Author's Note: This story serves a personal goal to write a new chapter every fortnight for the foreseeable future. The story itself takes place directly after the events of Repo! The Genetic Opera. For interest, I plan to include the song each chapter is written to as I usually listen to one on repeat when I write. If you feel it will enhance your experience please have a listen yourself while you read, all songs will be available on Spotify.

Song: WHEN I WAS OLDER - Billie Eilish


She wasn't sure where she was. If she was awake, or asleep. If this was real. If she was. She tried to open her eyes. And again. Nothing. The blackness had never felt so consuming.

Am I dead?

Her heart skipped a beat with this thought. The feeling of her hammering pulse comforted her. A heart rate is something the living have. But she still could not see.

Okay, so no sight. We've done this before. Feel instead.

She stretched out her consciousness to her arms, legs, any part of her body that would obey her will. Her limbs felt heavy, crushed with the weight of what she assumed was her continuing existence. This was a lethargy unknown to her. Everything was numb, detached. Something strayed past what she remembered to be her fingertips. It felt cool, hard but flexible. It was thick and smooth, like a sheet plastic tarpaulin. It was unfamiliar and her nerves were not her own. This sensory information gave her nothing trustworthy. Frustrated and exhausted, she retreated back to the recesses of her mind. Maybe the material was the plastic of a body bag. She could be in a coffin. She wondered if she was dead again. It would explain the crushing loneliness. At least she had been graced with seventeen years of practice for this. Alone alive, alone dead. Maybe some grave robber will harvest Zydrate from my corpse. The thought did not bother her as much as it would have years before. At least I would be useful for once. At least death seemed painless. This is what you wanted, after all. There had been nothing worth living for anyway. Not until yesterday when the ghosts of the past had come visiting on her. It had been as if Marni was reaching back from the realm beyond, though whether that had been to beckon her to join the afterlife or convince her to remain trapped in her mortal coil was open to interpretation. How she missed Marni. Life had been so much easier when she was blind in more ways than one to the horrors of this world.

And yet this was a situation not unlike how things had been before, albeit with more limited motor functions.

Like before. Huh.

Inklings of her final performance teased the edge of her consciousness, just beyond her grasp. If she had been here before when she was younger, a teenager, then how did she get back here now?

Okay, let's say, just for argument's sake, that you're not dead. That sensation, that helplessness, what was it like? Was it like this? Maybe it was. God that was something equally as morbid as death. She remembered that early yesterday she had not cared which outcome she was dealt. Either way, she had presumed it would be black.

There was no harm in finding out for sure. Things had changed now. Within the fog of her memories, she recalled a reason to hope, a potential for a better future, not in the next world but in this one. It had something to do with Marni. Of course it could not be Marni herself, she had seen her best friend's embalmed corpse with her own eyes. My own eyes. Yes, she must make sure her suspicions were correct.

She stretched her fingers out once more. Pain shot through her body at once, a feeling like electricity emanated from her left wrist and ran up to her shoulder. With the remaining strength she had, she felt the soft sensation of bedclothes and the smooth of plastic. There was something here. She was here.

She was in pain. So she was alive.

Mag could just make out the sound of footsteps fading as the crushing blackness engulfed her consciousness once more.