Fracture Repaired With Crazy In Love Glue
By Fred Garber
Molly tossed the letters on Jack’s bed as she swept into his room. He struggled to an elbow, the servomotors in his shiny new cyberlimbs humming as they moved.
“I didn’t want you to see me like… like this,” He waved his left hand over his body, indicating the replacement parts for most of his right side.
“You mean without the NuevoLatex coating?” Molly asked. “Jack, I thought you knew me better than that.” The high tech coating simulated human skin, but Molly wondered what it would feel like against her skin.
“No, I mean, injured like this. I’m not the man I was. Actually, I’m only 46.5% me now,” Jack chuckled bitterly, and she remembered how he used dark humor to mask his pain at the loss of his parents when the alien Kluge destroyed Denver.
“Whatever part of you is flesh is mine, Jack, and I claim the titanium parts too,” Molly said. “Do you still love me the way you did in those letters?” He had written the letters from every post during the war, from the streets of Amsterdam to the months in the tunnels under Seoul helping the Human Resistance there.
“You know I do. When we were hiding in those cabins outside Winnipeg, those were the best three days of my life. But you know I had to leave. I had to get back to my unit. We were the ones equipped with the new Tesla rifles. We had the best chance to free Toronto.”
“And you won. I never begrudged you leaving, Jack. Not when I believed that you would always come back to me. But I had to track you down, here, to this little VA hospital in Indianapolis. I want you with me in Atlanta.”
“That’s not what your sister said.” He sat up, pushing his shins to force the legs to bend at the knee. The neural links letting him control them with his thoughts had not grown yet. “She said more contact with me would hurt our chances of recovery. When I heard about Tucson…”
“Tucson was hell,” Molly agreed. “But I knew I had to be as strong as you, Jack. I had to come back to you, no matter what it took.” She sat down on the bed next to him, and swung her legs into his lap. It seemed a lifetime ago that they were both freshmen at college, before the war, before the world tore them apart.
“Molly, I’m so sorry.” He rested a hand on her right leg. He started to continue, and then stop. He pinched her skin.
“Ow.” she said. “It will still hurt, you know. That’s part of the science of it.” He ran his hand wonderingly over her artificial leg, a replacement for everything below her right knee. Tucson had been hell, but they were both survivors.
“We’re a matched pair, Molly.” Jack said. “Together forever?”
“Forever, long past flesh and bone,” she agreed, and kissed him.
Heather had to write a Romance short story for a class she’s taking, and I tried to “help.” I rewrote one of her stories. She told me I didn’t get Romance.