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"Why didn't you just kill me and get it over with?" she asked him.
"Killing is so-permanent," he replied. "I prefer a more creative approach.
Years ago the Company killed everything in my life I ever had, yet left me
alive in a kind of personal Hell. When. I attempted to strike back at the ones
who did that, you prevented me. Now I want you to feel helpless and impotent,
cut off, as I do. I want you to know on a personal level what my kind of ache
is, to hate so much that you would do anything to do to me what you so judged
and condemned me for trying to do to those who harmed me. And then you will
crumble, as hope vanishes and you snap, sinking mentally to the level I have
already reduced you to physically, knowing all the while what is happening.
When that happens you will be a living testimony to inspire the proper
attitude in all those who work with me here. And this time you will be
helpless as we strike the fatal blow."
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She said nothing, but his words were causing her stomach to have fits.
"We must first come to a realization of your situation," he continued,
watching her. "You are in my personal home, on a world that does not appear in
the
Company's charts, via a switch that does not even exist on the Company's
records. Everyone here is mine. Not even my comrades can come here without my
permission, and as my guests. Not that those here could not leave, but they do
not wish to. I have-a system."
"Yeah, you got 'em all on your damned drugs."
"Very clever. But not the old kind, which were difficult to control. We have
made much progress since then. I got the idea from a world I did business
with, a world in which people are now born with an inability to replenish
certain natural enzymes. From the cradle they must be given what they lack
regularly or they go into withdrawal and die. Their society is loyal, ordered,
and obedient.
From my studies of the viral-like agent with which you are so familiar from
the past, I learned how to induce this condition in people not born that way.
First we remove something essential, and then we give it back as a daily
treatment.
The combinations are infinite, so no two people have the same formulation. It
must be made, uniquely, for each individual. Since only I know the codes for
the formulations and cross-checks, everyone is very loyal and obedient to me."
"You may make me obedient, but there ain't no way you're ever gonna make me
loyal," she retorted.
He laughed. "But that is the way I wish it. You see, almost everyone here is
here because they are valuable to me and my organization. Security people, the
staff here, maintenance, medical-you name it. Not to mention the scientists
and technicians in my laboratories probing ever deeper into body and brain
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chemistry. Not you. You are simply one of my toys, a household item of
furniture. For now, you have no other purpose than existence. You have already
been treated, so you are- secure. I'm sure you know what that means."
She sighed, having expected it. "Yeah, I know."
"There are three main living floors and over sixty rooms in the Castle, as
well as formal gardens in the back, pool and recreation area, that sort of
thing. You have free reign of all the public areas, but will refrain from
entering any private room unless taken there. I want you always on public
view. Sleep where you wish, eat when you like. It will take you quite some
time to get to know the place, but you have a nearly infinite amount of that.
The lower areas and laboratories are secured and off limits, but you will be
prevented from entering them anyway. Be cooperative and obey your set of rules
and you will avoid punishment. After the first few times with the electric
whip or the shock gun you will not wish to be punished again."
She didn't like even the names of them.
"Now," he continued, "the rules. Your status here is no higher than, say, a
pet in the house. You will keep out of the way. You will not interfere in
anything.
You will keep yourself clean and reasonably neat and will be told who to see
and where to go to accomplish that. You will speak only when spoken to unless
it is an emergency of some sort. As a sign of your status here you will wear
no clothing at all. It is always either hot and dry or hot and wet here. You
will be cooperative. If anyone here takes it into their head to fondle or feel
you up, you will not only let them and not resist, you will convince them that
you enjoy it. And if anyone has more in mind, you will do it with enthusiasm
and accommodate their needs or wishes. You have no private quarters, or any
quarters. When you are sleepy find a comfortable place in a public area and go
to sleep. You will do no work, ask no favors, pry into any business or other
activities nor ask any imprudent questions or exhibit curiosity, nor do any
harm to anyone. Everyone understands this, and any infractions will be
recorded and you will be sought out and punished. And we don't want to see any
frowns, only nice, happy smiles. Any questions so far?"
She sighed. "No." He wanted to strip her of her dignity, have her parade
helplessly around as an object lesson, and reduce her to a kind of static
hell.
It showed just how his mind worked.
"Good. Now, once a day someone will come to you and give you the supplement
you
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formulation, I remind you. No one else's would do you any good. We have a
machine that dispenses them once a day for everyone.
There are no reserves. I am sure you know how to give it to yourself. You had
practice. The withdrawal is fully as bad as you remember it, and as lethal in
the end. Remember that. And please do not think of harming yourself. Someone
will always be watching-somewhere."
"You will never totally own me," she said evenly, and meant it.
"Oh, I will, and I'll know when. When you finally and totally give up,
surrender. When you then ask me, beg me, for a better drug, a stronger drug,
that will take your mind away, then it will be complete. And depending on my
mood, perhaps I will give it to you, and watch you administer it to yourself.
And it will happen-sooner or later."
"Never," she replied, teeth clenched. "Never."
He gave a sigh, then concluded, "I will leave you now, and an aide will take
you out and teach you the essentials. You might not see me again, but I will [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]




 

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