Less than human. More than human. We volley between these options constantly, doing our best to skirt the real issue on the table: that we are, in fact, irreversibly human. Flesh and blood. Responsible for our decisions. Born naked into a world of struggle, to live and love among our fellow human beings. Destined for the grave, regardless of how many vitamins we consume or how many wrinkle reducers we buy. Part animal. Part spirit. Part soul. All human.
Originally it was meant to be beautiful.
A bloodbath. Zombies and cyborgs attacked our ancestors, and no one escaped. You won’t read about it in the history books because it has been banished to mythology, like all the great stories of old. But it was the first dystopian story ever written, a tale of global oppression far darker than anything on the market today.
The cyborg got to them first. Our first parents, a man and a woman. Their flesh – exposed and vulnerable. Their souls – naïve. Trusting. That smart machine glimmered in the sun, looking deceptively new and shiny. They saw it. When it talked to them, they didn’t turn away. It planted a thought in their brains… what if it could make them better than human? What if?
The woman fell first. She wanted to be better so badly. And then the man… he wanted to be better too. Humanity isn’t good enough, they thought. Flesh and blood, forget that. They wanted better. So they took what the cyborg gave them… a tiny microchip for their souls. It would make them more than human.
The zombie had been watching the whole thing from behind a rock. It saw the woman accept the small package from the cyborg, and it smiled when she passed it along to the man. That’s when the zombie saw their weakness and attacked, sinking half-decayed teeth into their heads. It began to eat their brains, sucking their once-steady minds to feed its hunger. The man and woman turned on each other. He did it! No, she did! No, it wasn’t us, it was that cyborg! And in the end, the zombie ran off, its job complete, its hunger sated.
In trying to become more than human, they became less than.
(Stay tuned for the conclusion…)