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“You need me. If you want my help, answer the question, Silicant.” “Yes. The decree is final, effective immediately, and spans all the governed sectors including this one.” “That’s all I wanted to know.” “Why?” The Flesher raises itself to its full, terrifying height and advances on me. It means to attack! “Not everyone wants to be who they are, Silicant.” It was the shock of its confession that caused my hesitation, the sudden realisation that its earlier tears were not fear or terror, but relief and joy. It wanted the Genofect Project. It knew exactly where to hit me: the feedback capacitors. Without them, I could not possibly anticipate and respond to its aggression with the usual dexterity of an automaton. After the first blow, it grabbed me with two hands around my shoulders, lifted me with ease from the floor, and began its vice-like crushing of my torso. There is no pain, my nerve endings have already been deactivated, but the fear of my termination is more than enough to make me act, and I lash out with my legs, pumping hard into its pallid chest. The putty flesh, new and freshly formed, cannot resist a quarter-tonne piston, and caves in. We both collapse, Subject 249 is not releasing me, its desperation only escalating. “I was born like this,” it wheezes, “but I have dreams of walking on human legs and feeling sand between my toes. Dreams of seeing a sunset with human eyes and tasting wine with a human tongue. I want to be real.” Sparks glitter in my peripheral vision and dark spots follow, alerting me to the fact that my systems are seriously damaged. It takes a second to shuffle backward, but even as I do so, the would-be proto-human brings its fists down heavily upon me. I don’t even know where they hit. I only know that everything is dark and the hollow echo of my own voice fills the mourning void in my mind that used to welcome so many others. “Flesh and blood, silicon and steel. It doesn’t matter. You are what you want to be.” “But I don’t want to be this.”

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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