It’s easy to fall apart when things get tough. I’ve lost arms and my leg from the knee down a couple of times. Fortunately I was able to put myself back together with a little patience.
The embarrassing bit was explaining why I was late to work.
I didn’t want to go into the Furnace which isn’t really a furnace but that’s what it’s referred to because it’s so stressful. I look human enough, for a metal person that is, but I’m not all metal and stress does things to the systems that allow the interface between organic and man-made. It’s too long an explanation, though, so you can look it up if you want.
Anyway, I didn’t want to go in, but Mike made me do it. The task had to be done and I was best qualified even though he knew I was having a bit of trouble lately with keeping things together they way they should. He apologized but it was important.
So I went into the Furnace which wasn’t hot but was busy and I did my best to stay calm. It didn’t work. My heart and my other heart both sped up with the clamor and din as if they were keeping time with the rhythm of the machines. Halfway across the crowded space, in one of the tightest passages between the atomizer and the breaker the alarm went off.
My right arm detached spontaneously at the shoulder and when I tried to bend over to pick it up, I couldn’t. I was paralyzed.
I am paralyzed.
Mike sometimes talks to me over the mic to apologize but that was the end of the Furnace. They shut the lights off and I’m trapped and dying. The radiation, they say, is contained. And I can never leave.