Friday, February 03, 2012

The True Story of John Smith

penumbra . 13

There are many roads to hell and heaven knows Anna-Marie has set foot on a few. All those candidates who have been ejected from the unmarked back door of the NeuroReGenesis Laboratories share her destitution but Anna-Marie considers herself lucky to be one of the few to have survived the sleep with her mind intact. Unlike John Smith she has no desire for oblivion.
“Why didn’t you...?” Anna-Marie makes a few connections in her head, “You must have been an automatic candidate for the Mission.”
John turns away from her and she notices for the first time the coupling portal almost concealed by the hair at the juncture of his skull and spine.
“You’re one of us” Anna-Marie’s expression turns from the realisation and a shadow of disappointment escapes across her features.
“You are one of us”
“I was always one of you”
“Not then, now. You failed the test too.”
“Test?”
Anna-Marie catches her breath in frustration.
“Were deadmen yah? Rejects from the saviour machine?”
John looks puzzled.
“I don’t remember...”
“Don’t want to remember more like”
“No, really, I don’t remember how I did what I did or why I didn’t make it onto the Mission. If you asked me to do it again I wouldn’t know where to start.”
“Well I remember everything. I remember that tiny paragraph on the contract that stated that NeuroReGenesis reserved the right to exclude the candidate [that’s you] from the Mission should the candidate’s test recovery fail to be complete in every way,” She covers her missing eye with one hand. “The primary rule of all commerce: The large print gives while the small print takes away”

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3 comments:

Harlequin said...

i'm liking this.... the last line is wonderful...

Garth said...

Harlequin: I must confess to stealing the last line from a song on Tom Waits' Real Gone album that goes:
"The large print giveth, the small print taketh away" :/

Harlequin said...

that's fine... you use it well in this context.