Author : Maria Coello

“The problem with sibes – the main problem with sibes – is that they won’t lie down when they’re dead,” Kirsten said three days ago, spitting bits of sausage across the dinner table. I ought to have told her years ago, of course, but it never seemed like the right moment. By the time it became an issue I didn’t know how she’d take the news. “Fuckers keep coming back for more. And then when you’ve shot them to bits, their mates come around and put them back together again, and they come right back at you.”

“That’s nice, dear,” I said vaguely. I never wanted her to join the cops, but after her father got killed by one of his own creations she seemed to want revenge. It’s not what he’d have wanted, but there’s no way I could make her understand that.

“Last night,” she continued, “me and Lenny were in a bar, you know, a metal poke joint. A sibe brothel.” She only said these things because she knew they’d upset me. I sometimes thought that she really hated me. “This fucking plastic prozzy came up to Lenny, trying it on. Lenny nearly puked. They say the things are supposed to look like us, but God knows who’d find that attractive. Anyway, we got the metal madam locked up and booked a couple of the punters. Some of the sibes got in the way. It’ll be a few weeks before they’re walking around dirtying up the place again.” She laughed. I’m not sure where my daughter picked up such repellent views. We were always such a moderate family and her father’s role in the CYBE program was important to him. I’d met my daughter’s partner Lenny; a tall tattooed Cro-Magnon with a bundle of second-hand prejudices where his brains should be. He and my daughter, though it shamed me to admit it, were quite well-suited.

“So anyway, Mom, tomorrow’s their stupid Kruppler day,” she got up from the table, sending crumbs all over the floor. “They’ll all be out on the streets, the disgusting bastards, demanding equal rights and all sorts of stupid shit like that. There’ll be trouble. I need some kip. Night.” She pecked me on the forehead and went up to her room, clearly relishing the prospect of ‘trouble’.

That was the last time I saw my daughter until today. I watched the Kruppler Riots on the news. I don’t pretend to be an expert, but it seems to me that if you create a bunch of, well, people, as intelligent as humans, and expect them to knuckle down and do the dirty jobs with no rights, no pay and no representation, you’re asking for trouble. And they got it that night. Lenny came round to the house afterwards, his cap in his stupid great hands. I almost laughed in his face when he told me my daughter was dead.

So now I’m here at the morgue. I always said I was going to tell my daughter one day. I ask the usher for some privacy.

There is good news and bad news, I tell her as I reactivate her. The good news is that you aren’t dead.

I hope she sees things my way eventually.


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