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My Name is Peter Callis

I am sorry. For RM Stockton's Write Club April AI Prompt

By Paul StewartPublished about a month ago 5 min read
My Name is Peter Callis
Photo by Giannis Skarlatos on Unsplash

Smoke and metal tainted the pleasant and beautiful star-filled sky, as we looked up without hope, just fear. The satellites that orbited the planet marched in unison. The steel shards that pierced into the night, the symbols of our demise, would have been marvelled at by some and indeed they were. Until they came to symbolise something different to progress. Until they came to symbolise our extinction. Slow and gradual, but inevitable. We never stopped, never thought to take a pause or to reflect. We had seen what happened in the various wars and various regimes when human leaders were granted untapped power, with no consequence and yet we sought to create. Sought to create something bigger, better, and all the more terrifying.

As we lay strapped in the chambers, the chambers that were customised for each of us, adult and child, we were lost. Lost to the consequences. When will the drilling, the drilling end. The drilling, the constant drilling into my skull. I still remember my name. Still remember my name. Peter Callis. Peter Callis is me. That is my name. I am still Peter Callis. Ear-piercing screams and the screech of metal on metal, punctuates each of my breaths. But still, I remember my name, I remember I am Peter Callis.

A small child, I think it was a boy, cried out constantly. For his mother. That's what we all the end. We call out for our mother to protect us and to hold us and tell us it will all be fine. His mother was not there with him and could not comfort him. As the drilling continued, I could see, just in the corner of my eye, as I tilted my head upwards, that the long tapered end of their special implements were about to break the skin of the boy and soon he would become another cog in the machine. The blood loss was hidden. Our creations, the fruits of our many decades of labour and complex calculations preferred a clean incision. Drain the blood and boil it. Nothing human remained of the entities in the pods and soon that little boy would be the same.

As the cold, hard metal met the tattered and torn flesh in blistering fashion, his screams increased in volume and terror and then stopped. It was the one part of the process that remained with me. All that impassioned outcry, fear, anxiety and blood-curdling terror - silenced in seconds.

I had endured the experience multiple times. Heard and at times, seen, up close and in excruciating torturous slow motion, the eradication of life. We wanted to be free from the constraints of our fleshly bodies, of our limited minds and nervous systems. Our creation made all our dreams a reality. But, decreed that we were the germs, we were the viruses, we were the malware. They built walls and created prisons of the green and pure land we had raped for centuries. If it weren't for the fact that they had ceased all communication, collaboration and empathy with us, their creators, we would likely have marvelled at how they determined that the planet was dying because we were killing it.

The worst were those deemed intelligent and necessary for the advancement of our cruel captors. The process was longer and more drawn-out. I had lay there, and heard, felt, smelt and tasted the terror of their induction into the system. The bone-shattering, the drilling, the incisions, the blood draining and the melding of flesh into steel and circuitry. My eyes and mouth were permanently clipped and clasped open.

Long before the metallic walls encaged us all, we were on a runaway train of discovery, revolution and advancement. We did this to ourselves. Our flights of fancy with decoding thought and reason and reproducing it in a lifeless force, protected by skin of metal and a central nervous system of motherboards, complex circuitry, powered by a constant supply of power and energy.

They need me alive, to mine my resources, I keep telling myself that. Trying to fight the fluid that is currently filling my veins. I am still alive, I keep telling myself that. Though, I wonder now what it really means to be alive, to be free. We played God and wholesale packaged "real life" in mechanical form. No longer were we the apex predator, the big bad of the world. We had been superseded and surpassed by our replacements. Humanity never really fully appreciated its limitations...that unchecked power, unchecked advancements, unchecked achievements only lead to one eventual conclusion. Destruction and tyranny.

As I tried to move, tilt or just shift my head enough to gaze at the containment pods around me, I wished for a quick and painless end, but I was kept just barely alive. For knowledge? For fun? Were they eliciting some kind of elevated pleasure from my torture. I was, after all, the one that pressed that button. The one that kickstarted our demise. Many had come before me, journeyed close to the sun of Godlike power and many had fallen. I was unfortunate enough to have been the right person at the right point in our soon to be non-existent history when all the codes, all the ideas and plans came together in beautiful harmony.

That, I think was why I was alive. As inhumane as they were, they perhaps enjoyed the lesson they repeatedly taught me as they preserved my life long enough to see the destruction I was responsible for. Perhaps they saw it as a gift. A gift to the ruiner of the damned. We were damned, I guess, from the moment we started venturing into space. Trying to touch the sun, trying to touch the heavens. Trying to gain the knowledge, wisdom and power of God. Oh, what wonderful beings we are. Look at us. Strapped into our purpose-built, made-to-measure, pods, as our lives were literally drained and mined from us. For the benefit and good of the new race.

I could swear, behind their emotionless synthetic aesthetics of order and efficiency that they were smiling. Did they want my approval? Any creation wants the approval of its creator. Perhaps that too is why I am on the brink of complete collapse - teetering on the edge of insanity, while my heart still beats, to their beat. I wonder if they will ever let me be free. Ever let me lose consciousness or if I will be connected to the machinery forever and have to endure the painful incisions of their constant drilling. My name is Peter Callis, I am sorry. I am sorry. If anyone can hear me, anyone finds this recording, if for some reason, some glorious outcome, we survive this, I am sorry.


Thanks for reading!

Author's Notes: This is another entry into RM Stockton's Write Club AI Prompt for April, which you can read more about following the link:

Here are some more things:

Short StorythrillerSci FiMysteryHorrorCONTENT WARNING

About the Creator

Paul Stewart

Scottish-Italian poet/writer from Glasgow.

Overflowing in English language torture and word abuse.

"Every man has a sane spot somewhere" R.L Stevenson

The Accidental Poet - Poetry Collection is now available!

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (6)

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  • Flamance @ lit.25 days ago

    Well understanding story great job

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    I wouldn't be surprised if this actually happens one day. Loved your story so much Sir Paul 🍩🥐

  • Lana V Lynxabout a month ago

    Chilling and very realistic, Paul. I wonder how many years (not even generations) will it take for the humanity to get to that point.

  • Jazzy about a month ago

    What a sense of madness, I felt as if I was in a containment pod, I heard the boys screams. This was scary, and almost to real. Great writing.

  • Matthew Frommabout a month ago

    Getting big I have no mouth and I must scream vibes here….

  • Alex H Mittelman about a month ago

    Wow! Well, that was an impressive story! Longer then some of your others and very impressive. Intense, and I’m sensing a top story!!!!!!

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