Generation Zanex

Throbbing. Pulsing. Man-made veins struggled to pump his vital fluids as he sprinted blindly in the desert heat. The sun reigned high in the afternoon sky, reflecting off the pavement surrounding the compound and flaring into his squinting eyes. Solid blocks dotted his surroundings, gas chambers and elevators leading to various underground complexes, all marked by letter and number. The grey structure looming behind him had but one exit; a single bolted door and not a window in sight.


Somehow, he had escaped with his artificial life.


Audwin Zanex ducked behind a large concrete block in the training sector. He peered back to ensure his escape had gone unnoticed. His muscles burned in his limbs, though his breathing did not labour. He squatted down, moving along on his haunches to look around the corner of the block. He saw no guards, no scientists.
For the first time in as long as he could remember, Audwin was alone.


He looked behind him for the next phase of his escape. The 30-foot electric fence sizzled in the heat of the sun, sparks flickering along it’s high-voltage surface as insects flew too close. Audwin knew the pain they felt just before they died, and he envied their quick release.


His light-brown hair stuck to the nape of his neck in the sweltering heat. His torso was nude, his skin deeply tanned and the brand on his upper right arm completely healed. He ran his thick fingers along the embossed serial number.


AXM5342KJN



He grimaced as he pushed into his flesh, feeling for the GPS chip that resided beneath the skin. Audwin felt it, encased thickly in a plastic membrane that was fused brilliantly with several large nerves.

It would be hard to penetrate, but he would only have to do it once, and it would be gone forever. Audwin would be free. His hand left his shoulder and slid along his tensed thigh, sliding into the pocket of his track pants. He revealed a small shank, the jagged blade gleaming without a handle, made from bones that he picked out of a large rat that had entered his cell. He had filed them down for months on end with his teeth, and bound the pieces together to thicken the shaft of the weapon. It was no bigger than a razorblade, but it would do the trick.


Audwin brought the ivory tip to his other arm, watching as it pierced his flesh. Blood dribbled out, and as he cut across the flow increased. He hissed between clenched teeth, his jaw squeezing, teeth grinding tightly as the searing pain intensified.

The slit was two inches across and at least an inch deep by the time he withdrew the blade. He placed the shank between his teeth and used his fingers to part the opening. Allowing a deep growl to rumble in his throat, he rummaged beneath his skin for the device. His fingers closed around it, nails digging into the plastic coating.

Audwin breathed once, twice, and pulled as hard as he could. Nerves snapped, blood poured, and for the first time in BioGen history, a robot screamed.

____________________________________________

The echo of heels against concrete reverberated within the narrow hallway. She gazed into each cell as she passed by, her glances lingering on several of them. They truly were fine creations, each one unique but all equally dangerous. And all equally belonging to her.

She stopped at one cell and peered into the thick shadows. The cage’s resident lay tensely on his wool-covered cot, bare-chested. Sandy blonde hair was cropped short, and a small birthmark was exposed on his temple. His right arm rested over his face, while the other draped down to the floor. She could make out his serial number from her position;

YOM5341KJN

 

She nodded to the guard accompanying her, and he punched in an 8-number code into the lock panel next to the bars. It opened easily, and as the bars no longer disrupted her vision, she entered the small confines of the cell, her lab coat loose about her figure.

The lone cell-mate sat up after a moment, a look of guilt contorting his flawless features and clouding his pure blue eyes.

“Stand.” She said simply, as if reading the word off a page.

He did this easily, pushing himself from the cot with his fists. He towered above her, but the guarded fear in his eyes proved that he knew who was in charge.

“Director.” he acknowledged, nodding some. “How generous of you to visit.” The words came automatically, emptily. They were rehearsed, as they all were.

“Yes, Class-M resident. I see that you are without a cell-mate.” she said, looking to the empty cot on the opposite wall.

Tensing noticeably, he followed her gaze absently. “He said he was being escorted for further testing.”

All the scientists and guuards, all human residents of the BioGen remote facility usually called the projects "it", never with a male or female posessive. They were not human, no matter not much they looked like it. Still, in order to blend in, the projects called eachother by their Number, the alpha-numeric code that they all had, or by their gender. However, at this stage of the project, they were all male-based designs.

She nodded, knowing that he was telling the truth. They were not programmed to be capable of lies. “Was there someone waiting for him?” she asked, looking down at both of their files impatiently.

“I did not see another,” he replied, “but Audwin said he was… “expected”, as he put it, Director.”

She froze. “… Audwin?”

The other in the room nodded. “Yes, Director.” he replied with no emotion. “He told me to call him that. Audwin Zanex, actually. He said it was a name. His name. I am confused, Director… what is a name?”

She dropped her clipboard, and he automatically knelt down to retrieve it. She did not react or answer the question.

“He gave me one, too.” he replied as he rose once again, handing her the clipboard.

“Gave you what?” she asked, distracted.

“A name. He said it was Yuri. Yuri Chernenko.” he said, smiling in that programmed way that they did. “Do you like it, Director?”

She looked to the guard beyond the bars, who had heard the entirety of the conversation. She signaled for him to enter, and Yuri smiled to his new guest. She looked back at Yuri and smiled. “Yes. It’s a nice name. But it’s not yours, Class-M.”

He turned back to her, his smile faded. “It’s not?”

She looked at him sweetly. “No. And Audwin is not his. You do not have names, you have numbers. Codes. Classes. Names are for humans.” She reached into her lab coat and revealed a syringe, along with a small vial of red fluid.

The guard gently sat Yuri back down. He looked up at them both, lost and hurt. “But I like the name Yuri,” he said. “Can I not have it?”

“No.” she answered simply, pricking the lid of the vial and pulling back on the syringe, allowing the chemical to fill half the needle.

He looked at it with reverent sorrow. They were so real-looking that their faces were haunting. She approached him, and ran a palm through his hair. With a violent yank, his head was forced to one side, and the syringe was driven into his jugular vein. She pushed the solution out and into his veins, and he immediately began to jerk and spasm.

“I-… I am Yuri.” he said in a whisper, his eyes rolled to the back of his head. Saliva dripped from his lips, and soon he went limp.

Director Kiera Vanita released the lifeless robot, tucking the empty needle back into her pocket. “Dispose of it, but discreetly. The others cannot be alarmed. Then I need someone down here to analyze all Class-M residents, and quickly.”

“What about the escaped one?” the guard asked as she departed.

“Hopeless for now. I’ve been told that his GPS was found in the compound, and that he is nowhere on the premises. You’ve got some heavy-lifting to do. I will handle the other one.”

She walked briskly, heels clicking in echoed waves.

You will not get far, Audwin Zanex.

The End

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