Setting the sun...


The Cure, 04: Mask



81SUB MEMORIAL / 30.08.3433 / 7:12āam |

t has not taken long for the Tāus to undercover the truth: that I incorrectly fused their daughter’s U-chip. I sit in front of my first patient for the daāy. I have just extracted her baby from her stomach. The little boy is beside meē in a temporary Medī Cot, complete with dangling ornaments to naturally pacify it from crying as I receive the notīfy that I have a call from Mrs. Tāu.
“Goodgoodmorning, Mrs. Tāu,” I answer, tapping the ‘accept’ button.
“I apologise sincerely for this unplanned call,” Mrs. Tāu whispers into my Receiver. “May we speak privately for a moment?”
“Nothing is private,” I warn her, the pressure in my voice suggests I know that she wants to tell meē something, but that it should not be discussed through this transmission. “Perhaps there was an issue with the U-file that I sent you.”
It takes Mrs. Tāu a small moment of reflection to understand.
“Yes, Doctor, the U-file,” her voice inflects, going so hoarse that I struggle to grasp what she tells meē. “The U-file, Doctor, is not like the other U-files that others have been given.”
I consider what could be happening to the Tāus, my braāin growing eager in thought. The curiosity gets the better of meē and I cannot help but ask, “What does your U-file look like, Mrs. Tāu?”
“What does it look like?” Her mīnd clicks like predictable padlocks. “Doctor, this U-file looks different to the other U-files out there.”
“Different how?” I press forward.
She thinks again before answering, “The font is similar to the other U-files, but there are distinct differences.”
“I see,” I say clearly as I press my wrist to a tiny little metal box, the latch snapping open. “Well then, I best be over just this once to ensure that your U-file is in order.”
“Yes, please hurry, Doctor,” Mrs. Tāu urges. “You are the only one who we both trust.”
“I understand perfectly,” I affirm her. “I will just perform this fusing and then I will be there.”
“Of course, Dr. Singkū,” Mrs. Tāu politely replies. I imagine her nodding her head on the other end of the transmission. “We will U-mail you our address.”
“I will see you shortly.
The transmission ends and I instantly command my U-chip to make another call. “U-chip: contact Base Camp.” Not a second longer, a voice speaks into my Receiver.
“Såvje?” they ask meē. “I have secured this transmission. Peār cannot hear us.”
“They have finally made contact,” I inform my colleague. “They wish for my advice and for meē to go to them.”
“Wonderful,” their voice softens from an unsettled ambivalence to sincere warmth as I reach for the surgical pliers with my gloved hands. “Then, as instructed, we must arrange for the touchable packages to be sent. We can only have you visit them once, otherwise Peār will become suspicious.”           “Yes, of course.” My mīnd briefly trails off as I use the pliers to pick up the tiny little U-chip that will now be fused into the small baby beside meē.
The baby in question is of dark skin, with a small tuff of black hair on his scalp and an undisputed soured grimace wrinkling his face. I allow the little thing to emit a tiny cry as my mīnd flashes back to the tragedy that led meē to the organisation that I am a part of. It flashes throughout my braāin like an emergencī advert.

HOME LOT 4402 OF 27SUB / 12.3.3422 / 10:37ppm |

I stand over them, their U-chips removed. I see them for who they truly are for the briefest moments. The very moment I uncover the truth, the walls around us explode. I fall from the impact and Nitrobullets fire, my ears bleeding from the sheer sound of their noise. Blū blood and anguish splatter all over meē. They are dead. Dead at the hands of Peār.


81SUB MEMORIAL / 30.8.3433 / 7:16āam |

If I were not U-man the emotion brought on by the flashback would have meē crying. Yet, in order to truly overthrow the corruption in Metravā, I must somewhat blend in.
“Knijä,” I say to myself like an affirmation as I take the U-chip and hover it over the little wrist of the baby in front of meē who looks as if he is seconds from erupting in a fit of Waterlite.
As the little child opens his lungs to belt out an eruption of protests, the U-chip attaches to his skin and any noises he was about to make are masked.
“The Synthetī nūrons are now attaching to every particle of who you were meant to be,” I explain to the baby as I do to every baby that I have fused, bar Knijä. “You may be masked for now, little one,” I watch as his skin turns from the darkest shade of brown to the lightest shade of cream in front of meē, “but you will not be masked for long.”

  • The Cure will be published in full on Monday the 15th of August.
  • The Cure is written by J. R Knight, illustrated by Paul Ikin and edited by Kayla Marie Murphy.
  • The first 15 instalments of The Cure will be published week by week on The Knight Life. The next instalment will continue next Monday.
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