Flesh on a Mechanical Interface

The spy walks down the street. He moves as though in a gauze of secrecy, except that if he moved in actual gauze his steps would be somewhat encumbered and he’d draw attention to himself. The gauze of secrecy does not make itself known. He looks like he’s just a guy walking down the street. The gauze of secrecy is in his mind, where it does not entangle his feet.

But even there, in his mind, it is taking a toll.

The spy looks at a store window. He knows just where to strike it, with how much force, to break and clear the glass. He would incur zero injuries, and duck safe inside the store. The rules of the physical world are less than solid for our spy.

In the grassy churchyard coming up on the right the man spots Amanita phalloides, the death cap mushroom. It is the third naturally occurring poison he’s spotted in the past block. With five minutes and minimal effort, he could fatally poison up to twenty humans, just using organic material found accessible in the past thirty steps. To the spy, the world appears infinitely fatal.

An attractive woman approaches him, walking the other way. He observes her demeanor (hips slightly overswung), her manner of dress (fabric greatly overtight), the confidence of her step in high-heels (a firm C-), and deduces the words, touches, and minutes it would take to seduce her (minutes, twenty). Our spy is a decent man, and does not exercise this power without just cause (nuclear launch codes, infiltration of radical Islamo-Feminist terror cells), but he sees woman, and humans at large, as flesh on a mechanical interface. The spy knows the code. Humanity is imminently susceptible to un-encryption and exploitation.

Like all spies, this one knows that at this altitude he can sprint for a half mile. That’s an easy one. All factors of his physiognomy are known to him.

All except one. As the spy walks the street, his mind gauzy with secrecy, his manner transparently opaque, the spy suffers from a near incapacitating case of constipation.

All cures have failed. The spy has ransacked his vast medical knowledge. He’s stopped eating. He lives on laxatives, and to no avail.

If he were to follow certain paths of thought, he might consider that he has grown to believe only in control. He has come to believe in holding in. He believes in hiding. He holds these beliefs tight in his mind.

Two possibilities: (1) his mind has taught his body these beliefs, or (2) his body is a trickster and a teacher, and smiles as it tightens and holds and hides and controls.

Flesh on a Mechanical Interface

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