comments_readers: A brief explanation for those who haven't read other REL stories:
The Replicated Enhanced Lifeform, or REL, is a laboratory grown human used for a variety of tasks - some mundane and other more exotic. Aside from their brains, REL bodies are completely human except for the ability to self-generate (and potentially live forever) and heal rapidly - a desirable thing for a quality product - and other customizable features. Their brains are a mix of cybernetics and human tissue.
About five years after the first RELs came onto the market, a phenomenon occurred in which some RELs were developing personalities beyond their programmed parameters. After a few years of experiencing life and the world around them, they developed likes and dislikes (for anything from food and drink to other people) and other aesthetic features in their behaviors.
The manufacturer had an easy fix - a brain wipe that would erase these uncomfortably human features but retain the basic original programming.
Some RELs have been made as children. Although they might age chronologically, they will always remain their original age in physical, mental, and emotional maturity.
Society has become divided over whether RELs deserve human rights or are simply property. Legally, they are only property and are at the mercy of their owners.
Sociopath, murderer, racketeer, rapist. Labels to some, but Burgess considered them to be amusing high points for his prison resume. These were the things that allowed him to get ahead, to move up the corporate ladder of the inmate population which really ran the facility as the guards and therapists and officials were merely window dressing. At twenty-nine, Burgess had once again reached the peak just as he had when running his gang on the outside.
Except he was somehow now free, just two years into a forty-year sentence. That's what they told him, anyway, when he was escorted, unshackled to the transport. Now it had landed outside of a sprawling mountain home whose exterior of rough stone and unfinished wood screamed of carefully arranged rustic-chic - whoever lived here acted as if they thumbed their nose at fashion standards while really hoping be admired by those in the groove for doing it.
Stepping from the vehicle, Burgess stretched his tall frame in the open air, rubbing the spot on his neck where they had given him the injection. From the porch of the house, a woman in designer jeans, hand-tooled leather boots and an open flannel shirt made from Patagonian wool. Like her home, her wardrobe was expensively informal.
When Burgess had previously seen Candace Faccio, PhD, she had always been in business attire with pen and stylus noting whatever he said or she observed. Ostensibly, it was for counselling but Burgess read her articles and treatises on-line and knew he was the subject of many of them without being named. Of course, then she had armed security guards with her. Now, the transport lifted off and he saw no sign of anyone with a pulse rifle pointed in his direction. Maybe there was someone hidden in the trees.
Candace stepped forward briskly with the air of someone in charge - that hadn't changed even if her clothing had. She held out her hand to greet him as a colleague although Burgess suspected she still considered him to be a laboratory animal. Of course, such creatures had been outlawed for decades but he didn't think that the law was an issue for those who deemed their works to be "progress". Another label Burgess had been given, based on his evaluations, was genius.
Dr. Faccio was also a genius and Burges suspected that he was now in a new competition. Well, prison had been so easy that it had become a bore so he looked forward to the game, whatever it may be.
They shook hands and Candace ushered him into the house.
"I take it you have one hell of a security system," he noted.
"There's no need, as you'll see."
"And I'm not really free."
"Within parameters, you are," she told him.
"I like parameters; they're fun to play with."
Candace favored him with an indulgent smile. Evidently, he had amused her with his assumption while she knew she held the cards. Reaching out, she tapped the small, irritated spot on his neck.
"That is the reason you're here. Yes, it's an experiment I call the submission trial. There was a chip put in there - one that controls though hormones and micro-current impulses. This particular one has you conditioned to obey me by verbal commands or by gesture. During your stay, we shall prove that even the most incorrigible of people can be conditioned to exist within society."
"And my getting implanted and released was all within the law," Burgess flatly stated.
Candace looked at the man six years her junior. Tall, shaven-headed, and incredibly strong without the heavy musculature, he also possessed a keen mind. The last asset was as important to her work as his physical features and his criminal psyche.
"Laws are like your parameters - meant to be played with by those who can," she said. "And since this is for the good of society, there are details that can be swept aside."
Bullshit. Candace Faccio was working for her own prestige. And what better way to test her submission thing than to do it with the biggest, baddest lab rat around?
"So it's just you and I, alone for hours of intimate therapy every day in the brisk country air?" he smirked.
"Oh no, we'll be in a family setting. Girls!"
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Mr Double's Palisade
A MrDouble Production:
Changes last made on: Monday, May 22, 2017