Author: David C. Nutt
His laugh was annoying, his smirk maddening. His attitude… beyond human arrogance. I suppose that was the point, as he wasn’t exactly human anymore. As a parole officer, I had to deal with plenty of his kind. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, and I am, but it doesn’t make it any less tiring.
“Manslaughter! HA! For my kind that’s a badge of honor. We’ve transcended you… biologicals. Engineered ourselves into a master race far superior to mere humans. Far better than “incompletes.”
The last was a dig directed at me. That’s what they called all of us who had some kind of physical challenge. A genetic spine deformity crippled me, compromised my body too much even for augments. But, even if I could have implants and augments, I think I’d skip them. I’m comfortable with who I am. The life I’ve made for myself. I had friends who had work done. Heck, some even became like the arrogant prick sitting across from me right now. He and his kind, “Ultras” they call themselves, have stepped into the void left by the third, fourth, and fifth Reich- only now religion and skin color, even genetics didn’t matter. Just how you improved yourself through surgical cybernetic augmentation.
“Yeah, If I didn’t have these cuffs on I could snap your puny human pencil neck, get a glass of water, and be back in my chair before your pathetic body hit the floor.”
I nodded. “I’m sure you could take care of me and not break a sweat. Then again, I’m the one in control here.”
I saw him grip the arms of the chair to the point of almost breaking them. Good. That should give me all the data I need. My computer chimed. Scans finished. Body systems mapped, solution set engaged. Underneath my desk, I hit the restraint button. His shackles fell off. Without even a smile and faster than my eyes could follow, my parolee leaped across the desk to get me- and straight into the force field. (Ultras are so predictable.) All his implanted weapons instantly deactivated. His motor functions reduced to 1%. He could still breathe, move his eyes, but that’s it. I took my time getting around my desk. I bent down over him. I put my crutch on his chest. His eyes told me he didn’t comprehend the movement, that is until I twisted the crutch handle and the ceramic needle fitted with the electrodes pierced his chest and began scrambling his insides just enough to look like a fatal shield accident. His eyes widened as the pain flooded his body. Just like all the other Ultras before him… what was my count now 17? 18? I’d have to check that later.
His grimace of pain and panic were… delicious. I smiled. I looked deep into his eyes. “You were wrong about me. I’m not human either; I’m a monster.”
That’s tight. A very good piece indeed.
Nicely done. I enjoyed this.
Pot calling the kettle black. NICE!
Well done. I could feel something simmering beneath the surface, but wasn’t sure which way it was going to boil up. Kept me guessing until the end.
I like the last line which closes the loop with the title with wonderful irony!