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Good Company by Benjamin Tyrrell
Frustrated, he screams. He's done this before, but that doesn't make it any easier. They get to his legs, and still they don't stop. It irritates him. He waits for them to realize their mistake and turn around, go back into the AID machine where they came from. He had programmed them to stop when they hit living flesh, but they are still moving up his legs, closing in on his knees. If they don't stop soon, he will have to find a new body. And this one has been such a good one. He'll have to call that tall lab assistant. He's been loyal. He'll help old Professor Doherty out.
Ignoring the "bugs" (which have started to hurt), Raymond Doherty crawls over to the callbox and switches it on. It takes him a minute to remember the lab assistant's name (...Jason...Newstead), but it comes, slowly. He puts his palm on the flat of the callbox.
"Yes, Professor Raymond Doherty, Biological Engineering Department?" The call box's voice taunts him. Yes, damnit, I fucked up. Again. This machine has always had it in for him, anyway. Last time this happened, the damn thing had called three wrong numbers before finally reaching his previous lab assistant.
"Get me Jason Newstead. And make sure that it's JASON NEWSTEAD before you call seven different wrong numbers trying to fuck me over."
"Yes, Professor Doherty." He can hear the laugh in the damn thing's voice.
Ray Doherty lies back on the cold tile and assesses his situation. He is only fifty-seven, and already he's on his third body. He has been working on the AID (Automatic Immunity Distributor) machine for the last ten years, and he has to have a breakthrough soon or his funding will be cut, just like the funding had been cut for the Cloning Program and CRF. He'd used his body replacement for this thirty years right before he joined this program, leaving him to resort to more...creative methods of life prolongation.
Luckily, his lab assistants have always been incredibly gullible and naïve, always willing to put their research before themselves, so his physical continuance has not been much of a problem. The only problem occurred when his previous lab assistant's girlfriend had started snooping around about his whereabouts. He had been forced to date her, posing as her boyfriend for almost three weeks before he had earned her trust enough to dump her. That one had been close. If the government – or worse, the Company – ever found out about his body-switching program...
This is taking an incredibly long time. He has been forced to wait before (even in a situation as life-dependent as this), but this is ridiculous. The "bugs" (which are like fire) are working there way up his thighs now, and his genitals are coming fairly close to a long and painful decommissioning. Ray hasn't had to experience that yet, and does not want to add this particular point to his resume.
He lies as still as he possibly can. Maybe the "bugs" will move more slowly if he doesn't struggle. He doesn't know why this would work, but it makes sense to him.