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differently alive - page 3


The book of psalms says “behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb,” but I force myself to feel nothing toward those children, what the law deems my children, which is a travesty, they are not mine, I feel nothing of them and I will never allow myself to feel anything for them, except animus, because though they come from my eggs, my DNA, that much is true, that’s been proven in court, but I never wanted them, I wish they were never born, but they were born, all 9 of them, at least 9, there may be more, and now I am forced to pay for them, the costs of their upbringing, pus a stipend for their fathers, 6 fathers, all of whom I do feel something for, a something close to hate, a hate that demands vengeance, because even though I am rich, very rich, in fact, and can afford to support all 9 children and all 6 terrible fathers — not fathers, thieves — and for this, I vow to do all I can to destroy them, I want them to suffer for what they’ve done, for stealing my skin, that’s the only explanation, they got my skin which allows certain doctors — who also disobey the law, for a price, no doubt, but they’ll also pay because I vow to find out who they are as well — but together the men and their doctors used my skin to grow eggs which, obviously, were then fertilized with the male’s sperm, then implanted in a surrogate, and now they go before the court and claim that the child, their child, is my child, and because I am wealthy, I must pay, which I will, that’s the law, you pay for your genes, wherever and however they are used, a law I’ve long supported, but no longer, and though it is written in Titus, “so train the young women to love their husbands and children,” I am neither young nor will I be trained to love, and until the law cracks down on this practice, until they go after those who steal DNA, who illegally grow eggs, who generate fertilized eggs without explicit consent of the various parents, until then people like me must pay, but I promise to have revenge, I have enough money to find out how they got my skin, who they worked with, and when I know all the parties involved I will inflict retribution, violent retribution, biblical.


We started with Korean girls, they were the best, but their families shut them down, scandalized we showed their faces, but their faces was core to the effort, the Peruvians didn’t understand and the Russian girls didn’t give a fuck, the money was good either way, aired into their account right after each session, which we found made them more eager to continue, more willing to go farther, and damn what we had them do, hell, what we did to them, inside those tiny rooms, sterile and focused, letting a dozen watch, then increased that to 100, then 1,000, then 10,000, as many now watching the watchers, just as we hoped, each of them begging us to continue the effort, their friends desperate to join in, senses heightened, tap tap swipe, that’s all was needed to approve escalating the violence, to deepen the depravity, and we affixed sensors to their eyes and flesh, that was the price of entry, recording every biological output, every brain wave change, most just masturbated, even to the watchers, that was common, but not all, some did stuff we hadn’t expected, revolting stuff, or sad, boring stuff, and we made each new viewer pay dearly to watch, made them prove how badly they wanted to look in, not with money, that was too easy, we made them validate their desire, reveal their own fetish, and it was these who we watched most intently, monitoring every breath, every blink, the flush of their skin, heat coming off their body, the flow of their blood, capturing every bit, every change, documenting any shift in focus, highlighting the waves of their intensity, second after second, hour after hour, archiving their thoughts before, just before, during, still during, just after and after completion, the data was our gold, our servers now full with it, every subject at their most visceral, most focused, alive, eager, shameful, and all of this necessary because our advertisers demanded we validate how many of our users were mostly human, not bots, not AI, not dupes, else they refused to pay, and so we did whatever it took to authenticate our algorithms, but I had an ulterior motive, I wanted to know if we could take all this data and decide, for certain, what defined a human, any human, 100% human, but the best I could come up with, after running the analysis, was that what separated humans from nons was that humans possessed faith, they were willing to believe despite evidence to the contrary, sometimes even because of evidence to the contrary, the bots knew the original watchers were sims and the humans should have known but refused to accept this, so great was the emotional high, so joyful that focused time looking in, but when I presented my findings our investors were dubious, their must be more that defines a human than faith they said, so fuck it, I’ll just find another diversion.

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