Saturday, 12 November 2011

69) Vandalism

    The plastic bit into my wrists and the ones on my legs hurt too. The room menaced me with its flat white walls and hard corners. The lack of green and high frequency detail made my eyes itch. The lack of familiar smells and sounds made skin crawl and my nose felt heavy. The adjucant that I was assigned to promised I could go free as long as I just told the truth. I think he was lying. I had no reason to believe they would ever let me go home.
    The door opposite me creaked open and three men in black came in. The biggest of them stayed near the door as if I might overpower the other two and make a break for it. One sat in front of me and the other walked over to me and undid my bonds. The big guy walked back to the door and I sighed with relief.
    “So, Daniel. Tell us where you were last night.” It was the one in front of me speaking.
    “I don’t know why you’re asking. I’ve already told you a bunch of times.”
    “Pretend I’m hearing this for the first time.” He didn’t sound angry or mean, just bored. “And honestly, Danny, do you have anything else planned for the day?”
    I wondered if the one standing was going to hit me, but somehow I didn’t really care. I said, “Don’t call me Danny. Only my mom called me Danny.”
    “That’s a good point. Let’s talk about your mother. Why did you run away?”
    “My mother’s dead. You know that.”
    “That’s not what our records say. Our records say your mother, Susan Morey is alive and well in Atlanta and she’s very worried about you. Now, we wanted to wait for your actual arrest before contacting her, but you’ll cooperate, won’t you Daniel?”
    “She’s not my mother, you know that. Ok, just don’t call her yet, okay?” I was my own legal entity since I was fourteen so they didn’t have to call her, but if they didn’t it’d make my life very hard for a long time as she could probably get my personhood revoked.
    “We can only help you if you help us.”
    I started again, “Benjamin was the boss. He led us to the housing complex. He’s the one that suggested we put the brambles in there to protest something.”
    “That’s funny, Benjamin says you were the boss, Daniel.”
    I was angry for a moment, but pushed it through and let it pass. I’m sure they saw my fists clench. I hated being stuck with these men in suits. I tried to ignore them and tell the story, but justification won out. “You have his sequence, you know he’s DRD4 positive, you know he’s a novelty seeker, not me.”
    “So you say, Daniel.”
    “Ben found a gene printer in the dumpster behind school one night. He got Gerald to fix it up. Anyways, they got it fixed and we started printing things.”
    “What kind of things did you print out Daniel?”
    “Just simple things at first. A snail parasite. I thought that was gross the way its poor antenna bloated up. Then they made some plant pathogens. But they didn’t use them.”
    “You know that would have required an administrator password to make user generated seeds?”
    “No, I didn’t know. I didn’t know. I figured it was broken and they fixed it. I don’t know about computers much.”
    “Sure, fine, please continue.”
    “Then we printed some accelerated seeds. That was my idea. We crossed ivy and a black berries. They were so beautifully sharp and hot to the touch. I thought that was wonderful. I wanted to make more, but Ben got bored and wanted to do something really big. I didn’t see them for a week until he came to my bedroom window one night with a whole bag of teardrop shaped seeds. I swear I didn’t know what they were. I should have figured it out.”
    For some reason I stopped and looked up at them, expecting the suit to interrupt me again. But all three of them were silent. I continued.
    “I think he was on something because he talked really fast. It didn’t matter where we were going or what we were doing with Ben, it was always exciting. We got in his car. I think it was his car. Now that I think about it, it could have been stolen.
    “We drove for a while and he talked non stop about the hegemony of humans, how we were a one species eco system. He didn’t pause long enough for either of us to interrupt him. And even if you did try to say anything he’d roll right over you.
    “When we arrived at the construction site the moon had set, but we could still see the growing houses with our torches. He gave us each several seeds and gave us instructions on how to use them. He demonstrated by putting one in his mouth, swishing it around then spitting it out quickly. The seed steamed as soon as it landed. It burst open and nearly exploded into a pile of brambles it’s tendrils spread out and burrowed down into the ground. It looked painful.
    “Benjamin had us follow him into the closest house. He demonstrated again, but this time when he spat out the seed and it landed on the house’s tender floor and the brambles dug into the floor it began to bleed. I know they’re only plants, but it looked like blood to me in the dark.
    “I was scared, I didn’t think it was a good idea. But like I said we were all caught up in Ben’s plan. We’re weren’t separate people. We split up and started to break into the houses. I did one, but it made me sick to see the house bleed that I dumped the rest of the seeds into the brambles and tried to leave.”
    “Tell us about Gerald.”
    Startled, I had to take a second. It had already been said so many times and I didn’t want to say it again. “He swallowed a seed.”
    “We know that, but how was he as a person?”
    “Kind of Ben’s right hand man, I guess. I never saw them apart.” Without meaning to I started to cry. I couldn’t tell if it was shame or proper sadness as my heart was strangely quiet. “He, uh, wanted to be an architect. Not with plants I mean, like with dumb stone and dead wood. Weird.”
    “So, you saw Gerald die then?”
    “Yeah, uh. I heard him first after I had dumped my seeds and tried to find him. I think Benjamin ran away at that point. Gerald looked like he had fallen asleep with his head in the brambles and I threw up when I saw him. Then the enforcers came and you’ve seen all that.”
    I felt exhausted, but happy that tales of being beaten were an exaggeration.
    The man that was sitting said without looking at the other men, “I think we have enough, thank you Daniel.” He nodded and the standing one put the handcuffs back on me.
    Then they left and I found myself crying again.

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