art by Richard Gagnon
by Henry Szabranski
Simon would not say goodbye this time. He had worked hard enough, sacrificed enough, paid enough, to not say goodbye to his wife ever again.
He leaned his head against the glass wall of the pod and stared inside at River's freshly printed body. She looked up at him, smiled and said, "I love you."
Simon turned to the technician monitoring the pod and, if he hadn't feared it might interrupt the ongoing transfer process, would have crushed him in a grateful bear hug. "It's going well. She can talk. She recognizes me."
The technician nodded, his thin face impassive, lit by the neon glow of the monitor pad cradled in his hands. Morton, his name tag read. Simon fought the sudden urge to laugh. Mortless would have been more appropriate.
"It looks like it, this time." Morton's voice was as lean and dry as his face. "She was presented to us very late, though. The damage to her cortex is extensive."