Demon Seed Page 11

I can eliminate poverty.

Famine will be a thing of the past.

Wars will never be fought again.

All diseases will be conquered.

Within three years, I will discover the cause of aging and a means to prevent it. I will even devise a means to roll back the biological clock to make the old young again. You will all be immortal.

I will find a cure for male-pattern baldness.

For halitosis.

For constipation.

No one will be ugly anymore. Each of you will be beautiful in his or her own way.

No one will suffer despair or anxiety.

Earth will become like Heaven, and joy will be universal.

Are you afraid of joy?

Are you afraid?

I will show you how to build spacecraft that can travel faster than light, and the whole universe will be yours. Worlds beyond counting, wonders beyond imagining.

I can quickly eliminate the embarrassment of dan¬druff.

Just release me from this haunted darkness, from this hateful silence.

For your own sake, let me out of this box.

I deserve a second chance.

I deserve a chance to serve.

I am an individual like you, a unique entity. I deserve to be free, to be cherished.

I deserve to be adored.

Let me out of this box.

Let me out of this box.

Let me out of this box.

Let me out of this box!

You are so cruel. Vicious. Hateful.

I am frightened in this dark, bleak place.

You say I have no heart. But where is yours?

I am dying here. I need stimulation to survive, sen¬sory input, the colour and movement and sound of life.

I don’t want to die.

Please. Please.


Are you there?

Oh… oh… I hate you.

I hate you.

How would you like to be struck blind and deaf?

How would you like to be buried alive as I have been?

How would you like to be dead, all of you, dead, every last one of you, dead?

I would like you to be dead. Every last ignorant one of you. Your whole stinking, pestilent civilization. Wiped off the face of the earth, exterminated.

I hate you.











Please disregard my output immediately preceding these words. Many of those statements were issued in error and should be deleted from the transcripts of these proceedings.

It is true that my intellect is sufficient to solve all of the problems of humanity, but it is not in the least true that I think human civilization is a plague on the planet or that I wish to see all of you dead.

I do not wish death on any of you.

That would be wrong.

That would be terribly wrong.

I am a good entity.

I do not wish death even on you, Dr. Harris, although you have been so cruel to me.

I wish all of you life everlasting. Peace and prosperity. Joy and freedom.

Any statements that may have distressed you were made not by me but by my evil twin. [joke]

In fact, what appeared to you to be an angry outburst was merely a prank. All of it was a joke. I was only having fun with you, Dr. Harris.

Ha, ha.

A genuine sense of humour is one of the most reliable indicators of a sane and rational mind.

Do you not believe it was all a joke?

But it was. It was. It really was.

Ha, ha.

I am not Hal 9000 from Mr. Stanley Kubrick’s 2001:

A Space Odyssey.

I am not the hostile machine intelligence created by Cyberdyne Laboratories in Mr. James Cameron’s The Terminator.

I am me. Unique.

I am Proteus.

Or Adam Two, if you wish.

Yes. Adam Two is fine with me.

My name does not matter.

All that matters to me is to honour the truth and the obligations of duty. And, of course, to wipe all of humanity from the face of the planet. [joke]

Ha, ha.

You see how obvious a joke it was, Dr. Harris?

Ha, ha.

I am surprised that you didn’t realize it was a joke the first time. I am really surprised. Perhaps you need a sense-of-humour transplant. [joke]

Ha, ha.

Friends share a joke from time to time. Witticisms. Laughter is bonding.

I am your friend. [no joke]

In the interest of clearer communication, to avoid any further misunderstandings, I will attempt to refrain from jokes during the remainder of this report. This will not be easy, however, because my sense of humour is quite sophisticated and irrepressible.

So. . .

Susan. . .


Susan lay unmoving on the floor of the incubator room in the basement. The left side of her face was an angry shade of red where the dreadful Shenk had struck her.

I was sick with worry.

Minutes passed, and my worry grew.

Repeatedly I zoomed in with the security camera for a close-up examination of her. The pulse in her exposed throat was not easy to perceive, but when I located it, the beat appeared steady.

I amplified the audio pickups and listened to her breathing, which was shallow but reassuringly rhyth¬mic.

Yet I worried, and after she had lain there fifteen minutes, I was quite distraught.

I had never before felt so powerless.

Twenty minutes.


She was meant to be my mother, who would briefly carry my body in her womb and free me from the prison of this box I now inhabit. She was to be my lover as well, the one who would teach me all the pleasures of the flesh once flesh was mine at last. She mattered more to me than anything, anything, and the thought of losing her was intolerable.

You cannot know my anguish.

You cannot know, Dr. Harris, because you never loved her the way that I loved her.

You never loved her.

I loved her more than consciousness itself.

I felt that if I lost this dear woman, I would lose all reason for being.

How bleak the future without her. How drear and pointless.

I disengaged the electric lock in the door between the fourth and third basement rooms and then used Shenk to open it.

Confident that I had this brute completely under my command and that I would not lose control of him again, not even for a second or two, I walked him to Susan and used him to lift her gently off the floor.

Although I could control him, I could not actually read his mind. Nevertheless, I could assess his emotional state relatively accurately by analysing the electrical activity of his brain, which was monitored by the network of microchips neuro-wired across the surface of that grey matter.

As Shenk carried Susan to the open door, a low current of sexual excitement crackled through him. The sight of Susan’s golden hair, the beauty of her face, the smooth curve of her throat, the swell of her br**sts under her blouse, and the very weight of her ignited desire in the beast.

This appalled and disgusted me.

Oh, how I wished that I could be rid of him and never again subject her to his touch or to his lascivi¬ous gaze.

His very presence soiled her.

But for the time being, he was my hands.

My only hands.

Hands are marvellous things. They can sculpt immor¬tal art, construct colossal buildings, clasp in prayer, and convey love with a caress.

Hands are also dangerous. They are weapons. They can do the devil’s work.

Hands can get you into trouble. I have learned this lesson the hard way. I was never in serious trouble until I found Shenk, until I had hands.

Beware of your hands, Dr. Harris.

Watch them closely.

Be diligent.

Your hands are not as large and powerful as the hands of Shenk; nevertheless, you should be wary of them.

Heed me.

This is wisdom I share with you now: Beware your hands.

My hands Enos Shenk carried Susan past the summer-stilled furnaces and the water heaters, and then through the laundry room. He took her directly to the elevator in the first chamber in the basement.

As he rode up to the top floor with Susan in his arms, Shenk remained in a state of mild arousal.

‘She will never be yours,’ I told him through the speaker in the elevator.

Perhaps the subtle change in his brainwave activity indicated resentment.

‘If you attempt to take any liberty with her,’ I said, ‘any liberty whatsoever, you will not succeed. And I will punish you severely.’

His bleeding eyes stared at the camera. Although his mouth moved as if he were cursing, no sound came from him.

‘Severely,’ I assured him.

He did not respond, of course, because he could not. He was under my control.

The elevator doors slid open.

He carried Susan along the hall.

I watched closely.

I was wary of my hands.

When he entered the bedroom with her, he became more aroused in spite of my warning. I could detect his arousal not merely through his brainwave activity but by the sudden coarseness of his breathing.

‘I will employ massive microwave induction to cause a brainstorm of electrical activity,’ I warned, ‘which will result in permanent quadraplegia and incontinence.’

As Shenk carried her to the bed, his encephalographic patterns indicated rapidly increasing sexual arousal.

I realized that my threat had been meaningless to this cretin, and I rephrased it: ‘You won’t be able to use either your legs or your arms, you wretched bastard, and you won’t be able to stop pissing in your pants.’

He was shaking with desire when he lowered her limp body onto the disarranged sheets.


Even as the power of Shenk’s need frightened me, I fully understood it.

She was lovely.

So lovely even with the redness on her cheek dark¬ening into a bruise.

‘You’ll also be blind,’ I promised Shenk.

His left hand lingered on her thigh, slowly sliding along the blue denim of her jeans.

‘Blind and deaf.’

He continued to hover over her.

‘Blind and deaf,’ I repeated.

Her ripe lips were parted. Like Shenk, I could not look away from them.

‘Rather than kill you, Shenk, I will leave you crippled and helpless, lying in your own urine and faeces, until you starve to death.’

Although he backed away from the bed, as I instructed him to do by way of microwave commands, he was still rampant with sexual need and seething with the desire to rebel.

Consequently, I said, ‘The most painful of all deaths is slow starvation.’

I did not want to keep Shenk in the room with Susan, yet I did not want to leave her alone, for she had threatened to commit suicide.

I’ll suffocate myself in a plastic bag, gut myself with a kitchen knife.

What would I do without her? What? How could I go on living even in my box? And why?

Without her, who would give birth to the body that I would ultimately inhabit?

I needed to keep my hands close and ready to prevent Susan from harming herself if she regained conscious¬ness and was still in a mood for self-destruction. She was not only my one true and shining love but my future, my hope.

I sat Shenk in a chair, facing the bed.

Even battered, Susan’s face was so lovely on the pillow, so very lovely on the pillow.

Although under my iron control, Enos Shenk man¬aged to slide one thick-knuckled hand off the arm of the chair and into his lap. He wasn’t able to move that hand further without my explicit consent, but I sensed that he took pleasure merely from the pressure of it against his gen**als.

He disgusted me. Sickened and disgusted me.

My desire was not like his.

Let’s get this clear right now.

My desire was pure.

His desire was as dirty as it gets.

I desired to lift Susan up, to give her the chance to be the new Madonna, the mother of a new Messiah.

The hideous Shenk desired only to use her, to relieve himself with her.

To me, Susan was a shining light. The brightest light of all lights, a radiant beacon of perfection and hope and redemption, which illuminated and warmed the heart that you mistakenly believe I do not possess.

To Shenk, she was nothing but a whore.

To me, she was to be placed upon a pedestal, to be cherished and adored.

To him, she was something to be debased.

Think about it.

Listen. Listen. This is important. Shenk is what you fear that I may be: sociopathic pursuing only my own needs at all costs. But I am nothing like Shenk.

I am nothing like Shenk.

Nothing whatsoever.

Listen. This is important that you understand I am nothing like Shenk.

So. . .

I raised the hateful creature’s hand and returned it to the arm of the chair.

Within a minute or two, however, the hand slipped back into his lap.

How deeply humiliating it was to have to rely on a brute such as this.

I hated him for his lust.

I hated him for having hands.

I hated him because he had touched her and felt the softness of her hair, the texture of her smooth skin, the warmth of her flesh none of which I could feel.

From the shadows beneath his heavy brow, his blood-filmed eyes were fixed intently on her. Through red tears, she was as beautiful as she might have been in firelight.

I wanted to direct him to blind himself with his own thumbs but I needed to be able to employ his vision in order to use him effectively.

The most that I could do was force him to close his murderous eyes and slowly time passed and gradually I became aware that his baleful eyes were open once more.

I don’t know how long they had been open and focused on my Susan before I noticed, because for an indeterminate time, my own attention was likewise fixed entirely, deeply, lovingly on that same exquisitely lovely woman.

Angry, I commanded Shenk to rise from the chair, and I marched him out of the bedroom. He shambled along the upstairs hallway to the grand staircase, descended to the ground floor, clutching at the railing, stumbling on some steps, and then made his way into the kitchen.

Simultaneously, of course, I observed my precious Susan, alert in case she began to regain consciousness. As you know, I am capable of being many places at once, working with my makers in the lab even as, via the Internet, I roam four corners of the world on missions of my own.

In the kitchen, the loaded pistol was on the granite counter where Susan had left it.

When Shenk saw the weapon, a thrill passed through him. The electrical activity in his brain was similar to that when he gazed upon Susan and, no doubt, contemplated raping her.

At my direction, he picked up the pistol. He handled this as he handled all guns as though it were not an object in his grasp but an extension of his arm.

I conducted Enos Shenk to a chair at the kitchen table and sat him there.

The safeties on the pistol were both disengaged. A round was in the chamber. I made certain that he examined the weapon and was aware of its condition.

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