I was born in a test-tube. It was three times the size of a man and hooked up to millions, if not billions, of dollars worth of equipment for monitoring and life support purposes, but it was, for all intents, a test tube.
I was conceived in a Petri dish. Nothing unusual about that. Seeds meet an egg and pound their faces against it until one of’em breaks through. So I don’t think there was anything exceptional about how I was put together, at first.
But I wasn’t just an experiment in in vitro fertilization. They’d perfected that years ago. I was one, among many, who was created to test something else. I want to say it’s something more sinister, something more appalling, than any could possibly imagine, but that’d do a disservice to a lot of sick and twisted imaginations out there. It’d also make it sound like I know why I was created, but that’s the rub, the little sticking point in the greasy gears of my early life.
I don’t remember shit.
Yeah, well, I remember learning. I remember a classroom with windows looking out on a vast and arid expanse, just sand and this one, forlorn looking Saguaro with a droopy arm, silhouetted by the sunset. I remember the particle board desks attached to plastic chairs with steel legs, and the nails of a white-haired man with a bushy mustache dragging on the chalkboard.
The screech of those nails becomes the wail of a siren. Red light floods the halls, brilliant flashes of white burn into my retinas as the klaxon continues to scream, and I’m moving. I don’t remember setting myself into motion, but it seems like a bad idea to stop myself now. Someone in full-body armor steps out in front of me, but something overrides the pressure of authority on my brain. His helmet splits down the center as my fist meets its side, and I glance down to see his gun clatter to the floor, dropped even as he pulled it from his holster. A large, heavy boot comes down atop it and I realize that the foot within belongs to me.
The scraps of the firearm and the stench of gunpowder follow me down the corridor and into the classroom, where the walls are cracked and the window is covered by a blast shield, rusted over. It takes me a moment to realize that the red light has faded and the sounds of the emergency alert and hurried footsteps are nowhere to be heard. Just the cool fluorescents above, the teal tiles of the floor matching the walls, except where a fissure or two has exposed the grey innards. Concrete debris near the cracks and in the center of the room alike tells of the passage of time.
It’s silent. Not the dread silence of a horror flick before the creature jumps out and the music spikes. This is the calm silence of solitude breaking over my consciousness, taking me to the wall, to the window. It opens easily, despite the rust–I’m stronger than I’d like to admit–and dirt fills my vision, my mouth and my lungs, dry and coarse, as it shatters the glass and pours in through the gaping portal in an unending stream, until I’m choking and trapped, stationary in all forms, heart slowing and brain screaming until-
I wake up.