A sci-fi short story from Mark Betz. When an old man attempts to buy a new body for himself, where does his old life and his new one begin?[box] “Are you sure you don’t want me to come in with you?” Janna said, resting her hand on his forearm.
Marton shook his head. “I don’t think you can,” he said, reaching down to take the handle of the small, leather overnight bag at his feet. It was light, loose, just some toiletries and a pad, things they had said he would want afterward. When he straightened a wave of dizziness pulsed through his forehead, and his right knee throbbed. The knee had been hurting for a week. Sometimes it felt like someone were drilling into it. Damned disease wasn’t anywhere near his knee.
The woman standing next to him smiled sympathetically at Janna. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Storen,” she said, “but only the patients are permitted in the preparation ward and transfer theater.”
She had introduced herself as Margerie Farbro when she met them at the institute’s front door, all smiles and reassurance. As Adment, Client Relations, it was apparently her job to make Marton feel comfortable. So far she had been unsuccessful. Another, much younger woman approached them, clad, like everyone else they had seen since arriving, in a white ankle-length lab smock.