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Unbreak My Heart New [L; crow and I]

Postby zapdragon555 » 03/30/2015 1:29 AM

Image

If there was one thing that Rudy was sure of, it was that he would never grow used to the sound of the high pitched beeping emanating from the electroencephalogram just behind the closed door before him. Rudy and Terrence worked with robotics, with artificial intelligence. There was no room for heart monitors, there, no need for breathing machines. Dark brown eyes read over the plaque on the door for the umpteenth time, his mentor's office, his friend's name, his partner's room... but it really wasn't anything like that. Not that last bit. And it wouldn't be, if nature had any hand in it.

The news still rang loud and dissonant in Rudy's ears, from the hour ago it had taken him to drive to the lab and mentally prepare himself for the talk that would unfold. Terrence had stage four lung cancer, and if medical word was law, there was nothing any doctor could do about it, now.

But Rudy was not a doctor. Even so, he couldn't put his idea, his wild, crazy idea that had conceived itself into his brain on the way there into motion without Terrence's permission. For it was a project that they had been working on together, born from Rudy's brain and Terrence's skilled hands. But it wasn't finished, and there was no time, there was no time, no time, why the hell was he just standing there...

Rudy nearly forced himself into the office-turned-hospital room, then remembered something, raising his knuckles to the door to knock just once, staring at his own hand as his sleeve fell away from it, pulled down by gravity. He stared at the burns on his hands, then sighed through his nose and pulled his sleeve back up as he entered the room. "Sir?" he called softly, staring at the grey figure that had replaced the older scientist, lying lifeless and still in the bed. The smell of death in the room was stifling, and Rudy thought he might be sick for a moment, before slowly walking in and staring down at Terrence's face, concern painted over his own pale features. "Sir... are you awake...?"
You're a door-without-a-key,
A field-without-a-fence.
You made a holy fool of me,
And I've thanked you ever since.
If she comes circling back,
We'll end where we'd begun,
Like two pennies on the train track
The train crushed into one,
Or if I'm a crown without a king,
If I'm a broken open seed,
If I come without a thing,
Then I come with all I need.
No boat out in the blue,
No place to rest your head
The trap I set for you seems to have
Caught my leg instead.

I do not exist. I do not exist. I do not exist.


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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [P; crow and I]

Postby crow » 03/30/2015 1:45 AM

Terrence stirred at the sound of a familiar voice, and turned to the door with a smile. He tried to prop himself up a little more, bracing his weight on his elbows as he shifted. He wanted to look well for Rudy--- he had kept the knowledge of his illness from him for as long as he could--- but a fit of coughing belied his state immediately. "Yes, come in," he said, his voice rasping as he spoke. Since when had breathing become so hard?

His smile softened at the edges as he took in the look on Rudy's face. He had thought Rudy might take it hard, but seeing the confirmation of it still saddened him. "The ruse is up, isn't it?" He chuckled, which turned into another fit of coughing. When that abated at last, he cleared his throat. "I'm sorry you have to see me like this," he said, lifting the hand attached to his IV. He had grown much too thin in the past year, and now the bones in his arm stood out against the skin. "But yes, I'm awake. What do you need?"




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [P; crow and I]

Postby zapdragon555 » 03/30/2015 1:55 AM

Rudy blinked as Terrence tried to raise up slightly, and he shook his head, beginning to murmur something like 'no, please,' to make the man lie back down. He didn't want him to strain himself, but at the same time he wanted to drag Terrence out of bed and run with him around the lab just to see him move again. Take him out to the garden to show him what a state of disrepair it was becoming, because Rudy didn't know the different between weeds and flowers and knew nothing about gardening. "The ruse," he echoed Terrence softly, looking lost for a moment, before it clicked and he nodded slowly, swallowing. "Yeah, um... no, no, it's... it's fine." Lies. It wasn't fine. None of this was fine.

Rudy's eyes flickered as he saw Terrence's hand raise slightly, and he had to bite back the overwhelming need to reach out and hold it in his own. But he'd never done something like that before. It wouldn't be right. And even though he knew very well that Terrence knew about the injuries on his hands, because Terrence was observant and wouldn't miss such a glaring thing despite the fact that Rudy wore gloves now and then... he still didn't want Terrence to see. It was so trivial and yet the thought was the only thing keeping Rudy's head from spinning off his shoulders. There's nothing we can do. Just like that, like some TV soap opera. Nothing we can do. Nothing.

"Oh," he said suddenly, like a wind-up doll ratcheting back to life. He blinked, realizing his eyes were damp, and he let out a short huff of air, raising one hand to run through dark curls. "I... yes, I should be quick. I'm sorry, sir. I..." How to even pose something such as that revolutionary idea... and with his voice breaking how it was, no less, it would prove even more difficult to put his thoughts into words. "I... had an idea."
You're a door-without-a-key,
A field-without-a-fence.
You made a holy fool of me,
And I've thanked you ever since.
If she comes circling back,
We'll end where we'd begun,
Like two pennies on the train track
The train crushed into one,
Or if I'm a crown without a king,
If I'm a broken open seed,
If I come without a thing,
Then I come with all I need.
No boat out in the blue,
No place to rest your head
The trap I set for you seems to have
Caught my leg instead.

I do not exist. I do not exist. I do not exist.


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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [P; crow and I]

Postby crow » 03/30/2015 2:20 AM

This was precisely why Terrence had kept things from him. He hadn't liked the prospect of lying to Rudy, but he liked the idea of seeing him distraught even less. He had been through so much as it was, and at the time it had seemed like such a good idea. Why trouble anyone else further when there was nothing that could be done? He wanted to say something, offer reassurances, but what could he have said?

He lit up as Rudy mentioned his idea, a little of his former liveliness returning to his features. "Sit with me a while," he said, beckoning Rudy closer. "I want to hear all about it. Is this about the project? Are you starting a different one?" Even on his deathbed, it was talk of work that got him excited.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [P; crow and I]

Postby zapdragon555 » 03/30/2015 2:32 AM

The image of Terrence's face lighting up with just a flicker of his old warmth seemed to put Rudy at some level of ease. He let out a slow breath, collecting himself, and offered the man a smile. "One moment," he murmured, turning around to drag Terrence's old office chair, which had been pressed against the wall, over to the bed. In truth he hadn't noticed it was Terrence's chair, but it had wheels, and thus moved quicker, which was what he needed. Speed. He was racing a clock now, and had been racing it for years but didn't know until only an hour prior.

"No, sir, it's... well, yes, it's about the project... our project," he said softly, sitting down in the chair and scooting closer, putting his hands on the bedrail to hold on to something, to draw false strength from the cold metal against his hands. "It's um... I haven't worked on it much on my own, but... but I want to keep working on it. But... I want it to be something different than I originally planned."

The robot had been built to be a friend. It was sappy, when Rudy thought back on it, but in truth it held a great scientific secret. What made a friend, and how could it be replicated in code and metal? Emotions, empathy, and gentleness. Of course, the project had a long way to go, and now, seemed to be cutting short entirely. "I... I want to build it to be a vessel. For memories, sir..." Rudy tried to articulate his words, but his chest felt tight with how little he knew, how threadbare his plan was. How little he could tell Terence and how much he wanted to tell him, but was afraid to. What if he said no? Oh, he needed to explain himself further...
You're a door-without-a-key,
A field-without-a-fence.
You made a holy fool of me,
And I've thanked you ever since.
If she comes circling back,
We'll end where we'd begun,
Like two pennies on the train track
The train crushed into one,
Or if I'm a crown without a king,
If I'm a broken open seed,
If I come without a thing,
Then I come with all I need.
No boat out in the blue,
No place to rest your head
The trap I set for you seems to have
Caught my leg instead.

I do not exist. I do not exist. I do not exist.


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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [P; crow and I]

Postby crow » 03/30/2015 4:00 PM

There was something about Rudy’s manner that set Terrence ill at ease. He spoke hesitantly, almost as if he had come bearing bad news and was uncertain as to how best to break it to a man whose health was already in decline. If he had just come to talk about an idea for the project, the mood ought to have been different. He had many fond memories of days passed in excited discussion with Rudy about their work, where they never realized how much time had passed until night had descended, and suddenly they were left wondering where the hours had gone.

He could only guess that Rudy thought he might disapprove, and did his best to put that notion to rest. “That sounds like a wonderful idea. Different from what we originally planned, but there’s certainly potential. We would have to make changes to the central memory—How would we…? Ah, yes, silly me, we have signal recording devices now.” It didn’t take much for him to warm to the subject, and he longed to get up and move about the lab, take up his tools again and begin work immediately. There was so much to do…

He doubled over in another fit of coughing, pain searing in his chest. Reaching over to the bedside table, he lifted a glass of water and brought it to his lips. He had little appetite anymore but he was always thirsty. “Did you need help with anything? I’m afraid I won’t be able to do much lab work but I can still make up some plans.”




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [P; crow and I]

Postby zapdragon555 » 03/30/2015 4:20 PM

As Rudy watched Terrence talk, he felt a kind of gentle affection drape over the pain in his chest. There was always something about the way the older man spoke that lit up a kind of confidence in Rudy. "Yes, we... we should have everything we need," he said with a nod. He couldn't bring himself to say 'I'. It was always 'we', and nothing would change that, especially not an illness. "I think we could--"

Rudy cut off as Terrence began coughing, and a flash of alarm spread over his face, his heart dropping about three meters in his chest. "A-are you okay...?" What a question. No, of course he wasn't. "Um... no, no you don't need to strain yourself. I can handle it for us. Um... but... I do need your help for one thing." He was growing hesitant again. It wasn't like him. But then, lying in a hospital bed with a machine breathing for him was not like Terrence. "I... I want to transfer your memories, sir. Because... it, i-it would be a way of... preserving you, I guess." Oh, everything he said was coming out wrong. It sounded so cold, so robotic, pun unintended. "You could live... theoretically of course. And... and keep working..."
You're a door-without-a-key,
A field-without-a-fence.
You made a holy fool of me,
And I've thanked you ever since.
If she comes circling back,
We'll end where we'd begun,
Like two pennies on the train track
The train crushed into one,
Or if I'm a crown without a king,
If I'm a broken open seed,
If I come without a thing,
Then I come with all I need.
No boat out in the blue,
No place to rest your head
The trap I set for you seems to have
Caught my leg instead.

I do not exist. I do not exist. I do not exist.


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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [P; crow and I]

Postby crow » 04/16/2015 9:48 PM

... Ah. The smile froze on Terrence's face. He felt the excitement die in his chest as he realized the purpose of Rudy's plans. Him, his memories, stored away in a series of circuits and switches, preserved from the illness that was eating away at him now.

He should have been happy to hear it. The idea of working again, of getting up and tending his garden, those ought to have been joyful prospects for him. However, all he could bring himself to feel was a tide of apprehension, mingled with a sudden bone-aching tiredness. His expression softened as he looked at Rudy. Placing his thin hands on that of the younger man before him, Terrence said, "It's a very nice thought, but I don't think it's necessary."




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [P; crow and I]

Postby zapdragon555 » 04/16/2015 11:04 PM

Rudy should've known. He saw the light go out of Terrence's eyes, saw it fizzle out with realization of Rudy's true intentions, and in that moment Rudy couldn't have been more angry. Angry with Terrence, with himself, with cancer, with the scars on his hands as Terrence covered them up with his own frail ones. Rudy was dead silent as he stared at the fingers, at the purplish veins beneath thinning skin. Rudy's hands twitched, and he felt his throat knot up, a disgusting little sniveling noise coming out of him as he ducked his head to collect himself. Not... necessary...?

He took a steadying breath and raised his head again, a smile on his face despite his damp eyes. A morbid part of him hoped Terrence's eyesight was bad enough now that he couldn't see the tears in Rudy's eyes. "I disagree, sir," he said softly, shaking his head. His hands were almost lifeless underneath Terrence's. Rudy had never held anyone's hand, and the idea of it almost frightened him. He didn't know what to do. He didn't know if he wanted to touch Terrence's cold hands, so dying and decaying, but... in good health, Rudy would have done anything to touch those hands...

Rudy blinked and let out a breath this time, and it shuddered a bit at the end. "I think it... i-it would be wonderful. Because... it is necessary, sir. It's..." It's your decision, he wanted to say, because at the end of the day Rudy could only ask for permission. "I... this lab needs you, you know, and..."
You're a door-without-a-key,
A field-without-a-fence.
You made a holy fool of me,
And I've thanked you ever since.
If she comes circling back,
We'll end where we'd begun,
Like two pennies on the train track
The train crushed into one,
Or if I'm a crown without a king,
If I'm a broken open seed,
If I come without a thing,
Then I come with all I need.
No boat out in the blue,
No place to rest your head
The trap I set for you seems to have
Caught my leg instead.

I do not exist. I do not exist. I do not exist.


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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [P; crow and I]

Postby crow » 04/16/2015 11:30 PM

"Oh, I'm sure you could find someone," Terrence said, forcing his voice to be light. "I'm hardly the best in my field, you know, and a few of my old college friends have voiced interest in the project before. You could get better funding with--- ah, I'm sorry. You don't like this sort of thing, do you?" He remembered abruptly how particular Rudy was about his hands, and took his own away, holding them up in the air in a gesture that was half surrender, half apology. He laughed gently, as much as his chest permitted without breaking into another fit. As agitated as Rudy was right now, seeing Terrence cough was probably the last thing he needed. Deep down, he knew--- or flattered himself he knew--- that it wasn't really about his expertise, but what else could he say?




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [P; crow and I]

Postby zapdragon555 » 04/17/2015 5:47 PM

Rudy's smile grew fixed, grew into a grimace and finally a look of strained disbelief as he watched Terrence talk. Something bubbled up inside of him, some surging anger and outrage, but it was held back by tight reins in the back of Rudy's eyes. He wanted to yell, to shake Terrence and tell him to stop selling himself short, stop making everything seem fine, stop smiling but oh god keep smiling, because he looked normal and alive and Rudy would've wanted nothing more than to see that smile if it had been at any other time than Terrence telling Rudy that Rudy didn't need Terrence.

Wrong, all of it. Wrong, wrong--Rudy blinked as Terrence's hands suddenly left his, and his fingers twitched, expression locking on Terrence's face with a look similar to that of a lost child. He swallowed audibly and blinked, tears springing in his eyes. A few escaped down his cheeks before he could duck his head and scrub at his eyes with a wrist, gritting his teeth. "That's--th-that's not the point, sir," he said softly, his voice cracking. "I don't want funding. I don't need funding, I don't care about that!" he suddenly snapped, his voice rising and sharpening as he stared at Terrence with watery eyes. Oh, he was making such a scene... he needed to stop, now.

Rudy dug his knuckles into his eyes to wipe away his own tears, and he took a steadying breath, letting it out slowly. "Sorry. I'm sorry, sir. I... I meant to say... I do care about our projects. About everything we've done--" Together-- "A-and... but... b-but that's not... ghk!" Rudy cut off in a small, stifled fit of seething pain, screwing his eyes up and ducking his head, his heart threatening to claw up his throat. How... how could he even begin to convince Terrenece? Convince him that this wasn't a good idea, but rather the only idea? The only thing Rudy could stand to do, besides watch Terrence waste away in a hospital bed. And anything was better than that.
You're a door-without-a-key,
A field-without-a-fence.
You made a holy fool of me,
And I've thanked you ever since.
If she comes circling back,
We'll end where we'd begun,
Like two pennies on the train track
The train crushed into one,
Or if I'm a crown without a king,
If I'm a broken open seed,
If I come without a thing,
Then I come with all I need.
No boat out in the blue,
No place to rest your head
The trap I set for you seems to have
Caught my leg instead.

I do not exist. I do not exist. I do not exist.


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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [P; crow and I]

Postby crow » 04/19/2015 11:59 PM

Terrence went quiet at that. His smile disappeared, and without it, he only looked worried, tired; his skin seemed paler than ever. The bed looked fit to swallow him whole. He watched Rudy as the younger man struggled to hold it together, feeling an ache building in his chest that had nothing to do with the sickness that plagued him.

He remembered it well, being on the other side. His wife hadn't suffered long following her accident, but he had spent two days spending every spare moment by her side in the hospital, holding her hands and watching her breathe. If he could have taken her back...

But he was tired, so tired. It would have been so easy to slip away. Terrence was no religious man. He didn't think he would find her there waiting for him on the other side, wherever it may be. But he had made his peace--- it had taken so much just to stop fighting, and now Rudy wanted him to start again. Terrence didn't know if he could take it, spending his last days hoping for something that might never come to fruition.

Still, the memories of the hospital tugged at him. What wouldn't he have given for any hope at all? With a weary sigh, he said, "Well, if you would like to try, who am I to stop you? I still think you're wasting your time, but... Ah, don't look so sad, Rudy. Your charm is your smile, you know?"




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [P; crow and I]

Postby zapdragon555 » 04/20/2015 12:53 AM

Rudy slowly lifted his face to stare at Terrence as he spoke. Oh... he was giving him permission? Rudy wondered why he felt nothing in response to it. It felt hollow, like a death knell that mocked Rudy for ever hoping Terrence would accept Rudy's idea with a hopeful smile and say, 'Oh, what a wonderful idea. My garden really has been wilting recently, hasn't it?'

Rudy tensed at the compliment--if one could call it that--his throat tightening sharply. He stared at Terrence like he'd seen a ghost, his expression anything but a smile. "You're wrong," he said softly, holding Terrence's eyes for as long as he could before he couldn't stand it anymore, and he abruptly clenched his hands together, digging his nails at the burns and scars as he sucked in a breath through his nose. "You're wrong, sir. I-I could never waste my time on you. On something like this," he followed up quickly, his throat coming out pitifully childlike, sniveling. He was wrong about the smile thing, too, but Rudy knew better than to push away a compliment of a dying man, especially when that man so happened to be his business partner, friend, and object of the deepest admiration Rudy had ever felt for anything or anyone. Dying. And telling him that he would be wasting his time. "Your charm is being alive, sir," was his half-hearted attempt at a witty counter, his tears holding back and granting him the good graces to talk coherently again.
You're a door-without-a-key,
A field-without-a-fence.
You made a holy fool of me,
And I've thanked you ever since.
If she comes circling back,
We'll end where we'd begun,
Like two pennies on the train track
The train crushed into one,
Or if I'm a crown without a king,
If I'm a broken open seed,
If I come without a thing,
Then I come with all I need.
No boat out in the blue,
No place to rest your head
The trap I set for you seems to have
Caught my leg instead.

I do not exist. I do not exist. I do not exist.


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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [P; crow and I]

Postby crow » 05/17/2015 11:54 PM

Rudy hadn't perked up as Terrence had hoped, but he supposed it was unfair to expect Rudy's spirits to revive so quickly, so easily, especially under the current circumstances. He almost regretted what he had said. Still, he hadn't exactly had time to compose his reaction to Rudy's proposal, and it was just as unreasonable for him to expect Terrence to welcome it with open arms, wasn't it? Or was Terrence the odd man out, for not grasping at any chance to live?

He managed a weak chuckle at Rudy's reply. "Oh, I hope I have more going for me than the fact that I'm breathing," he said lightly, his eyes creasing into a smile. "But thank you." He leaned back against the bed, glancing out at the window. It was exactly the sunny sort of day that would have made him long for his garden back when he hadn't been bedridden, but even the thought of it felt impossible now. He didn't know what else to say to Rudy, which felt odd considering how comfortable their partnership had been thus far, at least on his own end. He didn't want to be the one to dismiss the younger man if Rudy wanted to stay, but conversation suddenly felt like a minefield he wasn't suited to navigate.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [P; crow and I]

Postby zapdragon555 » 06/15/2015 12:26 PM

At last it seemed Rudy's tears had staved off enough for him to look up at Terrence, gazing at the older man in the bed, the pallid color to his face and tired, kind eyes. He managed something like a small smile, but it lasted only a second before conviction gripped him and sobered his expression once more. "You have a lot more going for you than that, sir," he said softly, taking the tension in the air as his cue to leave.

Besides, there was nothing more he needed. Now that Terrence had given him permission to work, Rudy was only wasting time sitting there.

*     *     *

He'd really taken far too long. Rudy was an efficient man, most of the time--good with his hands, as injured as they were. But he'd taken days of great pains to make sure everything was built properly, at least the core mechanics, because repairs could be made later. Rudy held the lightweight figure draped in his arms, staring down at the artificial sculpted face and clear, but unblinking eyes... conventionally beautiful, objectively, but to Rudy, it just looked dead. A bad omen if there ever was one.

The mainframe was there. Rudy had gutted all of its previous data, anything that might conflict with the introduction of Terrence's memories. Years of work gone, stashed away somewhere in a drawer until Rudy would work up the courage to see if he'd damaged anything in his frantic flight to finish the threadbare necessities for his new plan to work. He nearly jumped in surprise as an odd-looking headpiece nearly slipped off the robot in his arms, gasping as it swung and hit his hip, tethered to a second headpiece already attached to the robot's skull. He stood still, heart beating frightening fast--he knew it was the nature of what he was doing. The duplicity of it all--yes, he asked permission, of course, but... there was something terribly dirty about it. The clock read four in the morning last time Rudy had checked, and Terrence was hopefully long asleep. The brain was at its most lucid when dreaming, anyway.

The floor barely creaked as he pushed through Terrence's doorway. It creaked a second time as he gently bent down to lay the robot against the wall, its head lolling to the side on a mesh throat, concealed by skin that looked far too ethereal to be convincing at all. He checked the headpiece, thin fingers following the wire to the second headpiece lying at the robot's side, and he stretched it as he stood, looking to Terrence. The floor creaked a third time as he carefully, gently attached the headpiece to Terrence's forehead and temples, heart stilling in his chest as he waited with bated breath for the man to wake up...

He did not. Thank goodness. Rudy stepped back, letting out a soft breath, shadows flickering on his face as he looked over Terrence's frail form breathing softly in the bed, at the withered hand laying over the sheets... Rudy reached forward on impulse, hesitated, then barely brushed his fingertips along the tendons in Terrence's hand, something sharp lodging in his throat. No, he couldn't get distracted now. Quick, fast, waste no time. Rudy rushed back to the robot and opened its chest with a few quiet pops, sitting back on his heels--a fourth creak of the floor, and Rudy thought it was a wonder that Terrence was still asleep. Or perhaps everything just sounded amplified in the room, covered only by the heart monitor's beeps and breathing apparatus. Terrence took out a small metal screen, hooked to the robot with countless winding wires, and began flitting his fingers over the touchscreen with a focused look in his eyes.

Direction of flow--set, clear all previously collected data--confirmed, source of information--headpiece_2, receiver of information--headpiece_1, check, check, check. Rudy had to smile to himself; the algorithm seemed to be working close to perfectly. With a rushing surge of hope, Rudy checked a few more things, then promptly hit the large rectangle onscreen that read BEGIN TRANSFER, and all at once, he felt the breath leave his body as he stared at the new message.

WARNING: THE DESIRED OUTCOME STATED WILL TERMINATE THE SOURCE'S LIFE SUPPORT
DO YOU WISH TO PROCEED? Y / N

Jesus. What was this? Rudy's hand, hovering over the screen, shook with a sudden fit of dread. Had he... really not taken that into account, when programming the thing? Slowly his gaze moved from the bright screen, blinking in the dark of the room to travel up the wires to Terrence's face, the heart monitor suddenly too loud in his ears. It was too late--he couldn't go back and fix this, now. If he wanted it to work, it needed to start now. It needed as much time as physically possible to make the transfer as complete as possible, but...

There's nothing we can do. The doctor's words rang in Rudy's ears, and he felt a chill run down his throat and stomach, filling him with slow-moving ice as he slowly tore his eyes away from Terrence's form to look back at the bright screen, which hurt his eyes now. There were legal issues involved here; besides the obvious emotional barrier, Rudy had no authority to do anything life threatening without Terrence's permission, likely signed in contract... God, why was he even considering that aspect?! This was murder--this wasn't just a chance of death, this was absolute, definite death. And Rudy was holding it in his hands.

But then again... it was either this, or a slow, decaying death that seemed to claim more and more of the man Rudy idolized and loved each hour. And Rudy had the possible power to delay that, to delay it for as long as Rudy lived, if the robot proved to work. He had the power to bring a dying man back to life, to save his friend and mentor and partner. It seemed as though these dreams of grandeur stretched on forever, for suddenly, Rudy realized that the heart monitor wasn't beeping.

Panic. Rudy slammed a finger onto the Y, and the machine hummed softly to life, the sensors on the headpieces lighting up with a soft white light. Ah, just a trick of his own thoughts--there it was. The steady beeping, it was back. Maybe a hitch in the system, maybe a hitch in Terrence's heart, or maybe a misconception of the passage of time. Rudy wasn't sure. He wasn't terribly sure of anything, as he stared at the screen, showing nothing more than a spinning circle and a TRANSFER IN PROCESS displayed plainly across the screen. A death warrant, signed and initialed by Rudy himself. Rudy could feel the blood draining from his face, his head, his hands as the screen flickered between STABILIZING SUBJECT and TRANSFER IN PROCESS and ERROR--DATA CORRUPTION for a split second before a quick RECOVERING and suddenly, it was all too much.

Rudy swayed, the screen fading to blackness as unconsciousness gripped him, and he fainted.
You're a door-without-a-key,
A field-without-a-fence.
You made a holy fool of me,
And I've thanked you ever since.
If she comes circling back,
We'll end where we'd begun,
Like two pennies on the train track
The train crushed into one,
Or if I'm a crown without a king,
If I'm a broken open seed,
If I come without a thing,
Then I come with all I need.
No boat out in the blue,
No place to rest your head
The trap I set for you seems to have
Caught my leg instead.

I do not exist. I do not exist. I do not exist.


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zapdragon555
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