I grab the remote, my fingers gliding over the rubber buttons, and turn the T.V. on while eating a slice of the sickly sweet cake I signed for this morning. There was no note attached, but I was hungry and it was a lonely Valentine’s day. It’s probably just “God’s” grace shining down on me, finally.
The reporters on the news start chirping,
“3 more deaths because of the egestas scaccario. What do you think of this Dave? Is it really helping us or is it just a mass killing machine?”
“Well, I think anyone who thinks it’s a mass killing machine has never faced the problems it’s trying to fix.”
“Now, see here, I disagree with you Dave, I think that people can hold their own beliefs, as long as they don’t actively enforce them.”
“Are you racist Bob? Because it sounds like you’re racist.”
“No Dave, what you and many others fail to understand is that our society is built on reform and education. This is just cold-blooded murder.”
“Don’t those people deserve to die?”
I tune out the high pitched, fake concerned, highly paid voices and my eyes fixate on the screen. Behind the discussion panel are pictures of 3 blown up bodies, I feel nauseous and run to the bathroom, acid washing over my teeth, tears running down my cheeks.
It was supposed to regulate people, not kill them.
I think back to my pitch,
“And so, as you can see, this device will not only save lives, but also minds.”
A large man entered the conference room, his black combat boots hit the floor, a loud thud with very step
“Excuse me sir, I’m going to have to ask you to leave, this is a closed meeting.”
He flashed me a badge, one which made my muscles immediately tense up and my heart start racing.
“I’m here as a potential buyer.”
“Investor, you mean?”
That was a red flag right there, I only wish I had noticed it sooner.
“Well sir, let me introduce you to the law enforcement regulator. It is a nano-chip you can embed into bulletproof vests; it
monitors heart rate, breathing patterns, and face recognition software to analyze if a police officer is doing their job, or
“Cut the fancy crap, what the hell does that mean”
“Well sir, it stops police brutality by assessing the situation and delivering a shock to the officer.”
A shock, that’s all it was supposed to be, but they didn’t listen.
They changed the name so the unions couldn’t fight it. But they were lazy, all they did was translate it into Latin. The few police officers who knew Latin were promptly bribed or threatened to ensure the success of the device’s roll-out. At first, it worked exactly as I intended, reducing police brutality cases by 10%. But they wanted to clean their name more. They asked me to “make it work better”, but the first prototype was 20 years in the making, fuelled by hate and despair. I told them it would take time and money, lots of them. They gave me a year. I somehow did it and at first, it worked perfectly, reducing police brutality by 70%, but there was a cost.
My phone starts buzzing in my pocket and as I take it out, I feel my heart drop,
I swipe to accept the call, fearing the consequences if I don’t.
“Why is it killing people?”
“I told you, tapping into the consciousness is dangerous. Machines can’t understand everything going on.”
“Then why did you tap into the consciousness?”
I feel my throat throb, sensing something bad about to happen.
“It was the only way to get the percent reduction you wanted.”
“You should have found another way.”
My throat starts closing up, eyes turning dry. I can’t breathe and my skin flushes with colour. I don’t struggle, for I’m ready to leave this unjust world, and go to a fairer place. I lick the last crumbs off my lips and the final sounds I hear before my death are the reporters,
“This just in, the inventor of egestas scaccario has been found dead in his New York City Apartment. Investigators have concluded it was suicide, there is a letter beside him absolving the government of any part in the police killings. Well, I would say our world is far safer without him, what do you say Dave?”