Written for last year’s NaNoWriMo – a short portion of a longer story.
“The leg bone’s connected to the – hip bone.” The song emanates from the balding man standing near the operating table. His eyes dart from his scalpel in one hand to what looks like a welding device in the other. The body on the table looks relatively intact with the exception of the right arm – a mess of wires and steel in the vague form of a matching arm. As the man taps the arm in various places with the welding device, the metallic arm twitches and shudders, the hand occasionally clenching and unclenching. The various machines surrounding the operating table ping softly, betraying their presence but not forcing themselves onto anyone’s attention span.
The swinging doors are parted, the sound of a squeaky wheel giving way to another body on a rolling metal gurney and a middle-aged woman in a lab coat matching the balding man’s enter the room. “Got another bite, Doug,” she says matter-of-factly as she wheels the gurney into the open area to the back of the balding man. He waves his scalpel hand in the woman’s general direction. “Yeah, yeah. Hook ‘em up and I’ll get to ‘em in a minute. This guy’s insurance paid for express service, and I plan on getting this guy out ASAP before the lawyers start knocking.” The woman chuckles in acknowledgement as she hooks up a huge plug into the gurney. A series of monitors on the wall spark with life and flicker with their own soft beeps. “He’s all set,” she calls to Doug as she pulls a clipboard from the gurney and starts writing on it.
“Vanessa, did you make sure to check the body for Corpisine?” Doug glances over from his table for a quick moment to look at the body. The woman shakes her head. “He was listed as deceased for over twenty hours – if he was going to raise, it’d have happened already. It’s not like we don’t have these sensors here for n-“
She quickly stops talking and steps back as the instruments near the gurney start beeping. Her face quickly changes from horror to annoyance as the beeps reach a crescendo. Doug grunts loudly as he reaches into his coat and tosses Vanessa a pistol. The body on the gurney starts lurching upward, twitching in painful and improper motions as if the muscles were contracting randomly. A loud crack and an exasperated sigh later, and the body resumes its position on the gurney, a fresh hole in its forehead.
“Damn,” she grunts. “I thought we had a regular body for once. I really wanted that finder’s fee.”
She sighs and hands the gun back to Doug. “So, what’s the story with this guy?” He looks over at Vanessa, shrugging. “Some cop. Apparently the only survivor on his strike force in Corpse Row. Poor guy.” Doug clucks his tongue, shaking his head sadly. He reaches over and touches up a few more metallic seams in the arm. “You gonna clean that up?”