Residual Quintessance

I awake with a start, still feeling the sting of a shock gun on the back of my neck. Prying an odd piece of metal and plastic off my forehead, I notice my hands look different, rougher, more calloused than I remember.

As I stand up shakily and try to take in my surroundings, I wonder what’s happened to me. Heads up windows float in the air around me, each of them subtly trying to convince me that I belong here, that this is my home.

But this is not my home. Navigating the unfamiliar interface, I activate the phone controls in the HUD, and start to dial a number I know by heart, when an itch in the back of my brain begins to assert itself.

Slowly I sit down and put my head into my hands, starting to shake fiercely. With a swiftness born of long practice I wipe out the contact number I started to enter, clear the reminder windows, and dial the number of a back alley neurologist for an emergency consult.

The aftershock was too strong this time. A few more seconds and I would have called a dead man’s wife.

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