EP175: Reparations


By Merrie Haskell.
Read by Mary Robinette Kowal.

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I just swab my arm and administer the cocktail, a booster for my
radiation immunization. The taste of brass fills my mouth in seconds,
and I know that the cocktail has flooded my system. With this stuff
burbling inside, I can stare down three sieverts without blinking, or,
more importantly, losing my immune system, teeth, hair, and intestines.

When I finish with my dose, I grab the skin on the newbie’s arm, swab
her and shoot her up, too. “Ow!” She jumps and rubs her arm. I watch
carefully to see her smack her lips at the taste. “You could’ve warned
me.”

“No time,” I say, doctoring Ken and the others just as abruptly. We’re
pressed, and they know it.

We’re all nice and anodized on the inside at 8:12. We’re waiting for
8:16, or thereabouts. There aren’t any atomic clocks in 1945, so all
times are approximate, internally speaking. And from here on in, there’s
no point speaking any other way.

Rated PG. Contains mass destruction and graphic descriptions of the wounded.