Tucker Cummings

Archive for November, 2011|Monthly archive page

Chapter 324: Autophage

In Uncategorized on November 20, 2011 at 10:24 pm

“Do you want the long version, or the short version?” Doc asks.

“How should I know?” I grumble, suddenly feeling very tired.

“How about this? I’ll tell you the broad strokes, and then you can get the play-by-play. Okay?”

“Okay.”

“You’re safe. We’re all safe now. It’s over. No more boys in black, no more experiments, no more infighting. The few facilities that were left destroyed each other in the name of profit. You slept through the war, and now you can finally enjoy the peace.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Ripley grew into quite the general. She’s a hero.”

“What about M2?”

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Chapter 323: Exposition Exposition

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2011 at 2:45 am

Doc leaves for a few minutes, and comes back with a non-alcoholic beer, some lentil peasant soup, and a crusty roll. I’d kill for a shot, but I appreciate the effort.

“You need to soak the roll in the broth before you pop it in your mouth, okay? You haven’t eaten sold food in a very long time, and your stomach will need some time to adjust.”

She places the tray on my lap, and fluffs the pillows behind me.

I’m starving.

“This is amazing,” I mumble around my lentils. Hell, even the beer is good. “So. Tell me everything.”

Chapter 322: Against the Dying of the Light

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2011 at 8:52 am

I decide to stare up at the ceiling for a while.

“Margery, Ripley is really broken up about this. She knows it was her bomb, her attempt to strike a blow against the boys in black, that put you in here. She’s been at your bedside every day, except for the battles. Even when she was wounded, she insisted that her bed be in here with you, just in case you woke up. But we never thought you’d be with us again.”

“Doc?”

“Yes?”

“Can I have something to drink?”

“No. You deserve one, but let’s wait another few days.”

“Please?”

Chapter 321: Rip

In Uncategorized on November 17, 2011 at 2:57 am

“I was in a coma?” I ask Doc.

“That’s why I was so shocked to see you moving your head around this morning,” explains Ripley.

“Speaking of shocking, did you do something different with your hair?” I query.

“Doc?” pleads Ripley.

“Margery, there’s more.” says Doc.

“No, it isn’t just the hair,” I say, staring at Ripley’s face. “You look…older.”

“I am older, Margery. We all are.”

“Oh, God. How long was I out?”

Ripley’s face cracks, and she runs off in tears. Doc sits down on the bed and takes my hand.

“Ten years, Margery. A whole decade.”

Chapter 320: System Shock

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2011 at 2:29 am

“We’re sorry, Margery. It’s just…” Ripley flounders.

“Allow me to explain. This is all a bit difficult,” says Doc. “What’s the last thing you remember?”

“Argentina. Ripley. Oh, Ripley,” I say, turning to look at her. “You hid that clumsy bomb. And you tried to warn me when I got too close, but it went off before I could get clear. After that…a few snatches I guess, but mostly it’s all black.”

“Margery. Between the physical trauma and the brain damage, we never expected you to wake up. And even if you did, we thought you’d be mentally incapacitated.”

Chapter 319: Broca and Wernicke

In Uncategorized on November 15, 2011 at 9:54 am

Doc wipes the sweat from her brow with the back of her gloved hand, and declares, “I think she’ll pull through, but I want to keep her under observation.”

“Are the two of you talking about me?” I interject from the bed. “Because if you are I’d appreciate if you’d speak with me, instead of about me.”

“Wow,” says Ripley.

“I know,” says Doc. “I hadn’t expected her have such robust speech capabilities this soon after waking. There was too much damage to the inferior frontal gyrus.”

“Hey!” I cry out. “What the hell is going on with you two?”

Chapter 318: Talking Over Me

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2011 at 9:32 am

Doc barks a series of orders, and a cacophony of responses from her team go out. Ripley tries to come to my side, but Doc speaks sharply to hear and sends her to a corner of the room to wait.

After being poked and prodded for a quarter of an hour, Doc sends her nurses down to the labs, and beckons Ripley closer.

“Sorry I was short with you,” she says to Ripley, “but a lot of times when they come out like that, they’re alert for fifteen minutes or so, and then they’re gone. But her vitals are strong.”

Chapter 317: The Voice From the Door

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2011 at 8:22 pm

I turn my gaze from the window to the door, and there’s Ripley.

“Hey,” I warble, with a croaky voice that sounds like I haven’t used it in years.

“Oh my God. You’re awake.”

“So it would appear.”

“I have to go get Doc. I’ll be right back.”

“Wait, Ripley-” I call, but she’s already dashed off down the hall.

I stare at the ceiling, already bored with all of this. Typical hyperactivity.

There is a clatter of carts and personnel from down the hall, and Doc rushes in with a team of nurses at her heels, Ripley close behind.

Chapter 316: The Final Hospital

In Uncategorized on November 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm

I blinked once, and saw Ripley screaming soundlessly.

In another blink, I see a team of Doctors working over me, a blinding light above.

One more blink, and I’m in a helicopter.

Then, nothing.

Eventually: birdsong.

I don’t know what kind of bird that is. A bluebird? A lark? Do larks sing?

I open my eyes.

Another hospital room. The last, I hope. I’m so tired of waking up in strange rooms with an IV in one arm and a BP monitor on the other.

Judging by the paint and the decor, I must be at a Doctor’s facility.

“Margery?”

Chapter 315: The Big Bang

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm

I’m almost finished with the process, but I’m interrupted by a voice from behind me.

I turn away from the device to see Ripley, my Ripley, a hundred yards away. She’s waving her arms, but I can’t make out her words from this far away, not over the murmur and cries of the crowd.

I take some steps towards her, beaming. But then I get close enough to read her advancing lips.

“Run,” they say.

I look back to the device, then back at her. Then, I run.

It goes off, and I go out in a wave of fire.