Despite Spider’s sudden attack of morals, she had not been so circumspect when she’d told me what I was supposed to do Bloodstorm: I was supposed to “make him my slave”.
Once we were out of the state and I thought I could breathe easy a bit, and because I was starting to get tired and didn’t trust this fuck awake on his own initiative, I had him pull off to a rest stop. Then, I took several long minutes to worm deep into his brain, and start the process of turning him into My Little Bitch.
Scripting is heavy work. It’s a lot like coding, at least in the abstract sense that you have a system and have to kind of understand how it works as a whole before you start messing too much with things. I got into his mind and got a feel for the person whose mind I was about to rewrite.
Bloodstorm, by the way, was born Mitchell Wallace. Friends called him “Mitch”, but he preferred to be called Daniel by everyone else, his middle name. Not that Mitch had many friends once he got past the seventh grade and started mutilating animals in his spare time. If Mitch hadn’t been granted the ability to make people bleed, it was altogether obvious he’d have simply used a knife instead, and carried on in much the same fashion.
I should point out that there’s a danger inherent in understanding another’s thoughts. As wrong, and skewed, and fractured as his view of the world was, it made perfect sense to me while I was in his head. I do not mean to say that I merely had an understanding, either. I mean to say that his perspective was absolutely correct, it felt right, while I was inside his head.
Empathy is the ability to imagine what’s going on in someone else’s life, put yourself in their shoes, and get an idea of what life is like for them. People who succeed at this will still fail when trying to understand someone like Mitch, because their minds just don’t work that way, and trying to consider a heretical thought instantly encounters a wall in one’s own mind, beyond which we will not go.
I didn’t have that excuse, and I felt like the danger in understanding such a warped mind is that it would affect my own. Even so, I had to go in there, so I held my nose and continued to rummage through his brain.
Most people have a built-in Ban against killing other human beings. Mitch didn’t have that. From what I could see of his mind, he never had.
Let me try to explain Mitch’s philosophy, and understand that while I was immersed in his mind, it felt normal, and sensible, and had a constant sense of familiarity to it that indicated to me that these were not merely long-held beliefs, but central tenets of his life.
First off, Mitch had a bit of a romantic idea of what the past was like. In his mind, before civilization got involved, people went around killing and murdering as they pleased, and this was normal, and accepted. Survival of the fittest was how species thrived, and unfit species were eliminated. In Mitch’s opinion, we’d screwed up our own evolution by turning that model on its head and designating every life as precious. He also saw it as hypocritical. Hunters still kill animals for food, and police and soldiers still get to kill other humans. It was not as though we had said we were against killing outright, we simply had laws and restrictions about when it was right, and proper to kill.
Mitch felt like this was everything that was wrong with the world. Look at our exploding population! They are like worms, viruses! That’s how he saw us, with rare exceptions, as a bloated mass of maggots growing like tumors on Mother Earth. So concerned with saving lives, when we should have been more concerned about ending them.
In Mitch’s mind, the only salvation for our planet and species was to start killing a whole lot of people. Climate science was an interest for him, and I found facts and statistics stapled to his brain explaining how earth was doomed, there was no way to avert the tragedy, and how the increase in our population would only hasten the end.
I hate to say it, but I don’t think anyone has come up with a more sustainable solution than that. It’s just unfortunate that it’s morally abhorrent. Still, a drastic decrease in the human population really would probably save our species and our future, and the survivors would justifiably be a bit more concerned about readying the planet for the next repopulation, and do it more responsibly.
Or so you’d like to think. Mitch wasn’t that optimistic, and figured that after repopulation, you’d just continue to let the serial killers run around and kill people as they pleased, to provide the uncertainty of existence that had made our species so great to begin with.
I ducked out of his mind to center myself, just staring at him, and him staring at me. There was a tickle of recognition towards me in his thoughts, but I’d mostly put his conscious mind to sleep so that he’d be easier to deal with.
I think what bothered me the most was that he wasn’t one-dimensional, or just bad with no excuses or apologies. Yes, Mitch was a psychopath by any clinical definition, and killing animals for fun in secret is a telltale sign that seems to precede any serial killer. But his rationale for why he did it…well…I’d already told Spider there were too many fuckers on this planet. It was a small, but disturbing bit of common ground between me and BS.
Mitch wasn’t one-dimensional. He actually had an argument to justify his actions. It was clear when I delved into it that the justification was just that: It wasn’t the reason he did it at all. He did it because he couldn’t help himself. He just considered himself one of earth’s natural predators, and that what he was doing wasn’t so bad, considering the doom we had already inflicted on our planet.
When he looked at himself, he would think about predators in the wild, and how humans have subjugated all of them. The only effective natural predator of Man on this planet is Man, and certain evolved individuals (like Mitch, as he saw it) were able to play this vital role, and cull the herd. Eventually there’d be a lot more people like him to continue to play this role.
I sat there for a good solid ten minutes, wondering if I had the right to do what I was about to do. Wondering if, hilariously, Bloodstorm’s actions were perhaps the most moral of all of us, when you looked at it from an alien perspective.
But at the end of those ten minutes of speculation, I realized I had to do it for one simple reason: I couldn’t have the deaths of those people on my conscience. Whether it was right or wrong to spare their lives, I simply wasn’t “evolved” enough, according to Mitch, to think nothing of those I was responsible for killing. Whether I let him go now, or whether I did what I said I would do, I couldn’t escape the obvious:
Now that I had him in my hands, what he did next was entirely up to me, and as such I was going to bear full responsibility for it.
I steeled my resolve, dove back into his mind, and got to work.
I passed out in the front seat, I’m not sure for how long, and the blood had tracked and dried down my face, leaking from my nose.
Mitch was shaking me, pushing against my shoulder. “Hey, boss…you okay?”
Boss? Oh, right…I wasn’t sure how far I’d gotten in my conditioning. I peeked into his brain, and got a full-blown migraine for my trouble. I stayed inside just long enough to make sure I’d covered all my bases. Then I backed out, and fished around in the backpack for my prescription painkillers.
“Hey, Mitch, who are you?” I asked, as my hand struggled to find the proper container in the dark.
“I am your little bitch,” he replied, without hesitation.
I chuckled. “Tell me about your penis.”
“It’s the smallest penis in the world. There are fairies with bigger dicks.”
Spider took that moment to chime in, and I felt my phone vibrate, looking down at the notification.
You are such a child.
“You’re only as old as you act on the internet,” I quipped.
So you are five years old?
“Hey, nice of you to add a year to my mental age. What are you doing here?”
You have not moved for two hours. I was wondering why.
“Conditioning fuckface’s brain here. Hey, fuckface!” I said.
“Yeah?” Mitch answered, and I giggled.
Great, he responds to Fuckface. The extent of your vast mind powers fills me with awe.
“Now who’s the wiseass?” I asked. “Now watch this.”
I pointed to a man walking into the rest area. “See that guy, fuckface?”
“I see him,” he replied, and I felt his excitement.
“You want to fuck him up, don’t you?”
“Yes,” he said, and started to tremble.
“That’s what I thought,” I said. “I’m going to go to sleep for a bit.”
Then I flipped my head to one side, let out a loud sigh, and pretended to sleep. I felt my phone vibrate with another message, but I ignored it, as I was trying to prove a point.
After five minutes, I glanced up, and he was still staring eagerly out the window in the man’s direction, but he had not moved. The man walked out of the rest area building, back to his car, and then drove away. I looked down to catch up on my notifications.
OMG he will kill you!
Okay, fine…point made.
“Not quite,” I said. “Fuckface here still has one more thing he’s gotta do before we’re all squared away.”
Mindbender: Hello, fellow villains. I hadn’t been back in awhile. Thought I’d pop in and see what was going on. Heard anything interesting on the news lately?
Scythe: Dude, everyone is looking for you. I didn’t know you were that hardcore.
Mindbender: Yeah, well, I think someone needs to say something about that.
Bloodstorm: Hi! I’m Mindbender’s little bitch.
DeathMonkey: omg it’s true?
Mindbender: Anything else you want to tell the nice villains?
Bloodstorm: I have a very tiny penis.
Mindbender: What else?
Bloodstorm: Killing those people wasn’t Mindbender’s idea. I did that to get his attention.
Mindbender: And you certainly did, my little bitch. But what did you learn today?
Bloodstorm: No one can touch Mindbender. He is the wizard’s tits.
Mindbender: Damn straight.
Bloodstorm: I can’t wait to serve him! It’s what I live for!
Timebomber: Holy shit…this has to be fake
Scythe: Not fake, hacked.
Mindbender: Not everything on the internet is fake. Just almost everything. Hack is true, though. Brain hack.
Bloodstorm: I am so sorry for being an infected cock.
Mindbender: Apology accepted, BS. Though I can’t speak for everyone else. You should probably spend some time making it up to them.
Bloodstorm: I will never do anything like that again. I shall be the best little bitch you’ve ever seen, I promise.
Mindbender: That’s my good little bitch. Well, got a lot to do. See you guys later! As you can imagine, my life is kind of fucked right now, thanks to this little turdblossom. We’ll be in touch. Never forget who you really serve, right?
** Mindbender and Bloodstorm have left **
Dementia: That was fucking AWESOME.
I’ve revised your mental age down to two.
“Clearly, you just don’t like me having fun.”
You had some deniability until you posted that on he.ro. Everyone will see it.
“Good, because now if he ever gets free of me, Mitch here is going to have fun explaining his penis to the rest of the world.”
Is that possible?
“Not really. Everyone is going to assume his penis is pretty tiny at this point.”
You know what I meant. Can he get free of you?
“Nah. I’m pretty much the central reason for his existence at this point. Even if I’m unconscious, he’ll do anything he has to do to keep me safe. He also responds to several new names now.”
“What the fuck, Spider? You told me to make him my slave. That’s what I did. You know this was just a warmup, right? He planned to do something like this in populated areas all over the country.”
It’s still horrifying. I didn’t mean you shouldn’t have done it.
“Then get off my dick. Unless you actually want to get on my dick, in which case we should talk.”
She didn’t respond to that, but I wasn’t surprised.