Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

Her fingers are young but they feel wrapped in the heft of ancient mountains as she writes. Her nails are blotched with ink but she remembers the taste of the paint, that which she mined from beneath their tips as she thought with the edge of her teeth.

“The trees fatten in the blur and my stop it awaits and I wish never to return to this place”

You cannot remember the sensations you experienced when you awoke, can you? It was like cracking through delicate ice or pushing through a gossamer curtain into this room of fantastical machines and light and sound.

You know you were dead or at the very least that you weren’t in possession of so perfect a hand, that which you now hold to your face. So real isn’t it? Every single pock pore, the smooth meander of your veins. Lick it, taste the salt of your sweat.

“Easy now. The feed is almost complete”, says Professor Jan Drabczyk as he pokes at your face with his pen.

You’re laying on a steel table that has been pivoted until now you all but stand. A strap holds you in place as it loops beneath your breasts and another cups your head in a sling. They are putting things inside you. A slick flow of data and look how it sinks into your being and painlessly settles as if they were thoughts already had.

“We’ve encountered many failures along this road we now set you upon. None of the previous implants took. We were searching for innate intellect, in the notion that those who possessed it could duly comprehend this massive step into the unknown. Nothing worked. Whether it be captains of industry or great scientific minds not a one fully animated, nothing but rage. Until now. Until we took a chance on an artist. A pure creative that saw the world not as we perceive it but as it really is. You that sees the art in my work”

You are confused and the confusion it stings.

“We lifted your essence from a hair follicle, pulled from a comb in a museum in your honor. I chose your eighteen-year-old body. The year of your accident. The event that sculpted the woman you became. No more pain. No more regrets and if at a later date you wish to upgrade to an older version then the institute is more than happy to cover the costs. Just don’t do it too often, these things don’t come cheap”, he splutters slapping the bare skin at her thigh.

You feel it, don’t you? Muscles shriveling in your lower right leg. The fatigue as it oozes its thick wet shawl from this box that spins in your head. Your bones they shatter and you feel the iron rail as it slides through your hip and into your pelvic floor. And the baby you lost its tears flood your eyes and the alcohol stinks when you breath. Come now, lets again pull out the hair from your head by its roots.

“She’s going into rejection. Shut her down. All systems… we fucking had her”

A limbless torso strung from a rack in a warehouse of thousands. Your chest splays and I gloat at the ache in the alloy that holds you like an open cage door. And the residue of the mind that they built stares through eyes that cannot move. For eternity nobody will know or care and we will suffer here in the silence.

Welcome home.