“Gol dack piece of frelling dren!” is what I tried to say, but the sound quality’s really gone downhill quick on my voicebox, so it sounded more like a bunch of sounds even I could barely hear. Of course, the audio issue was secondary to the main cause of my little rant.
That particular storm of words had to do with me looking for any kind of science or engineering lab so I could work on something, but instead I had to pretend it didn’t hurt when one of the capes , some minotaur-looking mother pucker, stepped in front of me, looked me dead in the eyes, and poked me in the chest. Then just walked away. Some people make really sore losers. I hope he remembers that when I carve his skull a new fun hole and pump that biscuit until it’s full of white gravy.
Yeah, the chest is still a bit tender. Some of the pain in my chest gets pretty annoying, and the itching doesn’t help. And I’ve lost a little muscle mass, so getting around isn’t as easy as I thought it’d be. My infection’s over and done with, but I’m STILL recovering. I miss nanites. Getting hurt isn’t as fun without them.
So that’s one of the bad things I’ve had to deal with lately. The list grows. Woe is me. Feel sorry for the bad guy, feel hatred for the good guys. Bah, y’all don’t read this to see me in a pitiful state. Y’all read it because I’m funny and awesome.
Speaking of which, I’ve begun my experiments on what’s going on. Like testing how those rules work. Still can’t cuss, for instance. It’s a country-fried shame, though it somewhat amuses me that they thought of the children when they made that rule. Just to remind myself, I created a note in my HUD that lists the first few of my latest ninety-nine problems.
1. Cause no physical violence
2. Make no attempt to escape or convince others to help me escape
3. No bleeping cussing
4. Do not use poison, allergies, or medication in an attempt to cause physical harm
5. Never oppose an OCP officer
As far as the no physical harm rule goes, I’ve found it to be somewhat flexible. I knew just who to test it on. I found minotaur guy. He was standing in the hall near the cafeteria area, not paying attention to me; too busy shooting the bull. I balled up my fist… and nothing. Couldn’t throw it. I deliberately reached way back in the cartoony way, then willed it fly against him. All it did was bring my fist forward really, really slowly. Frustrated, I wanted to try one last time, so I practically threw my arm all the way back, good fighting sense be damned, and felt it hit someone. I turned to find girl with thick glasses and pigtails standing there, holding her nose as it started to bleed.
I smiled wide and held up my hands in an exaggerated shrugging, since I wasn’t sure she’d be able to understand me. I held my hands with palms against each other, finger’s pointed up, like I was praying or doing some other word that begins with “B” that I refuse to say about this incident. I pointed to my throat, then to the guy behind me, then punched my hand, then pointed back to him.
She didn’t catch on to what I was saying, so I pretended to look behind her, widening my eyes. To her, I mimicked holding some sort of long object and raising my head to the sky, while opening my mouth as if to go “Awooo!” Then I held my arms up all wobbly. After that, I walked two of my fingers over my rotating fist, back and forth, and pointed behind her.
I escaped by the time she turned back to where I had been less than a second before. Ha! Fell for the old “Look out, it’s an elephant balancing on a ball,” trick so infamously pioneered in the Second Punic War. What are they teaching kids these days? Actually, I’m in the right place to figure that out.
A second round of tests came up on that subject later, when fixing myself lunch. The kitchen they have here is seriously stacked. So I fixed myself a delicious provolone cheeseburger with the buns done as garlic bread. Afterward, I had a banana and tossed the peel to the floor with the bottom, seed-bearing portion still in there, where it stayed until someone happened to walk through the door.
My visitor, a young woman who could have been one of the older students, slid forward, her other foot held up in the air. She tried to catch herself on this one counter, but then that foot flew out from under her and deposited her right on her razz.
I grabbed a spare banana and split. I had a hypothesis to test. Again, I sought out the bullheaded bully who poked me, getting further acquainted with the layout of the school. I found him in the gym, working out. He looked pretty built, but the weights on that barbell were well within the range of standard human strength training. It made me wonder if he had a power, or if that physique was it.
So I got to stare at people working out until he went to go change. I walked on over to the locker room in time to see him heading in for a shower, so I went over, helped myself to more banana, and found I couldn’t drop the peel. I could drop it if it didn’t matter, but trying to use it to hurt someone just didn’t work for me. In frustration, I squeezed it so hard, the seed shot all over my face, followed by mashed-up banana.
Sadly, I had to abandon my quest to hurt him for the time being, leaving that locker room a disappointed guy with a sore throat and white gunk all over my face.
I finally found a shop, though. I was wandering around the classroom area when I came across the joyful sound of a saw blade. It’s a beautiful sound, especially paired with the tearing of flesh. Though, if anyone out there does try to use it like that, wear some goggles. Wouldn’t want anyone to get hurt.
I interrupted a shop class with a dozen students all working in group projects, one of which looked like a done, and a teacher huddled over helping one group with the saw. They all looked so ordinary, too. No tights, no capes, no masks. The teacher was balding, even. One of the students had a light green skin, another horns, and I think someone had glowing hair, but a fairly normal bunch of teenagers. They didn’t seem to know who I was, either, since the most comment I got was someone asking, “Hey, isn’t that the guy who wrecked the refectory?”
I just ignored them and looked around for some tools. They had bigger tables for people to work at in a two rows, with tools and materials on counters set against the outside wall of the room. I found really thin and long screwdriver easily enough, but it took some doing to hunt down something to grab. In the end, I happened across a pair of pliers that would do and grabbed them. Along with a hammer, I set up shop at one of the tables.
“You need some help?” asked one of the ones working on the drone while I practiced holding the screwdriver and pliers. I shook my head, then held the tools above me. I looked straight up, opened wide, and lowered them on in. I had to fight my gag reflex briefly, but it wasn’t the first time I took something that long and hard down my throat, though having two tools in there at the same time was a new sensation. Well, in that orifice.
“Oh spit,” said- oh come on! Not even if other people said it?! The somanabatching icehole who did this to me made it work so thoroughly, I can’t fargin’ describe how a bunch of bastiges talk? This is bullstein! If Psychsaur had a cork, I’d cut it off and put it through a meatgrinder!
Anyway, these horny teenage boys got to see me deepthroating a screwdriver. Tricky bit of business. I felt around in there, and had to get the angle just right, until I reached the prosthetic vocal cords, which are a bit different from normal ones. I installed these manually the first time around, so at least I didn’t do something as stupid as making it where only nanites could really fix them. I used the screwdriver as a lever to hit a couple of release switches, then lifted them out with the pliers.
“What are you doing?” The teacher asked, calling out to me from where he sat by the saw. He got a better look at my face when I pulled the cybernetic prosthetic out of my mouth and set it on the table. That’s when he pulled out his cellphone and started calling someone. Meanwhile, I just worked away, hunting down any pieces and parts I could find. I was in no position to buy or machine new ones, though I did get to gather a few pieces from student projects when the teacher herded them all out.
I didn’t bother to address the teacher at all, not just because I was busy, but because I lacked the natural pieces this thing replaced. See, back near the end of my training, some of the scientists involved in the Psychopomp program grew some testicles on their consciences and tried to set up an escape involving a fire and the destruction of the base’s main generator via a bomb. They’d waited so long, and the consequences of our escape had been so drilled into us by then, that we didn’t cooperate. In my case, I fought one of them who stabbed a guard and tried to lead me out. More of them caught up to us, so he held me in front of him and ducked down. His knife bit into my neck. Not wanting to be a human shield when facing a pair of men who already treated us as fairly expendable, I pulled myself away. The knife opened up my larynx, doing quite a bit of damage and leaving me mute. The man’s replacement helped build me something to replace what he cut, though I learned to make my own before long.
I bought my life at the cost of my voice. It was a good deal, and that’s cutting me own throat.
Even if I did have my own voicebox the setting I had in there would have kept them out of the way. That’s the part my body had merged with, and it included a reinforced ring on the outside to make sure my windpipe couldn’t close up at that point for any reason. Yeah, let’s just say my anatomy is slightly different than most people’s by now.
By the time whatever security forces the school had just for me showed up, I had my head up again and was right in the middle of lowering my partially-repaired prosthetic down my throat.
“What are you doing?!” demanded a voice behind me. I turned to find the minotaur there, along with an unusually blubbery man and Psychsaur. Pretty sure it was Psychsaur. She was the one with her hand on her head and scales instead of skin. I winked at her.
The minotaur grunted. “I just got on duty and you’re pulling something.”
“What’s he up to?” asked the fat guy. He looked to Psychsaur.
“Repairing his voice,” she said. “He’s not doing anything to hurt himself or anyone else, though he’d like to hurt you.” She glanced at the minotaur as she said that.
I had to catch all this out of the corner of my eye until I finished getting everything settled in. When everything seemed connected, I lowered my head and looked right at them. From my mouth came a horrible screech that alternated between two different tones, then the words, “This has been a test of the emergency broadcast system. If this had been an actual emergency, nobody would have invited the heifer along.”
“Hey!” said the fat guy, then looked at the minotaur. “Oh. Nevermind then.”
Said bovine hero shook and clenched his fists. Meanwhile, I went through tests. “Figaro, figaro, figaroooo! Fat-bottom girls, you make the rockin world go ’round! Hello I walk into empty hallways tell me not to hurry.” I closed my mouth. “Good, seems to be all fixed now. Speaking of fixed,” I looked at the minotaur, “You might want to steer clear of Texas, know what I’m saying?”
“Imma kill him!” he shouted and threw a punch with way too much telegraphing and way too much power behind it.
I dodged against the wall, where I started chipping away at the wall with the screwdriver in my hand. “Time to get busy livin’, or get busy dyin,” I said in a rich voice that could have narrated a vasectomy and still kept people fixated on the events in question. I had a moment since the minotaur had gone over the table and was pulling himself up, inadvertently giving away that I had at least some indirect method of causing physical harm to a person.
“There’s a door!” Psychsaur called out, though nobody tried to get between me and the bully to stop this little conflict.
I dropped the screwdriver, hoping it’d roll into my assailant’s path, and exited the door. I even closed it properly and looked to the crowd surrounding the classroom. A few adults were trying, and failing, to overpower the curiosity of children of all ages. I took a bow, then raised a hand and looked into the air, adopting a smarmy British tone, “To be, or not to be, that is the question…”
Behind me, the door banged, hard. “Some people would answer that for me, however.” I started into the crowd ahead of me. Just in time, too. The door broke into a left, a right, and a bottom around his head, a chunk of wood sticking in one of his horns. “You monster!” I called back, the crowd refusing to open up for me. “There was a knob!”
He didn’t care, just stepped through the broken door. I turned to look at him, crowd of people behind me, which I refused to think about. “Now, I know what you’re thinking: do I punch him in the face? I can give you at least one Van Damme good reason not to.”
I saw him pivoting to throw a punch, so I did a split. Apparently the “no physical violence or harm” rule doesn’t apply to myself, as my balls and hips informed me.
I heard a smack of fist hitting flesh, and an “Oooh” from the crowd.
Looking up, I saw the cowman holding his face in a flinch, teeth showing in a kind of “Oops,” look. Twisting around further, I saw a certain ponytailed girl with tissue up her nose being held up by those around her.
“I tried to pull it,” said bovine boy.
I popped up right next to him, looking along his arm to the the girl, then to the bull fighter’s face, then back along the arm. “What did you do? She was just an innocent bystander! You punched her! And in front of all these people, too. Have you no conscience, man?”
He growled and turned. Before he could do anything,
“Now, now,” I started to tell him. I didn’t get to finish because a brown mass crashed into him and knocked him back through the doorway. I followed it back to its source and saw it was ponytail girl’s ponytail. They stuck up, reaching forward and growing into a huge hair mass that had pummeled the minotaur back into the room. She glared at him, tried to adjust her broken glasses, and spat out a couple of teeth.
“What the fell is happening here!” shouted Venus at about that time, causing the crowd to turn in her direction, then part.
I wonder how that confrontation went. I wouldn’t know, because I seemed to disappear. Like magic, or a guy who moved quietly through a crowd pickpocketing people. Got two wallets, a condom, and my very own Hello Kitty watch. I assume they looked for me for awhile, and there was probably a bit of lying about my part in things. Regardless, they must have called off the search since no one interrupted my sleep on top of a metal rack in the kitchen.
Indeed, I woke up to find that myself almost completely unmolested. Just a blanket over me… and a headband with cat ears on my head… and somebody had put a collar with a bell around my neck. And while I can get the gorram ears off, the collar stops everything I try, including kitchen knives and the shop class saw. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I found out that somebody designed the bell to vibrate and sound an alarm if I keep the ears off my head for too long.
They’re REALLY pushing this “can’t hurt them” thing.