View Full Version : Wake Up Fresh part 3. Strong language warning

March 17th, 2013, 07:24 PM
Finally finished the third part, apologies it took so long. Hope you enjoy

‘So how are you doing?’

Sasha felt herself brace against the back of her chair ready for a tongue lashing. The man before her fairly simmered with emotion. His hands wrestled on his lap and every muscle in his face looked ready to pop.
She was of course prepared for this. His name was Tony Gauger. He was the solar systems first full body transplant after what should have been a fatal mining accident in the tunnels below the colony in which they sat.
Almost everything she could want to know about the man was on the tablet before her and she could recite it chapter and verse by now. Also on the tablet was the life and times of the previous bodies owner, who by all accounts had been something of a naughty boy.
He had chosen brainwipe rather than the slow death sentence that he had been given, which was no great shock. And then one fine day Mr Gauger had woken up looked down and got the fright of his life.
Tony was tall and lean, or he was now at any rate. Before he had been something of a typical roughneck into weights. Strongly built and meaty with a face like Kojak if he'd been kicked balls. Simply put an excellent one word description of him would be to find the polar opposite of refined and then label him with it.
She raised her eyes from the old mug shot and looked at the smooth skinned devil wringing his hands over the desk from her and had to admit the look of barely controlled emotion breaking through to his face at points was hard to match with the leery profile picture that the prison service have provided her with.
‘I’ll not lie Doctor I feel like hell.’
Sasha wrote that down. He spoke in a broad accent that she couldn’t place. It was interesting that his accent and voice survived trip between bodies, the file commented on it in fact. The file said he was British but the last guy had been American.
She had already spoken to all of the friends and colleagues she could find and decided that the best way to ease him was to feed his confidence.
‘I have to say Tony you’re doing a lot better than I thought. I was expecting a quivering wreck.’
He looked steadily at her for ten full seconds before answering, ‘I am a quivering wreck.’
‘No trust me I’ve seen people react a lot worse to a lot less. Its obvious you’re not 100% though. Is there anything specific that’s bothering you?’
Tony swallowed a harsh comment at that and held up the hands.
‘Have you any idea what these have done?’
‘Yes, I read the file.’
It would have been criminal not to read the file. Tony had googled her upon hearing that she was en root and was mildly impressed by the number of ologies that she had degrees an doctorates in. Sasha was by no means the run of the mill tic sheet counselor idiot that they had to see to make sure six months on Mars wouldn’t drive them crackers and she bloody well knew it. That was how she got well paid choice assignments like the first body transplant.
‘I avoided it if I’m honest. Think I’d rather not know’
The file he spoke of had given her a couple of sleepless night and she agreed but felt it imprudent to tell him that. Sasha waited for him to continue.
‘I feel dirty. It’s hard not to take five showers a day. I keep thinking I can smell myself.’
Sasha noted that he had began to refer to himself as ‘himself’ rather than ‘this body’, which was apparently how this had begun.
‘Smell yourself how?’
‘Well I can’t obviously. I just occasionally get this feeling. Like a whiff of something.’ he shrugged, ‘probably psychological.’
‘Yes I agree,’ she said, she glanced at her notes again, ‘so that’s the worst of it? There’s a list of things here. Trouble adjusting to your new dimensions?’
‘I’m coping there,’ said Tony with gallant dishonesty, he still had to concentrate on walking.
‘Catching things and, oh you play the guitar?’
‘I used to. I’ll take a wild guess and say the last bloke didn’t.’
A brief search of his file at her tablet, there was no rush to the point she had as long as she wanted. Tony was her only patient.
‘If he did then he didn’t mention it.’
‘He didn’t,’ Tony held up his left hand, fingertips pointing towards Sasha. ‘No callouses,’ he said to the inquiring look.
Sasha was not musically minded but decided to pretend she understood that to move the conversation on.
‘Does if effect your sports?’
‘You know anything about rugby?’
She didn’t watch rugby so much as the men playing it and said as much.
‘Lets put it this way I was in with the heavy short arses at the front. I’m half a foot taller and twenty five K lighter. Its thrown my game a bit. For by the fact this body’s never seen the inside of a gym till I took residence.’
Sasha looked over to the arms below his t shirt. There wasn’t much mass there but the toning was coming along, ‘Been working out?’
‘It help?’
‘It needs done.’
Yes she was getting a decent picture by now. Typical proud skilled laborer. No universities or abstract diplomas in things no ones uses. A college course and then apprenticeship in a physical trade and then many many years of hard work later a commendable pride in the skill that he had garnered. Never asks for help and never admits he needs it.
To summarize: he was hiding something. Something that could make a mentally rock solid man quiver and wring his hands.
‘So you’d tell me if something is bothering you?’
Tony blinked, ‘I thought that was just what I’ve been doing for the last half an hour.’
Sasha made a note 'evasive'.

And so it went on. They met every few days and she dutifully asked him harmless questions and let him talk how he wanted and probed seldom and carefully. She typed a few notes along the lines of ‘proud’ ‘private’ ‘angry’ ‘suspicious’.
It took about a fortnight before he was relaxed enough in her presence to talk properly.
‘Last rotation on Earth it was finalized.’
‘What happened?’ He hadn’t crossed the room on his first session before she realized subtly would be regarded with distaste and suspicion.
‘When I was off world she had more men go down on here than the Titanic.’
‘I see.’ Sasha managed.
‘So I divorced the bitch. Actually it was her that said it was ok to be put in this bugger.’ he gestured down at the ever expanding torso. Even since he had began his session he was visibly more muscular.
‘She was still down as your next of kin?’

‘Aye. I have no other family and sort of forgot about the form.’
Sasha had to chuckle at that. ‘Must be hard to make ties spending three quarters of the year on mars.’
‘It is.’
‘Did she ever consider moving up here to the colony with you?’
‘Said she did but I think the milk man wouldn’t liked that.’
‘The affair was with the milk man?’
‘More likely than not since she was doing over half the town.’
Sasha took that as a cue to bring the conversation to the issue at hand.
‘That and this new body of yours at the same time. I really have no idea how you’re coping.’
He shrugged at that, ‘There’s not much else to do. Free agent now though eh.’ and grinned the grin of a man who wished he felt like grinning.
‘Tony. I appreciate you’re not an open book but you don’t have to pretend you’re feeling ok when you’re not.’
‘I appreciate that thanks.’ not a flicker. Sasha called it a day and went to write up a report telling her clients that he still wasn’t opening up.
Another three weeks went by. Tony showed no improvement. He was still plainly discomforted and bothered. Sasha found it harder to navigate through the hot spots in his head without an outburst from him. Eventually she challenged him directly.
‘What’s bothering you? Apart from the obvious.’
He snorted, ‘Isn’t the obvious enough?’
‘Please Tony.’
‘Its nothing.’ he waved dismissively.
She waited in silence.
‘Its nothing for God’s sake!’ a bit of temper there. Sasha took the bull by the horns.
‘I can see its not but its up to you what you tell me. But I can’t help you with something I don’t know about and if its nothing what making you upset.’
Tony sighed in resignation, ‘I was looking at the protests on the telly.’
Sasha had of course been flowing every facet of his case and knew to what he referred. ‘The ones that say memory transplant is impossible?’
‘What do you think?’
He looked her square in the eye, ‘My name in Tony Gauger. I was born the 14th of March 2145 in Wansbeck County Hospital. I went to Marden school and then Nortech college of engineering and came out with a higher diploma for of world engineering and an apprenticeship on a lunar rig. Favorite sport is Rugby and favorite food is a Vindaloos which incidentally I can’t enjoy anymore because this fucking body can’t handle the heat.
‘Married at twenty five. Divorced at thirty five. Had my appendix out at nineteen, except now I seem to have one again fancy that.’
With each sentence his voice grew in volume until he was shouting. Sasha stayed stock still as if she was dodging a Tyrannosaurus Rex and let him rant. He gave her every detail in the file and most that weren’t. He started pistoning his finger through the air with every point the made. Towards the end the tears rolled down his cheeks. With a manful effort he kept his voice steady and finished.
‘I am not some fucking killer. I have never killed a man in my life and I would never. I don’t care what those fuckwits on the telly say I am not that psycho shit rag. I am not!’
The slogan of the demonstrations were ‘you can’t transplant a soul’ and ‘Memories don’t make a man’.
‘I’m pleased you think that way Tony. Really I am. I mean you are sure of this I take it?’
It was a leading question she knew the answer to. Sasha knew the look of a man who questioned himself.
‘Most of the time.’ he wiped his eyes and modified himself, then accepted the glass of water she proffered, ‘Then they start and I have look at myself and see just how much I would hate to be who they tell me I am. Then I’m sure for a few hours. But then again you know,’ he looked up with red rimmed daggers peering at her, ‘I’ve been wrong before.’

March 19th, 2013, 05:15 PM
Ok, the usual: thoughts as they arise.

It's not clear that Sasha is the one speaking in the beginning.

Just the first in the solar system? If he is the first known to the people in the story, he may as well be referred to as "the world's first," or something else similarly universal. Seems like you're either making a sly comment about the possibility of more advanced life elsewhere, or this is just a third world solar system with shitty medicine.

That raises an interesting question: can the emotions you read on the face of a man who can't quite control his body be trusted?

"Of the body's previous owner" makes more sense than what you have.

You have a little trouble with commas in your dialog.

It seems shocking (and I'm not saying that's bad) that they would tell him where the body came from. I think that's actually against the rules for, say, a normal organ transplant.

gallant dishonestly > gallant dishonesty

"He hadn't crossed the room on his first session before..." takes a few read-throughs before it starts to make sense.

I really like the concept you're exploring here. Could use some polish is all.

March 19th, 2013, 06:18 PM
I think a few of your questions are answered in the first and second parts, which are knocking about on this forum.

As for my gammar.... its just shit to be honest I really can't saything else about it and I really do try and stew over where to put commas and full stops and all that lark