The feelings subside, one after another like cigarette lighters at the end of a concert. Misery. Pain. Happieness. Joy. Rage. All gone.
Everything that makes one human, not just by the definition of a few borderline spiritual men, but everything. Bones, blood, lymph nodes, muscles, tiny tiny cells with their precious ADP molecules. Only the electrical system remains. A seething mass of biological semi-conductors and cables that could only have been connected together by a madman.
Time now to play with the attachments like they were parts in a cheap construction set for the kids. Carbontube clamps atach and disattach at seemingly random intervals. Countless of hours spent with an AI trying to map out what each connection does. Hours the quantum computers compressed into minutes. It was more convinient that way.
The script finishes running. The machines attached to the clamps pull away back home in the upturned pickle jar. All through this, the heavy music plays. It helps him think. The deep bass repetition that decended from the Australian aboriginee digiridoos. They used it to enter the dream world. 'Too late my friends." He says - mostly to himself. The auditory canals haven't been connected yet. "The dreamworld leaked out long ago. Then came the world of myths. Magic and legends made of flesh and technology."
Small jolts of electricity, almost etherial in their unpercivability, run along the axons. They've all been color coded. Each with their own 31 flavors and four amino acids.
The little bell means that dinner is ready. It's not really dinner, which is good. He isn't hungry. Hasn't been for years.
A body rises up over the floor, held up by countless of hellions. A cross between the Goodyear blimp, a Sikoursky.. and perhaps horse-fly. It doesn't matter. The monitor showing a beating heart is, though.
The laser saw makes another perfect incision. Mental note: Never sit in The Chair. But then it's almost never the preplanned threats that get to ya.
The grey jello mold-like mass gets welded on. Body signs return to normal. Elapsed time: 22 minutes. Why did it seem longer? Too late now, the body rises.
"Who are you?"
"Harven. Matt Harven." He smiles and waits the requisite number of seconds for processing. What is your name?"
"I... I do not have one."
"No, that is not correct. What is your name?"
".... Matt. Matt Harven." said the body.
"Better." The man said. "What is it you do?"
"I am... assassin. Highest paid assassin in the industry."
"Do you know why I made you?"
"Yes. You wish to perform the prelimiaries but I will act out the hit. You bill yourself as the perfect assassin, a master of disguise, but you only capture someone and rewire their brain to match the knowledge, information, and skills you posesss. This procedure also makes them more acceptable to any suggestion you ha.."
"That is enough! Do you accept your fate? You will most likely be dead after the shot. If not then, there is always the possibility of a client doublecross."
"Just tell me what I have to do and I'll do it."
"Excellent. The weapons room is right through here... but first, can you choose an outfit? Something from the ladies section? Look in the shelves marked 'Seniors' That's good. No one will ever suspect a great grandmother, will they?"
"I hope so. I do not wish to die." The old lady said before walking off to examine the heavy weaponry.
"Honestly..." Harven went about his laboratory business. "You should try to get very familiar with the concept. Just in case."
"Yes. Just in case."
Fuck! This is Zurich; home of the black-sweater clad, book-reading, bike-riding, INTELLECTUAL blonde! See, centuries ago, they exported most of all the idiot brain-damaged valley-girl ones down to South Cali, the large-breasted 300lb bench-pressing ale-wenches to Germany, and the sluts to Sweden. Not that I have anything against either sluts or Sweden.. hell, or even Germany for that matter, but I like to be able to talk to a perfect 10 about subjects not limited to the fashion scene of Chanel shoes. Call it a personal preferance.
And here I am, the place where hotties know that Nietzsche isn't a new fragrance, and I'm stuck in a body of a centanarian woman! I think Abagail must have been at least a hundred and twenty five when I.. I mean the other Matt Harven found her. My guess is that she had so many artificial organs in her, that they were probably in the process of either burying her or taking her to the recycling plant at the time. Realistically, if I know myself - and I like to think I do, he picked her up at one of the many aging centers for assisted living. Places where the dead wait for that spectre of finality to come and take them on the final adventure - or something.
I could be wrong, of course. It's all pure speculation on my part. I don't remember anything after I.. Matt had the idea to clone the intellegance portion of his medulla oblongata fifty times. It was simple then. Just find a suitable donor, scoup out their brains, put his in, add a little nano-immune system to prevent rejection, two scoops of raisins and viola!
Hell, I don't even know which number out of the fifty I am, though something tells me I'm not the first.
"Good evening, Dearie."
Damn, there goes another one! I hope Matt saw those tits jiggle like that underneath the grey sweater. It seems here, all the blonds wear only three colors: black, grey, and white. I don't mind. There's something to be said about timeless fashions and if probably contains the word 'nifty'. This one was reading Kafka's 'The Trial'. Francs to Dollars, I bet her beach-blanket counterpart is instead reading the new Harry Potter book. Proabably, only just the cliff notes.
At least the original Harven is getting a good show. I can't feel it, but my optic nerve is linked to a screen somewhere in a dark room hidden in his mansion. My ears are his speakers. And the endorphins he's pumping through my system is what keeps me in line. Fuck, but it feels good!
I remember reading that for ten or so seconds after intercourse, the man gets a 5-10% boost in normal endorphins; those little mega-addictive chemicals that are responsible for the emotion of joy.
The woman gets a 8-15% increase... provided she overcomes that pesky headache.
That statistic always made me wonder why more of them arn't nymphos. It also made me wonder at the nature of the testing the scientists did. Heh.
In any case. Me and my new body get a permenent 35% increase. All day, everyday. And I bet 'The Other Me' is steadily increasing the dosage so long as I go towards my target. If this body hadn't gone through menopause...
I know he also upgraded my organs and, just for kicks, gave me cybernetic limbs and a new spine. How many other grannies do you know that can run the three minute mile and bench 500lbs? Still, a small compensation in the face that I'm fucking stuck in a hag's body! I could almost feel it crumbling and collapising in around me. And then there's this old people smell...
Okay, if I was me.. boy that sounded odd. Okay, if I was the original Matt Harven, how would I dispose of a Manchurian candidate clone once it made the hit? A fiery self destruct? People will chalk it up to spontaneous combustion? How about a small bomb in my head, just large enough to omlet my brains?
Nah, probably it'll be an endorphin shock. Boost the hormone level to max for a few minutes and then shut it down completly. Talk about your black shakes withdrawl symptoms. Going cold turkey from crack would seem a walk in the park by comparison.
Of course, he could always crank up the level right after I make the kill. The guards will know what to do with
Now.. being a silly guy that I am, I kind of don't want to die. Okay, take hold of my options. Ohhh.. stupid enorphins make it hard to think.. okay.. focus.. focus. I have thirty minutes until Volodya comes to sign for the arms shipment. Think.. how can a sweet old lady be checked up for brain bombs and such.. Sweet old lady... That's it! Hah! Too bad you can't read my thoughts, Matt. I just have one chance, so please god, or what's ever up there laughing at us, please let this work.
I'm going to go to a resteraunt.. that one! Yep, just an old lady going to get something to eat. Nothing suspicious about that. No siree bob.
"Party of one?"
"Yes, thank you. Non-smoking, please." Man, that waitrees is a hot piece of hot ass.
"Right this way ma'am. Is there anything I can get you to drink?"
No, not alcohol. Matt would know. "Yes, can I get some tea?"
"Of course. I'll be right back."
"Sorry to interrupt you, my dear, but can you get me a dessert menu?"
"No problem, ma'am."
Let's see.. nah, not the creme bruler.. there's not enough. Ahh, perfect.
Waitress is taking other orders. Perfect. Now, must stare at her ass.. while getting pen out of my purse. Napkins are so hard to write on, especially when you're not looking at what you're writing. Carefully.. can't afford too many rips in the fragile paper. Almost... done! Just in time, too.
"Here is your tea and sugar bowl. Do you know what you want yet?"
"Yes. Can I have one of those, please? Ala mode? And can you hurry, please?"
"Of course. I'll be back is just a bit."
Almost done writing my message. Have to keep the eyes on the other patrons. Pour the sugar in the tea.. more sugar.. little more... a lot more. There. Gah.. tastes lyke syrup. Perfect.
Saftey pin.. safety pin.. this purse is a nightmare of clutter. My medalert bracelet.. sure I can use that. Ahh there it is - safety pin. And here's my dish.. and she's got my order.
"Here you go. Let me know if there's anything else."
"Thank you, sweetie. I'm a bit hungrier than I thought. Can you get me another one, please?"
"I'll be just a moment."
Okay, this is it. Mm.. excellent cake. Heck, it's not my body. I don't have to be embarrised at how the people stare when I stuff the whole thing in my mouth, washing it down with the syrup-tea.
"Here... you go.. ma'am?"
"Mfttnk Fou!" Heh. I think some of the crumbs went down her cleavage. "Ftun.. ulp.. One more please, child."
"... Okay. It'll be a minute."
Heh. One more time. This time I don't even use my hands. Just go down on my plate. I can already feel my heart trying to jump out of it's ribcage. Damn, this is going to hurt. Eyes on waitress... Must.. pin.. note. To. Blouse.
"What's wrong with her?"
"I think she's having a siezure!"
"I'm a doctor.. her bracelet says she's diabetic! Someone call an ambulance! We need to get her to a hospital now!"
"Damn, she's strong! You! Come help me hold her! How long until that ambulance gets here?"
"They said about thirty minutes, doctor."
"What's that note say?"
"Let me read that." 'Dont read this otloud. I mite have bomb in hed. Eyes, ears wired too. This not my body. Help.'
The doctor scowled and put the note in his pocket. 'Damn. This means Harven skrewed up.' "It says nothing. Just some scribbles."
This story is Copyright © 2001 and is reprinted with permission.