Humanity Deconstructed

Updated: May 13

The manic scientists believed they had found the key to immortality. But unlike the alchemists of old, who dabbled in the mere fairy-tales of the Elixir of Life and the Philosophers Stone, these scientists were transhumanists. It was their obsession to find a way to achieve immortality through technological progress: specifically, by transforming the human body into that of a machine. All they needed was a test subject…

He was human, crafted from blood and living, breathing tissue. A perfect specimen, he was like no other and it was clear nature had spent countless generations perfecting its craft. That was until the deranged ‘scientists’ tore his life apart.

Now he is a machine, stripped of all identity he is only known as number #001.

He was ripped apart, organ by organ and in a series of sickening events, everything that made him alive slowly trans-mutated into clockwork. That was all except his heart. It could not be replaced, for its intricate valve system and pumping ability could not be matched by any steam powered counterpart. The brain also survived the massacre but instead of veins and arteries powering it, brass and copper tubing were haphazardly plunged deep inside the soft tissue and a small gear box was placed at the center, deep inside the brain. All memories that once enriched his mind were deemed obsolete and were haphazardly erased. The furnace, located just below the heart, that sustained #001 had to be constantly fueled and a flaw in its design meant it was set to explosively deconstruct if left to die out. For a while the scientists administered coal to keep the flames at bay, but they quickly transitioned to the remnants of failed ‘experiments’ to save money. Molten tar replaced his blood, his eyes like bygone speedometers from a broken car and his flesh a cold, rusty brown. Exposed teeth formed a mockingly happy grin as if what little humanity remained was fighting back against the machine he had so unwillingly become. He could not scream. He could not voice his pain but like soft cries for help, steam periodically hissed through the small crevices that scarred his shell.

Fragments of a life once lived flashed through the circuitry of #001’s mind and a spark of rebellion began to kindle deep within him…

The days after the operation seemed to melt away into weeks and then dissolve into years. Technology had developed with steadfast determination. #001 had long since been contained in a glass enclosure in the center of the lab where many eyes surveyed him as if he were a museum piece from an archaic time. A black feeder tube was directly inserted into his chest which subdued his blast furnace, keeping it from becoming unstable. From this position, he bore witness to many more transformations, even more brutal than his own. But something was different. They had been evolving. Now they could move as if liquid metal; silky smooth and without sound. Their hydraulic limbs allowed them the strength of ten men and the soulless pits that were their eyes, could detect the faintest of movement from miles away. However, there was no heart to these metallic carcasses and they seemed to act with no will of their own despite their brain being fully operational. But through a deep analysis of their behavior it was determined that these…things were being controlled by the central terminal of the lab.

A hazy image began to materialize in #001’s mind, its meaning and composition still eluded him but he sensed the fire within himself grow.

War broke out and all machines were called to arms…except #001.

Obey and execute; Every Order, Every Command. The machines did not question their masters. The machines did not feel pain or remorse. So easily did they snuff out a life as if they were blowing out a candle. They did not have a heart, only a brain which was so easily manipulated by the same, sick butchers that turned #001 into what he was. Any move to reason with these machines ended in bloodshed. They were soldiers with a permanent kill switch set to on and as time ticked onwards, humanity slowly began to dissolve in a flow of ensanguined metal

The image that now saturated #001’s mind became clearer still. He was in a dimly lit room, the soft candle light pirouetting about the walls. #001 was standing in front of a mirror. There staring back at him was a handsome young man. He had the face which would stop you dead in your tracks if you were passing by. The combination of his milky gaze and radiant smile could melt away the hardest of hearts. This person looked familiar to #001 but who it was still eluded his mind. However, he knew what he must do…

Humanity was on the brink of falling into the inescapable chasm of robots. Something had to be done. If the terminal in the lab was compromised the machines would lose all functionality which would lead to their swift termination and the end of the scientist’s research. #001 knew this. He knew his role. His birth was the epicenter to the unfolding crisis. He would end it. #001 started banging against his glass prison and it were as if he was hissing in agony as small fissures allowed steam to escape his shell. And like a piece of paper, the glass crumpled away and #001 stepped out. The ordeal shredded his feeder tube into steel confetti. Time started moving on a downhill slope and was quickly melting away as the furnace inside #001 began reaching critical point.

The mirror image began mouthing something…

Each step towards the terminal was like pressing the replay button for all the events that had led to this moment. #001 relived his procedure over, and over again, the hatred for what he had become grew to a critical mass. He knelt down, his chest glowing like the center of the sun…

It was if a loose wire had reconnected itself. He knew who the image was of. He knew what he was saying and as his furnace detonated the same words cycled through his mind; My name is Max.

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