His Second Life | In This Future Or The Next

His Second Life

“Come in please,” said the lady in the white coat, “Are you sure you want to do this?”

“Hi, thank you. Yeah. I’m sure,” Leah said.

She walked through the door into the large hall where a myriad different tools and weapons sat in display.

“They’ll bring him in shortly.”

Leah waited, she wasn’t sure what to expect, she wanted to say a proper goodbye.

“What happened to him?”

“It’s classified,” the lady in white replied, “But it was an accident.”

It had been six months since Leah had heard news regarding Chris. They told her he died, there was a funeral, they played his favorite song, she cried. But there had been no body. She mourned over an empty casket.

“Okay, he’s coming in now. Please keep in mind that he probably won’t remember you. Just… don’t take it personal.”

A door slid open and two men walked through it holding bundles of cables and controls. Leah could hear the whirring and buzzing of electric motors straining and a smell of mechanical grease reached her.

The lady in white put her hand on Leah’s shoulder, reassuring her that it would be okay.

“Oh my god,” Leah said as she watched a cyborg monstrosity enter the room behind the two men. A platform on wheels carried the heavy body of a humanoid creature. The men approached her.

“Here he is…”

Leah stepped closer to the platform with caution and dread. Sitting on it the half-man, half-machine Chris stared at the hall beyond her with empty eyes. His face was metallic with only a few flaps of skin covering it. One of his eyes remained human and it stood motionless at her sight. His gaping mouth looked like that of a man who was in shock.

“Chris?”

A metal leg twitched at the sound of her voice and his eye turned to her. Cables ran from his chest to his back, from his neck to his head and from his legs to the controls of the men who stood beside him.

A distorted synthetic moaning sound emerged from within him.

“He’s in pain!”

“Ma’am, he can’t register any pain. He has no functioning nerve endings. It’s just something he does sometimes. Don’t make too much of it.”

The cyborg’s human eye moved quickly from Leah to the men and then back to her. And he screamed another distorted moan.

“Baby! It’s okay! It’s me… I’m here.”

Chris’s eye stood fixed on her. His open and dry mouth made a slight wheezing whistle as air went in and came out.

“Can I get on?” Leah asked.

“Yes, sure.”

She climbed on the platform and sat next to him, above the cables that ran from his legs to the scientists. She could see his eye follow her movements. She felt the cold surface of the metal on his legs and she could smell his unnatural breath of grease and acid.

“I… I don’t know if you remember me Chris…”

A loud cry erupted from him and his head turned slightly to face her. She knew he was there, at least in part. She knew he remembered her. A stream of tears ran down her face.

“I wanted to come here to say goodbye Chris, I won’t be able to see you again.”

She moved closer to him and took his limp cold hand into hers. She put her head on his hard shoulder and kissed it. Chris’ eye and Leah’s looked into each other. A small tear ran across his face and disappeared into a crease of his metallic jaw.

“I’m sorry baby,” she looked down, “I have to go, we had the best time together. I just… I can’t…” Leah stood up and walked off the platform where the cyborg sat idle. She wiped her tears off her face.

“Thank you,” she said, and walked back the way she came. She grabbed the door handle that would take her outside. She took one last look at the cyborg that was once Chris and waved. Then she left, and when she did the cyborg began to scream. The distorted sound of his ersatz voice echoed through the hall. His human eye spilled tears and his open mouth began to tremble.

“It’s okay buddy,” a man said to him, “You did well… you did well…”

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