“Fuck. I’ve been shot.”
What a way to wake up. Well, that and finding yourself sitting up in a vat of slime. That’s a bit disconcerting in itself. I turned my head to look around at the brightly lit room. After the pain that the light caused the next thing to hit me was the smell. It was so pungent that I nearly threw up. I saw people approaching me wearing surgical masks and I was pretty sure that the shot that I remember from my dreams may not have been so much a dream.
“Good afternoon Miss Quinn.”
“Afternoon. Damn. How long was I out?”
“It’s been a little while. My name is Doctor, Shavin.”
“Well, Doctor I hope you don’t mind me not shaking your hand. Turns out that I’m covered in snot.”
I could tell the doctor was smiling behind the mask. That was a good sign. A smile trumps a frown in most cases.
“So, Doc… what’s the diagnosis?”
“Life, Miss Quinn. Life.”
“No complaints there. What else can be added to this? I have a feeling that I got shot.”
“Well, I won’t lie to you. You were for sure shot. Beyond that I have been told to allow your family to come in and talk to you.”
“What family? My mom?”
As if by cue I saw Kimmie and her father come through the door. Kimmie was crying but had a huge smile on her face. The Chief… well, he’s a dick. He just followed her to me. I see the Chief turn slightly away from me and then I see Kimmie’s face twist and turn a little red.
I look at Kimmie who was looking down at me. I look down at me and see that besides the slime I was as nude as I was when I was born. This of course would make anyone feel self-conscious. Funny thing is that I am not just anyone.
“What’s wrong?” I ask with a smile. “Chief? You’ve seen this before. Why are you acting like you haven’t?”
“That’s very crude, Suzan.”
I just smile.
Kimmie smiled again at my ability to laugh at my compromised situation but her lip started to quiver and then tears started dropping down her cheeks. She rushed over to me and grabbed me and held my slime covered naked body so tight it hurt like hell. Damn gunshot must still be tender.
“It’s ok, Kimmie. It’s ok. I’m ok.”
She sobbed into my shoulder for what felt like forever. It started to make me tear up. I didn’t cry but I felt like I wanted to really bad. Then I started to realize that the way she was leaning across my little snot pod had to be uncomfortable. So, I tried to push her back to her father. He could see what I was doing and took ahold of her.
She leaned into her father as he pulled her back and she cried some more. As she was standing there I started to look at my best friend and something came to me. She had been shot too. She wasn’t standing there like someone dealing with a gunshot wound. What was going on? Things weren’t adding up.
He looked at me and he could see the puzzled and confused look on my face.
“Chief, what happened? How long have I been in here? I’m remembering things… Kimmie was shot.”
“She healed up well. It was a clean shot, Suzan.”
“A clean shot… one that went through me first.”
Kimmie looked up at me with her bloodshot eyes. She just turned back into her father.
“Ok… just tell me what happened, Chief.”
“You died, Suzan. You died trying to stop that man. If you wouldn’t have turned the way you did he would have shot, Kimmie. He wasn’t even aiming at you.”
“He tried to kill her to get back at me… he tried to kill her with my gun.”
“And he killed me.”
“Well, ain’t that some shit?”
Kimmie peaked out again at me. She tried to say something but all that came out was a croak. I wanted to stand up but I had some feelings that it wasn’t going to be easy getting out of the slime bed. So instead I just smiled a little smile hoping it would be enough to ease her mind.
“Ok, Chief… what’s the rest of the story?”
“The coroner came to pick up your body. Before they could show another group came in. They put you in a cryo-freezer and brought you here. They told us what their plan was and we agreed. They were going to take your brain and put it in a cloned body and bring you back to us… to Kimmie and your mother.”
“Careful, Chief… you sound like you might just care about me.”
“Suzan, I won’t say that you haven’t been a pain in my ass for years but you and your father were like family. When he died… when he was murdered in front of us like he was… a large part of me died with him. Loosing you was taking the last of what was good about that damn police force and when the option to bring you back came to us… we didn’t hesitate.”
I see the large man’s mustache twitch as his eyes were turning red. It was a hell of a thing to see. If anything I would have thought that getting rid of me would have been a relief. He’s right about me being a pain in his ass. And it was my pleasure.
“Who cloned me?”
I look at the doctor who had until now kept his distance. He walked over to us and lowered his mask.
“I don’t work for CrenGen now, Doctor.”
“Miss Quinn, we don’t want you to work for us. WE just want you there when we need your service.”
“How come I don’t believe you?”
The doctor just smiled and told Kimmie and her dad that it was time to deal with the more technical aspect of their clone being awake. I can see already this wasn’t going to go over well.