Kayla pulled him out of the hallway and behind the metal shipping crate she hid behind for cover. Aurin pressed the heels of his hands against his temples. Beneath his hands, blood fought to push through his skin. His body knew it was dying, but he wouldn’t let go without a fight. Only the fight was killing him. Being shot hurt less than the pain in his head.
“Aurin, let me help! Uncurl!”
Kayla’s hands pulled at him. Uncurl? When had he done that? Synthetics curled into the fetal position when they were injured or shutting down. He’d fought hard to break the habit, but in death instinct won over training.
“I can help you!” She sounded desperate, her voice a rough whisper.
Aurin clenched his muscles. He pushed against his instincts, pushed against the fear that kept him immobile. Against everything.
“That’s it, Aurin. Hold there. I need a moment.”
He struggled to keep his body obedient. Kayla needed to hurry. What could she possibly have that she thought might help—A sharp pain in his chest over his heart and its staccato beats stuttered down to a more normal pace. He could catch his breath again. Only one thing worked like that on synthetics.
“An Epi-pen?” They were beyond rare. And for her to have used one on him… There was no way for him to make it out of there in time. She’d wasted it.
“I have a source. Lie still. I need to check your vitals.”
“They’re normal as they can be.”
“I need to know how bad you are.”
“So you know.”
“The lab sent me the blood work. It’s yours, isn't it? Why didn’t you just tell me?”
"You needed to owe me a favor. Your clinic doesn’t treat mercs or cyborgs.”
A moment of tense silence. “Who told you that?”
“It’s not true?” He laughed and felt his heart stutter up a speed. Aurin took deep breaths. "That fool. He's killed me. If only I could return the pleasure.”
“Cable. He works out of the Luminat Inn two streets south of you. Sells drugs and information. Make sure to get him in trouble for me.”
“You aren’t going to die. I can get you out of here, if you’re willing to fight for it.”
He doubted it. Two noncombatants, fleeing a military facility with no weapons? They would never even see the main hall.
Wordage: cyborg, flee
Genre: Science Fiction
Word count: 403