“But…anyway…” Jason glanced at his sister.

Star sighed. “You understand, if I copy her—assuming whatever’s keeping her from waking up doesn’t mess it up—and you put her in a ‘mech body, she may not thank you for it? And if the original ever wakes up, she may not be too happy to learn she’s been ‘replaced’ either?”

Jason rolled his eyes. “Yes, yes, I know, my life will be even more of a soap opera than it’s been already. I’d rather have a ticked-off sister or even two ticked-off sisters than no sister at all.”

“Very well.” Star walked back to the hospital bed, picked up the empty data cube sitting on the bedside table, and slotted it into place on her arm. Then she carefully reached out a hand and held it over the girl’s face.

Her name was Sherry. Like the wine, they’d used to joke, and her wine-colored hair made the joke easy. She’d been Jason’s tag-along kid sister who could have been really annoying but somehow managed not to be. It wasn’t right, seeing her like this.

Star began the neural scan.

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