Mercurial Man

The Transhuman came at me out of nowhere, wildly waving the fossilized jawbone of a giant prehistoric Homo mercurius, the so-called ‘mercurial man’. The jawbone in question was huge and yellow and heavily encrusted with nanites capable of infesting anyone who came in contact with them with virally-reproducing alternative realities of a highly entropic nature. Anyone having any contact at all with a nanite cluster of this type would immediately find themselves randomly distributed throughout a theoretically limitless probability smear of alternative futures and alternative pasts. He or she would be reduced to a partial imprint of themselves – a mere cipher utterly incapable of independent thought. Such partial beings fervently believe themselves to be free but notwithstanding this belief they are immediately swallowed up without a residue by the endlessly proliferating viral pseudo-realities which determine everything about them. Free will is an illusion in such worlds. When a person is entombed in such a world all their efforts will always come to nothing because all their efforts are determined by the rules governing the simulation they are unknowingly trapped in. The victim is now a slave of the nullity, therefore. This is a typical attack strategy of the Transhumans but in this particular case my attacker had swung just a little bit too wildly and the weaponized prehistoric jawbone missed the top of my head by a narrow margin. I could see the blue-white nanite clusters twinkling menacingly as the jawbone continued in its arc past my head, apparently in extreme slow-motion. The whole scene seemed to slow down after this and I started to worry that a stray nanite crystal might have come loose from the mother-lode and got into my system. Seizing the opportunity that the subjective time-dilation had provided me with I extended my right leg behind me and pivoted on my left, bringing my right leg around in a circular high kick aimed at the temporal region of the Transhuman’s skull as he helplessly followed through with the extravagant momentum of his swing. This is a vulnerable spot for a TH because it’s where they keep their ports. There was a satisfying crack as my shin bone connected hard with his temporal bone and the TH went down like a sack of potatoes on the floor. Already the remaining six Transhumans were scrambling as fast as they could towards me, assorted weapons clutched in their hands. They had lost the element of surprise however and the advantage was mine – carefully picking up the Homo mercurius jawbone from the floor I sent it skimming towards the rapidly approaching Transhumans, putting a bit of a spin on it. As it flew through the air towards them I could see it shedding nanites in a deadly silvery cloud. The horrified look on their faces as they perceived their doom approaching was immensely satisfying to me – the boot was now on the other foot and no mistake, I told myself. This particular crew of Transhumans had been pursuing me for weeks through this alternative version of 22nd Century London and I had found myself unable to shake them off. This ought to do the trick however, I said to myself with grim humour – they would be going nowhere very fast for a very long time after this, I fancied. They vanished without a trace, dispersed irreversibly into decaying probability space. The staff in this place frequently try to tell me that this is all in my mind and that the Transhumans aren’t really out to get me. They even try to tell me that there’s ‘no such thing’ as Transhumans and that there’s only one version of the past, only one permitted time-line. This is the type of degraded over-simplified version of reality that they want me to accept. They repeat it over and over again – confident that if they keep on saying it I will eventually come to believe what they say, confident that if they keep repeating their key stock phrases the lie will eventually become true. They all speak with the same tongue – certain that their consistency will make me doubt my own grasp on what is true or not. This convinces me all the more that the staff here in the rehab centre must be aligned with the Transhuman agenda; that’s how the TH operate after all – their aim is always to restrict reality, always to close everything down. They delight in restriction, they rejoice in limitation. Such was always the way with the Transhumans.






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