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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Ancalagon - 26. Chapter 26

I should be protesting. I’d done almost nothing but argue with Garjah since I’d met him. Even our civil exchanges were usually punctuated with quips and sarcasm. He had dry humor and rarely took offense to my snark. But it was taking everything in me not to look down at my missing hand and lose my shit.

Bouncer slunk beside us, his gaze taking in everything and everyone who crossed our path. It wasn’t doing anything to endear him to the crew, but Garjah just snapped at the others and they flattened against the walls of the corridors and out of our way. Timok needed the room anyway; he was dragging a huge cart behind him.

Yet another reason I was trying not to lose it. What was all that stuff? What was Timok planning on doing to me with all those shiny metal things?

I really preferred doing the experiments, not being the one experimented on.

Garjah’s door to his quarters was only a few down from my own. How had I not known that? Had he put me here on purpose so he could keep an eye on me. When his door swished open, I looked around. I guess not even the most catastrophic injury I’d ever experienced could dampen my curiosity for long.

His room was much larger than mine, but he was bigger too. He’d need the space for the bunk alone, which took up twice the space in the corner. It was softer than mine too, covered with colorful pillows and a thick, soft blanket. The bed was a sea of comfort in an otherwise austere space. The walls were neutral colored, the desk was clear of clutter, and the table and chairs were neatly tucked together along the opposite wall.

Garjah snagged the chair from the desk and pulled it screeching across the floor. He settled into it at the head of the bed.

“Could you be more in the way?”


Timok huffed, narrowing his wide eyes at Garjah who just folded his upper arms. He kept one of his lower ones on my shoulder. “You can help him here. You have room to work.”

“You could wait over there.” Timok pointed at the table and chairs.


“I want him to stay.”

That shut down their argument. Garjah tightened his grip on my shoulder briefly, then rubbed gently. I reached up and grabbed one of the long pillows on the side of the bed. My fingers sank into it and the fabric molded to my hand and hugged it. “Ooh. I like this.”

“It’s yours,” Garjah said immediately.

“I don’t want your pillow.” Well, I did. But not for him to give it to me. “Where can I get one?” Maybe I could work for it, or trade something of mine. So far the Four Arms had been pretty dismissive of human goods, but you never knew what might be a treasure to someone else.

“I want you to have it.”

Before I could argue more, Timok surprised me by pressing an injection against my neck.


“Owwww,” I whined. A fiery itch engulfed my arm. I tried to curl it against my chest, but I couldn’t lift it.

I opened my eyes. I was strapped down again. “Garjah!”

A door in the wall slid open, and Garjah rushed in with a tray in two of his hands. “Are you okay?”

My breath came in short pants. “No! Why am I tied down?”

“Timok needed you to keep still while he worked, then you kept trying to dig into the healing tissue.”

I craned my head, but I couldn’t see it. I slumped back. My stomach churned, and the stress made me want to vomit. “It hurts.”

“There’s a spray I can use, if it is unbearable.”

“Can… Can I see it?” The words came though I wasn’t sure I meant them.

“No.” Garjah set the tray on the table.

I lifted my head again. “Why not?” I demanded.

“It would disturb you, Timok said. He made the metals opaque.”

“What did you do?”

“I sat beside you while Timok worked. I only left to get food because Timok said you’d stay in stasis.” Garjah frowned. “You don’t stay in stasis long.” He retracted the straps holding me to his bunk.

“Sorry?” I apologized awkwardly. “But why can’t I see my hand?” I sat up with his help and finally saw for myself. A shimmering swarm of something was moving around my arm from the elbow down and extending in a ball. “What is that?”

“How familiar are you with medical technology?”

“I’ve never seen anything like this.” It would’ve been fascinating if it wasn’t my arm, my hand.

“The liquid metals being infused with your body to create your new skeleton. The movement is the medical bots infusing the cells bonding with the metals to recreate your tissues. It will take time to work.”

“How long? Will it keep hurting?”

“I will take the pain away.” Garjah liberally sprayed my shoulder, and my arm numbed quickly. “Are you hungry? You need to eat a lot.”

Slumping against the pillows, I took the plate Garjah handed me. We started to eat quietly, but I needed a distraction from the craziness happening to my body.

“Why did you bring me here?” I asked.

“You need to stay still, eat a lot, and the lab wouldn’t be comfortable for me to stay with you. I take my debt seriously.”

Somewhere, in the depths on my mind I hadn’t acknowledged, I wanted to be more than a debt. “This wasn’t your fault.”

“I did not take your safety seriously, and you got hurt because of it. I am deeply shamed.” Garjah’s pale green stripes faded until they were nearly white. “If I cannot make this right….”

“Okay, okay, I’ll let you make it right.”

He heaved out a giant breath. “Thank you.”

Copyright © 2020 Cia; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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I think the bots are not done yet?  I'm really enjoying the growing relationship, as well.  When will Essell get a clue?  I have a feeling he's going to be shocked.

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If I read this correctly, some form of liquid or semi solid metal(s) are being used to recreate the skeletal portion of the missing hand. I would then assume the rest will come when that process is over...wonder if he will have to trim his fingernails on the new hand???😆 

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I recall Timok saying the new hand would be biomechanical. The nanobots doing the skeletal portion is a time saving measure. Even if they are capable of reverting bone, it would likely take many months if not years to grow the 27 interconnected bones in a hand and it would be grotesquely small initially. Tissue growth can be done relatively fast.

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Fascinating! The possibilities are enormous. I have a custom knee made from an MRI and then translated by computers to a 3d printer and voila a new titanium/resin knee. I think Timok's process is far better if only a future process. Chill Essell it will all be fine in the end.

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