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“I will be content to wait for a few hundred years on one of the abandoned moons of the Castorian Sector. For now. Once you have taken me there, you are free to go where you please.” Subject 249 continues to watch me, considering its options. I anticipate a point zero four per cent chance that it will try to kill me when I let it out, yet I cannot resist the fear that this remote possibility brings. “Do it.” “Stand back.” It slips upward, its bulk supported by cloud of dangling limbs, then settles on the far side of the orb to retract its legs and wait. My fingertips clink against the glass as I Calculate the frequency requirements and trigger the sonic resonance, amplifying it until the wall begins to shudder. A galaxy of silicon fragments spray outward. Sharp chips gouge into my synthetic layers and I instantly deactivate the nerve endings to prevent shut down and regeneration. Subject 249 gurgles in protest as shards pierce its jelly-like dermis and I watch in disgust as he shivers to shed the outer layer in a series of jaundiced fatty deposits. In the time it takes me to disable the connection nodes to the area it has grown a new skin, the same revolting sheen coating it. “Make your mind up,” it says. “Am I an ‘it’ or a ‘he’?” With the prison destroyed, all barriers gone, it... he... can read everything. There is a moment of silence and sheer horror as my soul is bared before him—a cowering intimacy, a sense of shame and nakedness that forces me to look away. It should at least know now that I am not lying about escape. “Does it matter? Come, we have to hurry.” “Has the Project reactivation been reinstated everywhere? Is it publicized?” “We don’t have time to discuss it. We must go.” “Answer the question. I could search that tiny scrap of grey matter under that metal cranium to find out, but it would be a lot less effort if you just tell me.” “Come. We don’t have—”

Profile for Conjectural Figments

Conjectural Figments Feb 2012  

ConFigs, the first issue. Transhumanism. Interview: Simon Morden. Poetry: Jhon Z. Baker, Dale Herring. Short Fiction: Richard Thomas, Simon...

Conjectural Figments Feb 2012  

ConFigs, the first issue. Transhumanism. Interview: Simon Morden. Poetry: Jhon Z. Baker, Dale Herring. Short Fiction: Richard Thomas, Simon...

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