My sister claims that in ‘94 at the state fair, one of the giant boars from the livestock exhibit got loose and charged her and she had to run and jump for her life. This is obviously a lie because those poor mountains of flesh can’t even move under their own power, their owners bring them in with forklifts. And even if they could move, I doubt they’d want to because they have fans on them in those pens and it’s hot as hell during the fair.
She made that story up because ’94 is the year I won the talent contest singing Tears in Heaven and I was the fair queen and I took first place in the girl’s bullriding event. She was jealous of all the attention I was getting. As well she should have been. What I don’t understand is why anyone entertained that fabrication. It was so obvious what she was doing. Maybe they felt sorry for her.
What does this have to do with anything? Nothing really, but I was reminded of it because Martialla has been chowing down like a prize hog while she grows a new foot like a disgusting flat little lizard regrows a tail. She says that she’s so hungry because the nanos are consuming her fat reserves, but what fat reserves is my question? She’s all elbows and knees and sharp hips. Her ass is so flat and square that it barely looks like a moon at all.
I can’t chap her hide about it too much though because now that I think about it, I’ve felt the same thing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m hungry all the time anyway because there’s no food here that doesn’t make my stomach implode, but when I’ve been injured, I’ve been out of my mind with how much I want food. Sugar more than anything. They’ve been bringing Martialla raw sugar beets and she’s been biting into them like apples, with dirt and little stringy things on them and everything. It’s gross.
Beyond presenting her beet-apples like grapes to a queen of antiquity, they’ve been waiting on her hand and foot, these future people have. Which is odd because they didn’t give a shit about her when she was dying. They’re impressed by her fighting skills for sure, although based on the reports of the battle I heard, her actions were less about skill and more about insanity. But they’re even more impressed by her not dying skills.
Because of her resurrection, they’ve begun telling each other wistful tales of a warrior of old called Logan. As they tell it he was the hard fightinest, hard drinkinest, hard fartinest, most ugly, ugly son of a bitch to ever cast shadow on the earth. As they tell it, Logan could suffer even the gravest wounds and yet fight on. As they say he was covered head to toe by scars and the bones and skin of his face were injured so many times that his head was a lumpy asymmetrical blob like a child’s clay sculpture. They claim that he could not be killed. When I asked them where Logan was if he couldn’t be killed, they thought about for a minute and said “probably dead ”. Morons.
Since my wrist never fully healed and my hip is still messed up, I decided to give myself a shot of blue nanos as well. Seeing this, Martialla scolded me for “wasting” them even though she’s had three more injections herself to return to the world of the living. That’s the thanks she gives me for saving her life. She won’t even admit that’s what happened, according to her the nanos saved her life. She’s developed a real attitude since being mortally wounded and not dying I tell you what.
Now I tell it to you straight, I’ve smoked some weed here and there. A little bit of coke from time to time? Yeah, it’s Hollywood you know? I enjoy the occasional cocktail. But that’s about it for old Ela. Never tried any of the “hard” stuff. That having been said, I’d put an injection of tiny blue robots into your bloodstream up there with just about anything. As soon as those robots rushed into my veins I felt sooooooooooo good. For the first time in a long time nothing hurt, nothing ached, nothing was uncomfortable, it wasn’t an exhilaration or anything crass like that, it was a feeling of wholeness and contentment.
Your perception gets warped by living after the world ends. The unimaginable becomes humdrum, the hideous becomes tedious, the unbearable becomes routine. You forget what it feels like just to not be in pain. Just to be normal. Taking that into account, that hour after I injected myself may have been the best I’ve ever felt, even before.
After three days Martialla still looks like a walking corpse but she has two feet again (well one and a half really) which is nothing short of miraculous. She’s a little unsteady as she walks with me through the storage sheds to survey our newly acquired fleet of gasoline powered machines but not nearly as wobbly as you’d expect considering where she was before. I figured I’d be using the word hobbling rather than walking. She was looking over our new plane when I asked her the billion trillion gajillion dollar question.
“So we know what the blue ones do now, what about the others? What do you think they do?”
She smirked at me “So you’re admitting to nanobots being a thing now?”
I looked down my nose at her “Don’t be smug Martialla, it’s not a good color on you.”
She chuckled “According to you no color is a good one on me. I always thought that I looked good in blue ironically.” She tilted her head slightly “Who’s the grungy dude giving us the eye?”
Grungy could have meant anyone around but I knew who she was talking about, I glanced at the fellow who had been stalking me since the fight “I don’t know, but he looks normal, relatively speaking, given the givens assuming the assumptions. I’ve been wondering if he’s another freezer case like us.”
She sat on the edge of the plane cockpit for a minute to rest, she gets winded easily “You think there’s a lot of those around?”
I shrugged “I wouldn’t have thought that there were any before we encountered the Indian lady and her gang of lady doctors. Now? All bets are off right? If you’re correct and time marched on for a while when we were in those tubes before the world apocalypted, maybe lots of people got turned into popsicles after us.”
“I take it you haven’t asked him?”
I shook my head “No, I was a little busy saving your life.”
“You never were any good at multitasking. Although what did you actually do to save me anyway? I feel like the nanobots did all the heavy lifting on that project and then you’re swooping in to try and take the credit.”
I sighed “I hate you Martialla.”
She smiled sweetly “I know Ela, I know. But it’s nice to hear you say it.”