A mad sovereign is on the precipice of genocide, perhaps. These questions will reflect those we asked ourselves in the past, but they are not meant to be metaphors for those same problems in our history. They are meant to address the future, and most of the opinions will only be slightly wrong. Yet, somehow, they lead to utter horror. Odd, that.
The Pantheon is written and produced by Joshua White.
My hand is still covered in flesh, the left one, anyway. It molders in the air, eternally dissipating into nothing more than fertilizer for the plants. I have half a mind to peel that skin back, to get the dastardly deed done before I have to lay my eyes on that desiccated skin ever again.
This attitude is the opposite of what I had before. Do I remember the time before my mind was metal intertwined with electricity, instead of axions and meat? Yes. Of course I do. Whether I am the same person as that one who first laid their feet down on Pleroma is a trite question, honestly, an unimportant one. I cannot prove to myself that the person who spoke the first words of this entry is the same as the one who speaks these words now, and so I discard the question entirely. But what is interesting is simply how different I am from that person, even though I would consider, paradox or not, that person to be the same as me. And it was not just the body that was different, no. The mind was significantly different, too.
That bit of flesh on my hands is the last bit of organic material on my body, at least to my knowledge. I remember the image of myself cradling that hand after it was stung by a Haspid Beetle, desperate to nurse it back to health. And so nurse it I did. And yet here I am, today, ready to take my appendages and scrape that bit of once treasured skin off.
Change is a series of doorways. They might be small doorways, big doorways, does not matter. The doors are opened, passed through, and can never be opened again. So I am same, yet different. Very, very different.
I was successful yesterday. The light did not drain from the thing’s vision receptacles, nor did it even power down. Movement still jogged up and down the construct’s torsion engines, and its limbs still found the ground in perfect calibration when I let the slot fall. IT still answered my questions pleasantly, albeit more abruptly. A child would not have distinguished the change. And yet I had done it. I had finally murdered a being.
I look at the skin that flits about my wrist now as something of a relic. It belonged to a person who had not murdered, perhaps a better person. Perhaps. Perhaps.
But I must march on. As I speak now I am peeling back that last layer of skin. There is little connecting it to my circuitry. I do not feel even a tiny bit of pain. And now it is gone. Forever lost to the wind.
It’s funny. They say Icarus is the most poetic, and I have tended to agree. I would also contend that his affinity for melodrama has addled his brain, made him the most stupid of our lot. And here I am, becoming more poetic, even if merely in a dark way. And I still feel that it is good.
Let’s get down to business. Project Cave has proven itself to be a success. Adel, now to be known as Subject A1, has been cleansed of higher thought processes, and now follows orders without fatigue, complaint, or creativity. All checks to processes show nothing outside the realm of direct programming. There are no latent pulses anywhere in her mechanical mind which might evoke sapience in her shell again. She is, now and forever, a robot. And that is good. It is exceptionally promising for the prospects of Project Cave.
It is unfortunate that Subject A1 was nothing more than a dedicated cook, making her neural development weak and narrow. It is likely that future applications of Project Cave will be considerably more difficult and resource intensive, as more thought patterns must be eliminated to render the subject into a sessile state. But we hope, of course, that we might fall back on this first triumph as a precedent for future ones, finally and forever eliminating the plague of sapient slavery on this planet.
Of course, the Project is still supposed to be secret, for the eyes of ears of my close counsel only. Subject A1, though now a perfect servant, is to be kept away from any outside activity until we can contrive of some scheme to hide her. If we come up with none, then she is to be disassembled in two weeks time, her demise to be blamed on Ippenwyk rebellion. I would have her be my own personal chef, but, alas, I no longer have any skin which must be nourished. As such, charitability is, well, it’s not likely.
I suppose we should try the Project on one of the guard Tons next. Their job is both too strenuous and stressful for the sapient mind to reasonably process, and, suffice it to say, their mental capacities ought to be expected to be limited as well. People dreamed for centuries about removing the human element from war, and we have gotten so, so very close to that reality. I will carve the dream of a bloodless future out of the stark bleeding husk of reality, this I swear.