Valerie stared at her wrist and the raised lump between her radius and ulna.
“Dear God!” said Purvis, remembering to cross himself as an apology for the outburst. “What on heaven’s name is that?”
“One of my implants,” said Valerie. She opened a drawer in the kitchen cupboard and took out a small first aid kit. Ripping open an antiseptic swab, she wiped her wrist before opening a sterile scalpel. “They put them in when I lived at the Twilight Monastery,” she explained. It releases a flood of endorphins into my bloodstream, meaning I can continue to function even when severely injured.”
Purvis turned away as Valerie made the cut, a small fountain of blood spattering the table. “Purvis?” she said. “I need you. Put your finger here to slow the blood loss.”
“Here?” Purvis pressed on the artery.
“Yes, excellent.” Valerie winced as she one-handedly extracted the tiny pump and intravenous needle. “Pass me that tube of super glue, please.”
Taking it from him, she applied the adhesive to the artery and the area in between, waited a few seconds, then nodded at her husband to release the pressure. The join held, and she closed up, using the glue again to knit the sides of the cut together. She finished off with three medical staples and a sticky plaster.
Purvis regarded the tiny unit she’d extracted. “I never knew you had that inside you,” he said. “It’s as if I’ve been living with something from Star Trek.”
Valerie frowned, not understanding the reference. “It’s no worse than a pacemaker or a plastic hip,” she said. “We all want to live a bit longer.”