"Alright, would you mind holding this for a second."
Solid handed me a coiled wire with a claw on one end. In the middle was this two pronged zap coil that had a static shock going between them. Not the most comforting sight.
"Now I'm going to give you a bit of fair warning here. Usually the procedure is completely painless. In terms of physical pain. But emotionally and mentally, well there's nothing I can guarantee on that front?"
"God, what's that supposed to mean." I asked as I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. Still holding to the coil.
"Well it just depends on the sorta life you lead here, miss. Now it's none of my business, why you decided to come to me. I can guarantee you confidentiality. Hence my name. People know they can trust me."
Solid, like any other Reborn, was a cybernetic person. He had a positronic brain and synthetic body. Some like to keep portions of their original selves in tact. Eyes, arms, legs, head, torso. But he went full on.
Really it was just a fashion statement nowadays. Looking human was cute rather than the norm.
"Look I don't care about the details really. Just get it over with..." I leaned back into the operating chair. The room was like a mix between a hospital and a garage.
"Cool, cool." Solid rolled his way to me on a swivel metal chair and grabbed the coil from my hand. "Now the first step is going to be shutting down your vitals and tapping into your subconscious and conscious mind. A bit of mumbo jumbo, but really I'm just trying to reprint the blue print of who you are onto a new fresh piece of ass."
"Wonderful. But my memories and everything will be wiped. Right?"
"Well depends on what you want. I have deals on repackaging your true self into your subconscious in case the need arose to open those can of worms. You can start with a clean slate. Aside from the basics. Thought patterns, language, general knowledge and skills."
"I'll take the first one. There are some things I wish I won't have to leave behind. Be nice to know it'll be in the new me somewhere."
"Sounds good, now I wish I could offer you options for acquired skills or memories, but you're off grid so no bueno access from the higher ups unfortunately."
"That's fine too. I don't mind what I've got for now."
"Ok, I'll be counting down from 10. You'll slowly get tired and fall asleep. Next time we meet will be in the Void. I'll go over more when I have a chance to gather your thoughts."
I looked up at the ceiling and saw a painting of a tree against a dusk lit sky. And nodded.
I begin to feel tired and my eyes are suddenly heavy. I don't fight the feeling.
"6... 5... 4... 3..."
A lone tear runs down my cheek as a cherub face flashes for second before my eyes before disappearing.
Everything is dark. Silence. Fear creeps forward before being washed away with an odd sense of serenity. I wonder if I'm dead for a moment.
"Not quite." Solid's voice breaks through the din.
He materializes in the darkness walking upon what feels like mirrored floors as light begins to slowly flood into this outer worldly area.
"The Void is a virtual space where I can interact with my client while getting the transfer done. So what name do you wish to have for your new self?"
"God I don't know," I fumble, caught off guard and still trying to shake of this opiate like happiness that had washed over me earlier. "Savv I guess."
"Nice name. K'ay. Now how old do you want to be?"
I tilt my head side to side trying to decide between my current age or younger. Sigh, like it mattered anyway.
"Gotcha. Now I have a suite of bodies you can choose from. Half price mind you. Hair, skin and eye color included. Birth marks, scars, tatoos are all up to you. Extra functionality is unavailable for first time Reborns.
Beneath our feet were varying body sizes for women and men as well as moldable facial features that were shifting like a shopping district advert.
"I think I found it. I mean me."
"Oh wonderful choice."
The body was short, a bit on the pudgier side and eastern features. Skin almond and wavy hair a hazel brown. Her eyes were aqua in color.
"So right now I'm speaking with your conscious self, Savv. Your unconscious contains your core memories, deepest secrets, desires and all the dirty laundry you could imagine. So I have to ask permission to access this."
Savv thought for a moment and with a deep breadth answered.
"Yes, go ahead Sol."
He smiled at that. He was moving his hands about in the air, probably accessing my junk pile of past mistakes as he bundled it all up into an executable.
"Alright that looks all good. You're ready to wake."
"And how do I do that?" Savv asked. Suddenly the floor beneath her slid backwards tipping her off her feet. She hit the glass.
Her eyes popped open and she jolted. Solid was way across the room at his work table writing up some papers. Savv only then realized she was being held suspended by robotic arms.
"Well everything checks out fine. I got a ticket here for you getting you outta the city. Jasper's your destination. House with three bedrooms and living room. Overlooking fields."
"I owe you so much, Solid."
"No worries." He got up and pressed a keypad embedded in his wrist. The arms loosened hold and he helped me down from my perch.
"I hope your second life turns out better, deary." He winked as he handed over the papers.
Savv looked down at her hands and at first they were crystalline and see through. Then slowly they shifted into the almond like skin she saw earlier. Walking over to a nearby mirror, Savv shifted from toe to toe to admire her new body.
"Wow this is perfect" A bit surprised by her own voice. Yet she couldn't remember any details beyond getting out of the city and getting a new cybernetic body.
"Hey you made the choice, can't take all the credit. Look your flight is off at 8:00pm. You should catch a ride."
"Shit okay, thanks again so much, Sol." Savv waved to him before realizing she was stark naked.
Knowingly, Solid tossed her a dress suit. Quickly changing she made her way outside. It was raining, grabbing her suit jacket she used it as a impromptu umbrella. Hailing a nearby Lift.
Meanwhile, back in the Cyber Shop, Solid uncorked an ancient bottle of whiskey and poured himself a glass. Savv had no idea that this wasn't the first time she'd been to his shop. Nor did she know what fate she had sealed for him.
But Sol, loved Savv. What she had stood for. How long she had fought that unwinnable battle. But losing her daughter had cut to deep and destroyed who she was. And yet she always unconsciously chose to hold onto her memory despite his best efforts.
He knew he could do it just by hitting a simple key on his workbench. But fuck if he'd ever do that.
"Well at least she's safe." The sounds of sirens begin to wail from outside his shop. He knew there would be no mercy or compliance. A simple brain jack then torture then death. Once they knew where she was. Well all his work would be for nothing.
Putting down his glass, he reached for the sawed off shotgun beside it. A megaphone blares outside.
"SOLID, WE KNOW SHE'S IN THERE. GIVE HER UP AND YOU WILL BE PARDONED."
Solid brought the shotgun into the inside of his mouth.
Then he closed his eyes.
Slowly pulling the trigger.
Darkness. Silence. Fear creeps in only to be washed away by serenity. And finally...