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I’m just sat, completely numb. I’m just staring at this fat man in front of me and trying to make sense of it all, any sense of what happened, what went on, why she’s dead and I’m alive. There’s nothing more I can do now, so I just start talking.
“It’s a funny thing, when you get the memory transferred to you, you know? Somebody else’s thought, somebody else’s experience is just dropped into you and boom, it’s yours, it’s part of you, it’s your memory now. It makes you think. Just what the hell are we? Some sort of collection of memories, of actions taken over our lives? I’m the culmination of all shit I’ve been through, what sort of man does that make me? What sort of human am I? To have put up with all this for so long?” I dip my head.
“You’re a good cop, Cutty,” Chapman says, as I hear him pour himself another whiskey.
“Yeah, a good cop, right. I’m such a good cop that you guys are here? You guys never show up if people are good…trying to do good… it’s only when the filth rises that you guys show up, and shit I’ve been through some filth. Yeah, I found out where the transfer was going to take place, like I said, these fuckers aren’t shy about what they’re doing, they’re buried deep in the incident zones and know they’re almost untouchable.
“Well, I got wind of where it was going down, but for the love of Christ, I was too late.” I try to fight back the pain, fight back the vision. “I find her sat in one of their holding cells, slowly banging her head against the wall. I’ll never forget that sound, thud, thud, thud, soft flesh against hard concrete. Thud, thud, thud. I didn’t know what to think, what to do, so I shoot off the lock and got inside there with her.
“God damn, those wide eyes, those big eyes are staring up at me as we’re sat in the filth of this cell, deep underground and I can hear the mutants starting to make their way over. She’s gone, whatever they’ve put in her, I’m too god damn late, there’s some memory running around in her young mind and it’s destroying her. This savage, awful memory they’ve put in her. Made her something else, made her someone else. She blinks, just a couple of times as I’m holding her head in my hands, and she smiles, and one creeps across my ugly face and she whispers, ‘a kind smile,’ and I know what I have to do. It’ll kill her, but she’s dead anyway now and at least it’ll end her suffering. God damn it, I didn’t care what it was, I was going to take it from her, this poor kid, what a fucking life.
“So, I slowly place the palm of my hand against hers, so I know the connection will be good and strong and she’ll release the memory straight into me. Her little palm against this big war-torn mitten. Fuck, the memory comes in and comes in and I’ve gone beyond fear, beyond anything I could have conjured up in my worst nightmare, it’s flowing into me and I’m sat there just weeping and wailing at the fear and terror of it all and there’s the final rush of the final moments of this awful vision and then I look down and she’s gone. Dead in my arms and the screams of the mutants coming into the holding cell, they burst through the door and see me there and they’re about to draw their guns and blast me away until they realise what’s happened. They know I’ve got the memory now…and they fucking freeze. They know what’s inside me, and what’s at stake and these grunts don’t know what to do. They’re about to radio someone with at least half a brain before I tell them to drop their shit and back off as I bring my pistol to my head.”
Chapman breaks out of his trance for a second. “You what?”
“How the fuck else do you think I’m here? I put the pistol to my head and let them know, any hands get put on me, and their prized memory is gone, it’s out of here. No more deal, no more big payday. So, just as they’re backing off, I kill one and leave one.”
“Why the hell did you leave one of them?” he asks.
“So I would know that everything I’ve been through, everything she went through, wasn’t for nothing. So I would know that something was finally going to get done.”
“I don’t get what you mean, Cutty?” Chapman’s face is full of sweat and confusion, of course he doesn’t get it, but he soon will, all of them soon will.
“I told that cocksucker exactly who I was, exactly what I was doing and exactly where I was going. I got out of the underground and back here, to base as soon as I could. Listen, Chapman, who the hell do you think radioed you guys about what went down? We don’t rat one of our own out. I fucking called you guys, tipped you guys off knowing as soon as you heard about something like this, you’d be here in a heartbeat.”
“Cutty,” he just stares at me.
The anonymous voice screams through the microphone as gunshots fire off in the background. “Cutty what have you done!”
“I’ve brought them here, they’re not going to let a memory like this just up and leave. Too much riding on it, too much at stake. They’ve come for it, they’re here now. There’s a war starting, you’re in the middle of it, and if you want to get out alive, you better call in some back-up, you better call in the whole god damn army, because this shit is about to get real.” I smile, light another cigarette, grab the bottle of whiskey off the table, and sit back as Chapman bolts up and out of the room.
I can hear the screams starting and not only ones of death, they’re shouting down microphones to get back-up here and get it here now. God knows if it will make any difference, shit, a lot of good people will probably die today, but what choice did I have? This shit has gone on far too long and it’s time for a change.
I puff on my cigarette and suck on the whiskey. Time for all to change.