The Mechanical Man 6 – Living in pain
The implants had been a huge success. Andrews co-workers admired the mechanical arm, got jealous and wanted one or two for themselves. The shiny ribcage was a total triumph – and he did not mind showing it to those who asked. And the whole lot was for sure a lady magnet. But he himself suffered.
First of all – he didn’t like it. No! He hated the shiny armour that squeezed his body together. He was in constant pain, and all the time at least one area, often several, were inflamed with swellings and pus. No painkillers seemed to work for him, and each day became more or less a plague.
Several times he had to go back to the clinic and the doctors really tried to help him. They cleansed the abscesses and gave him stronger pain killers, but nothing could beat the torture.
Meanwhile, he tried as best as he could to live a normal life. He went to work. Managed to do what he had to do. He went to cinemas and pubs with people he thought of as friends, and everyone supported him and tried to cheer him up.
”You’ll soon heal,” they said and offered him a second beer. ”For some people, it takes longer. You’ll be alright.”
Weeks came and weeks went by. They became months. And months. He smiled and he went on dates. He laughed and pretended he enjoyed himself. At least a couple of times a week some girl followed him home and felt sorry for him. They pampered him and could not hide what a turn-on the implants were. Especially the ribcage.
At times when everything was nothing but blackness to him, he used to go to the seashore and stand there for a long time gazing over the water until the sky turned dark and the halo from the descending sun made him forget the pain fort a while. Those hours he was intensely longing for going home to earth. He even missed his parents.
One day he could not stand it any longer. The pain and the swellings refused to let go, and the stomach had started to bother him as well, due to all the medications he had to take every day to at least ease the pain a bit. At that point, he had had the implants for almost a year. The only one that actually didn’t hurt any longer, though the pain had lasted for about nine months, were the eye-implants. As a matter of fact, he found them quite handy.
The sight was still razor sharp. He could see things very far away, as well as read any written material no matter the font size. He only had to push a small spot between the left eye and the nose in a special way and then a photo was taken, and for video snippets, there was a minuscule switch right above his right temple.
So who could blame him for taking photos a little bit too often, and in situations where a gentleman maybe shouldn’t take a photo at all?
On the other hand, it was impossible for anyone to see that he had a built-in camera anyway. Of course, he never told anyone that he had chosen that special perk, but he thought it was worth every penny extra he had to pay for that model.
Now, though, he wanted them gone. Both the ribcage and the arm extension. He did not care about being cool or attractive. He did not care about being a lady magnet. It was not him they were interested in, anyway, and claimed to be in love with. What they cared for, was those pieces of metal, that to him was no mere than worthless bric-a-brac!
And he could not care less, about the Thecnosians traditions and way of life. He was not a Technosian and he would never be!
Standing behind the counter at the clinic, the enormous woman with the bright golden metal plates all over her face had looked like stung of a poisonous tarantula when he had shown up just the other day to make an appointment.
”You want what?”
She pressed both her hands to her upper chest and stared at Andrew with eyes open wide. The golden plates on her forehead trembled.
”I said I want the implants removed.”
”I… I ..I.. d…don’t want to listen to this!”
”They are too painful, I can’t stand the pain any longer.”
”SO? What do you think? It’s metal plates sown to your body. IN your body even!”
She had raised her voice and breathed the words onto Andrew who crouched before the stream of spite.
“Maybe I’m allergic to them…”
“I could be, you know. I’m not really Technosian. I’m an Earthling!
“Tell me something else I don’t want to know.”
“I WANT TO GET RID OF THESE IMPLANTS!”
“Such a sissy” she whispered to herself while opening the computer.
“hmmm….” said Andrew.
“Okay,” she continued and shoved her large oblong hands in the air beside her ears. “Will Friday morning be good? At eight?”
To the other parts in order, can also be found in the menu.
- 1.) Being another you
- 2.) Andrew Millbourne’s big secret
- 3.) The Voyage of no return
- 4.) Time in space
- 5.) The appointment
- 6.) Living in pain
- 7.) The Surgery
- 8.) Into the Darkness
- 9.) If the end isn’t good, it isn’t the end