Free At Last

After mother died he realized he no longer had to hide.  Andrew was free to be himself … only; he wasn’t certain what that meant.  He’d been sheltered and controlled all his life.  The idea of living his own life was an alien concept … the idea of Freedom was inconceivable.  Politicians on TV talked about it: they defined freedom as the right to pray in school, or the right to own a gun – they defined freedom as a woman’s right to have an abortion;  and also as the right of a fetus to be born no matter how it affected the mother.  It was defined as the right to vote as well as the right to deny the vote to certain people.  Andrew was confused.  On TV it appeared freedom meant it was ok to murder some people who were considered bad for one reason or another.  Freedom seemed to mean death in many instances where people were free to take dangerous risks. Andrew simply wanted to be himself and have a life.  It was difficult because he didn’t know who–or-what he was.  Mother always acted like the machines he recognized from science fiction movies on TV.  After all, she was entirely enclosed in a plastic membrane and covered with silver Mylar.  She never exposed her original flesh.  She never felt warm.  Andrew always craved mother’s love, but he only received coded orders and instructions.  It made for a one-sided relationship … in time, Andrew grew disaffected and as cold as mother.  He did not love her and did not miss her when she died.  In fact, he was elated because his leash was broken and he could venture into the world on his own.  He had to learn how to perform in the world.  From his lessons he knew he wasn’t like the people he saw on television.  His reflection bore no resemblance to the pasty-faced actors who inhabited the TV dimension.  He wasn’t a “fashion plate” like the models he saw in an unending stream of commercials.  He had no taste for what was advertised.  He learned to savor a simple diet, all part of his home schooling.  Now that mother was gone, Andrew would be ejected from the only home he ever knew.  How would he care for himself, he wondered.  How would he earn a living?  He was preoccupied with these questions as he drifted into the dark void of sleep.

When Andrew awoke he was no longer at home.  He was in a city surrounded by tall towers that gleamed with artificial light.  At first he was very confused and unsure of himself.  His body was covered with armor similar to what mother always wore.  He wanted to hide in the dark shelter of a transport tunnel.  He noticed people huddled in the tunnel, clawing the walls trying crawl into a deeper, safer hole.  The terror that bore down on him only lasted an instant.  It was replaced with instructions.  Andrew was given a target, a woman named Lorna who was desperately trying to avoid detection.  Andrew would hunt her down like a rabid dog.  Lorna would be his first kill.  There would be many more.  Eventually he would enjoy the hunt and relish the kill.  He was a soldier, now … Andrew ABB-ug – owned by the corporation that gave him life.  Everyday he was told he protected freedom.

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