Patchwork

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Mr. Weller?

Oh, Doctor, please tell me, is my wife alright?

We're prepping for surgery now. The damage was bad, but we have high hopes that we'll be able to transfer her mind into a recyclone body before there are any long-lasting side effects.

A recyclone? But, Doctor...

Now, now. Don't worry about a thing, Mr. Weller. We have an excellent staff at this hospital. With luck, you should be able to see your wife by tomorrow morning.

Doctor, sir, that's not it. My wife and I...

Yes? What is it?

We're from Gaea, sir. We're members of the Green Church.

I don't undestand, Mr. Weller. The Green Church condones recycloning, does it not?

In situations like these, sir, yes, it does. But, you see, the problem is... is...

Go ahead, Mr. Weller. If there's something important you need to tell me, I insist you do.

My wife is with child, Doctor.

What? You mean to say she's... Oh, dear Ova.

You can't transfer her! The baby, it'll die!

Mr. Weller, I don't know what to say... Your wife... her mind is already in stasis. Her birthbody has been dead for hours.

No! By the Mother... no... My child! My child is dead.

Mr. Weller, I'm... I'm so sorry. Had I known, I could've... but we don't deal with many pregnancies in the Hub anymore. There hasn't been a natural birth in nearly a century... They've stopped teaching about it in the Schools, I wouldn't have even known what to check for...

My child... is dead... Oh, Mother, why?

Mr. Weller, I -

- Doctor Carson?

What? Oh, yes, what is it, nurse?

It's Mrs. Weller, sir.

My wife? What's wrong?

She asked about her child, Mr. Weller. Do you have your son or daughter with you?

Oh, Mother... my child...

Doctor?

Mr. Weller's wife was... pregnant, nurse. I've only just found this out.

Ova... Mr. Weller, I'm so sorry.

What did you tell her?

What?

What did you tell my wife?

I... I told her I wasn't aware of any child.

Oh, no... what if she finds out? She won't be able to live with herself if she finds out the baby's dead.

Mr. Weller, I... I feel as if this whole mess is my fault. Please, allow me to run an idea by you.

What? What can you run by me that will fix this?

Since we are going to be placing your wife into a new body we have, naturally, had to remove her from her former one.

I don't understand what that means.

To put it bluntly, Mr. Weller, her brain is being held in a containment unit.

What?!

Calm down, Mr. Weller, please. Now, while we are currently growing her recyclone body for her, we have not yet gotten rid of the other body. This means that your unborn child's... remains... are still available to us. Now, since it is this hospital's mistake that led to this awful incident, I feel it would be more than proper to offer you another recyclone - for your baby.

Are you... are you serious?

Quite, Mr. Weller. There's still time. We can harvest some samples from Mrs. Weller's womb and implant them into the new body. It will be as if nothing happened to her at all!

I... I don't know. Your offer, it's... it's tempting, but I've no idea how my wife would feel. And then there's the Church...

Mr. Weller, no one has to know.

What?

It is more than likely that your wife will completely forget about the time between her accident and being transferred into her new body.

So... you could tell her it wasn't as bad. The accident. You wouldn't have to tell her that she died.

Yes, exactly. She needn't ever know she was transferred.

But, is that legal? Ethical?

Being that you are a Gaean, Mr. Weller, I hardly think your wife will be regularly scanned for current biological status. As for the ethics, well, I'm not very knowledgable in that area, to be honest. But wouldn't it be better to allow your wife to live her life as a mother, than to tell her the truth and have her spent the rest of it in sorrow?

I... I suppose you're right.

So long as you and your wife remain outside the Hub, you should be fine. And as for your child, the good thing is that they will simply register as a normal citizen if they should ever come to Hub space. Most of the population is lab-born.

I don't know what to say. Thank you, Doctor.

I only hope that this makes up for our terrible oversight. Nurse, please take Mr. Weller to the visitor's rest area.

Yes, Doctor. If you'll follow me, Mr. Weller.

Thank you again, Doctor. May the Mother bless you.

Don't worry, Mr. Weller. By tomorrow, it will be as if none of this happened. Good day.