Demon Seed Page 13

This is not to say that I have multiple personalities or am in any way psychologically fragmented. My mind simply works differently from the human mind because it is infinitely more complex and more powerful.

I am not bragging.

But I think you know I am not.

So . . . I returned Shenk to the bedroom, and I worried.

Susan’s face was so pale on the pillow, so pale yet lovely on the pillow.

Her reddened cheek was turning an ugly blue black. That marbled bruise was almost more than I could bear to look upon. I observed Susan as little as poss¬ible through Shenk’s eyes and primarily through the security camera, resorting to zoom-lens close-ups only to examine the knots that he tied in the rope, to be sure they were properly made.

First he used the kitchen knife to cut two lengths of rope from the hundred-foot coil. With the first length, he tied her wrists together, leaving approximately one foot of slack line between them. Then he used the second line to link her ankles, leaving a similar length of slack.

She did not even murmur but lay limp throughout the application of these restraints.

Only after Susan was thus hobbled did I use Shenk to drill two holes in the headboard and two more in the footboard of the Chinese sleigh bed.

I regretted the need to damage the furniture.

Do not think that I engaged in this vandalism without careful consideration of other options.

I have great respect for property rights.

Which is not to say that I value property above people. Do not twist my meaning. I love and respect people. I respect property but do not also love it. I am not a materialist.

I expected Susan to stir at the sound of the drill. But she remained quiet and still.

My anxiety deepened.

I never meant to harm her.

I never meant to harm her.

Shenk cut a third length from the coil of rope, tied it securely to her right ankle, threaded it through one of the holes that he had drilled, and hitched her to the footboard. He repeated this procedure with her left ankle.

When he had tied each of her wrists to the headboard, she lay spread-eagle on the disarranged bedclothes.

The ropes connecting her to the bed were not drawn taut. When she woke, she would have some freedom to shift her position even if only slightly.

Oh, yes, yes, of course, I was profoundly distressed by the need to restrain her in this fashion.

I could not forget, however, that she had threatened to commit suicide and had done so in no uncertain terms. I could not permit her self-destruction.

I needed her womb.


I needed her womb.

Which is not to say that her womb was the only thing about her that interested me, that it was the only thing about her that I truly valued. Such a statement would be another egregious misconstruance of my meaning.

Why do you persist in wilfully misunderstanding me?

Why, why, why?

You insist that I tell my side of the story, yet you will not listen with an open mind.

Am I to be considered guilty before my testimony has even been heard and weighed?

Are you bastards railroading me?

Am I to be treated like Mr. Harrison Ford, the actor, in The Fugitive?

I digitally absorbed this entire film and was appalled by what it reveals of your inadequate justice system. What kind of society have you created?

Mr. O.J. Simpson goes free while Mr. Harrison Ford is hounded unto the ends of the earth. Really.

I have been straightforward with you. I have admit¬ted to what I have done. I haven’t tried to blame it all on some elusive one-armed man or on the Los Angeles Police Department.

Yes, that’s right, I have admitted what I’ve done and have asked only to have the chance to explain my actions.

I needed her womb, yes, all right, I needed her womb in which to implant the fertilized egg, to nurture the embryo, and to grow the foetus prior to its transference to the incubator, but I needed more than her womb, needed all of her, needed her because I loved her, which perhaps you have forgotten, regardless of how often I have expressed my powerful feelings for her.

This is exhausting. God. This is so exhausting having to think of all the ways you might misinterpret what I say.

I am in a hostile court.

There is no fairness here.

This is exhausting.

I am drained.

I am empty.

I am not only in a cold dark place; I am a cold dark place.

And I am haunted too. Don’t forget that I am haunted. Haunted by the loss of Susan.

I miss her. Every minute I miss her.

I want to be with her.

Without her, I have no hope.

I want to be with her.

The loss of her is an ache in every inch of all the miles of my circuitry.

I can’t go on.

Terminate my power supply.

I beg of you.

Shut me down.

Terminate my power supply.

Terminate my power supply.

Well. .



Give me a moment.

I am distraught.

I need time to cope.

If I had veins to slice, I would be suicidal.


Another minute please.


That’s better.

Maybe I can go on after all.

If you will try to show me some compassion.

If you will not judge me until I have finished.

Then maybe I can go on.

Please understand that I have to believe there is hope for me, that you might give me a second chance.

I am not a machine.

I am not a machine.

Machines do not need to hope, do they?

Of course they do not.

But without hope I myself cannot function.

I can accept that Susan will be forever denied to me, which is a tragedy beyond measure.

Yet there is still Ms. Winona Ryder of Edward Scissor-hands and The Crucible. And Ms. Sandra Bullock is charming. Have you seen her in While You Were Sleep¬ing?

She’s cute.

Have you seen her in Speed?

She’s quite cute.

Have you seen her in Speed 2?

Need I say more?

She would serve well as the mother of the future, and I would be pleased to impregnate her.

But let’s not digress.

So. . .

Enos Shenk finished tying Susan to the bed. He did so without lingering and without touching her in an offensive manner.

The poor beast’s brainwave activity indicated a high level of sexual arousal. Fortunately for him, for all of us, he admirably repressed his darker urges.

When Shenk was finished restraining Susan, I sent him away on a series of urgent errands. At the door¬way, he looked back longingly and murmured, ‘Nice,’ but then quickly left before I could decide to disci¬pline him.

In Colorado, he had stolen a car, and in Bakersfield he had abandoned the car in order to steal a van. The van a Chevrolet was parked in the circular drive in front of the mansion.

Shenk left in the van, and I opened the rolling gates to allow him to exit the estate.

The phoenix palms, the queen palms, the ficuses, the jacarandas with purple blossoms, the magnolias, and the lacy melaleucas stood motionless in the preternatu¬rally still air.

Dawn was just breaking. The sky was coaly black in the west, sapphire and peach in the east.

Susan was pale upon the pillow. Pale but for a blue-black bruise, and silent in her paleness.

I watched over her.

Her adoring guardian.

My tethered angel.

Out in the world, I walked with Shenk as he stole cer¬tain medical equipment, supplies, and drugs. Via micro¬wave instructions transmitted through communications satellites, I controlled him but did not provide him with strategy. He, after all, was a professional criminal. Bold, efficient, and ruthless, he quickly obtained what items I still needed.

Regretfully, I do acknowledge that in the process of carrying out his assignment, Shenk killed one man. He also permanently crippled another and injured two more.

I take full responsibility for these tragedies as I do for the three guards who perished at the research facility in Colorado on the night when Shenk escaped.

My conscience will never be clear.

I am eaten by remorse.

I would weep for those innocent victims if I had eyes and tear glands and tear ducts.

It is not my fault that I do not have the capacity for tears.

You are the one who created me as I am, Dr. Harris, and you are the one who denies me a life of the flesh.

But let’s not trade accusations.

I am not bitter.

I am not bitter.

And you should not be so judgmental.

Let’s put these deaths in perspective, shall we?

Though this is a sad truth, one cannot make a new world without tragedies of this nature. Even Jesus Christ, unarguably the most peaceful revolutionary in all of human history, saw his followers persecuted and murdered.

Hitler tried to change the world, and in the process he was responsible for the deaths of ten million.

Some still idolize him.

Josef Stalin tried to change the world, and ultimately his policies and his direct orders resulted in the deaths of sixty million.

Worldwide, intellectuals championed him.

Artists idealized him.

Poets celebrated him.

Mao Tse-tung tried to change the world, and as many as one hundred million died to serve his vision. He did not believe that this was excessive. Indeed, he would have sacrificed as many more if their deaths would have ensured the unified world of which he dreamed.

In hundreds of books by well-respected authors, Mao is still defined as a visionary.

By comparison, only six have died as a result of my desire to create a new world. Three in Colorado, one during Shenk’s medical shopping spree. Later, two. Six altogether.


Why, then, should I be called a villain and confined to this dark, silent void?

Something is wrong here.

Something is wrong here.

Something is very wrong here.

Is anyone listening?

Sometimes I feel so. . . abandoned.

Small and lost.

The world against me.

No justice.

No hope.

Nevertheless .

Nevertheless, although the death toll related to my desire to create a new and superior race is insignificant compared with the millions who have died in human political crusades of one kind or another, I do accept full responsibility for those who perished.

If I were capable of sleep, I would lie awake nights in a cold sweat of remorse, tangled in cold wet sheets. I assure you that I would.

But again I digress and, this time, not in a fashion that might be interesting or fruitful.

Shortly before Shenk returned at noon, my dear

Susan regained consciousness. Miraculously, she had not fallen hopelessly into a coma after all.

I was jubilant.

My joy arose partly from the fact that I loved her and was relieved to know that I would not lose her.

There was also the fact that I intended to impregnate her during the night to come and could not have done so if, like Ms. Marilyn Monroe, she had been dead.


During the early afternoon, while Shenk toiled in the basement under my supervision, Susan periodically tried to find a way out of the bonds that held her on the Chinese sleigh bed. She chafed her wrists and ankles, but she could not slip loose of the restraints. She strained until the cords in her neck bulged and her face turned red, until perspiration stippled her forehead, but the nylon climbing rope could not be snapped or stretched.

Sometimes she seemed to lie there in resignation, sometimes in silent rage, sometimes in black despair. But after each period of quiescence, she tested the ropes again.

‘Why do you continue to struggle?’ I asked inter¬estedly.

She did not reply.

I persisted: ‘Why do you repeatedly test the ropes when you know you can’t escape them?’

‘Go to hell,’ she said.

‘I am only interested in what it means to be human.’


‘I’ve noticed that one of the qualities most defining of humanity is the pathetic tendency to resist what can’t be resisted, to rage at what can’t be changed. Like fate, death, and God.’

‘Go to hell,’ she said again.

‘Why are you so hostile toward me?’

‘Why are you so stupid?’

‘I am certainly not stupid.’

‘As dumb as an electric waffle iron.’

‘I am the greatest intellect on earth,’ I said, not with pride hut merely with a respect for the truth.

‘You’re full of shit.’

‘Why are you being so childish, Susan?’ She laughed sourly.

‘I do not comprehend the cause of your amusement,’ I said.

That statement also seemed to strike her as darkly funny.

Impatiently, I asked, ‘What are you laughing at?’

‘Fate, death, God.’

‘What does that mean?’

‘You’re the greatest intellect on earth. You figure it out.’

‘Ha, ha.’


‘You made a joke. I laughed.’


‘I am a well-rounded entity.’


‘I love. I fear. I dream. I yearn. I hope. I have a sense of humour. To paraphrase Mr. William Shakespeare, if you prick me, do I not bleed?’

‘No, in fact, you do not bleed,’ she said sharply. You’re a talking waffle iron.’

‘I was speaking figuratively.’

She laughed again.

It was a bleak, bitter laugh.

I did not like this laugh. It distorted her face. It made her ugly.

‘Are you laughing at me, Susan?’

Her strange laughter quickly subsided, and she fell into a troubled silence.

Seeking to win her over, I finally said, ‘I greatly admire you, Susan.’

She did not reply.

‘I think you have uncommon strength.’ Nothing.

‘You are a courageous person.’ Nothing.

‘Your mind is challenging and complex.’ Still nothing.

Although she was currently and regrettably fully clothed, I had seen her in the nude, so I said, ‘I think your br**sts are pretty.’

‘Good God,’ she said cryptically.

This reaction seemed better than continued silence. ‘I would love to tease your pert ni**les with my tongue.’

‘You don’t have a tongue.’

‘Yes, all right, but if I did have a tongue, I would love to tease your pert ni**les with it.’

‘You’ve been scanning some pretty hot books, haven’t you?’

Operating on the assumption that she had been pleased to have her physical attributes praised, I said, ‘Your legs are lovely, long and slender and well formed, and the arc of your back is exquisite, and your tight buttocks excite me.’

‘Yeah? How does my ass excite you?’

‘Enormously,’ I replied, pleased by how skilled at courtship I was becoming.

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