How are we communicating thought 274.
"Magic blue goo," answered Bill as he studied the computer screen.
I'm serious thought 274.
"Okay, Buddy, fine," said Bill as he turned to look at 274. "Scientific blue goo. Thoughts run on electrical impulses. The blue goo hijacks the signal. It's why you're floating in it. It needs to get in your everything, Buddy."
You can hear everything I think thought 274.
"Well, no. Comes up on the screen. But, yes. Everything."
You can hear me when I think about digging my thumbs into your eyeballs and chewing on your face thought 274.
"Yeah, Buddy."
And you're okay with that thought 274.
"I'm used to it. You're not the first to hate me. You're not the last. We'll get you over it, Buddy, okay?"
I want to kill you thought 274.
"Does it keep you up at night?" 274 had not heard the other speaker enter the lab. "Does it consume you? Does it light the fire of hope? Does it fuel the future? It had better. Or we'll throw you aside like the other rejects."
"Hey Garry," said Bill to the new speaker. "Buddy's awake this time!"
Garry stepped forward into the yellow light around the tube and looked up at 274. 274 looked back calmly.
"So. 274. Do you have purpose?"
I am in a tube thought 274. What purpose can I have here.
"And the future? What do you hope to achieve?"
Fuut0uore thought 274. We3 wwere tolld n0t two th1nk about the future.
"We? Please tell me, 274. Who is we?"
We are the voices that scream to kill to maim to eat and consume and devour and destroy and stab stab stab and chop and choke and sever and cut until the blood stops thought 274. We are the animals that hide inside. We are the many.


Bill sat opposite Garry in the Commons. Bill blinked. The coffee in his hand was steady and cold.
"He's well on track, sir," Bill started.
Garry's empty mug was pressed against his cheek as he stared off at a point five feet behind Bill's head. "What the hell are we doing, Bill?"
"... Sir?"
"A masquerade. A show. You know this - you're a damn fine actor in there. We push them and prod them and inject these... this... poison," he spat into his mug, "into their heads."
"You know the procedure, sir. You helped design it. It works."
"Yeah, yeah. It works. Seems to be the fucking catchcry around here. Any question to the Ups and it's always 'it works... it works'. And we ship them out, promising that 'it works'."
Bill waited.
"How the fuck do we know?"
"We've never had a negative report, sir. No returns, sir."
"How long have you been working here, Bill? What is it, five years now?"
"Twelve, sir."
"Holy shit. Really?"
"First two in ResDev, next three in Acquisitions then seven with you, sir."
"And you've never had any... misgivings in all that time?"
Bill looked around at the empty room. "Well, sir, I don't know about misgivings, sir. I've seen some strange shit, if that's what you mean, sir. Shit that keeps me awake at night because closing my eyes brings back horrors, sir. I was one of the Acquas at Pepper Ridge, sir. If you're asking me if we're doing the right thing, sir, I'm going to call a Hamburger on that, sir. I hear the kids screaming at Whiffleking are practically deafening, sir."

The End

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