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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Microstory 832: Doesn’t Kill You

Two days ago I died. I remember it remarkably well. As soon as I woke back up, I could recall even the smallest of details. The circumstances don’t matter all that much, though, because I have more pressing issues to deal with. I sit up from the table, finding myself face to face with my killer’s sister. She’s holding up her hands defensively, unsure if I’ll react poorly to being killed, or to being resurrected, or just because I know exactly who she is. I have no intention of doing her any harm, so I nod politely with my eyes closed, and relax my muscles. She slowly reaches for a newspaper sitting on the table, but she’s anxious and impatient, so I tell her she doesn’t have to snail around me. She begs me to hold the paper under my chin, and let her take a picture of me, which I oblige. I know what she’s doing, and it doesn’t seem like I would be okay with it, but I am. Though my murder to me feels like it just happened, I’ve already lost my anger about it, and I’m not the kind of person to hold a grudge. She earnestly crops the photo, and adjusts the lighting, then sends it on its way. While we wait for the response, I continue to remain calm, asking her questions about what I’ve missed in the world over the last couple days. Not much, as she tells me. She’s worried about going to prison for bringing me back to life, which isn’t on its own illegal, but the procurement of the ingredients is. The solution requires a number of various chemicals, many of which can be interchanged to accomplish different “flavors” of resurrection. She was nice enough to afford me standard health rejuvenation, making me feel better than I ever did when I was first alive. It’s also possible to just bring back a rotting corpse, or a head in a vat, but she went above and beyond, even though she didn’t have to. The two active ingredients are concentrated bladapod blood, and plant life that grew in a place unaffected by the global bladapod gases that now cover almost our entire world. I know this woman isn’t authorized to procure any sample from a bladapod, let alone a living one. There is also no way she qualifies to enter Iceland’s borders, which is the only place the gases don’t reach. I’ll do my best to prevent her from being convicted of these crimes, but I’m obviously pretty biased, so my word can only go so far.

She didn’t resurrect me out of the kindness in her heart, of course. She did it for her brother. They tell each other everything, so she knew he had killed me immediately after he did it. This gave her time to mix the solution for me, before the investigation could lead the authorities to follow the right lead. While the ancillary crimes generally render resurrection an untenable option, there are still laws governing its use. The one she’s trying to exploit now precludes the culprit in a murder from suffering legal consequences for their crime if they’re not caught before the resurrection takes place. I watch her face as her phone rings, and she receives the news. The volume is up loud enough for me to pick up some keywords. From what I gather, the police caught up with her brother before she sent my proof of life to them. But that’s not what the law says. The law says the resurrection itself must come before an arrest, not the proof of it. I whisper this loophole to her while she’s holding her hand over the mouthpiece. This gives her hope, so now they have to somehow prove they moved against my killer first. They’re gonna have a hard time doing this, though, especially since I intend to fib the timeline as needed, to back her up. I’m not doing this out the kindness of my heart either. Her brother, my killer, has something I want, which was why he killed me in the first place. Now that I’m back, I have some leverage over him, and as soon as I get him out of this mess, he’s going to deliver, whether he likes it or not. He won’t have much of a choice either, because the only kind of murder that’s legal these days is when you kill someone who killed you first.

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