Man or Machine

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Is Chimera man or machine? Enter the world of the demi-machines and watch as an apocalypse unfolds.

Submitted: August 19, 2012

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Submitted: August 19, 2012

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Present Day

I sighed and pulled the knife out of my leg. “Really you had to that? It is just going to make your death all the worse,” I said. “Fuck you,” said the slimy Senator I was sitting on top of. I smiled and laughed. “Maybe some other time,” I said. I pulled out my sword and in one swift whirl I beheaded the senator. I wiped the Senator’s blood on his shirt and sheathed my sword. I stood up and walked over to the window and jumped out. I crashed to the ground below and without even a scratch I walked off. Once I was at least five blocks from the Senator a beeping started in my mind and I pulled up the call. “Sir the job is done. Anything else before I return to the Agency?” I asked. “No, Chimera return immediately,” said Sir. The call ended and I walked silently in the shadows.

I was a Blade Runner, a rare assassin that was demi-machine. I had flesh and blood and all the physical qualities of a human but my mind and my insides were pure machine. Metal rested under the layers of flesh and my brain was control by an internal hard drive that allowed me to do anything. My eyes to others appeared to be an endless black that twinkled sometimes but they were screens that allowed me to see and interpret the constant flow of information that poured into me. I couldn’t be killed in any natural or human way and my emotions did not function as human emotions did.  My senses were heightened, my reflexes were faster, and I knew everything there was to know.  Thus I was Chimera, named after the Greek monster slayed by Bellerophon. Though I did have an utterly human appearance compared to some Blade Runners.

My hair was midnight black and I wore it at a perfectly tousled hip length. My eyebrow was pierced with a silver stud and my skin was as white as fresh snow. And I had a body that only existed in a man’s dreams. I wore a leather shirt covered by a specially made black armored vest. My short dainty legs were wrapped in leather leggings and combat boots. My waist was tapered off with a belt full of miscellaneous weapons and relics I had the body of a fairy and the mind of machine. But my personal favorite attributes were my swords. I had three swords in my arsenal and I always carried all three. Two swords were strapped to my back and one was always carried in my hand or at my hip. It was quite a look if I did say so myself. But it was wholly unnecessary, I could walk around stark naked and no one could hurt me in the slightest way.

I ducked into an alley and activated my transporter. The world blurred for a single moment and suddenly I was in a warehouse. The walls were lined with beeping machines and flickering screens as workers tirelessly coded and interpreted information. Around the warehouse were conference tables, many of which were covered with untouched food, and computer stations. There wasn’t a single window in the warehouse and the air was as cold as ice. I stepped off the platform and went to meet the man who stood just below the steps. His hair was a greasy looking black and he constantly wore a black trench coat. And no matter how much we probed his mind we never found his name, so we all called him Trench Coat which was better than Greasy Hair. Trench Coat looked up at me and immediately started to walk. He was taking me to Sir no doubt but it was not to congratulate me or give me a new assignment.

Something was wrong. I didn’t know what but I could feel it. Fear and desperation radiated off the computer techs and the machines themselves were working over time trying to solve what seemed impossible. I could feel the computers anxiety and their rage at some unknown problem. They didn’t know how or what had happened or how to fix it for that matter. I had never felt this before and I knew that it had come to the worst.

I followed Trench Coat silently and worked to sort through the down pour of information the computers were sending me. They wanted help. They need help and there is no one for a computer to turn too. They could talk, or feel like humans and that was something only a demi-machine could understand. The computers and technology of the world were a demi-machine’s family. We didn’t have birth parents or blood siblings like humans. Demi-machines were made in labs from machines and John Doe cadavers. As the information and statistics appeared on my screens I sent a whirl of information back to the computers and attempted to calm their wiring systems.

People regarded demi-machines relationships with technology as strange but it was truly no different from relationships between humans. In fact our relationships with technology were far more important and vital than human relationships. We were the bridge between humans and their machines. And not only could we understand machines but humans as well which allowed us to solve impossible problems and create new and better technology. Across the world you could find demi-machines in almost every major technological company. But I wasn’t just a demi-machine, I was a Blade Runner. Blade Runners weren’t meant to sit in labs and create technology. We were weapons of mass destruction made by the Agency for the United States government. It was our job to use the knowledge, and information of technology with the skills of humans to defend and protect our country.

Which seemed rather strange since I had just murdered a U.S. Senator, but I doubt he would be missed by anyone. From what I knew he had several illegitimate children and a tendency to visit whorehouses instead of his wife. Trench man stopped walking and I looked at the steel doors in front of me. They slide open and I entered a world of steel. Everything was steel, including the man behind the desk. Sir was iron clad in his resolve and had nerves that made Superman look like a wimp. I sat down across from him and the doors slide closed. “Sir,” I said. “Chimera, we have problem. And it seems your fellow Blade Runners are at the root of it,” said Sir. I looked at him blankly and he continued. “They have hacked our systems and have sent out a message to all government agencies. This message will soon spread to every computer in America and the existence of demi-machines will be revealed. But that is not what troubles me,” said Sir. He looked at me and I continued to stare emotionlessly back at him, something I knew he hated. Demi-machines had amazing poker faces and the uncanny ability spin even the worst situations and times to their advantage.

“They also sent out a call, a call to you Chimera for you to join them,” said Sir. “And?” I asked not seeing the point in this conversation. “Will you join them?” asked Sir. “I don’t see how that pertains to you. But if you wish I can upgrade the security on the computers and look into this message. Other than that any decision I make based on the information you gave me is my own business,” I said coldly. “How dare you! We created you, we gave you purpose, and you just throw it back in our faces. You are unworthy of your gifts and title. And I will make it clear now that if you turn against the Agency, you will never find peace,” hissed Sir. At that comment I smiled and looked up at Sir. “Then it’s a good thing I’m not looking for peace,” I said.

 

 

 

Two Years Later

I tapped my hand on the desk and looked out the window. “Chimera, what is it?” asked my handler. “Bad things are coming,” I said. “So demi-machines can also see the future?” asked my handler. I narrowed my screens and looked at him. “No you idiot. It’s a feeling I have that’s all. And just because the government says demi-machines need handlers doesn’t mean we actually do. There is nothing supernatural about us. We are part machine and part human,” I said looking back at the window. “What about your name Chimera? It’s the name of a Greek mythological monster made up of several animals that was killed by Bellerophon. Is that significant or hold meaning to demi-machines?” asked my handler. I smiled and looked at him once more.

“Steve shut up. I’m not a mythological monster and the name isn’t significant to demi-machines. It was significant to Blade Runners. Chimera means monster and that was what I was or am depending on your point of view. I was one of the top ranked and most lethal of all Blade Runners. I hold the record for most kills and most successful assignments. But that wasn’t why I was named monster. I was named monster because unlike most Blade Runners I didn’t feel sorry or guilty about my kills and I didn’t ever turn down an assignment no matter how morally or ethically wrong it was. I was or am, once again depending on your point of view, a psychopath. I felt no remorse and understood human emotions and empathy well enough to manipulate everyone and everything around me to my benefit,” I said. “Are you ashamed of that?” asked Steve. “No. Emotions like shame, guilt, fear, remorse, only hold you back in life and prevent you from living to your full extent. Are we done psychoanalyzing my life now?” I asked.

“No, you know we have to go through these questions and submit them to the proper authorities every 6 months,” said Steve writing down my response. “The Awakening was the worst idea demi-machines have ever come up with. I don’t care if human living standards have only benefited from it, it is still the worst idea we have ever had,” I muttered under my breath. “Why is that?” asked Steve. I cursed and resolving to answer his question I sighed. “Your ozone layer is fully repaired and stronger than ever. Global warming has ceased and your forests and lands are replenished. Your water is toxin free and your cars use compost engines which take garbage and turn it into compost to use on farms. Your houses are bigger and better than ever. The clothes are made out of Imaterial which can be altered at the touch of a hand. Your economy is the strongest it has ever been. And your education system is number one in the world. That is every benefit humans have received from the revelation of demi-machines. But demi-machines are now kept under strict government watch. We can’t live near humans; we can’t shop in the same stores as humans, or get services from the same place as humans. Demi-machines can’t go in churches or human schools. We have to have handlers who report on us and monitor our every move. We can’t form groups or join clubs. We can’t own land or vote. Its shit, the Awakening only brought us shit,” I said glaring at Steve.

“You believe demi-machines should have the same rights as humans?” asked Steve though it sounded more like a sentiment he found disgusting. “No not the same rights, but rights all the same. We should be able to vote and own land. And live without handlers. But there is no need for us to go to human schools or eat in human restaurants. I want rights that are equal but different,” I said. “Do you ever consider joining politics?” asked Steve. I sighed once more and pulled up a series of articles on my screens. Knowing Steve couldn’t see them I activated projection mode and my eyes turned white for a moment and then the articles appeared in midair. “How are you doing that?” asked Steve obviously shocked. “My eyes are not eyes at all but screens and when I activate projection mode my eyes can turn into projectors. Now in answer to your previous question I want you to look at these articles. Two years ago when the Awakening happened I was the right hand to the Awakening’s leader, Anthrax. And no he isn’t diseased. But when the Awakening was happening I was involved in all aspects of politics and I hated it. Every moment was torture for me as I saw the way the game was played. All the lying and secrets sickened me. I am not one for games and riddles but straightforward, blatant conversing. I don’t lie when I can help it and I don’t bother to care what other think when I am honest. Manipulation was once thing but I never used lies in my manipulation,” I said.

“So you are a killer and a psychopath but you aren’t a liar,” laughed Steve. “Yes I believe that’s correct,” I said. Steve shook his head and I glared at him. “Steve I am answering all your questions so now is not the time to piss me off,” I said blankly. I looked back out the window and Steve went on. “Do you feel?” asked Steve. “And by that you mean?” I asked. “Your voice registers no true emotion only disinterest and minor boredom. Your eyes or screens are blank and your body language has been studied by leading experts that report that you show no feeling or intention in your body. Do you feel?” asked Steve. “Not in the way humans do. I understand and can express human emotions when necessary but it isn’t my most natural state. I feel as a machine does, logically and analytically. At times that does mean I feel panic and frustration as well as anxiety and rage but love and joy and sorrow are not natural feelings for me,” I said.

 I closed projection mode and my eyes once again became screens pulling up information. A timer went off in my head and I looked at Steve. “The Q and A portion of today is over. I have business to attend to,” I said. “We will resume the paperwork tomorrow. Where to next?” asked Steve. Steve had to follow me everywhere no matter where it was. Needless to say it was a good thing for him that I didn’t ever have to go to the bathroom or need to visit the gynecologist. On the downside though I couldn’t really truly do anything till he went to sleep, another thing a demi-machine didn’t do. I looked at Steve and felt sorry for him. Too bad he had to die. Steve stood and started to gather his things and I watched him. I reached into my boot and pulled out a knife. I moved silently around the room so I was behind Steve and with the agility of a cheetah I slit his throat. I shoved the knife back in my boot and ran out of the room. An alarm sounded and I ducked into a janitor’s closet. I turned my transporter on and the world blurred.

Then it suddenly became clear and I turned my transporter off. “Glad you could make it Chimera,” said a slimy voice. “With the idiocy of today’s government increasing this has quickly begun the most important thing on my agenda,” I said. I walked off the platform and through the darkness of the night. I came to a steel door and I watched for the slimy voice again. “Password, Chimera,” said the voice. I placed my hand on the door and transmitted the password over a secure frequency to the voice’s internal hard drive. “You may enter,” said the voice. The door opened and blinding white light engulfed me. I stepped through the doorway and walked over to a round white table. I took one of the chairs and

looked around. The table was the only thing in the entire room and around it sat some of the most well known demi-machines from around the world. But it wasn’t the people here who were significant it was what they planned on doing. It didn’t take a genius to realize why we were all invited here.

A hooded figure on the other side of the table stood and all eyes turned to the figure. “Welcome I am Six, and I was the one who invited you all here tonight. Some may have figured out why we are here, other may not have but that will be explained in good time. If you can’t tell by now I am a Creator and if you don’t know what that is then get out,” said Six. No one stood up and I looked blankly at Six. Creator’s were highly arrogant and elitist demi-machines that worked with the scientist who created demi-machines. They were incredibly crafty and knew the weak points of all demi-machine types. Which is why as the Awakening occurred all Blade Runners secretly gather and we rewired ourselves so that no one knew the secret workings of a Blade Runner. No more Blade Runners could be made and no one knew our weaknesses.  But Six and other Creators still held that power over most demi-machines.

Six went on for a few moments about himself and our origins which made the Keeper, demi-machines who kept our culture and history, quite annoyed before he finally got to his point. “The Awakening has made us the weaker species. We are not the weaker species. Humans need food and sleep to survive and even then they still die. We are the superior species. It is our destiny to rule over these humans, it is our destiny to rule this earth. We are better than humans and we need to show them just how strong we are,” said Six. “So? What are you proposing?” asked the Keeper. I looked at the Keeper and propped my feet up. “War, Keeper. He wants to wage war against the humans. A gutsy move but a dumb one. You Creators think you know everything but you truly don’t. Demi-machines cannot exist without humans. I agree that we have been made the weaker species but war is not the path we should take,” I said. All eyes turned towards me and I could feel the ripples of anger and vexation coming off Six. “And a Blade Runner isn’t really the authority on nonviolent solutions,” sneered Six. “It would seem in this occasion I am. There is much you don’t know, Creator. War with the humans is rash and stupid. Don’t let you bruised ego get the best of you. And I certainly hope this meeting is not in vain because I killed my handler to come and while I was never particularly inclined towards him, I don’t like my kills to be pointless and without purpose,” I said my voice devoid of all emotion.

“Then what do you propose?” asked Six. “Finally you asked,” I said. 


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