Spent Nuke cartridges, expired bots and other assorted trash littered the street in section 56. Somehow Fiona and Gil had found their way down to the lower levels. Fiona had wanted to show Gil where she had grown up and then they had just started wandering, lost in the moment.
Gil complained he didn’t like going anywhere they didn’t have teleportation facilities. Fiona knew he didn’t like section 56 because it was where all the perps, half breeds, and disjunkts hung out. The fact he put on a brave face meant he cared.
‘You’ve got that look’, said Gil. ‘What is it?’
‘Nothing’. She said
‘What is it?’
‘Nothing. I’m just happy’.
Suddenly out of the doors of a particularly dilapidated and soiled sales outlet ran a man clutching his hand and shrieking at the top of his voice. Gil rushed over to see if he was all right. The man kept screeching, Gil grabbed at his wrist. The man stopped screaming, and looked down at his hand, Gil did the same thing. There was a loud bang as the hand exploded, taking the two men with it. Fiona was covered in bodily fluids and viscera. She did not scream or weep, but stared at the bloody mass that used to be the love of her life.
Two men dressed in mutated lab outfits ran out into the street, and dived into the entrails. Body parts meant creds and Barrington Spliessenhausen was under no illusion that unless they got their hands on some fresh meat he could kiss his latest upgrade goodbye. Krun was just hungry, he quickly found what he was looking for and it was not long before he was happy again, busy masticating on a testicle. A stern attractive woman was close behind her colleagues.
‘I told you it was faulty, anything that comes from sBaracki is bound to be faulty’, said Soulane Corpe.
‘Well at least he paid in advance’. Argued Barrington wishing the woman would keep quiet his brain hurt, he needed a mind transfusion and quickly. ‘And I reckon there’s at least thousand creds worth of usable innards’.
‘Frrp’, burped Krun
‘That’s my boyfriend’, said Fiona
‘Was’, sneered Soulane.
‘You can’t just scoop him up like that it’s rude, it’s immoral, it’s illegal!’ yelled Fiona.
‘Why don’t we just talk about this inside? We can help’, Barrington said, scanning the horizon for cams and steering Fiona into the ramshackle shop.
Looking around she could see the exposed circuitry of droid parts, human limbs preserved in jars, and miscellaneous organs boiling away in what looked like bio-mechanised cleaning ducts. Fiona had heard of establishments like this where they splice hacked whatever they could get their hands on in an attempt to mirror what the surgical AIs achieved in the Medivac, she had stumbled into the Bodyshop.
Barrington leaned in close. Fiona was sure she could smell the stench of rotten flesh. ‘You’re degenerate gene weavers, how can you help me?’ Spat Fiona.
‘We can do anything for two thousand creds’, said Barrington as he tried to separate the entwined entrails of the two men.
‘Gil was the one with the money’. Fiona looked down at the less than spotless floor.
‘It’s probably better that you leave then isn’t it, darling?’ said Soulane. She could see the way Barrington was looking at Fiona’s curvaceous body and although it had been years since they had indulged in anything more than teledildonics the pangs of jealousy never went away.
‘I can’t see what’s wrong with a little retrospective eye scanning’, said Barrington.
Glancing past the spark of hope that had lit up in Fiona’s eyes, he noticed that behind her Krun was busy shoving the remainder of Gil’s eyeball into his mouth.
‘If we could find it, which is probably more difficult than it seems, to be honest it’s probably dropped through the grid on its way to the sewage level by now… However we could try and induct you; you could work off the money’.
‘Not to be the sole voice of reason here, but she doesn’t exactly look like an industrious worker’, Soulane grabbed at Fiona’s arm, ‘More like spare parts to me’.
‘Give her a chance’, said Barrington, striding off in the direction of the table cutter.
Lying in front of Fiona were various pieces of skykill and next to them were a set of lazer and skewer tools.
‘You’ve got one minute to make it live’. Barrington tried to start his watch but his hand jerked and flexed, he was slowly losing control of his body.
‘Transfusion time’, whispered Soulane.
‘Right time to begin’. His fingers found the button and he managed to start his watch.
Fiona dove in, adeptly knitting the pieces of flesh together trying to remember all the biological schooling that had been implanted in her memory.
Barrington stopped the watch. The creature in front of them whimpered and died.
‘Fuck’, said Fiona.
‘Very good’, said Barrington. ‘Most people don’t even manage a croak. Krun here tried sewing the head to the anus’.
‘He was taking you as his template’, added Soulane.
‘Frrp’, said Krun.
‘Wow, I can actually cut people up’, Fiona smiled as they returned to the shop floor.
‘We were thinking you could get started on that. There’s some knives in there somewhere’, said Soulane, pointing to a massive mound of unwashed plasma tubes, beakers and surgical implements. ‘By all means feel free to practice on yourself’.
Sneaking off for a break, Fiona searched through the bubbling glass vessels until she found Gil’s brain. Getting it down from the shelf she stared at it longingly.
Through the plastic curtain she heard the door go. Peeking through she saw a large man adorned in a well to do fashion.
‘I’ve been informed you have very reasonable rates on Cerebral Massage therapy’, said Yeltsin Finkel.
‘I don’t think you’ll find anywhere cheaper’. Barrington indicated for Mr. Finkel to take a seat in the operating chair. Yet as they approached, the surgeon’s body jerked and shook. Yeltsin hardly noticed.
‘I can’t stand overpaying for these things, it’s such a simple operation’, said Yeltsin as Soulane strapped him in.
Barrington tried to steady himself holding the laser cutter as he passed over Yeltsin’s forehead, his hand trembling more and more until the scalp slipped off and Barrington went with it. Flopping like a fish out of water, Barrington’s whole body was racked with convulsions. Soulane quickly pulled him, thrashing and dribbling over to the mind transfusion machine, plugged him in and set the controls to max. Fishing around in her purse she found their last remaining eyeball and slotted it into the machine. After a seconds pause it started churning and whining. ‘Thank god the deceased’s relatives had not reported him dead yet’, thought Soulane.
Yeltsin had hardly noticed the hullaballoo and continued. ‘If it’s only a minor brand I don’t personally see the harm in a little genocide’.
Fiona saw her chance and tore through to the storage cupboard.
‘If through no fault of the Corporation you happen to have blue skin then maybe you deserve to be …’ Fiona scooped out Yeltsin’s brain and handed it to Krun who took it obediently. Delicately removing Gil’s brain from the jar she tried to put it directly into Yeltsin’s head. Unfortunately it was too big for the hole. Straddling the patient she squeezed and squeezed until with a loud sloping sound she crammed her boyfriend’s brain into the fat man’s body.
‘I love you’, said Yeltsin with Gil’s voice, albeit in a rather demented fashion. Fiona smiled. Then suddenly he threw her to the floor and shot up. Yeltsin careered around the room, smashing into shelves, meshing himself in a web of leads, electrocuting himself on a tangled web of cables and finally landing in a heap at the feet of the particularly fresh looking Barrington Spleissenhausen.
‘That was our only paying customer’, spat Soulane with complete disdain.
‘I’m sorry’, muttered Fiona.
‘It’s alright, no cause for concern’. Barrington once again put his arm around Fiona’s shoulder and walked her towards the cutting table.
Fiona shook Barrington’s hand and got up.
‘Not quite what I was expecting but I won’t lie, it’s a pleasant surprise’. She said in Yeltsin’s voice. Running her hands over her breasts she continued. ‘And as for these I can’t see quite how they’re come in handy but I’m sure I’ll find some use for them’. She exited the Body shop into the dingy streets of Section 56.