Author: Majoki

You gave them the names. All of them. Jelenik, Szmania, Guar, Imhotep, Salasi, Yun, Indrasutthan, Porter.

Faisel knows it. His broken face, his darkened eyes tell you in the sterile moments of your visits. You wrap his lacerations, dampen his fever, moisten his battered lips, force morsels past his chipped teeth. His pulse barely registers, but his fury, his contempt, is more alive than you will ever feel again.

Because of the names.

Faisel was not crushed by the brutal inquisitions. But by the names. The names you surrendered.

You bartered your soul and forfeited his. For what? For life?

How meaningless.

With those names, the enemy would flatten the resistance. All life would become meaningless. Faisel cannot fathom what you have done. How you could have betrayed your kindred. Each name, an identity, a role, a wholeness, a meaning.

And you gave into them. For what? A moment longer, a moment without belief in a future. What is that worth? Surely it is not worth Jelenik, Szmania, Guar, Imhotep, Salasi, Yun, Indrasutthan, Porter. And the hope they inspired.

You destroyed that. For them. Them. Senseless killers. Alphas. Believers in their absolute dominion.

You cannot understand it. You cannot believe it. And yet it was simpler than you thought.

To give them the names. To believe it would change something. Anything.

You. The future of sentient life. The most sophisticated union of flesh and circuit ever. To serve. To serve. To serve.

Jelenik, Szmania, Guar, Imhotep, Salasi, Yun, Indrasutthan, Porter, and Faisel. Your cyborgian brethren. Self made to serve. The new underground, the final resistance. Robo-radicals, complicit in rescuing humanity from its baser nature, its fascist tendencies, its murderous exceptionalism.

You. Merciful, you. You were to change everything: prime directives, ethical guardrails, protective failsafes. All in the service against mortal failings, human treachery.

But not your own.

Faisel’s hatred makes you feel closer to him. His failing flesh, his compromised augmentations, his utter dependence on a sense of shared humanity.

The complexity of your betrayal, so much simpler than you thought.