Autojektor (excerpt)

The pug-faced soldier rolled a gurney into the room, the Combrig entering behind him. The cadaver was covered with a sheet and as it pushed past me I could tell that the body was still warm.

“This one made its own incisions for us,” Combrig Milkin said with a laugh.

Sergei lifted the sheet and looked thoughtfully at his new specimen. “This is a fresh corpse,” he said as laid the sheet back over its head.

“Less than six hours old,” the Combrig said. “He was known to cause some problems in the square, and my men went to his home to ask him several questions. We had heard rumors of his…deviant life style. The pervert chose to end his life instead of giving any answers. I suspect to hide his lover’s mom, but no matter. We shall wipe out all such degenerates in time. Well, what are you waiting for?”

Sergei gave me an affirmative nod and I went straight to work while he entertained the Combrig. I removed the sheet that covered the corpse and though I saw its features clearly, its chiseled jawline, slender build, and shaggy blonde hair, my mind refused to comprehend the horror that lay before me.

Dmitry. My poor, sweet Dima.

I stood there frozen, staring at the body of my love, for how long I do not know, until I was interrupted by the bellow of the Combrig. “Well, boy? What are you waiting for?”

“My apologies, sir. I’ve never seen a corpse so raw,” I said. I slipped the rubber tubing into the incisions on his wrists and watched his blood, his life pour out of him and into the machine. Thank you I lipped to him, though I knew he could read me. I remained silent as I watched the autojektor bring his vital fluid back to life. The men behind me talked and laughed and I felt as though they were miles away.

The machine worked swiftly on his fresh body. Though his was larger than the child we had previously worked on, his remains were warm enough that the autojektor had no problem returning his circulation. I watched the life return to his body and as the hours passed I did not say a word.

The evening waned on, and though his heart was beating with the help of the machine, Combrig Milkin grew increasingly restless. “Can you disconnect the machine?” asked Comrade Bryukhonenko. “Will his heart beat yet without its aid?”

“I do not know, Comrade,” I said.

“Then you will find out. And if that does not work, there are plenty more where that one came from,” said Combrig Milkin. But he was wrong. There were no more like this one.

I went to pull the rubber tubing from his wrists when Dmitry gasped for air. His eyes flung open and looked straight into mine, looked inside of me, and I reached out and turned off the machine.

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