I am Bionic

This is my entry for February’s Blog Battle – the theme or word for this month is Heart.

All Calli could do was watch, tears streaming down here face as a flurry of people in white hurried around the broken body of the person she cherished most in the the world. No, hang on, that’s not right – the universe. Living on Earth was dangerous enough yet despite all the technology and safeguards living outside the relative safety of Earth was riddled with danger and freak accidents like this happened.

“She wouldn’t have even seen it coming” Calli thought to herself. “There’s no sound in the vacuum, that rover just rolled right over her…” Callie stopped her thoughts there. It was too painful, she slumped onto the chair opposite the observation window, not able to see now but she could see a med tech squeezing fluids and someone shouting “Her blood pressure is falling!”

Having lost her father only a few years back Calli was no stranger to loss but this hurt way more than that. Despite all that was going on, twenty four hours without sleep took its toll and her eyes closed.

Calli woke to a man she didn’t recognise, in a white gown shaking her awake. He was older, she guessed in his fifties.

“Miss wake up” he kept saying.

“I’m awake, I’m awake what is it? Is Dom ok?” Calli looked up bleary eyed, her face still red.

“That’s what we need to discuss.”

Suddenly Callie was wide awake, Dominique was still alive? “What is it?”

“Come with me please.” The man, Callie assumed to be a doctor led her away. As she stood she glanced in the window to see a person with bandages and tubes all over her. In moments they were at another room, the doctor showed her in, at the end of a table was a man a little younger than the doctor and looked like he came from somewhere like indi. He wore an expensive suit and a serious look, but he got up, smiled and welcomed Callie warmly.

“Hello, I’m doctor Patel. We don’t have much time so let’s get down to the matter in hand. Your partner Dominique is in a very serious condition, she’s stable for now but if her injuries are not treated soon she will die.”

Callie felt a lump in her throat, it took all her will to keep her tears back. The older doctor started to talk.

“You see the thing is that with normal medical science there isn’t anything else we can do, which is why Dr Patel want so thelp, he has a suggestion, but it would need your permission.”

“What is this suggestion?”

“Well…” Dr Patel composed himself for a moment. “I’m advancing bionics in medical science and I have come out here to Callisto in order to expand this science. I won’t bore you with the reasons why Callisto is favourable but what I’m suggesting is that we use bionics to help Dominique and give her back her life again. This work is experimental though I must warn you.”

“What are her chances without it?” Callie asked nervously.

“Almost non-existent.” The old doctor announced grimly.

Dr Patel added more “Every person out here is very valuable, in terms of life, skills and resources. That’s why we are doing this.”

“So on Earth we’re more expendable?” Callie shot back.

“You know what I mean.” Dr Patel retorted a little aggressively. “At the end of the day, you either agree to let us try or watch her die.”

Dr Patel said nothing more, he slid the pad with the permission agreement towards Callie waiting for her to authorise. Callie curled up on the chair, weeping realised she had no choice. Without looking she reached over and thumb printed her permission.

Dr Patel got up and left.

Callie hadn’t realised what it was going to take, but Dom’s operation took days, round the clock Patel’s doctors, nurses and technicians came in, did their job, rested, went back in. She had no idea what was going on and her mind was fearful of what was happening and what would result. Eventually Patel led his team out. Exhausted he came to Callie who never left the seat outside the theatre the whole time.

“We have completed the procedures, we are very pleased with the result and hopeful for her recovery.”

“What did you do?” callie asked nervously.

“Her brain and body was damaged, there was a lot of…”

“What did you do?” Callie reiterated.

” We had to recover some of her memories and functions, her brain is now augmented. Her shattered arms and legs have had to be replaced as well as a partial face reconstruction.

” I want to see her!”

“Not now, you can’t…”

Callie got up and pushed past Patel, looking down on the body of her friend, her love she sawy robotic limbs, beautiful engineering but together with a human body looked alien. Her face was half masked by a robotic face, her eyes were closed.

Patel walked up behind her “There’s every chance she will be fine, she will rest for some time so her body can adapt and heal and then she will need to learn to adjust. But inside she’s still the same.”

With tears rolling down her face Callie was horrified, angry, so many mixed emotions “What have I done?” She trembled. “What have you done? How can this be a life for anyone let alone the one I love?”

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28 thoughts on “I am Bionic

  1. Good take again Simon, if rather chilling as such methods might be getting closer year on year. My first thought was Dom. How would I react to waking up as cyborg? How much of what makes me me would be left. Augmented memories too, easy to implant anything there. More so if our Dr friend is purely there because his research was revoked on earth. So many angles…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I thought, there are many angles. I was kind of thinking that procedure that would be unnecessary and banned on Earth could be used on colonies to aid human survival, even if they are unnatural.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bit like nanotechnology in the Ben Bova books in terms of banned protocols. Loads of ideas to come out of this one. At this rate you’ll have a short story sci-Fi anthology in no time!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I like it! You really narrowed the focus down onto Calli’s experience and, even with limited backstory, we know everything we need to know to make this story work. I’d like to see a little more sensory descriptions (smells, tastes, sounds, physical sensations) beyond visual descriptions to show Calli’s emotional state rather than telling. In particular the horror, anger, and other conflicting emotions after Dom’s new body is revealed. If you need to “buy” words to do that, you can eliminate some of the physical descriptions of the doctors and truncate their dialogue. Editing flash fiction has to be pretty ruthless (which is why it helps us become better writers). Unless it moves the plot forward or tells us something important about our character, cut it! Then use those extra words to dig into the juicy bits. The scope of this story is perfect for flash fiction, the emotional arc feels complete. Bringing the POV deeper into Calli’s head will give the ending a little extra impact. Well done!

    (Consider changing Calli’s name as it is too similar to Callisto. This is feedback that I received for my own piece with Gram/grandma being confusing. I didn’t notice it until it was pointed out to me!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sarah, thank you so much for taking the time to so carefully pick my story apart and give me such wonderful advice.

      I think I could go back to it in a bit and give it some of the treatment you suggest I agree there are part of is that could benefit from some further sensory inputs and detail.

      Thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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