And All the King's Men
A political aide helps his boss recover from a gunshot wound.
"By luck, or chance, or maybe fate, I was the only wait-er in the waiting room when the neurosurgeons came in, one walking, one wheeling. The latter had the blank, semi-human almost-face of cutting-edge medical droid technology. Maybe its partner had brought it along so she could teach it how to tell friends and family that a loved one had passed away. Empathy lessons in real time, with me as today's case study."
From pinboard.in: "the one where the political candidate gets shot in the head and gets treated with an experimental procedure to replace the bits of his head that got destroyed with technology. And then he proceeds to continue his campaign."
From fairyninjas.wordpress.com: "This one is a political tale of biometrics and AI rights, and also a romance."
And All the King's Men is unconnected to other stories and universes.
And All the King's Men has been featured on GoodReads.
Not a whole lot to say about this story, except that my shorthand joke-summary of it on my planning spreadsheet was 'it's okay to rip off The Killing because no one watched The Killing'.
Finally, morgie both was a delight to work with and created the perfect illustration for the story! I'm still starry-eyed over how beautiful it is. I feel like I always thank my artists with a side note of 'and I can't believe they didn't run away when I said what the story was about!', but really, it takes special determination to agree to draw a man who's suffered a cranial gunshot wound, but in a sexy way.
If you did watch The Killing -- the first two seasons, anyway -- then you may find yourself making some noises of recognition at what I felt was a terribly missed opportunity. But that show made everyone in it horrible anyway, so I decided to fix it with cute gay smoochies and handjobs. If you didn't watch the Killing, eh, it's not a bad way to kill some time and it's all streamable on Netflix. Just don't expect the politician and his loyal aide to actually kiss.
I wouldn't say I ran out of space on this one, since I don't feel like I rushed too much, but I pushed it to the wire; I stopped about 500 characters short of the limit on both halves. However, seeing the upper bound come so quickly involved re-visioning a few things, including a scene that would have made it clearer that Mauri is a transwoman. Maybe I'll save the story of her epic romance with Dr. Bey for some future July issue....
All the names in this story were created by behindthename.com's random name generator, which is a great way to get linguistically improbable name combinations. The exception, of course, was Byung-joon, but initials were important there.