The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!
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11.02.2012 , 10:24 PM |
Back to something short(-ish). Maneera Sindri, spoiler free.
A Gram is Better
Corellia, 3 BTC.
Maneera staggered in through the back door of the clinic, her hands shaking as she pressed her fists to her eyes, pushing back against the burning-itching-stabbing pain that spiked from her bored-out eye sockets straight back into her brain. Hennigan was with a patient, for which Maneera was ridiculously grateful. She dug into the inside pocket of her jacket and pulled out a fistful of unregistered credsticks, which she let fall in a clumsy pile onto the desk. The noise of the falling plastic knifed through her temples, and she felt a sick sense of gratitude — certainly not for the first time and probably not for the last — that Hennigan hadn’t rigged her to be able to cry.
The doctor had left the usual set of injectors lined up and waiting for her on a corner of the desk. Smug bastard always knew when she’d be needing another hit. Maneera pocketed the lot without a second thought. Right now, she was in too much pain to dwell on the fact that “post-op treatments” had never been anything but fiction. In a few minutes, she’d be too strung out to care that Hennigan accounted for each and every fix, stacking it up with the rest of her debt to him. Worries like that were hours away, in the narrow (thinner every day) stretch of clarity between withdrawal from the spice and withdrawal from the world.
Hauling herself up the stairs was a physical act of will. Already half slumped over, it was simpler to fall to hands and knees than to duck through the half-door into the attic. Maneera crawled to the back corner, slithering around dusty boxes of cooked ledgers to collapse, trembling, onto a pile of threadbare blankets. She pulled the injectors from her pocket and held them up to the fading evening light. Blue and purple went into an empty box beside her nest for safekeeping; they would keep her awake and coherent (enough) for tomorrow’s errands. The others were for here and now — red to numb the pain, pale gold to lift the crushing weight of the failure she had become.
She brought the two injectors up to her mouth, pulled off the caps with her teeth, then jabbed the needles into her thigh and slammed down the plungers. Even with the shakes, long practice at this let her hit the mark without devoting any real thought to the action. She turned her head, spat out the needle guards; the syringes were tossed into a pile with their predecessors from... how long ago? Downstairs, Hennigan’s patient was giving him hell about something. Maneera let the words spin out into white noise. She was past caring about anything other than the golden soap-bubble dreams she wouldn’t remember past the first stim of tomorrow morning.
Brave New World
. I find myself in dire need of a unicorn chaser.
"I may be on the side of the angels,
but don't think for one second that I am one of them."