… “Another eternity and the doctor comes over and releases the mechanism that holds my wrists and ankles and keeps me from falling as I try to put my weight on my feet. I cannot walk at all. So he throws my limp form over his broad shoulders and carries me out through tunnels that seem to go on forever; that in my mind I want to go on forever.
It feels so good to be dead; to be in a place where no one can ever hurt you; to be carried to your final rest by someone who cares for you. Death by torture has a way of changing your perspective on life. I think it has made me soft.” …
[end blog post # 45]
[begin blog post #46]
Chapter 22 – Conversation with a Cydroid
I am not dead, I’m in a place where death is always the best choice if it is given.
Bal and a female I recognize as a Cydroid assistant sedate me and proceed to do their difficult and painful work. They explain what they have found: two crushed wrists and an ankle dislocated that must be re-set. More pain. Another deposit in the bank of love.
When I come to I’m bathed in my own sweat and stink. I’ve been bandaged up tight. I guess dislocated joints are best taken care of by human hands than the auto-medic? I’m rambling incoherent in my head.
I had hoped I could go through it again and be rejuvenated, I mean, as long as I’m still alive, why not? Think of all the fun I can have, with men taking me for their sexual pleasures as they please, beating me to an inch of my life for any reason, trying to kill me in their pleasure arenas while ogling and mocking my nakedness and finally taking me into their dungeons to torture me to death, sharing this fun with hundreds, thousands of spectators.
We girls do know how to have fun on Malefactus. Even better than Old Earth at times.
I don’t do so well under partial sedation or under the influence of any other drug. The Cydroid assistant has removed the cool sheet that covered me and is washing my body gently and carefully as I lie on that same “gurney” I recognize from before. I remember Deirdre holding me up and I feel my heart breaking into pieces again. Deirdre…
Don’t go there stupid. Let her go. That was another time, another life.
“Bal?” I ask weakly from my prostrate state. I can’t even move my head to look at him. He comes over and leans over me taking my pulse from inside my thigh.
“Ah, our patient is awake again.”
“Introductions? I want to thank you,” and turning my eyes to the Cydroid, “and my healers for saving my life…”
I extend my bandaged hands only to have them flop down again. I have no strength in my arms.
“Don’t be alarmed. It’s the effect of the drug we gave you. You’ll be fine, Antierra. Meet YBA5.”
“Please to meet you, YBA5” I continue in a hoarse whisper, still not my voice. “What does that name mean?”
The Cydroid answers this time, with a beautiful lilting voice, singsong in quality, unlike anything I’ve heard.
“It means that I am a legally adopted member of Doctor Balomo’s Cydroid clan. I’m number five. The Y indicates female, X male. I’m the fifth female Cydroid to be added to his family. It was a proud day for me when I graduated and he accepted me. Dr. Balomo is not only a renowned medical healer but famous anthropologist as well.” I notice she beams at him as she praises him and he turns away.
She continues, “My particular specialty apart from being a spy (something to entertain you with later) is human anatomy. I like your body – very well made. I would like to congratulate the creator of such a wonderful unit.”
“I guess that would be me. Thank you, but I was aiming for an external effect I could project on the people here, not a near-perfect body. I’ve had quite a bit of practice using different types of human bodies and I can tell when one will suit my needs or fulfill my requirements. I just wish I’d made it out of whip-steel, not flesh.”
The weak attempt at a joke is not lost on her. She smiles warmly, her small perfectly shaped mouth opening wide as if to include all of what I wish to convey that has no words. And she pays me the highest compliment from a Cydroid point of view:
“That body, hah, you should be Cydroid, not human.”
As my head clears and the drug still holds the pain at bay, I realize I have a thousand questions for the Cydroid. Bal notices I wish to speak with her and excuses himself.
“You have things to discuss. I have work to do. I must contact the King and bring myself up to date on developments. I have to ensure the people I forcefully released from Warmo’s dens have been dutifully returned and that any wound has been properly treated. Hhhhh.” He turns to leave with that deep sigh.
“I’m scared to tell you this, but I love you. I don’t know yet what kind of love I have for you, but I know what I feel.”
“We will talk of this later. You are under the influence of a powerful sedative and if you remember, you yourself told me your body cannot handle drugs. Do not speak of feelings now. Wait. Remember, you just lost your lover, or had you forgotten?”
“No doctor. Not forgotten – trying to forget. Deirdre is no longer a part of my life here. She is gone, forever. I will never see her again.”
“I’m disappointed in your analysis of the situation, Altarian. Let’s just say it’s the drug talking. Enjoy your time with YBA5. She is a wonder healer and a font of knowledge. She’ll keep you amazed. Take care.”
“When will I see you again, Bal, please?”
“When you see me again, Antierra please. Don’t cling to your temporary good things. Let others have their space also. We all need to breathe.”
That was a warning to get myself together, and quickly. More effort, when all I want to do is lie here, be taken care of and let the world go on without me. Oh, to just wallow in self pity and pure wonderful misery. To be a bitch. To be dead!
He walks out of his office looking pensive and the automatic door swishes closed. I got a glimpse of the sky, still cloudy and windy but not raining. A cold draft finds my back and I shiver. It’s not just the cold I am reacting to.
[end blog post #46