h.e.l. // epilogue

My name is Limper, or at least, that’s what the rest of the transhumans call me. Maybe I should say that’s what the rest of my kind calls me.

I remember lying down, and feeling so goddamn peaceful about everything when the transhumans loomed over me. I remember finally anticipating what my newfound contentment would feel like.
At first, it was painful as hell. I felt poking frigid fingers everywhere. They drove wires and microscopic rods into my arms, through my fingernails, separating the nail from the bed with a sickening wet sound. One of them shoved a piece of rubber in my mouth to keep me from swallowing my own tongue. Jesus, I screamed like a banshee. I think I lost consciousness when they started to slit my legs open to clean away the rotting tissue and to force my bones straight. The stuck some electronic metal in there, too, I think. There was goopy, rank, and yellow-red pus splotching on the floor as they squished and squelched around in my body.

They cracked my sternum and wrenched my chest open. My eyes remained open and I just gazed up at the ceiling, eyes glossy. They replaced my heart with something mechanical and stored most of my organs in pans, ready for donation, most likely to some bastard eating too much butter. It was really quite poignant, if you thought about it. But not more poignant than I realized when I woke up in the cave.

I awoke to a familiar dark ambiance, and to familiar high, uneven, stalactites. My body had sunk into a very comfortable wool cover on the cot that I had once slept in. And around me, the transhumans. I squinted closer at each of their faces. These were all faces I knew, once.

My brother. My friends. My kids. My uncle. My aunt. My grandmother. One of my high school classmates. I knew these faces. The transhumans—they never wasted anything. They killed humans, and recycled them into something greater.
All my friends and I had joined something better than humanity. We joined the human extinction league.