Special Delivery – Malcolm (Part 1)

Malcolm Forsyth entered the elevator and pressed the seventh floor button. The elevator stopped a minute later on the selected floor.

Swinging his arms in a circular motion, Malcolm made his way to his workstation. Logging in and waiting for his displays to show his assignments, Malcolm fitted his elbow pads and adjusted the wrist straps on his gloves.

A dark purple smear appeared in the air past his workstation and a dark-skinned person walked from it. The horns and tail grabbed Malcolm’s attention first.

“You’re the new guy.” Malcolm dashed around his workstation and extended his hand. “I’m Malcolm Forsyth.”

“Oh. I am Raphael Collins.” Raphael shook the proffered hand. “Nice to meet you.”

“I see you are a teleporter.” Malcolm watched as the dark purple smear disappeared. “What is your distance, if I might ask?”

“Oh, yes.” Raphael’s tail twitched back and forth. “I do not really know. I have not had to go too far. Maybe two-hundred kilometers.”

“Wow!” Malcolm’s brows shot up and he leaned forward. “I’m a speedster, so I’m limited to the ground.”

“Really?” Raphael shifted his stance, and he looked at Malcolm. “How fast can you travel? I have heard Karl can hit one fifty. I know that to be fast.”

Malcolm smiled. “Yeah, Karl is fast. If I push it and get in an aerodynamic position, I get just shy of two hundred, but that is on a straight away.”

BEEP! BEEP!

Malcolm and Raphael looked at their wrist panels.

“It is not mine.” Raphael held up his arm.

“Yup. It’s me.” Malcolm waved his arm, then went back to his workstation.

Vanguard’s vitals on the screen reached the warning stage. Malcolm tapped a few buttons on his keyboard and found the location.

“The docks, that’s about sixty miles. I gotta go.” Malcolm tapped the transfer button on his monitor, sending all notifications to his wrist panel.

Raphael waved as he walked away. “Be safe out there.”

Malcolm dashed for the elevator, the doors opened and waiting. “Ground floor.” The doors slammed shut, causing a ringing sound to bounce for a few seconds. He held his nose and breathed out of it, forcing his ears to pop, and then the doors clanged open.

Putting on his helmet and pulling down his goggles, Malcolm pressed his gloves tighter onto his hands.

After a quick final check of his gear, Malcolm approached the deployment pad on the ground floor.

“EMT Forsyth set to retrieve Vanguard.” A few minor adjustments caused lights to flash and a siren to sound.

The deploy light splashed green over the pad.

Malcolm gripped the wheels of his chair and thrust forward jumping him to fifty miles an hour and down the road.

A Crappy Day In The Life

My feet touched the thick carpet and bunched into little fists. “Ugh!”

That banging needed to stop and now. My mouth felt like I swallowed three sheep, whole. The loud crack started from my ankles, then my knees, and ended on one hip. Straightening, my back picked up the rest of it.

The slippers were where I left them, so I stepped into them and shuffled for my door. Snagging a robe along the way, I threw my arms in it and flipped the cord around itself.

“Screw ‘em.” The banging was louder. “If they come at me this early, I don’t care what they see.”

“Com’on. Open the door!”

“Shaddup.” My hand lands on the door and I feel the smoothness of the metal door on my forehead. I open the slot and am pelted with the blinding light of a high-noon sun. The shadow moves, blocking the blazing heat and light.

“Open up. I need you to fix something.”

“I ain’t open. Come back later.” I slide the plate closed.

A hand darts into the gap and stops the momentum. “I will make it worth your while.”

“No, no you won’t.” I grab the tare with my free hand. “Move it or lose it.”

“You don’t know who I am.”

“Yes I do. It’s my job. You wear black, have special tools, and strike fear in people just by your mere presence. You’re a bad ass. A bad ass that needs me and I say, come back later.”

“You just described a whole lot of people.”

“Fine. Your name is B-”

“OK!” The hand is yanked back and I slam the cover home.

Those people with their money and their abilities. Some are decent, but in the end they think they are above it all.

Those of us willing to fight back, keep our freedom. Even if the overlord is a hot chick like Mosaic Girl.

Cryptik

Grant watched Thump drop to a heap on the road. The group’s best hand-to-hand specialist was defeated in just a few maneuvers. White Noise was yanked out of the sky and body slammed into the sewer pipes beneath the road. Stretch and Krystal were defeated within seconds of White Noise. The only member of Fortress stand was him. His only power was the ability to communicate in any language.

Sure, he had learned hand-to-hand from Thump and even worked out with Krystal. He was in shape, in fact considered an Olympic Athlete in several sports. But he was not trained for direct confrontation.

“What are you going to do, Cryptik?” The voice of the SWAT commander came over the ear bud they all shared.

Thought built up behind Grant’s eyes. He had earned his spot on the team, not just by his unique abilities, but because he learned how to adapt. “I guess I am going to have to stop this thing.”

The thing in question was six feet tall with the general appearance of a human, but did not have a face. It’s hands had three fingers, and it was bullet and blast proof. When Krystal hit it, she managed to take it off its feet, but it just stood up and charged back in.

“Commander Scott, if I go down, you are on your own.” Grant moved out into the road in the direct line of this thing.

The thing paused a few heartbeats, then continued forward at a faster pace. Grant shifted on his feet, bringing his hands up, and keeping his knees flexed. “Just make it quick, Grant.”

As the creature got closer, it raised an arm and clenched a fist.

Grant noticed that an orange-shimmering path formed from the thing’s hand and extended for him. The trajectory had it collide with his legs. He didn’t feel anything from the orange-shimmer.

The fist launched, turning into a blur. Grant’s eyes widened, and he jumped, tucked his legs up, wrapped his arms around them, and rolled. His momentum sent him over the creature to land on both feet behind it.

The thing buried it’s hand into the asphalt, sending chunks spraying and causing a small tremor.

What just happened?

Grant looked at his opponent and saw the path again. This time it came from in front of the creature in a circle from the other arm. The path of the shimmer carried into Grant’s torso. Again, there was no sensation from the shimmer touching him.

The thing spun, using the other arm. It followed exactly the path Grant saw in orange.
As the arm careened closer, Grant spotted a green flash. It was over the torso of the creature. The flash contrasted with the silver-grey of the skin of it.

Grant squared, letting the odd shaped hand pass over him. Raising up, he balled up a fist and connected it with the green flash.

There was a hollow boom as Grant finished his punch. Looking at his hand, Grant couldn’t see anything wrong with it. His gloves were reinforced and protected him from most things. He felt the contact, but nothing hurt on him.

The green flash appeared again, this time around the neck area.

So far, this thing hasn’t led me wrong.

Using the long, meaty side of his hand, Grant nailed the green flash with a perfect chop. A crack appeared in the skin of the creature where Grant made contact.

The orange path appeared, this time twins. They directed from both hands and would meet on his head.

Damn! If I back out of that, I don’t think I will get another chance.

Like the double orange paths, two green flashes appeared. These were at the creatures knees, on the inside of each leg.

Grant danced and kicked with the instead of one foot onto the opposite knee, then swept it back to the other knee. The creature started to lower, taking the orange path with it.

Grant planted a hand on the shoulders of the falling silver creature, and flipped over to the other side as the metallic like hand clanged where he stood an eye-blink ago.

Turning to face the slumped creature, Grant saw several green flashes over the torso, arms, and head of the creature. Grant paused.

I don’t know what those things are, but I am glad they are here.

The creature pushed off the ground in an attempt to stand. Grant slammed a fist into one of the green flashes. The creature slammed into the ground.

Another twitch, the green flashes adjusted, and Grant kicked one. Again the creature fell flat.

Krystal and Thump walked up behind Grant. Their breathing coming in ragged gasps. Thump’s face was bruised, and an eye was swollen shut. Krystal showed cracks, but they were fading.

“It’s down, Grant.” Krystal put a hand on his shoulder.

“Yeah, don’t kill it.” Thump moved to his side.

“I don’t want to, but it won’t stay down.” Grant turned to face the man who had taught him how to fight. “What do I do?”

“Try this.” Krystal handed him a device that looked like a gun, but it was modified with wires, pipes, and other various electronics. She was an inventor on the side and made this.
Grant took the device and waited.

The silver creature stirred and rumbled to get up right. A single green flash appeared on it’s head. Grant aimed and pressed the button.

The silver creature froze in place and didn’t move.

SWAT moved in. So did ambulances and other rescue crews.

“Cryptik, how did you do that,” Thump asked when he had been seen by some EMTs.

“What are you talking about?” Grant tilted his head looking at the heavily scarred man.

“None of us could make a dent in that thing. Not that you are a slouch, but let’s be real here.”

“You didn’t see those lights? The orange and green ones?”

“No.” Krystal answered. “What lights? Where were they?”

“Ummm…This is going to take some explaining.”

Tampa Runner – On Your Mark – Chapter 1

“I hope the rednecks don’t show up and ruin everything.” Kyle maintained running at his current pace. It was fast, but no so fast as to be unbelievable. Being on one of his normal routes, anyone that noticed him put it out of their mind as a common fixture. Even in his dark-blue spandex pants, day glow green shirt and form fitted cap. The dark sunglasses fit within the Florida sunshine keeping the glare at bay and random debris out of his eyes. Running dresses as if it were winter was an odd sight in the Florida summer.

A glance at his wrist tracker showed his current speed. In this rural area, he felt safe from prying eyes, so he increased his pace. His legs and arms blurred as he pumped them faster. The readout on his tracker blinked twelve, twenty-seven, then jumped to forty-two. He reserved these speeds for night runs when it was cooler and less traffic. Summer reduced the traffic in most areas in the daytime and all but eliminated it back here. He leaned forward and went faster.

Fifty-three blocks flowed past his eyes and his tracker displayed twenty-two. This route had a turn coming up, and he slowed as he would approach a long road of houses. Getting spotted would lead to him being outed as a Meta-Human and then Dosed by the police. A peek at his tracker showed his pace slowed to a paltry eight.

The loud growl of the engine reached Kyle’s ears, followed by the hum of fast tires on pavement. Kyle shook his head and sighed. “Alvin and Horace. Just when I was having a good time, too.”

The shadow of the large pickup truck reached Kyle before it showed in his peripheral vision. As Kyle had run this route before, he had worn a path in the grass on the side of the road. This path allowed the truck to pull alongside Kyle.

“Kyle!” A sandy haired young man yelled from the open passenger window. “When are you going to get a clue and stop all that running?” Both passenger and driver chuckled at their joke.
“Horace. Alvin.” Kyle nodded to each of the truck’s occupants. This won’t end well.

“I’m Race and he’s Al.” The sandy-haired passenger banged a hand on the outside of the door. “You should remember that.” The truck inched closer to the edge of the asphalt but didn’t leave the ledge. Kyle maintained his pace, but slid his eyes to the truck and its decreasing distance from him.
“Sign!” Kyle stepped off the path for two quick strides, avoiding the yellow diamond shaped sign indicating a side road.

Horace yanked his head, shoulder, and arm back through the window. The force of his movement was such that he slid across the bench seat and nudged against Alvin, the driver. With one hand, Alvin shoved Horace back to the window shouting an expletive that the wind snatched away.
Kyle zagged back to his path. In a blur of motion, Kyle snatched the side-view mirror from the door mount and tossed it into the high grass.

Horace leaned back out the window. “You think that’s funny! I could have been decapitated.”

“I can dream can’t I?” Kyle smirked as he maintained his running speed.
“By the way.” Horace glanced forward, scanning for other obstacles. “We got a job with Maser Shipping. Making nineteen an hour. What’re you making at Dave’s Warehouse? Ten? Eleven?” Horace laughed and leaned out again. “Time to get a real job.”

“Watch out!” Kyle zigged-zagged around a collection of mailboxes. Horace leaned inside the cab of the truck. On his way back to the path, Kyle took the antennae from the truck and held onto it.

Horace leaned out again. “You know, if you would hit the gym instead of all this cardio, you might bulk up. The ladies love the muscles.” Horace flexed his arm. “Oh, that’s right. You don’t have a lady. Not since Sarah. When was that? Fifth? No, sixth grade.” More laughter.

Kyle turned his head towards the window. The dark shades hid the rage that seethed behind them.

The smack in the face brought his attention to the front. Kyle found himself trapped between the truck and tall bushes. Sticking one hand up to shield his face, Kyle picked his pace up faster. Horace had already rolled up his window. The view of Horace laughing and pointing came through the foliage gaps as he kept running.

Kyle took this opportunity to leave a message for his two antagonists. Using the thin branches and copious leaves as cover, he took the antennae and scratched across the point of the truck. His hand blurred as the branches cover the motion.

Breaking free of the bushes, Kyle tossed the improvised stylus to the side. His turn was in one block and the pickup truck sped away.

Taking the turn, Kyle wondered what would happen when Horace and Alvin pulled into some place that had people looking at them, which always seem to happen, and saw the word douche in capital letters etched into their paint job.

Special Delivery – Casey

Casey stood up and adjusted her desk to match with a touch of a button. Once the desk stopped moving, she stretched her back then her sides. “I should have learned by now that a double shift is hard.”

A beep sounded on her monitors. “Thank you!” She reached for the mouse and clicked the on break button. Her screens blanked, and she left her work station.

Walking down the hall, she found a vacant office, walked in, shut the door, and turned on the light. A grimace dashed across her face as she sat on a nearby chair. Casey adjusted her right uniform leg and then detached her leg. A quick inspection showed nothing was out of place, so she wiped it out and put it back in place.

She repeated the same process for her left arm. This took longer since she had to do it one handed.

Once everything was back in place, she went to the break room and munched on her snack of fresh fruit and a class of juice. The display panel on her uniform beeped and displayed a one minute countdown. “Yeah, back to the grind.” Casey hefted to her feet and walked back to her workstation.

“See ya, Karl.” She waved to the speedster on her way out.

At her works station, Casey logged in and checked the time left. There was another four hours to go until her second shift was over. Hopefully the rest of this shift goes like the first part. Quiet.

Match is off mission.

The message flashed across her screen, covering Match’s vital stats. She now had three clients to monitor for the remainder of the time.

Kevlar is on mission.

This message appeared and Kevlar’s vital stats took over the spot where Match’s were.

“Whoa! Kevlar!”

She looked at the headshot that occupied a small square next to the new vitals display. “I would love to meet you, but not on the job.” Since she was a super powered EMT, meeting her idol on the job would entail something going wrong.

Casey picked up her scanning routine. She also plotted the location of each of her active clients. Two were nearby, twenty miles. If she traveled her maximum capable speed she would get there in two, possibly three, minutes. Kevlar wasn’t so close. At her maximum capable speed, she could be there in under ten minutes. Hmmm…Better keep an eye on him, just in case.

Casey checked her prosthetics and found them secure. She also checked for her bag to carry them, in case she needed to go faster. The bag was used to carry her prosthetics if she needed to crest mach two. Her manufactured limbs were able to handle mach one. Her maximum speed reached mach three. The limbs would break down at mach two. If she had to go full out, she would put them both in the bag and fly.

Casey trained to accomplish removal and reattachment of her limbs. She knew to put her leg on first, and she could walk, or run, and put on her arm. So far she used her bag once in the past two years of working as an EMT. This was a good thing in her book.

Klink is off mission.

The vitals with a robot head and a female human face disappeared. Casey let out a breath. Only three to watch for the next hour and a half.
She noticed that Kevlar’s heart rate was up and so was his adrenaline levels. They were consistent as the next several seconds went by. Casey tapped on the map screen and checked Kevlar’s current location. He was closer, but just by a mile or three. She leaned in closer to watch pulse rate. If it went up, or dropped rapidly, she would have to deploy. She clutched her bag and licked her lips. “Com’on Kevlar!” Her teeth ground together and her lips whitened as the thin green line crossed the screen.

BEEP! Decker is off mission.

Casey jerked back with a gasp. Now she only had two clients. Neither being a gold member, but that didn’t matter to Casey. One was Kevlar. New to the scene three years ago, and on his way up the ladder. Casey had all of Kevlar’s clippings and some video on her computer at home.

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

“Shit!” Kevlar’s heart rate spiked along with other vitals.

Casey snatched her bag and dashed to the launch area. “EMT First Class Casey LeClair departing for possible pickup of Kevlar. Location, northern Chicago. ETA, seven minutes. Using bag.” She shouldered through the double doors and outside.

Casey’s prosthetic arm slid into the bag. She shifted her weight to her left leg and detached her other leg. Launching into the air she sealed the bag and slung it over her back.

Cleared for maximum speed.

This message appeared on her wrist display. She nodded, fisted both hands, and took off with a sonic boom.

Casey cleared the county line and then a great spanse of land. She glanced at the map on her wrist panel. Her dot, blue, was getting closer to the red dot. The ETA adjusted as she flew. Currently, she was listed as five minutes. Just a few more seconds.

Casey angled towards the buildings as they crested the horizon. She slowed, picking out a landing spot. As she approached the ground, Casey fished out her leg. When she landed, she fastened the three clips and adjusted her uniform to hide the seam. Walking a few paces, she glanced at her wrist panel. The blinking dot was on the second floor of the building across the way.

Casey took to the air again, keeping her speed slow, and she fastened her arm in place. She covered the seam and connections as she hovered into the open window.

Casey’s wrist panel zoomed into a map of the building she entered. Kevalar’s vitals displayed off to the side. They changed for the worse on her journey here.

As she moved to where the map indicated, she followed protocol and activated her forcefield, then her belt light.  “Kevlar. I am EMT LeClair. If you can safely signal me, let me know where you are located.” She waited.

Nothing.

Her blue dot was on top of the red dot on her map. This was an office building situated over a parking garage. The floor she was on looked to be a cube farm. Her map took her to a wall that would be a major walk way. Casey landed and looked around, then found it. There was a dent in the wall, and a hole in the floor. In the hole lay a man-shaped shadow.

“Kevlar, are you conscious?” Casey knelt down. The hole was deep enough that she had to lean in to check for a pulse. She found one and noted that Kevlar was warm to the touch.

The hole was not big enough for her to get in and pull him out. Casey searched her rescue belt and found a carabiner and retrieval cord. Next she tied the carabiner, then fastened it though Kevlar’s utility belt. She planted her feet, gripped the cord, and pulled.

The EMT board was concerned about her prosthetics and this was the reason. They did not add to her strength, in fact they took away from it. She couldn’t use both legs or both her arms to their fullest. She only had one of each of real limbs.

Wrapping the durable cord around her left arm, Casey planted both of her feet and pulled. Kevlar’s body budged. The movement was small, but for Casey it was a full step with her feet. A grunt followed by a baby step and Kevlar’s body was out of the hole.

As the Hero’s body rolled on the floor, it tugged the rope. The force yanked Casey forward, and she felt her left arm slip from it’s connection.
Casey scrambled to fix her dislocated prosthetic and heard a moan from Kevlar.

“Kevlar, I am your EMT and I am going to get you out of here.”
One of Kevlar’s eyes fluttered then popped open. The other was black and a trickle of white fluid flowed from it.

“Thank you.” Blood rolled down his chin, and he grabbed her left arm and pulled himself up.

The added weight, along with the disconnection, pulled Casey’s arm from her shoulder.

“Wait!” She fumbled for the prosthetic arm with her real one.

Kevlar fell back, holding the arm in his hands. “What the hell…?”
Kevlar looked at the arm, then up at Casey, then back to the arm. “They sent a cripple?”

Casey lurched forward, reaching for her limb. “I am a fully qualified super powered EMT. Not crippled.”

“You got a fake arm.” Kevlar looked at the woman tugging at the arm in his hands. “You can’t even carry me.”

“I am capable of carrying you any distance that is required.” Casey snatched the arm back from Kevlar’s dark gloves.

“What ever.”

The man looked around. “Did you see anyone when you came in here?”

“No!” Casey seated the arm in place and fastened it in place. “Not even when I pulled you from that hole.”

Kevlar looked at the hole. It was narrow and perhaps four feet deep. He pursed his lips and cocked an eyebrow. “Impressive,” he muttered.
“Good.” Kevlar stood. “Without that nullifier around, my abilities are back on. My healing will help me out in a few minutes. So, sweetie, you can go back to the half-way house and save your abilities for small kids and raising money for those in need.”

“Fine with me, you arrogant jerk!” Casey turned away and took several steps.

“I see that Kevlar’s personality is winning more friends.”
“Shit. He’s back,” Kevlar spat. “Get out of here. You can’t do anything in your condition.”

“My condition…?” Casey spun around to face the Hero. Her lips tight, face red, and eyes narrowed to thin slits.

Seeing the small man wearing dark sunglasses gave her pause. Looking at Kevlar, she spotted him clutching his abdomen and bent over. She didn’t hear any contact, just his voice.

“I turned his abilities off again.” The short blond man said. “You may call me Unplugg. That is what I do. I unplug powers. Right now, Kevlar’s powers are off. No more invulnerability and no more healing. His strength is mostly his, but it is augmented by his powers. So that is off too.”

“But, he’ll die.” Casey’s eyes were wide as she slid a small step back. “I can get him out of here, but I need to use my powers to do it.”

“I know.” Unplugg shrugged. “I turned them off and all of your other powers too.” He walked towards the woman. “You see, I don’t like super powers, even though I have them. Most people misuse their abilities or worse, don’t use them at all.” He reached for Casey’s shoulder. “My power let’s me even the playing field. Even your strength is slightly augmented by your abilities. Your health, everything.”

Casey did notice her arm felt heavier. The pain at both stumps also intensified. The doctors said that her powers would help her, she just assumed that she could hover or fly instead of walk places.

“You are no match for me.” Unplugg indicated Kevlar. “You see, if I can take out someone like Kevlar, you are no match…”

The fist connected with Unplugg at full power. His chin touched his shoulder, there was blood in his mouth, a tooth missing, and he was seeing stars. He blinked several times, held his hands out, and staggered around.

Kevlar was on the ground holding his body, but his head looked up. “Whoa!”

“You are the second person tonight to say that shit to me.” Casey stepped forward and sent an upward shot to Unplugg’s gut. “You didn’t realize one thing.” Casey cocked her industrial strengthened leg back and sent it forward. The toe of her steel alloy foot connected with the shin of Unplugg’s leg. A cracking sound collided with everyone’s ears. Kevlar mustered the strength to flinch. “I am more than my powers! In fact, I am more than human.”

The short man slammed into the thin carpet and hollering.

“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a job to do.”

She moved over to Kevlar. He still had on the carabiner and cord. She tugged on it until both her and he were near the window she came in.

“Look, dickweed.” She leaned over Kevlar and pointed her prosthetic hand at him. “You have two choices. One, you go with me. Two, you stay here until a replacement arrives. He may be able to do something between now and then, but the choice is entirely on you.”

Kevlar propped himself up on an elbow. “Look lady.” He groaned as he moved. “It ain’t personal. That arm is just creepy.”

“That arm saved your ass.”

Kevlar’s mouth opened, then closed. Opened again, then closed again. “OK, let’s go.”

Casey pulled him to a standing position, then moved to have him grip her over her shoulders. “Hold on. We are going to go fast.”

She launched from the floor and glided through the window.
“Oh, by the way,” she said over her shoulder. “I have a prosthetic leg, too.”

“What?”

Casey blasted forward at sub-mach speeds.

###

Casey entered the office. Several days after her transport of Kevlar. While watching her monitor, a message went across her screen.

My office, please – Danforth

Casey locked her station and walked to Mr. Danforth’s office. The door stood open, so she knocked and leaned in. “You wanted to see me?”

“Casey. Come in. Take a seat.” Mr. Danforth looked up from his computer screen. “Fantastic job with transporting Kevlar.”

“Just doing my job as best I can.” Casey looked at her lap, sighed, then back to Mr. Danforth.

“I know he has a reputation for being an asshat.” Mr. Danforth shifted forward, leaning on his desk. “But that asshat signed up to the gold membership and brought two other heroes with him.”

“What!” Casey leaned forward and her mouth opened. “How many is that?”

“You have your five.” Mr. Danforth stood from his desk, picked up a box, and handed it to Casey. “As per the deal, here is your new arm. It is actually a better model than initially agreed upon. It will handle mach three easily.”

“I…I…I…I don’t know what to say.” Casey stood and reached for the box with trembling arms. The box was lighter than expected, even with the padding and wrapping.

Opening one end, Casey slid the new prosthetic from the container and looked it over. Her real arm darted over and unfastened her current prosthetic and placed it on a table. “Mr. Danforth, thank you for making this happen.”

“It wasn’t just me. You did it.”

Casey snapped the new arm in place. It fit like a glove. Casey began putting it through a simple test as tears ran down her cheeks. Once all the fingers flexed and she made a fist, she looked at Mr. Danforth. “I…I…I’m so happy.”

“Good. Now get back to work.”

“Yes, sir.” She sniffled as she picked up her previous arm, the box her new one came. Casey exited the office, then headed for her desk.

When Casey arrived, there was a bigger box with a letter folded on top of it. The label on the box was identical to the box in her hand. My arrangement was for the arm first.

Casey flipped open the letter.

EMT LeClair,
This letter is to apologize for my behavior. I was unprofessional and mean. It was never my intent to insult you or those that are crippled like you.

Crippled! What the fuck!

I was informed that you were saving for a newer type of fake limb.

Damn it!

Your company said they had the arm covered, so I got the next one. I hope this helps you out.
Your friend, Kevlar.

He ain’t my friend. I would rather lose another limb instead of have him as my…maybe…

With a sigh Casey tossed the letter onto her desk. She peeled the box end open. She pulled the device out. It was another prosthetic, this one a leg.

Like her new arm it was lighter than expected. She inspected it as she fitted it in place of her previous leg. Adjusting her uniform over the seam, she sat down and admired the new limb.

Someone let out a wolf-whistle.

“Nice leg!”

Ronald walked up. “This one has a tattoo.”

“What?” Casey jerked forward and arched around her new knee.

“Yeah.” Ronald pointed. “What is that?”

“The mother fucker wrote his name on it!”