Unnamed Journal Volume 2, Issue 4 - Page 15

"Right," said the Covey, tonelessly. "Habit in the memories." He left all those unnecessaries on the tray and instead charged the surgical wand. The device flowed with a hot blue light, the product of a cauterizing radiation that cut at the molecular level cleaner than any diamond laser. Lang had trained with it, a long time ago, when he was passing his Basic Spacership Battery, and once or twice as a refresher. He'd had the chance to use it once, aboard the Gunner's Haven, when the sawbones had gone out the airlock and Captain Crowley had injured his arm bringing the prize in. It was minor surgery: a flesh wound, but the whole time he'd kept thinking: Don't knock the head off the thing. Don't knock the head off the thing. The GR-90 Surgical Wand was notorious for its delicate contact housing. If you pushed it or banged it too hard, you'd knock the housing clean off and then the radiation would flow out like a wild whip of pure blue death-energy. There were stories throughout the Union, though they had some of the elements of urban legend: it was always someone who crewed with someone whose brother had done it and cut his own arm off. You never met any of these armless bastards. It hadn't mattered. Lang removed the bit of junk steel from Captain Crowley's arm and cauterized it nice and neat. Crowley said the doc himself couldn't have done it better. What had been the doctor's name? Lang couldn't remember. The Covey handed Lang the surgical wand. He looked at it for a moment that stretched softly, eating up past and present alike. Only now, Lang thought. Only now. He looked at them, trying to see if they were processing the point. They remained silent as graves. "Covey," said Lang "Do you remember the day I hired you?" The Covey looked at him and said that he did remember. "I don't," Lang said. "I don't remember that day at all. I don't &VV&W"&rRFw@&VV&W"vBFRRFV6FRF&RRFW'fWvVBF&VRFW"wW2f"W"6F'WBFwBrv6WGFVBR"vBW"6fW'6Fv2 %R6BRvB&RvBFfRR %VFB6VG2ƖRR'WBFwB&VV&W"FwB&VV&W"B $BFW6wBGFW""6BFRW&$7WBBWBBBvW2v $BFW6wBvv"6Br%vB&RRFƶr&WC $FwB&VV&W"FRF&VB6fWBw2vR6fWv26gV6rFW67&BFB'Bb2W'6ƗGFR&W76גV&W2FB&VV&W"'WBBVVBFRvWBC FRW&VBBFR6fWvVB&6VFW"7R$bBBBVVB"r6B$6fWvVBBfR&VVF26BRvVB@fRFVBF26BvVB&RFrF27W&v6vBg&FffW&VB6bFffW&V@6FRRvVFwBF6RFRFffW&V6RFffW&VB6WBbV'FFv6&W3'WBvPVƖfRvVB&RFffW&VB