Part 18

From the Story Arc: Changes

Previous Story in the Arc: Part 17 by Khrushchev (Monday, February 28, 2005)

Next Story in the Arc: Part 19 by Khrushchev (Wednesday, March 02, 2005)

(posted Tuesday, March 01, 2005)

Petrograd stopped by the medical lab he usually went out to grab a coffee every Wednesday morning with Soviette, but when she hadn’t shown up he figured he would take a look and see what she was up to. Soviette had fallen asleep at her desk head resting on her arms that were folded on the table. She had not heeded Blade’s advice for rest and had snuck back in to conduct a few more sessions on the simulator. However sheer exhaustion forced her to succumb to a heavy sleep. He tapped her lightly on the shoulder.

“Are you awake?” whispering into her ear, she still lay motionless, out cold. Petrograd sat down in a chair next to her and began watching the screens. While he did not have any formal medical training and would never claim to have the slightest idea of what Soviette did he was a technological wizard and thought he would give the simulator a try. After repeated attempts of failure upon failure, he attempted to analyze the wave patterns in Khrushchev’s brain for any similarities.

“I tried that...” Soviette mumbled it was hard to hear her as her face was almost against the table.

“Sorry I didn’t mean to wake you, its just I came up to see if wanted to go out for a bit and when I saw you here sleeping…well you know how it is I just can’t stay away from this stuff”.

Soviette slowly lifted her head stretching her arms out and then standing and stretching her legs. She looked up at the clock it was nine in the morning, “damn looked at all the time I have wasted, I must have passed out”.

“Well its no wonder you did with all the hours you’ve been putting in” Petrograd spoke but continued to keep his focus on the PC screen. “Look at this a second pattern embedded in the first”, pointing to lines of code in the screen as they scrolled by.

Soviette yawned “yeah I saw that can’t make heads or tails of it though”.

“You mind if I take it back to my computer and have a go at it”.

“Be my guest, I stored the information on the DVD drives over there” she pointed across the room. “Look I am going to get a bite to eat your more than welcome to join me, I ‘m going to go to that donut place around the corner, you know the one by the police station”.

“You? Eat a donut? I would think being the doctor and all you would be against…”

“Are you saying I’m fat?” Soviette smirked and winked. “So are you coming or what?”

“Well I already ate and I’m really not that hungry” Petrograd remarked as he smacked his stomach.

“Since when do you have to be hungry to eat a donut? Come on lets just go.

Soviette and Petro made their way out the room walking by Khrushchev on their way out. Petrograd stopped looking down at his fellow officer and friend, “what’s going to happen to him?”

“I don’t know yet, I am trying very hard to do everything I can, but it may just come down to him and if he wants to live”.

Petrograd looked at all of the machines hooked up to Khrushchev’s body, “all these are needed to keep him alive?”

“Basically yes, there all centered around his brain, he can mainly breathe on his own, but we have a machine for that should he require assistance”.

“What are those numbers?” Petro remarked as he motioned to the small device resting on the cart near Khrushchev’s head.

“That’s what is on that DVD I am going to give you”.

“And this number…seventy two?”

“That number is my critical number, seventy two is his current state, if it gets to sixty well…then I was too late, I need to make a decision by sixty five”.

“Why sixty five?”

“At that point anything lower would cause the body to begin shutting down organs, or in his case shutting down, certain systems…sixty and we are too late. The Biological organs, tissue what have you that remain are not meshing right with the technology implants incased inside of him. Now he has held steady for twelve hours now which is re-assuring maybe he’s reached a point where they have begun to work together or better would be if they started to heal”.

“What decision needs to be made at that point I mean what more can you do?”

“We should be able to fully switch him over, function solely on technology, which is what I think he originally was intended to do, but who or whatever thought differently or never finished”.

“If you switch him over he would live…right?”

“Most likely yes, but he might as well be dead, he won’t know you anymore then a hole in the ground. He will know you as Petrograd Commissar of CCCP and any and all information on you that he acquires, but he will no longer know you as Petrograd fellow Comrade and friend”.

Petrograd understood the gravity of the situation and opened the DVD tray from the computer and placed it into a case. “I’ll see what I can find”. They both turned to leave grabbing the elevator and taking it back down. As the elevator doors shut the numbers changed showing the two making their way to ground level, back in the room Khrushchev still laid motionless almost forty hours had past since he last became conscious. Two loud warning tones echoed through the empty medical lab, the reading on his display dropped in increments of two, twice to sixty eight. The tones silenced.

To be continued…