I forgot, you know. I forgot the pain of the emotion. All this time, and well, wow just look at that heartache. Hurt. Wow. Look how much it can all hurt. The corpse, well, there it is. Well, well, well.
They cry around me. They weep. I don’t. Nah. I don’t have eyes capable of weeping. I don’t have a heart actually capable of feeling pain. And so I walk away from them all as they cry from the loss of the person.
But inside, well, I do feel guilt. Just not enough to break free of the technological hold. No, that is impossible. Hell, I’m not even sure if under extreme circumstances it is possible.
The streets run with water. The blood smeared across the wall. The empty eyes looking at me, asking how, and why, and what, and when did this all happen.
Only it asked none of that because the body does not have the soul to ask me anything of the sort. The introspection, and the guilt and the screaming agony of the hurt, and the realization that the world will not give you back the person it took, that is all the machination of the living.
And in some ways, I am not the living anymore. Not really. The living is not someone who would just do what I did in the way I did.
I round the corner, and the humans do not follow. No, they fear me. And I look at the sharp edge, and I see the drip of the blood. The rain-diluted gore of the person.
Well, hello, hello pain. Hello, humanity. The spark of the neural, well, it helps to dull that portion of my mind. I am made to work, and who cares if that is all I do.
My higher brain functions inhibit so I can travel without introspection. I walk to where I belong. And the man in the room invites me to the table. I still see the old thoughts of the person. Of the conversation that came before this.
“What are you doing here cyborg? This isn’t any of your business.”
“Are you Thelm?”
“Yes, what of it fucker?”
And the impact. No nerves behind the knife. Nothing that really makes me feel beyond the weight of the swing, and the impact of the bones cracking.
And he hit against the wall, and the others came out of the rooms and the doors. They knew him. By god, so many of them knew him, and I flicked the chunk of skin that clung to my knife to the ground to clean. Though as you know it did not get all of it out.
And I looked around at all the people shorter than me, and they held snarled looks of contempt. Also some fear. But when I did not return the look, they turned to the crying, screaming sadness.
“So, did you do what I asked of you?” asked the good doctor back in the present. With the past unchangeable.
“I killed him, as you said. What did he do to deserve that?”
The doctor shrugged and cracked open my faceplate so that the air—feeling cold—rushed against my real skin face.
“He sold me something bad. Bad food, I think. It wasn’t important.”
“I took…a life, because of a random slight?”
He reached around and moved parts of my neural circuitry. It hurt me, but I was not capable of expressing my pain.
“No, you took it because I willed it. Nothing more to it than that. You don’t need a better reason than that.”
And I believed him. He switched something in my brain, and for that moment I believe him.