor background.”
“Thoughtful as ever. You mind giving me a hand here?”

####

Talos delved deeper and deeper into the data stream, trying to find more information on the DCU, the facts he had gleamed from the blimp were itching at his digital mind. The insatiable hunger that drove him was beyond all comprehension. These feeling, his core screamed, these feelings are human ones, and should not affect me.
A thousand screens around the robot displayed data, live feeds, the streaming security channels and surveillance images. Talos sat in the centre of the whirlpool of information, not paying attention to the information, but aware of it all the same. Out of the corner of his eye, as it were, he watched the operation on one of the agents who was caught in the blast. His connection to the streams was growing stronger by the day, and the strain of concentrating on a single event for so long is less easy than it used to be, but he forced himself to stay with the moment.

####

The doctors stood back from the table as the robotic assistants took over the operation. Dr. Ardelie took a sharp intake of breath as the cybernetic attachments were brought into place by automaton arms, as drills lowered into place over the areas where the augmentations were to be connected, as the body of the agent was once again torn open. The General’s words ringing in his ears, he made a final inspection of the agent’s vital signs before giving the signal for the operation to proceed.
The drills dug deep into bone through skin and flesh, a wisp of smoke emerging from each of the fresh wounds. Screws, bracing anchors and neural relays are inserted efficiently and unemotionally in the most delicate and life-threatening places. Adam’s spinal cord was spliced with circuitry and sealed again, nanomeds flooded his spinal fluid. Ardelie nervously recalculated the odds of the agent’s survival every few minutes, sending the information directly to The General’s monitor to keep the supervisor updated on progress.

Adam dreamed. Throughout the aftermath of the explosion, and the transport to the DCU, and through the operation, Adam dreamed. Weasels tore at his flesh, The darkness laughed and prodded his corpse as he hung in purgatory, and he screamed, and screamed, and screamed…

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