With quite some care and determination, I sat up. The drugs made it hard to focus, but I persevered and peered up the lift shaft. The two guards had disappeared and the doors were now closed, but I thought I distantly heard the sound of gunfire.

Exhausted, I slumped back against the side of the lift shaft that was still moving. Fabric whispered against the frictionless surface while I wormed a hand into a pocket and extracted a rapid-recovery pack. The active gel inside splashed over the gaping wound, rapidly executing its diagnosis and informing me that I had suffered an invasive trauma injury through a penetrative foreign object, and that I should remain calm and breathe deeply while it executed corrective repair and regeneration.

The lift continued to ascend smoothly towards the top of the spire. Oddly enough, the gunfire seemed to be nearing, which didn’t seem quite right.

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