4 - Arin’s Exosuit Doesn’t Measure Up

She feels inadequate.

Arin’s eyes burned. She felt a little weak. She wasn’t sure why she felt this way when Asher asked her to go somewhere with him. The ache in her stomach distracted her. Was it some kind of feeling for Asher or just hunger? Another thing her mother had done to her––hunger for something solid to sink her teeth into––no one else needed food. She wasn’t even sure she needed it. She took the same Nutritabs as everyone else, but somehow, she wanted more. More flavor. Something to chew on. The Crunchies her Mom made for her tantalized her tastebuds and satisfied her feeling of hunger. When Clara had time to be a Mom, she could bring warm feelings all over Arin’s insides. Then, other times she was cold and busy.

“My mother is looking for me,” said Arin haltingly, as she just stood there staring at the ground feeling helpless.

Arin knew she couldn’t be like everyone else. The blue walls looked so dim to her. The suit helped, but she still had to constantly pay attention so she wouldn’t run into things. 

With a heavy heart, she said, “I need to do some work for my mother.” It was the excuse she used so often. Would he believe her again? She wasn’t sure how much he really cared about her. He was always happy to go off with his friends. 

Everything was getting dimmer. She didn’t want to see anyone. “Blast! Why can’t I just sense these things like everyone else?” She adjusted her suit until she got a clearer image. Not quite right, but better. What was her mother thinking when she gave her this stupid suit? It was ancient. How could she think this would replace Computer Chip Enhancement? The CCE she wanted so badly. But now she was too old. Her mother said they were being watched now. Her Dad was gone, and they couldn’t make a better suit. The burning moved from her stomach to her face. It wasn’t just anger––well, kind of was––but she wasn’t going to wait around and feel bad. She would get out, but not until she saw Asher again.

Arin looked up and saw Asher’s deep blue eyes looking into hers. Yes. She would go with him.

Asher started walking away, Arin caught up with him. “I want to go with you,” Arin said with a smile.

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The science of implantable brain chips: “Computer scientists predict that within the next twenty years neural interfaces will be designed that will not only increase the dynamic range of senses, but will also enhance memory and enable "cyberthink" — invisible communication with others.” Ethical Assessment of Implantable Brain Chips.

From the author: I always wanted to see like other people. For years I thought I would write a story about the protagonist having enhanced senses, but realized I could better write about a protagonist who wanted enhancements. I can feel that desire. I hope the feeling comes through in the story. Without emotions, a story feels vacant. Contact Nancy for questions and comments or you are welcome to comment on this post.