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Esther, a fix-it person in the robotics company, covering up transgressions, and acting as trauma cleaner when things go awry, often calls on her boss’s (Quinn’s) rival in the world, Scottie, a cyborg engineer, to make ‘adjustments’ to her body, and has recently taken a new technology, blood soldiers to treat hormonal health issues.
“Henry has known Esther way more than ten years, and if he’s recalling correctly, she’s never mentioned her actual age, which is probably irrelevant as he’s certain she’s not all real. She’s a big fan of Scottie Fuennel’s cyborg enhancements, and she’s had parts switched out so many times—which possibly range in age from teenager to something approaching a century—that she’s probably not even certain of her own age either.
‘Yesterday, I was, like, dropping dead,’ Esther explains. ‘You think about your age when you tick one over, right? And to be honest, I’ve been feeling pretty shitty. So, I go to the doctor. And guess what? I’ve been worried for no reason.’
‘Yes, for no reason at all. I’m not even sure I should share this with you, Henry. Have you heard of Blood Soldiers? A little bit of me, a little bit of technology.’
‘Blood Soldiers? Never heard of it.’
‘It’s a treatment, with soldiers suspended in it.’
‘Sounds like you should be worried.’
‘Like penicillin, only—’
‘Only tiny little men with helmets?’ Henry queries.
‘Of course not, but tiny, yes, and then off they go the little fuckers, to seek out their targeted cells.’
‘Is this new? Who did you get it from?’
Esther doesn’t reply.
‘Was it Scottie? Don’t let Quinn find out.’
‘I don’t care what Quinn thinks; Quinn’s all talk. I think I’m the only person Quinn doesn’t scare.’
‘So, you have tiny men inside you, dismantling your cells for the rest of your life?’
‘Gross, I know. But no, they deactivate in fifty days and expel the usual way. Job done.’ Esther laughs.
‘You poop the soldiers?’
They’re both silent for a beat, taking that information in. Henry watches the lift numbers tick by—140, 139, 138.
‘I think this conversation is over, Henry.’