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I wish to thank Constance Grant, Michelle Davis and my SO, plus some other scoundrels who wish to be nameless for help and support during the writing of this, my first fiction in many years.
Spazz, A Token Story by Jean Rea all rights reserved ® 1999 by Jean Rea
Sunday 25 March 2005
"Good morning Judith and Angie, Ive made some mods to the vocoder. Heeheehee. Ummm I still need to work on the laugh function, I guess."
"Gee boss, I guess so. That sounded like that old kids video "the Iron Giant."
"Angie Blackwell you should be ashamed of yourself, this is the first time Tony has had the heuristic neural interface working at all. Thats not bad at all by the way, Ill set up a FFT filter later and well try again, ok?"
Ah yes. Dear Journal, Ive started without proper introductions once again. I am . . . or was Dr. Anton von Krag. A Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, I owned a small prototypes and design firm in Minneapolis until last week. For the last 12 years I was confined to a total mobility wheelchair, things now are a bit . . . different.
As someone whose life has been so radically changed twice, once by a drunk and the second by a small coin. Ive decided to write down what has happened to, well, keep my self centered. For months after the car crash I was a wreck (no pun intended) trying to come to grips with what had been done to me. Sister Kenny Institute at Abbot-Northwestern did their best but it was Sifu Chang who showed me the path to accepting what had happened to me.
I started at a very young age to work in design, my mom said I was taking things apart and more importantly putting them back together from around age three. I KNEW what I was going to do from the start you see, I was going to rebuild the world. Quite conceited I guess, but in some ways very true.
After the accident, for all kinds of reasons, I never needed to work again. My cash needs were lavishly taken care of by the insurance settlements. For a long time, just learning the limits of what my body imposed on me kept me busy. I still had the itch though and soon worked out some very primitive work-a-rounds that allowed me to go back to design work. Without the needs that once forced me into some semblance of normality, I soon was working 20 plus hours a day.
The products for assisting someone who was physically unable to care for him or her self, were in my opinion just junk. I soon came out with new designs for whole body wheelchairs, walkers, and vocoders that allowed speech to those that couldnt. These things soon spread to the non-disabled world, and the money just rolled in. Heck, the home I built so that I could function was radical, but with an aging Boomer population it was copied because it was so practical.
I never wanted to be dependent of or on people. I had learned all too well that they would destroy what didnt fit in. Sifu Chang helped me to come to grips with that very limiting thought pattern. With his help I soon was using my body and mind in ways that Id never believed possible to start with. I also was blessed with some aides who didnt feel that I was just a hunk of meat to be shoved, pushed, and prodded.
That was my first Life change. The second is much more recent and still boggles my engineers mind and soul. Angie had come back in to work from a vacation in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. We had never believed in the tales of how debauched it could be, she did change my mind. She also brought back some massive hangovers, plus at least 10 kilos of trinkets, beads, coins ( I understand theyre called Doubloons) and just STUFF for all of us to play with. She piled all this onto us and we had fun just seeing her flat pics, holograms and descriptions. I guess the decoration of my chair might be a bit tacky, I hope Lupe does enjoy them also.
Ah yes, Lupe. Later that afternoon I was rolling through Southdale Mall looking for Mothers Day gifts for the staff. Thats where I first encountered Ms. Constance Guadeloupe Santa Maria Delgado, much to my displeasure.
"Fucken Spazzy, son of a bitch, get the fuck out of my way"
Yes she has a charming way of speaking. Too bad now all she can do is grunt. She and her gang of girls had gotten on the service elevator, I guess to divide the days shoplifting spoils. Looking me over as a thing was bad, but as prey was worse.
"Hey Gina you think this Spazz has more money and goodies on him? I mean look at him, nice clothes, and all these packages . . . Girls I think we need to do a Robin Hood, dontcha?"
Lupe smacked me while saying so. It hurt.
"Gee, I don knows Lupe. Wadda ya think?"
Gina started going through the wrapped presents, keeping what the gang wanted and throwing the rest away. Lupe by this time had riffled my waist pack, taking the cash and credit cards. I knew trying to fight back would only get me hurt worse, so I didnt resist. All this time grasping in my bad arm the token that Angie had given me. She called it a wish Doubloon. I sat there knowing it was going to get worse. The other three girls, Lupe, and Gina started beating, hitting, and kicking me. Lupe and they just laughed and laughed.
As I lay there bleeding on the dirty elevator floor, I saw Lupe pull out a knife and start to wave it around.
"Well Spazzy, we wouldnt want you telling on us, now would we. I guess Ill just . . . ummm do a bit of emergency first aid. You should be so grateful, know what I mean".
I started wishing then that she and her "girls" would know justice first hand. When I saw the hand come down at me holding the knife, things got really confused. I saw and felt her memories, experiences that could only have come from Lupe. Her life was a open book, filled with terror, despair and aching loneliness. I felt her and the magic of the coin. The spark of what made Lupe . . . Lupe, was screaming "Its not fair" as she was put through the my life also. In some undescribable manner I saw our "souls" plucked out and switched into each others bodies, I fainted at this onslaught of a new life.
I woke up screaming and sobbing, holding my old body. We were covered with gore, I looked down at that face I knew so well and saw that Lupe was in there, trapped and helpless. This Lupes body was cut and assaulted also. Paramedics, police, and firefighters soon came rushing to our aid. The knowledge of the huge changes done to what I thought were the stable threads of reality caused me to have what I learned later was trauma and shock symptoms, I never felt the needle that put me to sleep.
I woke up again, sometime later, clean and stitched up in Fairview-Southdale hospital. Seeing Lupes mother and brother there was a shock. I remembered that both of them were involved in the drug trade in a Mexican gang. These two didnt match what the old Lupes memories had recalled. Why, they looked nice!!
"Momma, Frankie" I croaked...
"Ah, my baby is here" her tears of gladness started my own. We all started to talk at the same time. Frankie held up a hand, saying one at a time, one at a time. By then a nurse had come rushing into the room trailed by doctors and other nurses.
"Hello Ms. Delgado, Im Doctor Harnish. Do you recall what happened to you?"
"Not much Doctor, all I can remember is seeing a body covered in blood and me . . . well, in hysterics."
"Ummm, well Ill let you learn what has happened from your family. Now then, hold still and let me do a few tests."
The afternoon went by quickly and soon I was exhausted. Momma and Frankie came back for visiting hours and filled me in. A gang of skin heads lead by a Eugene (Gina to me) ORiliey had attacked me and Dr. von Krag in the service elevator. I had managed to pull the alarm. They left before doing the whole job and ran smack into a Bloomington Police SWAT unit.
After this news I was, to put it mildly, . . . Stunned. In a few days I was back to full health. The police had come by several times to ask questions. I also had a visit from my old bodys law firm. They informed me that in the terms of how Dr. von Krag had set up his will, if incapacitated the people that helped him would receive a reward of million dollars apiece, tax free. I remembered doing that but never thought I would receive it my self.
I went several times a month to the body of Dr. von Krag and told Lupe how I was doing. High school and the trial (Gina, Carmen, Trisha and Dulcie had all received life in prison without parole) and then Renlassler Tech for studies in Biogenetic Interface Engineering. I know its cruel, but for some reasons I feel I have to, for justice if nothing else.
In all, I feel that justice has been served. I have a nice healthy body. I still love women in the same way I did when I was a man but now I can do something about it. Ive made a contribution to my planet in cleaning up the wastes we made. All this thanks to a coin from the Mardi Gras.
I am blessed.
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