“I know Ima badass GMO teen super-cop, and I realize I’m one of the smartest kids in your playground, but you know I can’t change that. I ain’t made to do the things you need done. Hell, just running the fun stuff here gives me hard core nightmares and anxiety. If I have to rough a fool up to get him to pay a bill, well I aint wired for that,” you say.

“I see.  I can’t say that I’m not disappointed,” he says walking into the kitchen.

Seth Sagan’s stride stopped as a squeak from a stuffed bear barked out.  The man looked down to his feet and gently picked up the small toy. His eyes softened, his lip fluttered with the beginning of a smile, as his thumb gently caressed the dusty fur.

“Do you ever wonder where the kids are?” he asks you as he pulls a bottle from the fridge. He sets it on the counter and slowly twists the top while still holding the bear.

“I mean I assume you send them off, you know, business and kids don’t mix,” you reply.

He smiles as he pulls two small glasses from a cupboard, sets them down, and pours the liquid. The bear wasstill held in his hand; its head and neck now grasped tightly by his outer two fingers.  He shoves the glass toward you. An amber frothy liquid finds balance in the small short glass.


“Is this what messy looks like?” you ask.

“It’s not poisoned if that’s what you mean,” he states.

“Are we good?” you ask.

“You’re free to go,” he smiles and then throws back his glass finishing the liquid in one gulp.

You look at him and then the glass then cautiously take a moderate sip. It’s slightly effervescent, with an organic scent.

“Beer, a relic from the home world. I have a guy who smuggles from end point.”

“That’s it?” you ask.

“That’s it,” he replies.

You swallow as if parched, draw the strange flavor from your lips, and focus on your perceptions. He wouldn’t poison you; would he? Unsure if you are safe, you decide it would be a good time to leave. With a quick nod and a half smile you set down the glass and move to the exit.

“K.K., one last thing.  Being a badass GMO super teen, with programming for justice; it does make you smart and very valuable, but you’re wrong about one thing. You can change. I can’t do it to you or for you, I don’t have the time or the resources really; that programming is deep. In your head you have to genuinely feel like you’re doing the right thing. It has to be more than survival. If you can find it in that complex beautiful brain that working for me is for the greater good, then you’ll never question it. I get it though.  The circumstances aren’t right and it doesn’t add up to that yet.”

“I know, I’m sorry, maybe one day…”

“Code, programming, genetic modification, whatever you call it, when its engineered, it has failsafe’s, ‘off’ switches and resets.”

You stop your sip and realize as a warm sensation moves across you that you have been betrayed; “The beer?”

“No, the glass.  A complex carbohydrate that triggers a reset.”

“A reset?” you ask already feeling something happening.

“You won’t die, you’ll just lose a day or two, what’s that in the life of a teenager really?”

“Why?” You ask as your legs give out and you drop to the ground.

“K.K., Kaz, it’s not what you think.  This is my fifth try, the fifth version of this day. After I found you, after I learned what you could become, I had to make a decision. It’s, ultimately, for the greater good. You got so much potential both for good and, without any dramatics intended; pure evil.”

“Fuck you…” you say as you feel the darkness edge in.

“Now I lay you down to sleep, no prayers; just a lion amongst the sheep.  Close your eyes and when you wake up it will be just another Wednesday. I just need to find the right circumstance that makes you decide to work with me. Next time I’ll have the cops be more aggressive,” he says and kneels down, setting the little bear on your chest.

You strike out with all your might but that equates to nothing more than a twitch in your shoulder. You can feel your mind shutting down the very words you use to describe the….

“Next time accept my offer.”

Darkness takes you in a numbing mindless cessation of thought.

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