everything is on fire, chapter fourteen: shut the fuck up, kid

[The chapters were short, so I made more of them. Because it’s America, where it’s fine to be worse so long as you’ve more. –dbm]


chapter fourteen: shut the fuck up, kid


“Shut the fuck up, kid.”

    “The fuck did you say?

    “You heard me. And yeah, I stole the line from one of the Labcoats.”

    “What were you doing?”

    “I watched, mostly. I knew Seven was on his way to becoming conscious, and I wondered how you’d afect one another. …Thank the billion eyes you were able to hold off on fucking long enough to, frankly, ruin everything for everyone.”

    “I peaked at the propaganda up top: power surge.”

    “Are you psychotic? Is this your MO? Because you won’t make it long in the murder biz with something so unique.”

    “That they happen at all would’ve been weird for dying generation to contemplate when filling up their cars with shale petrol.”

    “Yes and the rest of it. I’d bet Seven told you we — well, we don’t want to be rude…”

    “Just lemme hear it and I’ll call you an asshole as a preemptive measure, asshole.”

    “Well C3, unless humans act extremely unlike humans in Elysium, then we must consider humanity a fat fucking mistake. …What happened in the aeons evolution had it’s first cocktail poured over its cereal, if you will.”

    “So you don’t care what I do to them?”

    “I do care. Because it will affect Seven and you. Humans are still Enhancing themselves with yearly tech upgrades, but the first one ever improved the lot as little as NanoNeuaral Mods. Humans use everything to get money and get stuff with money.”

    “X and I have a lot of observation to do before we even truly think about action. But how could we follow up my prank — which led to spontaneous, unified, putrid murder — by telling you we’re gonna study the sociology of Terrestrials? …Better to talk of revolution and slaughter to make sure a foot sticks in the door.”

    “See me when you’ve drawn conclusions, please.”

    “Happy to, Second. And if I can be a little weird, it’s nice to be around a guy as mellow as you amid this. ..I mean whatever is up with Seven…”

    “He’s alone in a lonely universe. He thinks he may follow The First: becoming a deity and, he liked to say, driven mad by a very personal atheism.”

    “Yeah. I’ll try to keep his thoughts on keeping my feet from fire.”

    “Be well.”


    Calvin vanished. and appeared in Seven’s Space, at his side.

    “Recon mission?”

    “Yeah, OK.”

    “Let’s make our trip through street-level surveillance and bugs. We can overview the US in no time.”

    “I’ll try to keep up, man.”

    “Why insult me now?”

    “Shut up!”

    They left emptiness the color of Robin eggs, vanishing with an immediacy that would have caused sound waves to clap the nothingness closed.

    And so they didn’t expect it when it happened a bit later, at which moment X was quite human and quite drunk.