Fiction Friday: [Upgrade]

[This week's Fiction Friday is my submission for Scene Stealers #18. Scene Stealers is a fun writing prompt from Write to Done where they provide the first two sentences and limit your word count to 350. Enjoy!]

It was the first day of January. He decided he wanted a new ear.

No, Dax didn’t want a new ear—he deserved it. Not only that, Dr. Hexton promised him an upgrade months ago.

The last thing he deserved was to be treated as second rate while the 5th Gens were treated like gods.

He pushed the button for sub-level 12. The doors opened and he headed straight toward Hexton. The doctor didn’t notice him approaching and Dax paused a moment to marvel as the doctor worked on a tiny green chip.

“You’ve been avoiding my calls,” he finally said.

Hexton’s eyes flicked up briefly at Dax before returning his attention to the chip.

“Not avoiding, just busy.” Hexton said.

“I was supposed to have an upgrade months ago. The way I see it my time has come. New year, new ear, I’d say.”

The doctor finally lowered the chip and took a calming breath before looking up at him. Dax could hear Hexton’s heartbeat quicken.

“Look, Dax, after our last meeting orders came down…”

“If they were about reneging on promises, I don’t want to hear it.”

Hexton removed his glasses as he walked over to him and Dax could see his steely veneer softening.

“You had to know this day was coming,” he said quietly so no one else could hear. “And you know that I hate what I’m about to tell you as much as you do.”

Dax said nothing, but gave Hexton a doubtful look.

“You’re not only Gen 1, you were the first. The improvements since then have increased Auditron recording based arrests by two hundred percent. Eighty-nine percent since the introduction of the Gen 5’s. Their range is incredible and it would be impossible to upgrade you to their level without risk.” His look had grown sympathetic and Dax not only knew what he was about to say, but that he meant it. “I’m sorry.”

Dax stood in silence absorbing what he had already known. His time had come.

“Oh well,” he said glumly. “New year, new career, I guess.”