Author : Frank Robledano Espín
Slowly, he opened his eyes, taking in the pure white light of the transference chamber, breathing in the antiseptic smell, feeling the excessive warmth of the room on his face. Apart from the ergocreche he was in, the space was bare. With a barely perceptible hum, his seat righted itself to a near vertical position and began to stretch out, gently cradling his body but firmly getting him to his feet. Within a minute he was standing and the apparatus was moving backwards and disappearing into its housing in the wall.
“My name is Richard Mechwright. I am not the same person I was when I entered.”
“Neptune colony, Triton habitat, block seven. North pole cryovolcanic mining and study. I am not the same person I was when I entered.”
“I enjoyed intimate congress with children. I took the lives of several so they would not incriminate me. I enjoyed causing them pain prior to ending them. The danger, the prospect of being caught was also titillating, another paraphilic source of pleasure. I am not the same person I was when I entered.”
“I have been reconditioned, of my own volition. My medial orbitofrontal cortex has been repaired to provide a nominal baseline of control. The temporal lobe has had several nanoshunts implanted, including four to regulate my malfunctioning amygdala. I have had extensive restructuring of the hippocampus, with dozens of key memories having been extracted, rerecorded, and replaced to provide a more stable moral foundation and eliminate most of the original trauma that led to my aberrance. I am not the same person I was when I entered.”
“I opted for reprogramming rather than execution because I did not wish to die. I did not understand the extent to which I would be changed. Truthfully, I doubt that anyone that submits actually does. My perspective is different, now. I do not have the exact same memories. I can not brook the same appetites. I am not the same person I was when I entered. I understand this litany is supposed to empower me to leave here, that it is somehow supposed to comfort me, enable me to start afresh. I contemplate what I was and feel only deep revulsion, a primal disgust. As a sane, clear-thinking, reconditioned individual I feel I must opt for termination. I can feel the person I was through a thin, soiled gauze throughout my being. I feel as if I were sharing the same space with an ephemeral disease or invisible feces stains I can not scrub clean. I do not wish to live this way.”
Several seals clicked in to place. The gamma wave emitters began to come to life with a soft hum. Relief washed over him as he thought of –