Story #1: The Fixers Series
I curse under my breath and sneak a peek at next week’s schedule. Most of the fixers will be on vacation, which is a huge relief. It means if I do get caught, they’ll need me so much that there’s a fairly slim chance that I’ll face any extreme consequences. Knowing that makes me feel a whole lot better about what I’m about to do, but my stomach is still in knots.
I know it’s wrong to set up an unsanctioned mission, but I also know that if Gus knew the circumstances he’d approve it. Of course, then I have to ask myself why I don’t just explain the situation to Gus – then I recall my aversion to failure. I don’t want to admit that I messed up. I’m a fixer; it’s what I do. I can fix this.
I wait until the very last night-hawk has retired from her desk, looking overworked but gleaming with pride.
“Have a good night Sash,” she yells behind her as she drags herself across the lab.
“I will,” I reply, trying to sound as natural as possible. It’s not uncommon for me to be the last to leave, so I know the encounter is nothing to worry about.
Once I triple-check the building for witnesses, I pull up the file on my desktop. Ty Simpson: 22 years old, student, deceased, C.O.D. heart failure. Yes, that’s him. I have to catch my breath because although I know the file has auto-updated by now, it’s still jarring to see the word. Deceased. I was supposed to save him, but I grabbed the wrong file, ended up in the wrong hospital. There was an Andy Simpson two states over in similar condition. That’s the location I set the machine to. I had recognized my mistake as soon as I saw him. Ty’s photo had stood out to me; he had these incredibly kind eyes.
The condition he had was perfectly treatable, of course, the misdiagnosis made that pretty difficult. The mistake was obvious within just a few days. It was an easy fix, but I messed it up.
I take a deep breath and hurry over to the machine. I bring Ty’s file with me and carefully enter the location, and the date: Monday. I just have to get back to Monday. I spin around, giving the lab one more glance to verify its emptiness. It’s sterile, quiet, and dark except for the light shining from my station. Perfect. Passer-bys should think I’m here.
Stepping into the machine I feel the rays of electric heat wrap around my body. I seal the door and enter my pass code. I’ll have to remember to swipe the memory drive when I return. That will be a major violation and will not go unnoticed. But as long as the whole week’s memory is gone, it might pass for a technical blip.
My heart pounding, I check my pockets for the meds, and read over the location one last time. Correct. I hit the LAUNCH button and brace for impact. The vibrations kick in and I feel my body undulate in the chaos.
‘It’s OK Sasha. You’re gunna fix this,’ I think to myself.
Shyla Fairfax-Owen ©