Forge Netting 37: Cut Down

He did not look good hung upside down, drenched in blood, beaten to a pulp, but it didn’t strike any of them as an unusual position to find him in. The man who had been administering the treatment was definitely surprised to find them standing around him – to have them stood about the place yet not cowering or subservient to him because of a word.

They cut him down. Fielding had the bossman in her sights. Teschner was attending to Ensign or whatever the fuck his name was. Pinkerton was hacking into their security systems and trying to get as much information as he could.

‘I thought the pain he was feeling would be crippling you all.’

‘Yes, well, you never were as aware of the truth of the technology used to make us as you claim. There are nerve cell buffers which convert the energy created pain stimulation into something harmless. The system that we constitute allows no negative feedback.’

‘But it allows positive things to travel through us via morphic resonance.’

‘You’re healing him?’

‘Yes, how could you not know this was possible?’

‘I suppose I took more interest in your offensive capabilities rather than the repair functions used to keep you moving.’

‘So your school of thinking was the best form of defense is offense? Well, it works a lot of the time I suppose, when you have unlimited resources, but that isn’t the boat we are in, so we’ve needed to be able to recuperate and protect each other too. He was always a little stronger and a little more capable than any of us, and I suppose that was by design … having to lead the way by example and all that, but with a situation like this we actually get to help him. It’s a novel situation, and one I have to say I am enjoying.’

‘Good, glory in it as long as you can – it won’t last forever.’

‘Good God, you think I don’t know that? I’m not some fluffy airhead getting all touchy feely. I am a veteran soldier who is appreciating a chance to help out a fallen comrade. I can see that this might be an alien concept to you because you aren’t exactly surrounded by anyone that you consider an equal even let alone a friend.’

‘If you intend to kill me please get on with it and put me out of my misery. I am not someone who likes to malinger, even when the threat of death is upon me.’

‘We don’t intend to kill you; we intend to set you adrift.’

‘Set me adrift.’

‘Yes, plagued with the very thing you infected us with – the very thing you used Ensign to transmit into the world at large.’

‘You are very odd for soldiers. I will admit, I don’t exactly understand your thinking. I would have killed me a long time ago if I were you.’

‘But you’re not, and you’re not capable of being that. These thoughts would not occur to you. This strange mix of mercy and punishment isn’t in you, is it?’

‘So, why the delay? Inject me and have done with it.’

‘He has to be awake first. There are things he must understand; things you must understand. Things that those who watch us must understand.’

‘How very curious; how very caring of you – all this closure you are bringing to these creatures, who are little more than assets in an arena of conflict.’

Teschner stepped forward and kicked him in the teeth. Glad to knock him into unconsciousness for a moment. Glad to have a second to think and not have to do it out loud; not having to respond to someone who wasn’t really interested in hearing anything other than his own voice anyway.

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