For an Eye – Treatment

Technoia
Jonathan Satchell

The year is 2067. Due to the increase in popularity of technology and wireless communication, and the near obsoletion of automobiles, humans rarely leave home and very rarely interact with one another face to face. Because society has become so dependent on this technology, it has become very cheap and the government even gives much of it away and conducts various tests and experiments.

SIMON is a server at a night-time coffee shop. He and his friend CAMERON are the only two people who work at the shop because there are very few customers. Simon is very skeptical about the technology that has invaded society, and has suspicions that the government isn’t using it for the reasons of benign generosity that it claims. He and Cameron often get into discussions about whether or not using the technology is a good thing.

One day Simon gets to work and Cameron isn’t early like usual. He gets a message that Cameron had an accident and is in the hospital. When he comes to work the next day Cameron is wearing an eye patch. Cameron says that he was trying to fix his terrestrial energy pump and a cord snapped, slicing his face and his eye. Simon half jokes and says he told him so.

The next day Cameron isn’t wearing the eye patch revealing his cyborg eye. Cameron explains that as part of a government experiment, they took out the old defective eye and replaced it with a new, better one which uses artificial nerves connected to his brain so he can see ten times better than before. This causes a heated discussion between them, but once they cool down Simon acknowledges that the eye is kind of cool and even though he has his reservations, he goes along with it and becomes inadvertently intrigued.

Over the next few days Cameron’s actions start to change. He starts to take over orders for every customer, leaving only cleaning and petty tasks for Simon. Usually a handful of the same people will come to the shop, but now strangers begin to visit the shop frequently with a lot of questions for Cameron about the eye. When Simon asks Cameron about the people, Cameron becomes defensive and says “They’re just checking on the progress of my eye. It’s new technology and stuff, you wouldn’t get it.”

Finally Simon decides to get rid of the eye to save Cameron. But there is only one way to do that.

One night Simon tells Cameron that he has to leave early because he doesn’t feel well. He inconspicuously grabs a spoon or knife on his way out. He waits behind the shop and when Cameron leaves he follows him. The two walk long into the night. There are no other people outside so Simon is very quiet, but, even so, Cameron eventually gets the feeling of a presence behind him. There is much starting and stopping and looking and hiding, making the already tedious trip even longer. Finally they reach a bridge. Simon sees the bridge before they arrive and knows that this is his chance. He hurries ahead to the other side of the bridge and as Cameron crosses it he jumps out to confront Cameron.

He tells Cameron that he feels the new eye has turned him into an experiment, a mere lab rat. He pleads for Cameron to stop the experiments before they ruin him. Cameron argues that they are improving him, not ruining him. Simon relents and realizes that Cameron won’t change his mind. He holds his hand out to shake in reconciliation, but once Cameron takes it Simon pulls him close and with his left hand tries to gouge the eye out, or at least damage it. Cameron is fast enough to block and they begin to fight. Eventually Simon gets Cameron up against the edge of the bridge leaning over as he tries to purge his partner of his flaw, Cameron lifts his feet to Simon’s chest and pushes Simon off, but pushes himself backwards over the edge in the process.

Simon turns his back to the edge and waits till he hears Cameron hit the bottom. He starts trembling.

He returns to work the next day slightly unnerved but very relieved. When some of the people, which Simon recognizes as the people that talked to Cameron, come in, they want to know where Cameron is. Simon tells them that Cameron is home sick (but invites them to sit down and have some coffee. He joins them and makes conversation. The conversation starts to get awkward when the subject of the advancement of technology is brought up. The obvious difference of opinion makes the situation rather tense and Simon makes the excuse that the shop is closing, although he generally doesn’t close for another hour.)

As he leaves he is a little unsettled by the men’s visit, but it’s nothing he can’t overlook. He returns the next night just like always.

As he walks into the shop he hears the sounds of Cameron’s footsteps behind him. He turns around, startled but doesn’t see anything. He goes to investigate but finds nobody there. He goes into the shop rather frazzled. He sits behind the counter and tries to get the thought out of his head.

The first customer startles him back to reality. He serves them their coffee and waits for the next customer. He knows that business is sparse, but now the silence overwhelms him. Every little noise is an explosion. The hum of electrical equipment grows louder with every minute. The customer leaves so Simon walks over to clear the table. As he is putting the cleaning supplies away the door opens and he hears what he thinks is Cameron’s voice. He turns around and sees a customer finishing a conversation. As he takes his order, another customer enters and orders while Simon is fixing the first drink. This new customer’s voice is slightly warbled, as if speaking through metal.

After serving the two Simon returns to his place behind the counter and is again left to his own conscious. To distract himself, he pulls out his tablet. Immediately Cameron’s face appears and says “Hey man, sorry I won’t be there today. Gotta rest my eye and all. You understand.” It surprises him and he drops the tablet. The first customer looks up and asks of he’s ok. He says he is and tries to compose himself. He hears the sound of Cameron’s footsteps approaching again. He tries to hide. The first customer leaves. He looks at the time. 12:58 am. The shop closes at 1. He goes to tell the other customer to leave but finds that he’s not where he was. Assuming that he left, Simon continues his work closing up the shop.

On his way home, he has the feeling that he’s being followed. He constantly looks over his shoulder, but sees no one there.

When he gets home he quickly gets in the house and locks the door. As soon as he does he hears a knock on the door. He looks through the peep hole and sees no one there. He hears Cameron’s voice in his head saying “I just need to rest my eye” “check out my new eye, man!” and other quotes from earlier including quotes from the inquisitive men. Simon runs to his room yelling “it was the eye! It made me! I’m sorry Cameron! It was for your own good! Just, just go away!!!!”

Simon wheels around as he hears the warbled voice from the shop behind him saying, “Hello, Simon,” and sees Cameron holding a gun with futuristic enhancements. The two men that spoke to him at the coffee shop are behind Cameron and both of his eyes are cyborg now and his left hand is gone with a futuristic prosthetic in its place.

Simon backs up, finding himself in a corner, saying “I was only trying to protect you Cameron, look what they’ve done, they’ve made you a monster, a robot.” Cameron advances with a cold expression while one of the men says, “But don’t you see? Your friend is now the most perfect human being on earth. Every one of his senses have been enhanced tenfold. I suppose we have you to thank for his little fall, it made our job much easier and our patient much more willing.”

“You’re all monsters, you think you can play God?”

“Oh, we know we can play God, you and your friend will help us prove that, rest assured. Cameron, please escort your coworker and follow us.”

Blackout.

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