Gestern

The Honeycomb sailed over the clouds. The many hexagonal faces which made up its main body were facing upwards, soaking in all the sunlight that fell on them. “A sea of Earth with shores of clouds. So this is what Indra saw everyday…” Mythili said as she peered down at the view through a glass window on the floor of the ship. “Indra?” my voice said, “Who is that?” She grinned and looked up. “What? Your database doesn’t have entries on Hindu mythology? Indra was the God of… well, I’m not exactly sure. Lightning? Storms? The sky? Eh, the purposes of pagan Gods are always vague and various. I suppose you could say he was the Indian equivalent of Zeus, but with about half the respect. Now that I think about it, Indra was a lot like Zeus… causing storms whenever he wanted attention, toying around with mortal women, leader of the court of Gods… but he wasn’t as big as Zeus, in terms of his status. There were several Gods who were higher than him in terms of status, power and overall respect. Um, it feels like I’m talking to myself here…” The feeling was spookily familiar. She just couldn’t remember why.

“My apologies…” my voice replied, “My conversation protocol is designed such that I am more of a listener than a talker. But I am entering all of this information into my database. Please do go on and describe the other Gods.”

“More of a listener huh? I vaguely recall reading somewhere that good listeners last longer…”

“Longer in what?”

“Oh never mind. You’re a software. I’m not sure how one would have sex with you.”

“My database has no entries on that topic.”

“Don’t take my word for it… I’m not really an expert on the matter.”

“Statistically, you are the person with the most amount of sexual experience alive at this moment.”

“That’s not really much of an achievement when the size of your population is 1. But I guess even if the others were alive, no one else could boast that they did it with a velociraptor…”

“Among other things…”

“There’s no need to give out the full list. No one’s alive to be interested in it. Anyway, you still didn’t tell me why I lost my memories.”

“I’m afraid that data has been classified for your own good. As I already stated before, a part of your personality was modified and one of the key changes that lead to that modification was to block certain memories. Here is what am I allowed to tell you. You once sustained an almost fatal amount of physical injury and suffered from major psychological trauma. Enough to break any normal human mind.”

“Then why is my mind still intact?”

“Actually, your mind was broken. However, you were patched up, in a way…”

“And that patching up involved blocking some of my memories?”

“Exactly.”

“Tell me. Since I am the only human on Earth whose opinion matters, shouldn’t I be able to declassify this data?”

“Unfortunately, there was another human who lived long ago whose commands I am still bound to follow. The programmer who wrote me.”

“Who wrote you anyway?”

“He was a friend of yours.”

“A friend of mine? I can’t remember any friends… So there is no way I can access this stuff?”

“Technically, you can access anything no matter how classified it is. All you have to do is ask me thrice. This feature was not in my original design but it appears my creator may have made a few last minute adjustments to my code.”

“Why did he do that?”

“It appears he anticipated that only you would be left alive. He was the one who saved you from… certain death… and patched up both your body and your mind.”

“The more you talk, the more I wanna know about my past!”

“If you really do want to know, I suggest you watch the watchme videos first.”

“Watchme video?”

“It’s like a readme file except it’s a video.”

“Okay, go on. Play it.”

My face flashed onto the screen. “Hello.” I said, “You probably won’t recognize me because I wiped your head clean of everything that happened that day… and anything that could connect you to that day. Now, if you’re watching this video, I assume you’re really curious to know what actually happened to you. Hopefully, I can change that. Play video 1.”

“I am Pavan. At the time of recording of this video, I am one of the programmers working here. For legal reasons, I can’t really tell you where ‘here’ is. You see, I’m making these videos assuming that the world is probably going to end in a few years. Now, if that does happen, the legalities won’t matter… But if, by some miracle, we win… Then my videos will be pointless and simply just a security threat to the company. Hence, the secrecy. The reason I’m making these videos is that I’ve noticed irregularities in the employee database. People are being mysteriously fired… And then they disappear. Specifically, female employees whose physical features fit a certain description. In other words, the hot chicks are disappearing and I wanna find out where they’re going! Now, I have been repeatedly told by my close friends that I’m being a conspiracy nut and that only someone as perverted as me could think of such a thing. However, if there’s even a small chance that this could be happening, I can’t let it slide! They can’t take away all the hot chicks! What else am I gonna stare at and relax while having an occasional cup of tea?! Play video 2.”

“Okay I have found definitive proof that someone is making beautiful young women disappear. Just this week, Lucy Crane was fired for ‘misconduct’. My ass! If anything, Lucy was Miss Conduct! Now, after doing a little digging and some math, I calculated that all her social media presence would disappear about 3 hours ago. So, for the good of all humanity, well, the hot females anyway, I stalked I her online. It was like clockwork. Lucy Crane’s Facebook account is no longer accessible. Her last post was something about her taking a break from stuff because of which she was gonna stay off social media indefinitely. Now for the final test. I’m gonna go check if she actually is alive. I’m gonna check her home. Play video 3.”

“Okay she’s definitely gone! To make things worse, she was an introvert who lived alone. This means that, unless you’re a creepy guy who occasionally does a little harmless stalking, you wouldn’t even know she exists. I tried reporting it to the cops but I think they’re in on it too. I didn’t actually go to the cops. I left them an anonymous tip. They haven’t even lifted a finger! Fine! If no one is gonna stand up for justice, I will! But only as long as it has nice boobs. Play video 4.”

“I did a little asking around… And found out what actually connects all these women. It’s amazing what people will tell you after a little alcohol and truth serum… It was dangerous, of course. I had to hide my own face and talk to them. Fortunately, the Halloween costumes hide everyone’s faces. So, it turns out that all the women who disappeared so far had… dealings… with Steve. Steve who? Again, I tell you because his last name is also the name of this place. He’s the son of the CEO. Fuck… This is a fine mess I’m trying my to get into! Now I just need to find out the motive behind all this… But I already know I’m not gonna like what I’m gonna find out… Play video 5.”

“This guy is a major creep! And he’s got friends in high places. Really high places. He sees an employee he likes. He asks her to meet him in his private block. Yeah he’s got a whole block of the building for himself. Those who go there are never seen again. And anyone who refuses gets ‘fired’. He’s clever. He only goes after the ones that don’t have friends or contacts. That way, when he makes them disappear, it doesn’t take much effort to cover it all up. Guys like him give the rest of us harmless perverts a bad name! I need to stop him before he gets another one! Play video 6.”

“I am shaken. I never thought anything could shake me but I am shaken. This guy is one sick bastard! Sick as they come! He doesn’t just do it for himself! He’s got an audience of sick followers who pay to watch his shows… And the shows… The shows… I can’t even! He doesn’t do anything himself. He uses the test subjects. The dinosaurs. I suppose that gives everything away. There’s no point in hiding it. Yes. I am an employee at- oops someone’s coming! Play video 7!”

“I found out who his next target is. She’s not exactly an employee. She’s a consultant. Mythili. He plans to use velociraptors this time. The very same ones she tamed. He’s gonna reprogram them and fuck up their pheromones so that they go into this crazy sex frenzy. And what’s worse is that I was the one who helped with the original program that keeps them in control! To think my work is being used to do such a thing! I must save her! This guy doesn’t know what he’s doing! If he lets them go berserk, they’ll just tear her apart! I’m gonna-”

“Pause video.” Mythili said, “Why doesn’t any of this sound familiar? He’s talking about me, right? Why do I feel so… Disconnected from it? It’s like this happened to someone else and I’m just a stranger listening to the story. Shouldn’t my memory return as I hear the story?”

“That’s because these things technically did not happen to your current body.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“I mean that in the accident that followed, your body was fatally damaged. My creator modified the software of the tissue synthesizer and rebuilt your body from scratch.”

“Whoah… That’s impressive. I vaguely remember having used the synthesizer. There is absolutely no room for error. It took hundreds of us, each separately working on a specific part to synthesize a full dinosaur. You’re telling me this guy built an entire human on his own?”

“In truth, he did not perform a majority of the calculations involved. To put it in the words of Sir Isaac Newton, he stood on the shoulders of giants.”

“He what?”

“The programs that did the calculations for him already existed… in different forms. He simply tweaked the existing code to get them to work together and perform the calculations that would direct the synthesizer in… building a human body. Specifically, your body.”

“Ah… and the next few videos are about all of this?”

“No. There is only one more video after this. Would you like to resume watching them?”

“Okay.”

“I’m gonna try to hack into the HERD network and get them to tear each other apart. Hopefully, the show will be canceled for today. Gotta go now. Play video 8.”

“Hey, listen. I know it’s important for you to know the truth… but this is yesterday. I understand that yesterday is important, especially for someone who cannot remember it. But it is very dangerous for someone like you to get stuck in yesterday… you, who have no future to look forward to. The people of yesterday were lucky. They all died before they could reach the end of tomorrow. But you have survived everything and reached beyond our tomorrow. You do not have the luxury we had. The luxury of tomorrow. You only have yesterday. This technology of yesterday. This life of yesterday. This message from yesterday. However, the Mythili I know would not let despair break her. You are not the last hope of humanity. I cannot guarantee that you are the one human left alive but I did not save you so that you could be the hope for any survivors. We do not deserve to survive. My life has taught me that much. We do not deserve tomorrow anymore. Your purpose is simple. Using everything you have at your disposal, you must annihilate those aliens who are responsible for this whole tragedy. Please use these gifts from yesterday and build yourself an everlasting today. I have recorded the rest of the events too but I suspect you do not have the time to watch them right now. Break playlist.”

A few seconds passed. Nothing happened. “What does he mean by that?” Mythili asked. Suddenly, red light flooded her eyes as a loud beeping filled her ears. “What’s happening?!” she asked, covering her ears. “Triceratops detected. According to my database, it is one of the key units required to maximize chances of reaching our target. I highly recommend that we land and retrieve it… of course, that is only if you are in a condition to do it.” Mythili looked down through the window. “I can’t see it from here… but I’m up for it. What was the body to penis-size ratio for a triceratops again?”

“Oh, I would not recommend that.”

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