Seams

On the moon, a mirror was not a mirror. Well, it was, but rather than a silvered-glass sheet it was a digital screen utilizing cameras from various positions in the bathroom to display images of her body. And in that digital mirror, Detective Astrid van Bergen of the Unified Nations Police Force was staring at the seams on her chest.

The central join ran from the base to the top of the sternum, and then followed the path of her ribs down to her sides, then all the way up to under her armpits. From there, they looped back under her collarbone to the top part of her sternum. The dermaplast seals were tinted to that of her natural complexion, with the slight dip at the join where they met the matching internal seal running underneath.

She was thankful that she had never seen her chest cavity open. The hinges that had been placed in her ribs provided ample access to the artificial lungs and heart, just one of many units she’d had in there since she was a child. The idea of being able to see the mass of technology pushing blood through her arteries and veins… a shudder ran through her.

They weren’t the only seams on her body. One ran from the upper point of her pubic mound to a point situated just inside her navel. There was the seam around the back of her neck, where her Human-Machine Interface was situated, and matching points on her wrists for the ports there.

Other plugs dotted her body. One either side of her chest connected to her artificial lungs. The machine that attached to them sat in her bathroom alongside a portable unit. Their purpose was the removal of matter from each lung. The ones to the side of her abdomen on the other hand, were for the bio-electric generator tucked away inside her.

Orange-painted fingernails traced along those lines as she looked into her reflection, directing changes of camera angles with a mere thought. All the functions of her apartment linked wirelessly with her HMI and the neural computer interfaces tucked away in her skull. The seams there were much harder to see, hidden under brunette hair.

“Stylsistant,” she spoke, the program coming to life on the mirror screen, “can you go through my dresses and find something that shows enough skin, but hides the lines? Formal casual in style.”

“Of course, Astrid. What is the occasion you wish to dress for?” The basic AI requested.

“Works party. Dark colours, preferred.”

“The request is processing… five matches made.” The dresses appeared on screen, overlaying her reflection’s body.

“How about that one? The Candice Collection Obsidian Nymph?” The requested item appeared onscreen, taking up all the various camera angles. It moved in real time with her as she turned, the light and airy fabric trimmed with delicate lace. The cut of the neck just avoided revealing the lines meeting the top of her sternum.

“An excellent choice. Would you like suggestions to accessorize the outfit?”

“A matching clutch purse, some open-toed shoes preferably with straps, some jewellery and… hair up or down?” She asked, leaning forwards on the sink to watch the shift of the material. A simple skin-tag would prevent too much cleavage or join-lines from being flashed.

“Here is a good match for your chosen dress,” the program stated, bringing up a number of items from her wardrobe, “A bracelet on each wrist, silver, would be recommended. A matching necklace may draw attention away from your chest. Simple stud earrings would go well with your hairstyle, if you keep it down.”

That was pretty much what she had planned on dressing as, but the confirmation was always nice. “Finalize and confirm.”

“Your outfit has been confirmed. RFID tag identification is active, you will be able to see the items you have selected outlined in your wardrobe. Thank you for using Stylsistant.” The program shut itself down automatically, leaving Astrid to make her start in getting ready.

And that all began with removing one of the many bottles of Dutch Orange nail polish from her bathroom cabinet, ready to start on her toenails.

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