Organ scrubbing was a bloody job, but somebody had to do it. Daniel, an orphan from the Gutter, was put to work scrubbing kidneys at aged twelve. The job had its perks: a warm bed, Law and Order reruns, and an all-you-can-eat Mopane worm buffet.
Until the Orphanage stole Daniel’s parts, and sold them on the organ market.
Now Daniel has grown up, and yearns to become whole again. The cybernetic organ replacements just aren’t the same – he needs his parts back. But the new owners of his organs won’t give them up. Not without a fight.
Just how far will Daniel go to regain his missing pieces? And how much more of himself will he lose along the way?
Defragmenting Daniel is a cyberpunk crime thriller that will unnerve you. Every part of you.
“A work of great imagination. Powerful and gripping.”
“A stark and moving experience.”
– ReadersFavorite.com, 5 Star Review
“Don’t worry about stepping on the limbs,” said Shoulders. “They’re crunchy underfoot, but you get used to it. Forensics cleared the scene before we got here.”
Kage knelt down. Examined a hand. Such small fingers. He shivered.
“Told you. No forensic traces on any of the limbs. No need to examine them. The vic fell from above.”
Kage looked up. In silhouette above the mobile spotlights, he could barely make out the ceiling. But there it was, a few yards up. He thought he saw square outlines of light perforating the concrete ceiling every five yards or so, stretching ever deeper into the vast underground hall.
Shoulders was on the move, ascending the mountain of human limbs. Kage followed. He scrabbled up the pile of arms and legs, toes and fingers, elbows and knees. He was surprised how yielding they were. How they bent under his weight. But Shoulders was right. He couldn’t ignore the crunch of breaking bones.
“Why’d we legalize this?”
Shoulders threw him a look. “Why not? They’re Gutter kids. This way at least the Bubble gets to have its fun without anyone getting hurt.”
One of the hands twitched, and Kage almost lost his footing.
Shoulders held Kage by the wrist. “Woah, you don’t want to be doing that. Those fingernails will rip you open if you land badly. Happened to Jensen just before you got here. Poor guy almost lost his cheek.” Shoulders shone a victory smile.
“Thanks,” mumbled Kage.
“Vic’s just on the other side of that ridge.” Shoulders pointed to a mound of limbs that looked a little fresher, a little more plump and moist, than the rest.
Kage trudged on behind the Detective. Climbed the hillock of arms. Had to grab hold of more than one to ascend it.
“What … what do they do with them?” asked Kage, breathing heavily under the mask. Beads of moisture condensed on the curve of his lower lip.
“Do with what?”
“The body parts?”
“I hear they send the fresh ones for scrubbing. The rest …” Shoulders shrugged. “The vic’s over here.”
More mobile spotlights, their metal poles staked in the pile of flesh around the body.
Kage looked for the flashing red light at the bottom-right corner of his vision. Recording. Good.
He knelt down. Pulled out a pair of gloves from his leather jacket pocket. He shuddered to think what the jacket would look like after this mess. But that wouldn’t matter if he solved this case. It was the Mayor’s brother. Captain Weeks would pay plenty to the investigator who solved this.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Human. Male. From an obscure planet in the Milky Way Galaxy. Sci-fi novelist with a PhD in philosophy. Likes chocolates, Labradors, and zombies (not necessarily in that order). Werbeloff spends his days constructing thought experiments, while trying to muster enough guilt to go to the gym.
He's written two novels, Hedon and The Solace Pill, and the short story anthology, Obsidian Worlds. His books will make your brain hurt. And you'll come back for more.
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