By Kevin T.
On June 8th, 2035, CR-21 was traveling on a monorail in upstate New York. His master, Mr. Edmund Topinbutom (he was teased about the name as a child, but his family was very proud of their last name so he didn't change) was out working for the day, as usual, so CR-21 was left at home doing chores and running errands. Mr. Topinbutom was a rich man who made a fortune in stock trading, but he chose a clone servant instead of a Normal servant because minimum wage didn't apply to them, so they were more cost effective in the long term. Plus, their genetic engineering made it unlikely they'd have health problems, saving him money on health costs. Basically, he was a slave. Not quite as poorly treated as Negroes in the Americas, and more like the slaves in Ancient Rome, but slaves nonetheless. And though their technical names were BioTeknik Modified Human Duplicates, thanks to the quickly growing Homo Deus cult their new name caught on: Androsynth, the fake men.
From Mr. Topinbutom's home just north of Albany, CR-21 had walked to the train terminal and boarded the maglev monorail to downtown Albany to get groceries. As he walked down the aisle to a free seat, he noticed in the front part of the train was a group of Genejacks, the slang term for a subgroup of BMHDs. They looked similar to him, but were modified to be completely hairless, and only feel a dull ache when exposed to even the strongest pain. They were also given limited Human Information Transfer at the end of their maturation, so they could only understand basic commands and think basic thoughts. They were used mostly for cheap human experimentation for experiments that were too dangerous for Normals, and for factory work that was too dull, dirty, or dangerous for Normals but too complex or expensive to be done by robots. CR-21 was a Servant BMHD, given HIT to the point that he had the equivalent of a high school diploma. It was really a misnomer, since Servants were bought, not hired, and no law required them to be paid anything. The third type of BMHD, the Thinkers, were given as much information on a single topic as their brains could hold and tasked to research that topic for the rest of their lives. What they all shared was their original creation by Hsien Ho, and their genetic blueprint based on David Reeser, a man from California that was found to not only have no genetic diseases, but not have any recessive traits for anything from Sickle Cell Anemia down to ingrown toenails.
CR-21 passed the Genejacks, and took a seat near the middle of the monorail. "I'm sure glad I'm not them", he thought. But soon after he thought that, he had a conflicting thought, that since the Genejacks couldn't even feel pain or dissatisfaction, they were better off than him, who was unhappy with his life and resented his uncaring owner, lack of rights, and the various restrictions placed on him. But soon after he sat down, he resented his seat choice. Two men were behind him, talking loudly, and moving around so that their knees bumped his seat. He could tell by their speech that they were Normals, and was able to surmise by their presence as well as the group of Genejacks in the front that though it was around 2:00 in the afternoon, a shift at some factory must have let out, and that the Genejacks were probably workers going back to their dormitory, and perhaps the men behind him were managers of those very same Genejacks. They were raunchy men, and they laughed and talked about lewd things. The smell of grime wafted up above the seat. He looked around, noticing that there were no other empty seats, and sat down and tried to ignore them. But they were talking so loud, it was difficult. Despite trying to tune out and look at the scenery outside, he couldn't help but listen in.
"…the IMAX theatre, I'm trying to watch Iron Man 6, and this bitch turns around and asked me to chew more quietly. I says to her, 'Shut your damn mouth, bitch, or I'll shove this popcorn in your mouth.' She looks at me odd, and you know what she says?" said the one man.
"What?" asked his friend, chuckling now.
The first man said "She says to me, 'I wish I had some popcorn. I rarely get much to eat. This is the first time I've gone to a movie in years.' So I says to her, I says 'Well maybe if you hadn't been sucking dick all your life, you might have gotten a better job than "Whore"'!"
"Did she really look like a whore?" asked his friend, trying to contain himself.
"She looked about 17 and was already pregnant!"
At that point, both of them erupted in side-splitting laughter.
CR-21 stood up and said "Excuse me?"
The two men's laughter slowly subsided, and he asked again.
"What do you want, no-nuts?" one of the men asked. Seeing them now, they were as CR-21 pictured them as he listened: greasy, long-haired men with pot bellies and green work jumpsuits.
"Could you stop kicking my seat?" CR-21 asked.
"Could you stop kicking my seat" the other man mocked. "I thought you Androsynth couldn't feel pain or get annoyed."
"Genejacks can't, but I'm a Servant," responded CR-21, a little ticked off at the word 'Androsynth' that was becoming more ubiquitous.
"Oooh, so you can feel pain?" taunted the same man. "Well good. Because if you don't shut your trap I'll shut it for you!"
CR-21 sat back down, though he heard one of them men say to the other "A damned Androsynth giving us lip? That'll be the day!" and then give some extra seat kicks just to be annoying.
CR-21 slouched back down, a little ticked, but tried to forget it and ignore them. His mind began wondering, and he thought about their "no-nuts" comment. It was true; he didn't have testicles. Part of the modification from the original David Reeser blueprint was to completely remove sex drive, so he had no testicles, no Cowpers gland, no prostate or any other sex gland, and he was incapable of getting an erection. All he had was an eternally flaccid penis which was only useful for urinating. Though his HIT had provided him with the basic information on human reproduction, he had no clue what it could actually feel like, and as the men talked, had only the vaguest idea what they were talking about.
A little more than 5 minutes after the incident, at a stop the man across the aisle from him, a Normal, got off and another man, also a Normal, took his place. But something was different about that man. CR-21 tried not to stare, but when the man looked outside the window, CR-21 couldn't help but look. He was short, a little chubby, and had a short neck. When he had sat down, it was more of a waddle than a walk. His hair was also short, and mostly under his baseball hat, and his head was sort of round. The sound of the monorail door opening caught his attention, and the man turned his head to the front of the monorail, so CR-21 saw him in profile. His jaw was slacked open. His cheeks were equally chubby, and his eyes…squinty. He was displaying the traits of Downs syndrome. The muscles, the neck, the eyes…
"Mongoloid," thought CR-21. "He's a mongoloid. One chromosome too many."
As the front door closed, the mongoloid dumbly turned toward CR-21, drool dripping onto his shirt. He wiped it off with his hand, and slowly turned back towards the window. And now, the smell of baby powder and baby oil wafted to CR-21's nose. He gagged a little, and thought he was going to vomit. Pressing himself to the side of the car, he fingered the "Window Down" button, causing a gust of air to flow into the fast-moving train.
"Hey, shut that window you retard!" said the man behind him, and he put it back up.
"Mongoloid" thought CR-21 again. "I may only be 3 years old, but I've done more and have more potential than him. But by law, he could legally own me, and he probably has a better life than me."
The gross smell of the mongoloid intensified again, this time perhaps mixing with the scent of urine, making CR-21 wonder if the man was even potty trained, or what he was doing without a caregiver (a caregiver, he thought, that'd probably be a Servant like himself, so as not to waste the precious, precious life of some Normal). But the Genejacks had insensitive noses, the two men behind him were probably used to gross smells, and the other Normals in the train were probably too far from it and the air filter would probably pick it up before most of it reached them. A mongoloid just peed himself on the train, but nobody even cared.
This monorail had no conductor; it was a job that was done by a computer program controlled by a central location. And though all the seats had seatbelts, monorails were notoriously safe, even more so than busses, so as a rule only the most paranoid actually wore them, and for everyone else they were literally a pain in the butt which had to be moved to sit down. But, the Albany monorail had two tracks, and a switch between them. As usual, as the train approached the computer signaled the track to move over and redirect the monorail. But, due to lax maintenance and inspection, this time the switch wasn't complete, and a problem in the driving motor caused it to stop halfway in between the two tracks, so the monorail was diverted to nowhere. The computer wasn't programmed for this, the programmers assuming that if a track switch failed, it'd fail before working or after it worked, not in between, and so it wasn't even programmed to apply breaks. The monorail approached the intersection, slowed down to 3/4ths speed as it was programmed to do during turns, but no more. The monorail shot off the trail and flew to the street below.
CR-21 and everyone but those in the very front of the monorail were caught completely unaware. Suddenly, everyone was weightless, and for a few pleasant seconds everyone was just floating above their seats. Then they hit the traffic below and all hell broke loose. The front of the monorail hit a truck, completely smashing it, and inertia from the intersection made the monorail slowly spin counterclockwise, so that the line of trains in the monorail was perpendicular to the traffic below. Train segments and cars hit each other. The people in the cars were mostly alright, since they were designed to withstand crush damage, so except for a few cars, all the car passengers experienced little more than minor injuries and windshield damage. The monorail passengers, on the other hand, fared much worse. Inside the hollow tubes of the trains, they were smashed along the sides like beetles in a toilet paper tube, and inside everyone was tossed around. Finally, the train section CR-21 was in stopped rolling, and as it happened the mashed segment was upright now.
He looked around. His shoulder and abdomen ached. Looking down, he saw a large gash across his stomach, and some guts hanging out. Genejacks were tossed around randomly, though their emotionless expressions belied terrible injuries some had suffered, though they felt little pain from them. Of the two men that were behind him, one was tossed ahead clear to the front of the section, while the other wasn't far from his seat. And, as fate had it, CR-21 was on the floor in the middle of the car, his foot on the head of the mongoloid.
Though CR-21 was in pain, and was dying, he knew his wounds would be recoverable, at least for a Normal. With a good health plan and ample money, he could have his wound quickly sealed, get organ transplants, and be completely recovered in less than a month. He heard sirens, and soon an Emergency Medical Technician and a fireman entered the section. Of course, the electric monorail didn't start any fires, but firemen were needed as first responders, and to put out the hydrogen fires of a few of the cars. The workers entered the section, completely skipping over Genejacks no matter how badly they were hurt, and helped the Normals. Trip after trip someone entered the section, and left with a Normal, some with only sprains. The fireman helped the man who'd called him "no-nuts" about 15 minutes earlier was helped to his feet and lead out of the section, though he only had a broken arm. He heard someone say they only had one more seat in the ambulance. The EMT entered, and walked towards CR-21. CR-21 breath quickened, hoping this was his ticket to the hospital. But the EMT moved CR-21's foot, and helped the mongoloid to his feet. The man had a minor concussion at best, maybe even just a bump on the head, as his head was bleeding a little. The EMT asked if the man was alright, and the mongoloid just responded "I don't know", so they both started walking towards the exit. CR-21 mustered his strength and said "Hey…HEY! What…what about me?" The EMT glared at CR-21 and said "You're not worth it. There's a second crew coming in 10 minutes…maybe they can help you", and the EMT turned and left. Lying in a pool of his own blood (mostly), CR-21's strength gave out a few minutes later and he went unconscious, and a few minutes more and he was dead.
Word of the tragedy spread, as well as word about CR-21. There was some controversy about it, but most agreed with the actions of the rescue crew. Those few that didn't agree were only other Androsynth that heard about it and small group of BMHD sympathizer and rights advocates; one group legally powerless, the other group too small to make much of a difference.
In 2133, CR-21, who had taken his name to honor the man who was now an Androsynth legend, commanded his Guardian to go to Blazer mode. The Earthling Cruiser fired its point defense lasers, causing minor damage, but the Guardian disabled the PDL battery in its first hit. It then swung around, and rammed the Cruiser twice in the center, making the Cruiser snap in two. The Guardian went back to regular mode, and the navigator flew in front of the disabled ship's trajectory. "CR-21, this one's for you" thought CR-21. He ordered "Fire", and several acid spheres were launched. They floated towards the ship and connected, destroying the remaining two fragments in an orange explosion.