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Posted by wildvine (13018 posts) - - Show Bio

Authors note: This is an original story. All characters are property of me.

The hospital was a gloomy, depressing place. As brightly lit as they could make it, but still very depressing. The lighting somehow made it worse, like it was a spotlight on a stage, and the star was death. It was like a bad mockery of Heaven, the doctors, and nurses were the angels, tending to people who never got better. They just got sicker. So maybe it wasn't Heaven after all. Maybe it was Hell.

"What's wrong with my mother?" Alexandria Mycroft (Alexia to her mother) demanded, her small arms crossed over her chest. She wanted to cry very badly, but she refused to. Instead she locked the fear and the sadness away in her chest. It hurt to hold it in, but she wouldn't cry. Crying was something babies did. And she was seven now, practically an adult. She was dressed in her regular monochromatic fashion, a black dress that hung past her knees, a fraying gray belt, and scuffed buckle shoes that made her feet hurt. She worn them because it was the type of shoes a grownup would wear. The only splash of color in her ensemble was the large red bow that held her hair behind her head, in a loose ponytail. She also wore a small machine key around her neck. It had been a birth celebration gift from her mother last year. It was the first birth celebration gift she had got in some time, and she adored it. And only removed it to bath herself. Her blue eyes were pale and accusing, damning the doctor for all the things he couldn't do for her mother.

Eden Mycroft had worked long hard hours at the foundry. Double shifts more often then not. So even when she was at home, she was too exhausted to do more then slump in her broken chair, and sip bootleg rum. So Alexandria had learned to cook meals for herself and her mother. And to mend her own clothing, and do other grownup things. In fact, she barely had time for her hobby. She made little robots out of spare components she found at the dumping grounds, where she went on her mothers single shift days. It was really amazing the things people threw away. But, in her experience, people (especially adults) often did very stupid things.

She wasn't supposed to go into the dumping grounds. All the large, colorful warning signs clearly said so. But the fence had been torn for over a year now, and no adult ever tried to stop her when she went in, even though she had been seen more then once coming and going through the fence. So either it was okay to go into the dumping grounds, or else grown ups simply didn't care. And if they didn't care, why should she?

But even she knew better then to be out after dark. That's when the butchers came out. Individuals who were more animal then human, the roved the streets with knives and stolen meat hooks. Some were said to have iron blades embedded in their fingers. There were also stories of what they did to girls they caught on the street. She had heard adults on the tram speak of them, and while she didn't understand all the words, she got the gist of it, and made sure to always be home well before sundown.

But then her mother had became ill. She didn't understand all the details, but knew it had something to do with the foundry.

"We' now sweetie, yer mums very sick. Her ticker is a tick'n down." He tapped his own chest for effect. Alexandria just stared at him, holding back emotions that she couldn't name, let alone express. If looks could kill, the doctor would have been in heaven tipping drinks with St Pete already.

"Fix her." Alexandria ordered. It was not a suggestion, nor a plea. It was undeniably an order. "Make her better."

"Na see luv, eh'sometimes people get sick..." 'An don't have money for treatment' He silently added. "An there's not can be do fer it. She's in need of ah new heart dea'h, an those cost a lott'a money. Did yer mum ever tell you bout heaven?"

Alexandria nodded slowly.

"We' now sh'll get to live forever. Won't that be nice? No mor' suffer'n fer her."

"She...has to die, to live forever?" She asked, confused, and a little angry. The doctor nodded. It struck her as unfair. Why did anyone have to die? What was the point? What sort of broken universe demanded a life to end, just to continue again? This was yet another stupid thing, in a long line of stupid things she had heard in her young life. "I'll fix her, if you won't." She said angrily, and that's when the tears came. Big, hot, angry tears. She turned then and ran from the hospital. Ran though the cobbled streets of an indifferent city. Ran past people who barely noticed her, too wrapped up in worlds of their own making. Ran all the way to the cramped, hot apartment she shared with her mother. All she wanted was to fall on the shared bed, and clutch her one eyed rag doll to her stomach, and hope things got right again on their own. Suddenly she did not feel very grown up....

_______________________

"Here." She thrust a brass object into the doctors hand the next day. "A new heart. A good heart. Fix her now." The light weight object was the right size, and tubes in the right places, more or less.

"Where ja'get this Alexia?" The doctor asked, amazed at the little device.

"I made it at home. For mother. So she doesn't have to die." The tears were threatening to fall again. But there was hope shining in them too, and he hated to kill that. Because she was obviously a brilliant child to make the device he held. Possibly a prodigy.

"Na' sweetie, medicine don' work like that. Can't just go a'pluggi'n things inta people." He tried to hand the gadget back to here, but she refused it.

"It will work! It will fix her!"

"Come on honey, don't let your mother see you act this way." A young, female nurse tried to gently lead her away.

"No! It will work!" Alexandria cried as the nurse scooped her up, and carried her out of the room. "I can fix her!! Let me fix her! LET ME FIX HER!!!"

They let her back in later that night. Her mother was going, and everyone knew it. The knowledge weighed down on the room like a storm cloud on a sunny day. Not that there were many sunny days in the city, with all the pollution in the air. "Mama?" She crawled onto the narrow bed next to her mother.

"Alexia." Her mother coughed weakly, "I...know you're scared baby. But...you don't...have to be." She wheezed. "You're so smart, and I am so proud of you." Her mother smiled then, even though the pain was beyond medication now.

"I tried to help you Mama. I made you a new heart." Her voice was muffled against her mothers neck. "You didn't have to die." She wanted to cry, but she was cried out. There were no tears left inside her.

"Everyone d-dies baby."

"I won't Mama." She replied, burying her face against her mother. "I will never die.

___________________________

Immortality was not an impossibility. It was simply a puzzle to be solved. And Madame Techia was excellent at solving puzzles. She had in fact, proved excellent at anything she put her mind to. She had mentored under, or been apprentice to, dozens of mechanics and barbers, had learned everything they knew about the separating of flesh, and the melding of components. Combining the techniques she had learned in interesting new ways in her mind. Seeing the possibilities no one else saw. The ways flesh and metal could be fused into a new life form. Some of her teachers had been frightened by the questions she asked. Others, a few, had been excited about her questions. Those rare ones saw a keen, exceptional mind. They saw a destiny being formed.

Her inventions were incredible, world shaking, and by the time she was eighteen she had more coin and credit then she needed, even given her lavish lifestyle and apartment. That was all years ago, before she became the authority on robotics, and mechanical augmentation. Hell, she had pioneered the field of mechanical augmentation. Anyone practising mechanical upgrading today (hacking, as it was known) was merely parroting her earlier work. Not that there were many of them around. She hated imitators, and killed everyone she found. These days she had amassed more credit then she could spend in one lifetime, and she intended to live a very long time.

______________________

She felt restless today, and fiddled with the key hanging around her neck, something she rarely ever did. She had no time for idle pastimes like fidgeting. She was usually busy with her hands, if not her mind. But today was different, and she knew what was wrong. She was itching for a fix. That was the problem. She craved to have another pound of flesh removed, to replace the imperfect tissue with perfect Mycroft tech. To replace the weak failing flesh.

"Doctor, I want to replace my left eye today after business." She took a long draw on her pipe, another bad habit. But she hadn't claimed to be perfect. Not yet at least.

"Your quarterly physical showed no tissue failures. If anything, I'd be more worried about your lungs, then your eyes." He replied. And immediately regretted having said it, as he heard her step close, her metal boots clanked loudly against the hard floor. Madame Techia didn't believe in sneaking around her empire quietly.

"Mind you tongue in the court of Techia." She said quietly, and leaned uncomfortably close to the doctor. Close enough to kiss him. And blew smoke in his face. "Unless you wish to part with it." She clanked the metal fingers of her mech hand together for effect. "Its been a quite a while since I performed a surgery personally. Not counting on myself that is. Yes, performing an extraction might scratch the itch I'm feeling."

"Now that you mention it, the new model eyes have, ah shown exceptional performances, with a very small rejection ratio--"

"Stop talking. It hurts to try and think at your level. I know the numbers. I invented the hacking numbers. Just have my personal operating room prepared by the end of the day." She dismissed him then. Not verbally. She simply walked past him, her mind already on other things.

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#1 Edited by Pyrogram (45430 posts) - - Show Bio

Eeek this was superb :O

For some reason though..This start does not read well for me, Maybe its just me

She wanted very badly to cry, but she refused herself.

You fixed it :D

Apart from that I love it!

Awww 0_0

"Na see luv, eh'sometimes people get sick..." 'An don't have money for trearment'

Nooo!!

This was so well done :( So freaking good.

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#2 Posted by Delphic (1709 posts) - - Show Bio

Wow, this is superb. When you first mentioned it to me, I was so excited to see it come into reality, and now that it's here I'm really excited to see more.

I really didn't see a whole lot wrong with this other than a few typos here and there, and at the end Techia's ego and dialogue seemed a little campy, but not overbearingly so. I am so looking forward to the next part. ^_^

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#3 Posted by lykopis (10868 posts) - - Show Bio

I love the key necklace.

I love how her mother's death sparked her goal of immortality.

I love the utter creepiness of her slowly replacing parts of herself -- the "failing flesh". Macabre and steam punk? What a captivating world you've created. Can't wait for more -- bravo all around on this one.

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#4 Posted by SC (17040 posts) - - Show Bio

I really really like Madame Techia. Very different, I mean I love intelligent and brainy characters, but she has quite the twist!

The butchers you made very very intimidating, and I mean that as a general compliment to your writing and use of language as well as flow of words. Its a very accessible and enjoyable chapter. I really like the parallels you draw with physical alteration and modification. I just really liked this thank you Wildvine!

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#5 Posted by Pyrogram (45430 posts) - - Show Bio

Why has this not got more comments?

Get you're faces down here boys!

:P

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#6 Posted by wildvine (13018 posts) - - Show Bio

@SC said:

I really really like Madame Techia. Very different, I mean I love intelligent and brainy characters, but she has quite the twist!

The butchers you made very very intimidating, and I mean that as a general compliment to your writing and use of language as well as flow of words. Its a very accessible and enjoyable chapter. I really like the parallels you draw with physical alteration and modification. I just really liked this thank you Wildvine!

Squeee!! Thanks so much!! I actually plan to get into more detail about the butchers next issue. Thanks for reading! ^_^

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#7 Posted by akbogert (3323 posts) - - Show Bio

I liked this quite a bit ^_^

You make me wonder whether that replacement heart young Alexia made would have worked -- whether her talent was that prodigious at such an age. And it's nice to see the little, big-hearted girl behind the grim and calculating menace she seems to have become. Very intrigued to see where you go with this ^_^

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#8 Posted by TommytheHitman (5442 posts) - - Show Bio

I really enjoyed it, it was very interesting and I'm looking forward to see what happens next!

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#9 Posted by cbishop (11922 posts) - - Show Bio

@Pyrogram said:

Why has this not got more comments?

Get you're faces down here boys!

:P

I'll read it later. I have to read wildvine's stuff when I'm not so rushed. She is to be enjoyed, like a fine wine. ;)

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#10 Posted by Pyrogram (45430 posts) - - Show Bio

@cbishop: I understand, I did the same with Spider-Rogue but forgot to read it, until she kicked me in the head to remember xD

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#11 Posted by Joygirl (21031 posts) - - Show Bio

@wildvine: This is stunning. Provoking, even. Reminds me of The Doctor's Wife, the beginning does, a bit, but with a different ending... all the anguish of loss and futile attempts at prevention comes across strongly, and you do an excellent job with the narrative and imagery.

It does still show a few typos and grammatical errors. Not anything severe, and mostly things other people will not notice. Certainly you have been advancing in the technical as well as creative fields of writing, and I am incredibly proud of you. You have something very impressive on your hands and I am eager to see what direction you take with it. A gothic tale of addiction, self-replacement, and loss of humanity, perhaps? Maybe a tale of redemption and sorrow, using her terrible inventions to do good? Or a tale of villainy and insanity as Techia loses herself to her pride and mechanical replacements? Perhaps a combination, or something I cannot yet foresee?

Time will tell.

Proud of you, Wivz.

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#12 Posted by batkevin74 (14113 posts) - - Show Bio

@wildvine said:

"Everyone d-dies baby."

"I won't Mama."

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Immortality was not an impossibility.

Very, very good! It reminds me a bit of Transmetropolitan where the guy turns himself into a cloud of nanites, the concept of where a person stops and a machine begins. Very good, kinda bleak but very enjoyable. (How she ever got into Star Wars, I'll never know!)

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#13 Posted by wildvine (13018 posts) - - Show Bio

@batkevin74 said:

Very, very good! It reminds me a bit of Transmetropolitan where the guy turns himself into a cloud of nanites, the concept of where a person stops and a machine begins. Very good, kinda bleak but very enjoyable. (How she ever got into Star Wars, I'll never know!)

The Star Wars thing is kinda an Elseworld. I needed an original character, and she was handy. It was supposed to be bleak. I want this series to be dark, and grim, and future issues will totally be M rated. This was mostly intro.

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#14 Posted by RazzaTazz (11946 posts) - - Show Bio
@wildvine: Very cool :)  I like it.  I always like well written female characters. 
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#15 Posted by wildvine (13018 posts) - - Show Bio

This is my first (real) original series, would love feedback

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#16 Posted by mrdecepticonleader (19683 posts) - - Show Bio

@wildvine: Wonderfully done,I want to read the next part already.And yea those butchers sound nasty,hope to see them in another chapter.

Very well done keep it up.

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#17 Posted by Warpimp (58 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert said:

I liked this quite a bit ^_^

You make me wonder whether that replacement heart young Alexia made would have worked -- whether her talent was that prodigious at such an age. And it's nice to see the little, big-hearted girl behind the grim and calculating menace she seems to have become. Very intrigued to see where you go with this ^_^

I really agree with this. I thought for a split second that maybe the heart would work. I think you are crafting something unique here.

I would love to see "outside the window" a bit more. I was really intrigued by the world outside. I always enjoy the part of a story where I get a peek at the larger world and letting the characters consider the world they live in gives us a greater understanding of them.

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#18 Posted by hellmouse (100 posts) - - Show Bio
2953377-image.png

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#19 Edited by wildvine (13018 posts) - - Show Bio

@hellmouse

No comment mu dear mousy? Thanks anyway for the "Bump." ^_^

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#20 Edited by hellmouse (100 posts) - - Show Bio

@wildvine: Squeak squeak squeak squeak squeak squeak squeak squeak squeak, squeak squeak, squeak squeak squeak.

Hellmouse says: This character is fascinating, and very well thought out. You are an awesome writer :)

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#21 Posted by Fuchsia_Nightingale (10191 posts) - - Show Bio

Okay, finally got to finish reading this, sorry been a sleepy snivy.

But I have say, very very good lil WV ! I really enjoyed this work, I'm gonna agree with Lyly on her points,

Huzzah !

*plays trumpet to signal you triumph*

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#22 Edited by xNahtebx (809 posts) - - Show Bio

If this was published, it would sell

Techia's character works so well

You write her with such skill and grace

That not a word seemed out of place

I shall be following this, hereafter

And cannot wait for another chapter :)

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#23 Edited by ImpurestCheese (11301 posts) - - Show Bio

@wildvine: Hmm well I would like to be immortal and I do keep breaking my body

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#24 Posted by wildvine (13018 posts) - - Show Bio
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#25 Posted by ImpurestCheese (11301 posts) - - Show Bio
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#26 Posted by wildvine (13018 posts) - - Show Bio

@impurestcheese:

The sad thing is this did so well I was afriad to post more. Thought I would lose the magic.

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#27 Posted by ImpurestCheese (11301 posts) - - Show Bio

@wildvine: Tis a problem indeed. Still if you have the mojo go for it

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#28 Posted by cbishop (11922 posts) - - Show Bio

@cbishop said:

@Pyrogram said:

Get you're faces down here boys!

I'll read it later. I have to read wildvine's stuff when I'm not so rushed. She is to be enjoyed, like a fine wine. ;)

And now that I've <ahem> let it age a bit... <takes a sip> Yeah, that was excellent. Very well written, Wildvine. Very nice stuff. Added to my FF Long Box - Authors. :)

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#29 Posted by wildvine (13018 posts) - - Show Bio

@cbishop said:

@cbishop said:

@Pyrogram said:

Get you're faces down here boys!

I'll read it later. I have to read wildvine's stuff when I'm not so rushed. She is to be enjoyed, like a fine wine. ;)

And now that I've <ahem> let it age a bit... <takes a sip> Yeah, that was excellent. Very well written, Wildvine. Very nice stuff. Added to my FF Long Box - Authors. :)

Better late then never.

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#30 Posted by cbishop (11922 posts) - - Show Bio

@wildvine: I wasn't late! I was...letting it breathe.

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#31 Posted by batkevin74 (14113 posts) - - Show Bio

@wildvine: Is she coming to the Wild Western or someone similar?

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#32 Posted by wildvine (13018 posts) - - Show Bio

@batkevin74:

Most likely someone similar. But anything is possible.

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