Signing Bonus: Part Three

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As Alix began to wake, she found it painful to open her eyes. The operating lights were bright, blindingly so, and it took her at least a couple of minutes to finally open them completely. She propped herself up from the examination bench and peered around the room, making out the Tentachlid doctor at a sink, washing his tentacles. He turned back to look at her as he wiped his mitts on a towel.

"You're likely going to be plagued with some migraines for a month or so. The circuitry latched onto your nervous system just fine, but the amount of data that will be interfacing with your brain is going to be overwhelming at first. You'll probably be prone to some dizzy spells for longer than that."

Alix, or Kira, at least as far as the doctor knew, sat up. She looked at her left arm and noticed the displaced patch of fur.

The doctor hopped off the stool at the sink and approached the examination bed. "Feel free to lift the patch, you'll see I've already done the subdermal treatment under your fur."

Alix nodded and peeled back the flap of fur, noticing there was resistance.

"I expect you noticed the magnetic bindings as well. It should keep the subdermal-implant unnoticed by most people. Granted that patch of fur will lose color over time due to the coating on the underside of the skin-flap."

Alix flicked idly at the patch. "I'm a Tan Corian Auburn anyway," she said, "easy enough dye to find at any general shop."

"That's the spirit. Now, keep in mind the data-cables are now bound along your nervous system, so take care not to lose your arm. If the cables are cut in just the right way the feedback will most likely lead to brain-damage."

Alix held her arm out in front of her. She could hardly tell it was operated on, with the exception of the numbness of the anesthetic fading at the elbow.

"Hell of an operation," the doctor said. "Serious commitment to whatever you're up to."

Alix nodded. "Thanks for the quick work."

"Actually, it's been a couple of hours."

Alix had been gone too long, she hopped off the bed and wobbled slightly. Her feet had fallen asleep. She stomped her feet forcefully to circulate blood through them.

"I'd suggest another hour's rest or so."

Alix grabbed her jacket and pulled it on. "Can't. Have a party to attend."

Guugel approached the Greensleeves. Below the ship Mara, Marken, and Spril, the owner of the ship, were sprawled out on foldable sunchairs, taking in the evening heat of Teslovia. Mara waved Guugel over.

"Hey Guugel, you remember Spril, right?"

Guugel nodded.

Of course, I do, he's very handsome, he thought to himself.

Spril smiled at Guugel. "I heard you were looking for a sapling?"

Guugel pulled his mobile from his bag of goods acquired throughout the day. He began to type up some messages. All the while he considered how much more useful an implant would be. In truth, what Guugel wished for most was that those around him were more receptive to his telepathy.

Guugel extended his palm, mobile resting on it. A holographic slide projected outward. It read "Yes. Something hardy for this climate."

Spril rose from the sunchair and scratched at his chin with a root-like finger. "Come to think of it, I think I have just the thing for you. Come with me."

Mara rose from her chair. "Actually, Marken and I should be going-"

"Going where?" Marken asked.

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