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The Penitentiary
prose [ Science-Fiction ]
Science Fiction Freedom magazine, U.S.A. dec. 2010

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by [Snowdon King ]

2010-12-03  |     | 

- Madam, your child must be kept under supervision. Please understand that he represents a danger to the society. His features must be studied and controlled, otherwise a single emotional shock could have disastrous consequences.
- But he hasn’t done anything wrong. He’s harmless!
- For now. But don’t forget, he’s a mentat. The preliminary results have confirmed the specialists’ previsions. As he grows up, he will try to control his own life, without taking into consideration the balance of the environment. He will manipulate minds, he will violate intimacies, he will find out the well-guarded secrets of the military forces. A second war of the mentats must be avoided because it would equalize the end of the planetary system.
- But he’s my child…my only child…
- We know how difficult it is. You will be offered all our support. Sign these papers through which you transfer the tutelary rights to our institution. Here you have the compensatory credit and a list of everything you gain as a result of the exchange.
The penitentiary was in the middle of the desert, on the 10th floor below ground. The newborn was handed under the care of two protocol androids, in a room equipped with refractory walls.
- What is subject no. 33’s condition? asked the director.
- The cortical activity is in between the normal limits. The serotons level is low and the subject will soon enter the second phase of lethargy.
- Monitor his dreams and the mental transgression. Identify the number of his present reincarnation. By tomorrow I want to have a complete report on the personalities of his antecedents. Hmm, this little fellow is full of surprises. The family tree of his reincarnations stops somewhere around year zero. Beyond this period…there’s nothing! As if he had appeared out of nowhere. Where are you hiding, little man, what is your secret?
- The subject has developed a mental shield against the synaptic scan. We’ve lost signal!
- Leave him! He’s much stronger than I thought. Isolate the room and give him 250 mg of LHS.
The thoughts hit the refractory wall. He was examining the room which somewhat looked familiar.
- Mother?
- Don’t let yourself be misled by your own reflection, said a clear voice in his subconscious. You live in parallel universes. Your mind includes them all. Your multiple personalities are multidimensional voyages. Your imagination is nothing but a chain of “déjà vus”. What system of reference will you report to?
- Who are you?
- I am you. Just like the rest of us all.
- And what do you want from me?
- We want you to wake up. Free your mind from barriers and take a look within yourself. In there, space can’t be measured and time is cyclical. What do you see? What do you feel?
- You are too fast. I can’t figure you out individually. You are so many…
- Not individually, only as a whole. What do you feel?
- I feel everything spinning around me.
- Anything else?
- I feel everything spinning inside me.
- What is your name?
- My name is The Same. I don’t have a different name. I’m The Same as you are.
- What is the word?
- The word is an illusion created in order to represent the undetermined. The word is a speculation due to the limited perceptions. The words modify and receive different meanings from one decade to another, from one language to another.
- Why does man need this support in order to quantify the absolute? Why does man need relativity in order to delimitate his own indeterminable character?
- What are you suggesting?
- Man is an expandable and expansible entity. Where are you right now?
- Inside a room.
- What is there beyond this room?
- I don’t know. I cannot distinguish anything.
- Let’s switch places!
- Where are you now?
- Outside the room.
- Who is inside the room?
- I am!?
- What is there around you?
- A wood.
- How old are you?
- 2075.
- Which gender?
- I don’t have a gender.
- Open your mouth.
- I don’t have one.
- How many fingers do you have?
- I don’t have any.
- What are you?
- I am what I am and what I am not.
- What shape do you have?
- I have all shapes and none.
- What is Earth?
- A planet in another dimension.
- What is a dimension?
- The other side of reality.
- What is reality?
- What I want it to be.
- Can you see it now? Let’s go!

- Mr. director, subject 33 has no vital functions. We confirm the time of death: 8.02 a.m.
- Have you recorded the dreams?
- Yes, but we have received only one message.
- What message?

“Do not investigate, but believe.”

Translation - Denise Strete

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