amputee, bionic, flash fiction, loss, neural, prosthetic, science fiction, scifi, short story
Last Week’s FFF: Ceaseless Chasm
Humans are born with 2 arms. Deep down inside, we all knew it. But, it didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel true.
I had lived all of my life with the extra limbs. I had word external prosthetic arms growing up. They were clumsy, connecting to my nervous system through a mesh of wires that stuck onto my skull. But they were important for creating the neural-pathways that I would need as an adult.
They had fitted the exoskeleton under the skin of my back as soon as I was full grown. The back piece acted as a synthetic muscle system, and included the ball joint of the faux shoulders. They grafted the extra limbs to my rib cage., just under my existing arms.
I remember that day. I was excited. I was getting something that I had always known was mine. Yeah, it hurt. It took me weeks to recover. But once I did, for the first time in my life, I felt whole. I was finally a fully functioning adult.
Four arms. Two mechanical, two biological.
With the progress of prosthetic, I could hardly tell the difference. Each limb moved independently of each other. I could control all four with dexterity and fluidity.
I lived this way for twenty years. In that time, I had prospered. My son had been born, and he was wearing his clunking external system. Life was right.
And just like that, one day, it all changed. My arms stopped working. My son’s arms stopped working. They weren’t even the same thing, and yet, they erred in the same manner.
You know that saying, it feels like I’ve lost a limb. Well, double that. I felt like I lost two. Depression took over. I felt like I had lost the will to live. There was a piece of me missing. Logically, I knew that it wasn’t really a piece of me. But I felt it’s absence as deeply as if it had been my flesh and blood limbs.
We still don’t know why the arms stopped working. Maybe it was an attack on our society? Maybe our minds rejected them, knowing it was unnatural? Perhaps the power source just couldn’t keep up with the demand and shorted the whole thing out?
I don’t know. But I’m going to find out what happened. And, god willing, I’m going to get my arms back.
Mark Gardner said:
Ooh, the only thing I like better than sentient robots is bio neural augmentation!