Prosthetic effect

Prosthetic effect

A Story by James Whitefall

This is a short story loosely set around a Shadowrun world. Timeframes aren't completely accurate, but very close. Story 6/52


            “Doc, can he hear us?”


            “He should be able to. I’d expect him to come out any moment.”


            “Wake him up already.”


            “I told you. He will wake when he’s ready. He’s not a machine.”


            He lay there, half asleep and stuck between two worlds, reality and unconsciousness. This state was void of purpose, or substance, but he could feel pins and needles running through his limbs as they gained feeling. As he became more aware, he noticed that something wasn’t right, his body wasn’t right. “Where am I,” he said. His mouth was dry and raspy, his eyes felt deep and empty of moisture.

            “Do you know your name?”


            “What do you mean do I know my name?”


            “Can you tell me what it is?”


            “Why can’t I see?”


            “Your eyes have bandages over them. Can you please tell me what your name is?”


            He thought hard. His name didn’t come, instead individual letters floated around until they began to clump together forming something familiar. “Johnathan,” he said. “My name is Johnathan Connor.”


            “Very good.”


            He could hear whispers of many voices. He could pick them out as their tone, pitch and modulation became evident.


            “Do you know what year it is?”

The process happened just as before, but this time it was quicker, much quicker. Two dates forced their way into the foreground; 2040 and 2042, so he said the one he recognized. “2040?”


            “Are you sure?”

He moaned as if the strain of thought was too much. “2042?” he said.


            “Very good.” Again whispers erupted throughout the room. “It’s the neural matrix aligning with his consciousness. Nothing to worry about.” There was a long pause, and then the voice continued. “Johnathan, my name is Doctor William Herschel, and I’m the director of neural sciences here at Biotech University. I have some news to give you, so I need you to lie there and just listen. Do you understand?”




            “Very good. Your name is Johnathan Conner, Sargent Johnathan Conner to be exact.”


            “Identification number 00000001,” John said.


            “Yes, also that I suppose.”


            “What was that? Why did I just say that?”


            “That’s the correct designation,” a voice said.


            “Designation for what?” John said. “What have you done to me?”


            “To be honest, I don’t care what your designation means. I only care about you and how you’re doing.” He paused again, “You were in an accident. Do you remember? Well, let me refresh your memory. In November of 2040, your file states there was an attack on a government building by the Omni-Ban Corporation, and you, Johnathan Connor, were defusing an explosive that went off. It’s unclear what happened next, but you took several small rounds to your limbs and body, and unfortunately, one to the head.”

            Images of the scene flashed through his mind, as well as newspaper articles, written paperwork, and even government documents full of redacted information. Johnathan took a deep breath and gasped. “What…” The images continued flashing, giving a complete story as if he was seeing it through another’s eyes.

            “I’m going to remove the gauze from your eyes.”

Johnathan listened as the steps got closer, and he felt the slow peel of cotton from his face, it’s sticky residue left upon his dry skin. Immediately he opened his eyes.

            The pain shocked his retina and sent a throbbing sensation right behind the socket. His first instinct was to cover his face to shield it from the intense light above, but the restraints he felt on his right arm kept it from coming up. Shielding with his left hand he peered down at the bound arm. “Holy s**t! What is that? What have you done to me?”

            Unbridled rage bubbled inside and no contraption meant to hold down the appendage could do so. He curled his new arm. The thin metal straps meant to simply secure it bucked under the force and were ripped from their mounting points. “Ahhh,” he screamed, as he lifted his arms in unison and clawed at the sky. The metal arm seemed to glow under the intense brightness, which accentuated the arm’s artificial physique. He screamed louder and attempted to roll out of bed, only to be stopped by his left leg, which was also strapped down. That too was freed without much effort on his part.

“Johnathan… Sargent, please calm down. Let me explain what’s happening!”

            Those words sent him into a frenzy, and he reached for the wall mounted lamp, ripping it from its bolts and tossing it across the room into an etched glass panel separating the area from others. His vision, while one eye was normal, the other saw in green. His anger increased and symbols displayed in the eye causing him to blink to adjust his vision. Suddenly the display switched to heartbeats and vital organ points on each person who stood near him. He clawed at his head, ripping fragments of skin loose from the metal casing covering the right side of his face and collapsed to the floor.

“Get him sedated, and get him back in that bed! I need this man prepped for a memory wipe and stitch up that skin.




“Doc, can he hear us again?”


            “He should be able to. I’d expect the medication to ware off by now.”


            “It’s been two days, wake him up.”


“Please. Let’s not startle him again. The outcome from last time was not pleasant.”


“Where am I?” he asked. Without much pause he followed up with another question. “What’s happening to me? Who’s there? Answer me damnit!”


“Sir, please calm down. My name is Doctor William Herschel, and I’m the director of neural sciences here at Biotech University, and you Sargent Johnathan Connor, are here because we are trying to help you.”

The doctor kept his voice firm, but soft-spoken. The others in the background whispered ever so lightly to each other, but he could hear each word. He could hear the clanging of hammers in the background and men walking around out beyond the walls. He sensed something familiar, but at the same time everything that was happening was foreign to him.

“How do you know my name?” He tried to move his hands to remove the gauze blocking his vision, but they were bound. He flexed up with his right hand, or what he thought felt like his right hand, and heard the scraping sound of metal on metal. “What is this? I can’t feel my arm!”

“It’s because it’s not there Johnathan.”

            He was unable to speak. A cold sweat ran down his face and he realized that another part of his body seemed distant. He moved his feet, but they too were stuck in the position they sat. With all the strength he could muster he pulled his arms toward his chest. His left arm didn’t budge, but his right scraped across steel and broke free. The same happened with his legs. He swung his left leg over the left side of the bed and planted it.

            “Now Johnathan, I don’t want you to hurt yourself. Can you please get back into that bed so I can explain to you what’s going on.”

            Panic crawled into his mind and Johnathan could no longer stand there on one leg, almost in splits, and remain civil. He screamed for freedom, for the shackles to be removed, but the doctor only continued to press upon the importance that he remains calm. Every time the suggestion came up, the anxiety and fear increased.

            “Let me go!” He grunted and reached for what bound his leg. The metal clasp snapped in two and then he freed his hand. Before he could blindly spin around and face the men who he knew were standing in front of him, he felt a stabbing sensation in his neck. “What did you just stab me with?”


            “It was only a sedative. Just to calm you down Johnathan.”

            His anger rose, and he lashed out at anything in his grasp. He picked up the bed and tossed it, lodging it into a nearby wall. He removed the covers over his eyes and looked around. “This doesn’t look like a hospital!” He began to feel slightly tired his body rocked back and forth. Seconds later he dropped to the floor.


            “Why did you give him that sedative? We need him awake, not asleep.”


            “This is my project and I’ll make the decisions around here. You came to me.”


            “You better have him running or we’ll own your a*s.”


            “Next time I’ll do it my way. Get that bed replaced, and this time leave off the…”

The words trailed off, and so did his consciousness.




            There was a soft knock at the door

“Doctor, is my brother awake?”


            “He should be soon. Why don't you come in and sit down.”


“Oh,” she said as she placed her hand over her mouth. “I saw the photos, but I didn't really know what to expect.”


“It's ok. I know at first it can be a little startling. I promise, he's still your brother inside Sarah.”

            He could hear the faint sound of footsteps getting closer to him.

Johnathan, are you awake? My name is Doctor Herschel. I’m a doctor of neural sciences and I’m here to help you.”


            “Ugh, where am I?”


            “You are in a research hospital. There was an accident and I was able to save you, but the accident caused severe trauma to your limbs and face. I’m not going to lie. Your chances of survival from the explosion was low, but my team and I, we were able to keep you alive.”


            “Oh my God Johnathan. I can’t believe it’s true. We thought you were dead, but here you are. You look so good!”


            He stared at the two in front of him. The doctor was familiar and so was the girl, but he couldn’t place them. He felt different; he felt strange inside. Slowly his mind awoke and the truth of his circumstances became evident. Still, he listened as this girl, his sister, told stories of their childhood and of family deceased. Her sincerity kept his attention and he could sense she wasn’t lying.

            In the middle of her story about the day he left home to join the military he interrupted, “What’s wrong with my eye?”


            “It was damaged so we had to make you one.”


            “You’re still handsome. You’ve always been handsome.

He felt her hand tremble as it slid over his.

“It has been just me, but now you’ve come back we can be a family again. I have my brother again.”

He watched as she raised his hand to her mouth and kissed it softly. He reached down and removed the thin white sheet that covered the majority of his body. As he pulled the cover off, his face turned pail, and so did his sisters. His right arm was replaced by a flexible metal looking material, as was his left leg. He wiggled the artificial toes and fingers and looked over at the doctor. “What else have you done to me?”


            “We had to rebuild the right side of your face above your nose. I swear to you though, you have the latest technology available. There’s no one like you in the world.”


            “You say that like it’s a good thing. I’m a freak. Look at me?”


            Sarah squeezed his hand tighter with enough resolve that the trembling ceased temporarily. “You’re not a freak johnathan. You’re special and you’re alive. The doctor says you’re lucky to even be alive.”

            He pulled his hand from hers and stabilized both feet on the floor. He stood up and the rest of his covering dropped from his body as he made his way to a shiny metal surface that showed his reflection back. His body, now naked, remained mostly his with a few exceptions. He studied his face and inspected his new eye. It’s metal housing blended with the reconstructed cheek that wrapped around to the back of his head. He touched it’s cold exterior with the tip of his finger. It’s green glowing light stared back at him.

            “What else have you done to me?”


            “Most of it you can see, but there was another thing we had to solve. A part of your brain was damaged. More specifically the way you process information, so we put a co-processor inside so that you can analyze data as you normally would, only faster.”


            “A microchip? You put a microchip in my brain?”


            “It’s only to work with your brain, nothing more. You are in control Johnathan.”


            “What now doc?”


            “What do you mean what now? You owe me nothing. I need to keep you here for a few weeks; maybe a month, and we ask that you come in for regular check-ups because there is some maintenance needed, but soon you’ll be free to go back to what you were doing before you got injured.”

He felt a blanket being wrapped around him. “You can stay with me. I’m not full of cred, but I’m not in the slums neither.”

He walked to the bed and lay back down. “Do what you have to do doc. I just want my life back.”




Months later…



            “So, how have you been Johnathan?”


            “Call me John, doc. I’ve been good. I’m back working in the military again as a Bomb-man.”


            “Very good,” the doctor said as he plugged a few cables into a series of ports on the side of his patient’s head. “Your vitals are fine and diagnostics show everything’s normal. Anything I need to know about.”


            “Nothing crazy doc. Just these weird dreams I’m having and…” He paused, rubbing his forehead. “I’ve been dreaming violent dreams. I was hoping you’d help me stop them.”


            “Dreams?” The doctor sat down and rolled his chair next to john who was sitting on the edge of that familiar bed. “Please, tell me about it.”









© 2016 James Whitefall

Author's Note

James Whitefall
Hope you like it. It's another dabble into a fantasy world called Shadowrun where tabletop gamers and video gamers alike have spent many hours. This is story 6 out of 52 of my yearly goal. Rate and review if you can.

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Added on May 30, 2016
Last Updated on May 30, 2016
Tags: short story, short, amwriting, writing, amediting, editing, Shadowrun


James Whitefall
James Whitefall


I'm an american writer who aspires to be an author. Sci-Fi and Fantasy are my muse, but I write whatever. Follow my journey at Email me at [email protected] more..