|The digital art I did that inspired the following story|
"Which one is next?" says the voice in the darkness.
The man (that's what he thinks he is at least) in the glass, gel-filled tube listens. And somehow, he understands.
"This one, Lord," says the voice's shining assistant. "Subject #419."
The conveyor belt whirs beneath the man in the tube and jolts him sideways. He stops directly in front of the voice, and suddenly becomes acutely aware of his own mortality.
A mechanical arm drops down in front of the man in the tube. It has an orb at the end which emits a beam of red light. The soulless eye peers through the man, seeing his every atom, yet not seeing him at all.
"And what makes this one so special?" the voice in the darkness asks.
"Nothing, father," answers the assistant. "He's utterly unremarkable."
The soulless eye returns to whence it came, leaving the man in the tube alone once more.
"As they all are. It's what makes them perfect for these experiments. They're utterly disposable, but they are always trying to prove otherwise."
The man in the tube feels hopelessness without ever having felt hope. He feels as if he has failed, yet he knows not the terms of victory.
"Shall we subject him to the experiments then?" asks the assistant.
If only the man in the could speak. But he has not learned how. He has not had the joy of hearing language for the first time.
But if he could, this is what he would say right now. This is how he would answer the assistant's question.
"Yes. And though I may never know again the nature of my own existence, I will defy you. I will defy you by being happy in the face of your mad science. I will be nothing but a data point to you, but if I must be that, then I will be an outlier. I will not conform to you natural laws and give you the outcome of being unremarkable and dead that you hypothesize."
That is what he would say if he could speak. But he can't.
"Dump him in simulator ninety-two," says the voice coldly. "Maybe he'll surprise us."