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CURE_Chapter_illustrations-02

The Cure, 02: The Unusual Sound

|02|

THE UNUSUAL SOUND

| EXTRACTED FROM NEĒREĒ TĀU
/ 81SUB MEMORIAL / 14.08.3433 / 10:04āam |

It is the most bizarre feeling, to have been unconscious. My eyes have never been closed for so long and my body has never felt the feeling of lying on a flat surface. As reminded by Peār, syncing and annual updates prevent my body from needing ‘rest.’ It is a word that is unusual and foreign to meē and I feel unsettled whenever I utter it. Yet, I have just rested and it is all so odd.
I remember when my doctor scheduled my birthing procedure and the U-file that synced into my U-chip the next daāy. It explained the Begin Station as well as the birthing procedure and how it is the most extraordinary of operations that can ever be performed. The document then explained that in order to keep the process of life and the true nature of who we are sacred, I, the mother, must be ‘asleep.’
It is as if I was weightless and swimming in a black abyss. I could not feel anything. And suddenly, all my senses began to slowly reform. Memories, thoughts and feelings began to brighten in my mīnd like a recharged Lite Plant and I could finally open my eyes again.
Sleep. It feels wrong and has left meē uneasy. How would I be able to answer my U-mail, check my U-accounts or scroll for any updates if I am ‘asleep’? I am glad that I was not ‘resting’ for long.
“Goodgoodmorning, Mrs. Tāu,” a cool female voice says over meē. “Your operation was a success. You are now the owner of a healthy baby girl.”
My eyes adjust and I look up at the nurse who has a neat little eight printed on her shirt. “Thankthankyou, Nurse Eight,” I say, my voice a little weaker than I would like.
“Do not worry, Mrs. Tāu. We will inject you with Recoverī Fluid and you will instantly feel better,” she says as if she can read my mind. “Dr. Singkū will be with you shortly. Please feel free to turn on your U-chip and respond to any pressing matters until that time.”
I nod at Nurse Eight and she promptly leaves the room. I sit up and begin to examine the changes that have occurred to meē. Firstly, the most notable difference is the removal of the small child that was inside my stomach. I now feel detached from my child and this knowledge spreads sorrow like unwanted serum throughout my body and braāin. In response, I wait in expectation for an advert for AntiNeg-Thought Medīcation, however my U-chip remains silent. I bring my inner wrist up and press my U-chip. Odd, they must have turned it off during my procedure. I have silenced my U-chip during mandatory period or reflect periods, but my U-chip has never been off. Upon my touch, I feel my U-chip pulse and I welcome the warm feeling of its presence. It saturates my body and instantly changes my entire being.
“Mrs. Tāu.” Dr. Singkū walks into the room with a vial of crystal blū liquid. “How do you feel?”
“Odd, if I am honest,” I reveal, trying to sit up. “Is this to be expected?”
“Very much so.” She sits beside meē. “However, this dose of Recoverī Fluid will revitalise you to full health. Birthing can wear on a female U-man and deplete them of their charge. But with one generous dose of this,” she taps the vial, “you will instantly feel as if no procedure has occurred at all.”
“Very well,” I nod.
“We turned your U-chip off for the procedure. Like falling unconscious, the deactivation of your U-chip is among the many firsts that you would have experienced todaāy.”
“Yes, yes it is all quite odd,” I admit again as I click open my U-chip. As information syncs, several notifys ping in the left hand corner of my screen and spread out in front of the doctor and I. I already feel anxious at the looming notifys that I have missed.
“Do you have any questions, queries or concerns?” Dr. Singkū asks whilst the Recoverī Fluid is poured into a clear tube that connects to my bloodstream.
As the liquid enters my body, I feel as if I am being cleansed with the purest Waterlite. It radiates throughout my body, erases any form of doubt, insecurity or negativity. It heals all of the discomfort and wipes the exhaustion away. I feel unproductive lying on a flat surface. Any prior feelings of sadness are evaporated by the elation I now experience by the birth of my new daughter. I smile appreciatively at Dr. Singkū and shake my head.
“Not at all, Doctor. I feel much better. Thankthankyou.”
“Of course, my pleasure.”
“When can I meet my daughter?” I ask, excitement rising though meē like a golden beam of warm light that has bloomed inside my heaārt.
“Your healthy baby daughter is just getting cleaned, scanned and processed. You will be able to receive her in the Receiving Room momentarily with your husband.”
I nod at the doctor happily and notice that she stares in my eyes a second longer than normal before excusing herself from the room politely.

 

| EXTRACTED FROM NEĒREĒ TĀU
/ 81SUB MEMORIAL / 14.08.3433 / 10:31āam |

It is a beautiful daāy when I step out of the Begin Room and into the commercial space of 81Sub Memorial. I briefly recall my last visit to 81Sub Memorial. It was when my faāther was scheduled to cease and had entered the End Station. My maāther’s time was just weeks before him.
Ceasing is as natural as birthing, but the End Station is not as celebrated. It is a daāy of memorial and a daāy of saying farefarewell. I remember waving to my faāther as he disappeared on the conveyor belt, and in one multīsecond he was gone.
My mood dims. This thought pattern is not one I usually want to feel and, like a ping of new updates that have been downloaded into my braāin, happiness and serenity for this moment quickly replace it.
“Neēreē!”
My husband, Noeāl, stands smiling under the Medī-Screens that depict the rooms, patients and current occurring operations. In the many years that we have been together it is as if he has not aged. He is the perfect man according to everything I learned during my edūcation. Trimmed blonde hair slightly parted at the side, strong broad shoulders, a sharp jaw line that frames a close shave and an even, healthy skin tone. Striking blū eyes, thick lips, curved eyelashes and a straight, even nose. I quickly walk over and wrap my arms around him.
“How are you? How is our little daughter?” he asks passionately, knowing from the regular assessments taken prior to the birth the sex of our child.
“Waiting for us,” I say with pleasure.
“Are you okay? How did it feel to be asleep?”
“Unusual. It was odd not being in control,” I remark, but then I smile enthusiastically at him. “Let us go the Receiving Room and wait, shall we?”

| EXTRACTED FROM NEĒREĒ TĀU
/ 81SUB MEMORIAL / 14.08.3433 / 10:35āam |

The Receiving Room is heavily armed by Peār Protocols, something that we were forewarned about but still takes meē off guard. They walk up and down, glancing at anyone and everyone suspiciously. Nurse Eight guides Noeāl and I to the conveyor belt where we both press our U-chips into two indents of metal. Barely a moment later, there she is. Our little baby daughter with her U-Chip already fused onto her tiny little wrist. We touch her U-chip with both our left index fingers and it lights up for the first time.

Name:

We settled on her name the daāy before and we type it in to complete her birth certificate file. Knijä.
I scoop her up and into my arms, Noeāl wrapping his arms around meē. She smells light and clean, like soft Fabrī and Baby Cleanse. Her tiny little glossy eyes look up at meē. My body is pinging inside and a warmness trickles deliciously throughout my body.
“She is perfect,” I put a finger out to stroke her cheek, and she takes it and hold onto it tight. I gasp from this movement and a light chuckle leaves my lips.
After receiving her welcome package via U-file to both of our U-mails, we say our final farefarewell to Dr. Singkū and Nurse Eight before transporting ourselves home via our private Navīgator. As the Navīgator independently speeds along a minor transit lane, several advertī suggest appropriate products to buy.
Congratulations on your new U-man! Open your U-shop now to begin blending your child in todaāy!”
“There are so many things to purchase,” Noeāl comments enthusiastically as home and commercial lots fly past us. He opens up his U-shop on his U-chip and advertī pop up recommending infant products for us to buy and informing us of what colours are in fashion in our sub.
After settling back into our home lot, Noeāl orders and processes all of the essential items we have not yet bought for Knijä, marking them for delivery, whilst I settle her into her new crib.
Having been given the temporary approval for switching his daāy mandatory for nīght mandatory due to Knijä’s birth, Noeāl and I decide to consume late meal together after our U-chips ping with a remīnder for us to eat.
I scan my U-chip under the Nutrī Dispenser and a smaller portion box of Nutrī than I am used to drops from the consume box and falls into the delivery tray.
“Well, it appears as if I am back to my normal late meal,” I say to Noeāl, having had significantly larger portions of different tasting Nutrī whilst I was gestating.
We peel back the clear film off our late meal boxes and lift the thick pale orange liquid to our lips. It tastes of citrī, orangī’s and leīmon. After a few moments of soft conversation, the most unusual sound interrupts us.
At first I think it is a bizarre new advert that has spluttered to life but, after a moment of adjusting, both Noeāl and I realise that it is coming from Knijä’s room.
Racing to her and to her cot, we see her mouth wide open and her tiny little hands curled into fists.
“What on Metravā is coming from her mouth?” Noeāl asks with a gasp.
I try to find the words as our little girl continues to emit the sound.
“I am not sure. But, maybe—” I look to him and my eyes widen. “I think,” I stutter, pausing in reluctance, “I think she is alarming?”

 

 


  • 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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