A blog where Stephanie M. Belser test-drives her fictional stories.
Expect the occasional
"stall, spin, crash & burn".

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I, Monster

(Flash fiction)

Hi, Doctor. Thanks for seeing me. I only need this one session. I’ll sit in a chair, thanks.

Don’t worry about my name. You can call me Mr. Monster. I don’t mind. It’s how I think of myself.

Oh, you wouldn’t know I’m a monster, not if you passed me on the street. But I am.

See, it started when some people in a certain Three Letter Agency thought that they could modify a human’s brain to be telepathic. They didn't think of it that way, what they though of was radio. Human brains run on electrical impulses, and what if they could modify a brain to receive signals from other people. Think of what that could do for intelligence gathering!

I volunteered, not that I had a real choice. I had stage four brain cancer, I was going to be dead anyway. The deal was they would diligently get rid of the cancer if I signed on. Odds of surviving the surgery itself were one in ten, one in fifty for a cancer cure, one in something very large for the project to work.

It worked. Jackpot.

The hard thing was first being able to filter out signals. There is a lot of noise in people’s thoughts, I had to learn how to zero in on the thoughts that were interesting without going mad. Believe it or not, a tinfoil-lined watch-cap helped at first when I didn’t want to hear, then I learned how to switch the implant on and off. I could reduce or boost the range. I can listen to one person and ignore everyone else. I can now go to a stadium, focus on someone and hear only that person, nobody else. All it took was practice.

Funny thing about radios. They can work both ways if you know how. Within about twenty meters, I could send thoughts. I could jam their thoughts. I could jam their automatic functions. I could wipe memories. It took me awhile to figure this out.

The doctors monitoring me didn’t know this, of course, but they knew that something was not working the way they wanted it. I heard the chief doctor thinking about removing the implant. I changed his mind for him. Maybe a little too aggressively, he’s in some mental ward, now. I went through the minds of the other doctors involved. First I made them destroy all of the notes of the project. They wiped all of the drives, all of the backup drives. The head IT guy wiped the server and its backups of everything. I then, more delicately, wiped enough of the doctors’ memories. They all have big gaps in their lives. What, you want I should have killed them? I could have.

I left. Nobody remembered seeing me go. The research facility burned down a day later. Of course I caused it. You want them making more monsters like me? If they knew it worked, they'd have made hundreds more. Thousands, maybe.

I went to Foxwoods and played poker for several hours, only listening to the other players. I had to lose enough to not look funny, even lose some of the big pots, But I left with $30,000 in cash. Nobody remembered to check me in or out.

So now I just roam around. I fight crime, in my own way. You might know that I’ve been around. Remember the guy in Chicago who killed his family and was found under the platform at Union Station, having brutally slashed himself? The hedge-fund guy who called up WABC and confessed on tape to stealing billions? The billionaire industrialist who wrote and signed a letter admitting trading with terrorist nations? That was my doing.

Then there are the ones you don’t know about. The guy who was going to take the MTA to go rape his girlfriend and who jumped in front of the train. The bank robber in Minneapolis who all of a sudden shot his partner. You’d be amazed at the number. Seems that people who are planning to do bad things have it on their minds. Sometimes I’ll just erase a detail. A guy going to rob a store will forget what he was going to do. Easy-peasy to do something about it.

Sounds scary, doesn’t it? I can pop in and out of people’s heads and they don’t know I was there. I know what they’re thinking. I can delete memories, hell, I can erase their minds. But if you knew the thoughts of the people walking down the street, you’d run home and hide behind a steel door with a shotgun.

Yes, I’ve erased minds. Takes a bit of thought and I have to do it in a nearly deserted area to avoid anyone else getting splashed by the process. Don’t ask how I learned that. I save that for child-molesters. Or I wipe the part of their brainstem that controls circulation, that gives them a painless heart attack.

Killers are easy to find. Their minds really do work differently. I stumble across maybe two a month. No, of course I don’t let them go. Have you been paying attention?

Do you remember the white-shirted cop at a demonstration who sprayed himself in the face with pepper spray– that video had fifty million hits on YouTube. That was fun. I’ve stopped people from committing suicide, not many, it’s hard to be close enough to an attempt. But I’ve done it.

I think I’m going down to Washington, next, to walk around the Capitol and the adjacent office buildings. Look for some early retirements from political office in the near future.

I’m a monster. Imagine what I could do if I was a bad one. Ah, I see the question you won’t ask. I’m telling you all this because nobody will believe you. And I need to tell someone.

You’re hiding something. You can either think of what it is or I can go digging. Relax, Doc, let the thoughts come..... Wow, Doc, you did that? And with so many of your patients? Nobody complained? Really.

Lie down here, Doctor. This won’t hurt a bit.


Anonymous said...

It's one thing to be a receiver, but quite another to be a transmitter.
I'd rather be a hammer than a nail--
Oh, I would definitely use this power for evil purposes. Or at least perverted ones.

Anonymous said...

Love the tone. Nice voice. Keep writing.

Anonymous said...

I like it. Super hero or super villain? All depends on your perspective, really.

-- Jo Eberhardt