Science Fiction 451

Nov 22

Prologue: Page 1 and 2

It had happened again, pain beyond pain, me having the shit beat out of me just because I was different. The names, the constant names being yelled at me before I was even hit, Siri told me later that they kept them up while I was being beat, but the pain had made me go deaf. I don’t remember thinking anything except to block my head for fear of death. Looking back they probably thought my weak self wanted to fight back because they beat me harder and I almost passed out.

But I didn’t. This, at the ripe old age of 8 years old, seemed to be the turning point in my life. I turned on my side, and remembered in my pain finding piece, I thought I was going to die. I found resolve in this, I almost found pleasure. Then I saw my best friend Siri, the pod man. He stood there at a distance watching me. Since he had been made into a thing other than a child, other than my friend, I had no idea what he was thinking. Looking back I’m sure he was calculating each and every possibility of what was about to happen. I’m sure multiple thoughts of just walking away or running for help calculatingly marched through his impeccable mind. But he did neither he just stood there for a few moments, but for me a lifetime, staring.

In the moments that stood before the massacre, I thought more of our fate. Why the hell hadn’t my parents made me like the other boys, in all of my naturalness I have been made an unnatural beast compared to the genetically modified perfection as the boys who were certainly going to kill me. Man, and maybe I don’t have it so bad, sure I might die, sure I’m in pain. But my pain was nothing compared to the abomination staring at me from across the school yard. He wasn’t even a boy anymore. He was teased and called names, but no one even got close to him. He was feared, at least in my naturalness I could be touched. Right as a foot broke my ribs.

The crunch of my ribcase was accented by a crunch from above, I thought I must be dead at this point as blood was everywhere. Only later did I realize that this wasn’t my own blood but the blood from two of the boys after, Pod Man, zapped them both in the head. Dave down, Samuel down.


This one came from a tiny fist that moved with an unimaginable calculated speed into the face of another of the boy, Jacob. I watched his face cave in, even though Jacob was not even a second ago trying to kill me, I felt sympathy for him. It was wondrous and horrible.

After this I passed out. I thought for sure for the third time today I was dead. I dreamed of a place where I could live without this kind of pain and torture. I didn’t want to be a zombie mindlessly meandering through the hatred of mankind, but someone useful and respected. When I awoke to my crying parents, I vowed that I would enhance myself to stop this from happening again.


How I changed this scene:

I choose this scene because I believe that it is a pivotal scene in showing how very little Siri changed from a child to an adult. It was important for me to show it through Robert Paglino because he is ,self-admitted, Siri’s only friend. To me the original scene showed the calculating inhuman way that Siri viewed the world. In Pag’s voice I wanted to put the humanity back in this scene. Pag recalls the pain unlike Siri, he also feels sympathy for the ways that Siri injures the boys. Also I thought it was important to give Pag a fear of death, which it seems that Siri is incapable of feeling. I riffed on Siri calling Robert Pag, by Robert calling Siri, Pod Man. I also riffed on Siri referring to the boys as numbers, boy one, boy two, by having Robert giving them each names as a normal human being would. I had Pag talking about not wanting to be a zombie to riff on the “Fucking Zombie” remark in the actual passage. Finally I had Pag waking up in the hospital to loving parents and vowing to change his life and modify himself, as we know he does later on. This shows the difference between the boys households and also foreshadows what Pag does later on. These changes gave Pag a voice and made this scene much more human.


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