Killing Time OST – 15c – iPlay Brain Surgeon

<< 15b – iPlay Brain Surgeon

The worst of the adaptation period passed after a couple of months, a few more musical therapies and a handful of odd one-sided conversations with Frogster. A third brought Lorelei closer to herself – well, her old self, whatever that meant. She trained on a regular and reasonable basis, instead of the crazily intense bursts her body drove her to while it sought balance.
Three months.
Even without nanobots enhancing her, that woman was a force of nature. Her body went from completely dependent on tech to autonomous, pulled through the extreme trials of neurochemical roller coaster by the sheer force of her will. The process had taken me three months too but I hadn’t been plugged since before my birth and never altered to my core like she had.
“She still has her awkward moments,” I thought as I came out of my apartment with a couple of hamburgers for lunch.
For once, Lorelei’s music therapy didn’t involve a lot of decibels. Just a lot of different songs. The cacophony nearly made me cry. She kept browsing songs and adding them to the mix until I pulled the plug on the control hologram.
Lorelei spun and threw half of the tools on the nearby counter to the ground.
“What the hell!?” I snapped. I had been patient – three months of patience – and was sick of the outbursts.
“I have no friends!” She yelled back.
“Well that’s no way to make some!” I instantly regretted the comment. I settled down on a stool and forced my anger to silence. “You have friends.”
“Right,” she scoffed, “I don’t even know what friendship means. I thought that if I couldn’t find a friendship song that talked to me maybe I could force different friendship songs to befriend each other.”
My palm headed for my forehead but I forcibly brought it back down. This was getting very tiresome.
“You have Naomi,” I suggested.
“Naomi! She uses me to improve her figure and sound cool because she knows more upscale gossips than her other friends. I tolerate her so people think I have friends.” It did sound like relationship based on value for than appreciation. “And you,” she continued, “I couldn’t free the test subjects without you. And now you decorate my basement.”
“I what?” So she liked my apartment. I hadn’t done that good of a job. It wasn’t like I had time to shop for furniture; I just used anything she gave me.
“You pretty up the dull gray and you don’t even need sun or watering.”
My jaw dropped. An analogy between my handsomeness and a potted plant? Really? I liked that she found me cute but she made me sound like a bunch of plastic leaves. After all I did!
“I get your point.” Muttering might not sound particularly understanding but it was better than yelling at her. Her state tried my patience; I could blame myself as much as her. I had forced the discovery of the nanobots.  “You had friends in school. Everyone did.”
“School. Right. The cute rich girl who terrorizes the bullies doesn’t have friends. She has a herd.” Like the kid she used to be, Lorelei sat on the ground, rested her chin against her closed fist and frowned. “Perfect assassins aren’t good friends.”
Beyond the simple affirmation, I heard the internal conflict. This wasn’t a hormonal fling or a stir of the crazies. It was her last straw; once pulled, she would be mad or sane.
Either she was a perfect assassin or she had friends.
Out of all ultimatums she could have picked to set her mind to rest, this was both the silliest and the best one.
I sat in front of her on the ground. I wondered if I should take her hands in mine and decided it was better to leave her bubble intact. She didn’t want a hug; she needed an answer.
“Friendship is about trust,” I said. She scoffed. “On some level, it’s about appreciating the other person and sticking by her through her bad days because she’s useful.”
Gosh, my mom would scold me for putting it like that. She always said selflessness was the foundation of a strong friendship. I didn’t think Lorelei’s skewed perception of the world could accommodate such a concept; she saw Alice as a good satisfying a demand instead of a philanthropist.
“But in the end,” I continued after barely a pause, “it’s about trust.”
“So I’m an assassin.” Her voice broke the straight line of her confidence.
“No.” She looked up, an eyebrow cocked in question. “I trusted you with my life. And you trusted me with yours.”
For a moment, she was lost in thoughts but soon frowned. “You’re wrong. I needed the nanobots out. You were convenient.”
“You trusted that my diagnosis was right.” My voice boomed louder than I intended but I couldn’t bring it down. I had to get my point through her stubbornness. “You trusted that I would take the bots out and not put anything in. You trusted that I would help you get better and not take advantage of the situation.” I suddenly felt very happy I didn’t give in to my desire for her. “And now, you will trust that I am right. Because if you don’t,” I waved toward the shelf where I stored the nanobots, “they win.”
“Fine!” she barked back. “We’re friends!”
She stood up and made a beeline for the gym, her steps stiff. Alone on the ground, I shrugged. Did I expect her to be happy I won the argument? I should have known better.
I went to the counter and its two abandoned burgers. Not knowing when Lorelei would be done punching her mood back to calm, I took it upon myself to clean off both plates. As I ate something hit me and I suddenly lost my appetite. My palm hit my forehead.
Damn I was stupid!
I had successfully painted myself in the most detested corner by men around the globe.
We were just friends.

16a – Deal>>

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About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

11 responses to “Killing Time OST – 15c – iPlay Brain Surgeon

  • Jenn

    lol ~ way to go Vexx! But I must say, she does need a friend that she can trust 🙂 And it’s Vexx that said that they only friends, not L!

    • Jenn

      Sorry, I should have added that you handled the recovery very well. We didn’t get bogged down by the details here but got enough to understand how it was going.
      I simply love your work.

    • Aheïla

      You’re so sweet. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I was afraid it might feel a bit insensitive/going by too fast but at the same time, self-pity for three chapters didn’t work for pacing at all.
      Anyway, thanks! Feedbacks are always most appreciated!

  • mish

    Vexx has boxed and labelled himself , which could work for or against him depending on the direction of the story .

    I noticed his repetition of and emphasis on “trust” ~ who is he trying to convince ? And I keep waiting for another bombshell to drop … can’t shake the feeling … knowing you , I do believe that another curve ball is still going to be delivered … 🙂

  • ralfast

    Poor Vexx, well at least I know where the name comes from, at least what it really means.

  • Um the Muse

    Hmm. Can anyone remind me who Alice is? Is that the kitchen robot?

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