“I’m sure you get this all the time, but I have to ask.”

“It’s about the sound coming from my chest, isn’t it?” Every word she spoke was punctuated by muffled clicking, thumping, and the occasional chime.

“Yeah. Is it a medical thing?”

“That’s putting it mildly.” She took another sip of her martini, then: “When I was fourteen, my left lung and rib were surgically replaced with a fully-functional typewriter.”

There was a moment of silence. It made sense, given the sounds that he was hearing, except for the part where it made no sense to him at all. “Why would anyone do that?”

“Weird, right? I was born bivocal- I had two voices competing for control of my tongue, but only had conscious control of one of them. The other was completely unconscious- it spoke whatever I was thinking at any given moment, which was quite rude and forward- so my doctor had it rerouted into the typewriter. That way it could channel itself into another medium without intruding on my day-to-day life.”

“Hmm." He'd never heard of such a condition. "Aren’t typewriters hard to maintain? What about the ink? The paper? How do you manage that?”

“There’s an access panel behind my shoulder blade. Check it out.” She turned around, and sure enough, next to her dress’s strap, there were two screws holding a plate of flesh-colored polymer against her skin. “I have to keep a set of emergency supplies with me in case it jams. If it does, both voices try to use the same lung, and, well, let’s just say things get a bit inappropriate.”

At this point, he supposed she was telling the truth. “Do you ever read what it types?”

“I used to, but honestly, it’s all stuff that I already know. It’s rather boring and embarrassing, reading everything about yourself that you would never actually say.”

“And every time I hear that, that means you’re hiding something from me?”

“You could think of it that way, I suppose,” she replied with a carriage return's ka-ching. “But even though I can’t hear you rattling away inside, that doesn’t mean you’re not choosing your words just as carefully.”