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The Devices of Hades
Surgical enhancement is not the answer. How many times have I seen examples of bad implants or hideous tummy tucks? Yet here I am at eighteen years of age in a powder blue hospital gown, surrounded by a team of surgeons clothed in blue scrubs and sensible blue gloves. The recurring theme here seems to be blue.
I made a decision two months ago that lead me right to this uncomfortable hospital bed. Who would’ve guessed? The trays of shiny metal torture devices—er, medical tools—were a special bonus. Dr. Evil is explaining the procedures they will perform in, wow, only thirteen hours. Isn’t thirteen supposed to be unlucky? Fantastic; I’m screwed. I obviously was not issued an updated copy of the terms and conditions, because I have no recollection of such a cheerful orientation into the much-revered Anti-Demon League.
Yeah, I know, sounds sketchy, right? Laughable, even. The problem is that the word “demon” evokes images of scaly red things crawling up from the deepest pits of Hell. I thought so, too, but the assumption that the demons are from Hell is false. Everyone can still carry on believing what they believe; atheists can still be atheists, Christians can still be Christians, and everything is dandy.
The demons the ADL fight are man-made. Actually, to be honest, they’re psycho-kid-made, but that’s not something the wee town of Maynard, Iowa likes to promote.
Simon Slater was a child virtuoso. He looked entirely harmless with too-big, thick-lensed glasses and undeniable genius-level intelligence. Awkward and quiet, but silently brilliant—and apparently deadly—Simon won the affection of teachers and parents.
On Monday, August thirty-first of 2015, morgues all across Iowa were found empty of the dead. Iowa found itself in a negative spotlight for months, speculation flying from newspaper to newspaper, reporter to reporter. Suspects were eliminated until eventually every police station across the state admitted defeat.
Exactly two years later on the thirty-first of August in 2017, our good friend Simon Slater unleashed an army of horrible patchwork people, accompanied by a prerecorded video on CNN of seventeen-year-old Simon tearing apart bodies and putting them back together. It still hasn’t been determined who hacked the network, but talk about it has ceased now that the more worrisome matter is the army of handmade demons.
The demons are hideous, bloodthirsty, and merciless. I would describe them as thoughtless, but one-track minded is more accurate. So the ADL was organized to hunt and kill the demons. Which is where I come in. Me with my lovely enhancement procedures. The whole point is to make us stronger, faster, and more efficient killing machines. I’m not quite sure how much difference there really is between us and the demons, both altered in mind-boggling ways, set to kill.
Artificial nerve endings are placed under the surface of our skin. Part of the procedure is to plant a device just beneath the skin of the right forearm. A matching device is later placed on the surface of the skin to activate the artificial nerve endings, awakened by a small shock of electricity. The awesome part about these artificial nerves is that they are rigged so a simple mental command can actually trigger something else. For example, we strap blades to our forearms. At a command, these can be released into our hands.
But first comes the procedure, which means thirteen lost hours.
It’s worth it when I see the infernal abominations Simon made before giving himself over to his own inventions, the hideous monsters I will fight, broadcasted for the world to see. Nerdy little Simon with the huge glasses, welcoming his demons with literally outstretched arms, falling to the monsters he created. It would be poetic if it hadn’t been so sickening. It’s worth it to see an end to the non-people with mismatched patches of flesh sewn crudely and in intentionally terrifying ways, with gaping holes and bloody rips, jagged stitches visible and straining to hold together the skin that is not quite plentiful enough to cover the bones easily. Reconstructed organs, brand new thought patterns, and worst of all, eyes with blood red irises, Simon’s added touch to terrify us all out of our wits, probably created by cheap contacts, but still horrifying just the same.
So, I guess that leaves me here. Today reconstructive surgery, tomorrow saving the world.