Jie slides down as her knees go weak from blood loss, her back scraping against the warehouse wall. A bright red streak trails on the wall, kind of like an arrow pointing to her defenseless, crumpled body. With fading vision she looks to her gun, Black Betty, its energy spent making her beloved weapon nothing more than a useless weight. She spies her abdomen, gushing blood like a spring as her weakened hand tries futilely to stem the flow. A loud sound startles her and she looks up. More Aslan Warriors come charging into the warehouse from a concealed door. They wield Sword Worlder sledge Hammers in their claws and as they systematically crush the heads of her companions a WHOOSHING noise ensues from the corpses. (All except Grim, however. The oncoming hoard just pokes him in the chest with a pointy finger and he explodes into Grim-let chunks). Jie is helpless as her friends die one by one. WHOOSH…WHOOSH .She has failed them. WHOOSH…WHOOSH. Her body has failed her.
Jie awakens with a start and sits bolt upright in bed. The air processor of this cheap hotel room is on the fritz again. Without thinking she slams her fist into the grill-work of the Whooshing machine and the repetitive noise stops (for a while). Then the pain comes. Her multiple wounds from the shotgun fire fight begin to throb unceasingly under the bandages Will applied. She gets up out of bed and in the dark, walks to the bathroom. Her memory of the rooms layout fresh in her tactical mind keeps her from running into things. She turns on a light and in the mirror sees that the bandages are soaked in fresh blood. She’ll have to change them.
As she applies new dressings on the bullet holes all over her chest, belly and left leg, she realizes that her recent nightmare may be trying to tell her something. In the past she used to laugh at the danger she put herself into. She was a wall to protect her crew as she absorbed damage that others couldn’t take. But lately she wasn’t laughing. In fact, her worries about her inability to help out the team has stopped her from laughing for some time now.
“Maybe…” she said to the bruised clone in the mirror “Grim and Taeva and the others are right. Maybe it is time for me to upgrade myself. For the team.”
She shudders at the thought. It was taboo in her semi-primitive upbringing to augment ones self. In the Corps it was mostly against the rules due to medical surgical reasons. Then the expensiveness of it, not to mention urban tales of horrendous mistakes that happened on the cutting board! But she was not on her home planet of Pagaton nor was she in the Corps. She has more credits now then she ever did and Grim has reassured her over and over that mistakes just don’t happen these days. Maybe after the Augmentations she would laugh again, secure with her survivability.
She got the name of this place from her comm. Will and Max gave it two thumbs up and they themselves have just gone into the main office to discuss their upcoming surgeries. Jie sits in the waiting room and reviews her list in no particular order…
1. Sub dermal armor plating (1)
6. Weapon implant X 2(Cutlass per arm)
7. Soldier organ package…
All of which will be ruggedized, natural looking and self-repairing. Jie understands that this will cost a lot more then she has at the moment, but for an enterprising young lady who has served the Imperium well this should be no problem. She takes from her Nobble cloak pocket a large handful of pamphlets that she acquired on the way here from various banks and lending businesses. All of whom were conveniently located on the same floor as this clinic, literally swarming around any one walking in here with their promises of lots of loaned cash for almost no payback! They were all very nice people.
She is halfway through signing up for all the loans when see looks at a pamphlet and she stops breathing.
It is a info-packet from a Glisten lawyers office specializing in medical mal-practice suits. The title states:
“DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!”
Below it in grainy focus, as if taken by a standard surgical recording device was… Cornelius H. Grimstead with… boobies?
The photo showed a drugged up Grim, naked from the waist up, being held down by a thin, frightened looking doctor and an orderly with a recent black eye. Grims eyes were groggy, one opened and one half dosing, his mouth open as if caught in mid-obscenity. He was using all his doped up might to break their grapple and then he was going to probably break other things. The picture was obviously in an Augmentation clinic, much like this one, but Jie couldn’t make out any details because Grims huge knockers were looking right at her! As tits go they were fine. Supple and firm the double D jugs seemed to defy gravity as the tussle ensued. The generous mounds of love flesh rose out of Grim’s curly chest hairs like two bald, white whales jumping out of a sweaty, hairy ocean. No matter how Jie tilted the pamphlet Grims new jellybonkers seemed to follow her with a duo Cyclops-ian stare.
Below the picture was the title:
“The doctor will see you now, Miss Okasawa,” the receptionist called.
“The fuck he will!!” Jie replied as she stuffed the pamphlets back into her pockets. As she stood up a gale of hysterical laughter burst from her. She wadded up her surgery list and threw it in a waste can as she left the office. She had to try three times to do this because tears were running down her face as she convulsed with giggles.