40 winksMature

I couldn't shake this feeling left over from the dream, like something was watching me from very far away. It was distracting enough that I didn't notice Tom coming down a side corridor and bounced painfully off him. The relief of seeing him up and about again so soon did away with most of the pain of having faced myself on a living wall. Relief that was replaced by a stew of confused, ashamed, and strangely comforted when he proceeded to pick me up like a child and hug me carefully but desperately.

"I thought I was done Ritt," the emptiness that usually plagues Tom's voice was filled now with a resounding, existential terror. I didn't blame him, a wipe is just about the worst kind of damnation for a machine consciousness. "Thank you for sending Fi, they were ready for you guys. They were not ready for her." He flashed a shit-eating grin as he held me away and set me down. Hot mechanic or no hot mechanic, Tom was just the sort to appreciate Fi's artistic process.

"Just sorry we didn't think to do it sooner." I've never been so glad to have been forced into hiding from the Guard. The types of ambushes the Promoters set aren't the ones you walk away from. "I'm glad to see you upright so quickly."

His face took an incredulous cast, "Quickly? Riddle we've been in orbit around Mutei for a week dodging sensors."

"And nobody thought to fucking wake me?!" Fucking seriously.

"Phaa said you were just sleeping, and if you sleep for a week you probably need it." I would need to talk to Phaa about limiting the allowable time to sleep it off. The shock must've showed on my face, "What? We made sure you didn't die."

The End

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