Author : Kate Runnels

“There,” said the doctor. “Try it now, agent Sasaki. The neural connection should be hooked in.”

Lia stared down at her cybernetic left arm, recently attached after a case went horribly wrong.

The murderer, after killing her last victim, sliced Lia’s arm, had nearly taken it off. If it hadn’t been for Ming, she’d be dead. It just didn’t feel like her limb, and yet her fingers clenched into a fist when she thought on it.

“Good.” The doctor beamed at her. “It’s responding well.”

Lia reached over with her organic right hand and felt along the seam that joined flesh to synthetic pseudo flesh material.

“That area should join and fuse together in the next few weeks. We’ll watch for any necrosis, but that shouldn’t happen. Things look good.”

Lia nodded at the doctor but her mind felt for the flesh that should be there, thinking it was there.

It wasn’t the same. It would never be the same.

Lia left the doctor’s office and went out onto the streets of Hong Kong, preoccupied- lost in her own thoughts: thoughts on the case; on her arm; on how close she had come to dying. She headed back toward the HK security agency she worked for, by routine alone. But pretty soon, she realized she was being followed. It was like an itch that wouldn’t leave and demanded attention. The person followed her.

Young, teenager, looked to be fully human without prosthetics. She turned into a coffee shop, and glanced over at him as she did so. He eyed her hungrily. No, not her, her arm. New prosthetics went for a premium on the black market.

She got her coffee and when she came out, he wasn’t in sight, but it didn’t take him long to drop on her tail. She kept walking through the streets of Hong Kong, heading in a roundabout way toward her office. She went toward the back of the building, and he came on eagerly, thinking her in his trap.

Around a corner and out of sight, she stopped and waited for him. He raced around, seeing her waiting too late to stop himself. About to run into her, he decided to tackle Lia. She swung her new left arm and it connected with his jaw.

She nimbly stepped out of the way as he hit the pavement, unconscious.

“Everything all right?” asked an Agent who had just stepped out of the building.

“Yeah. But I’ll need help taking him to lock up.”

The agent came over to help and asked, “Why’d he try to jump you?”

Lia raised her left arm. “New arm.”

“That’s right, you got cut up bad. How’s it working out?”

“Seems to be working out just fine.” Lia smiled as they hoisted the young man between them.


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