I think the best warning for this one is: This creeped me out. No body horror but brain horror.
“We have an agreement.” The woman’s smile was fake. “You signed the papers, the money has been deposited, and you are ready to comply.”
“Yes.” Tepha nodded shortly. “You have my thumbprint. You have my consent, and I’ve seen the money in the account.” She put down her Access – the cheapest possible one, but it did show her things like bank accounts. She’d done the three swipes necessary to take the account out of her name. She couldn’t touch it anymore, and that was important.
“Good. Now, I know you’ve probably heard some things about the Procedure. Half of those are lies and the other half… well. You’ll find out soon enough.”
Considering the things Tepha had heard, that was not remotely comforting.
It didn’t need to be. She wasn’t here for comfort.
She sat down in the chair the woman indicated. She closed her eyes.
“We can’t sedate you for this part, but don’t worry. Most people lose consciousness very quickly.”
She didn’t know if that was a good thing. She knew – if half the rumors were true – that nothing was the same after you’d been Zonked. She knew – if even a quarter of the rumors were true – that it wasn’t reversible.
None of that mattered.
The wires attached to her head. The pill set on her tongue, a wafer that tasted fakely of fruit. She felt it dissolve. She felt a sudden jolt of pain. And then…
Then she felt nothing.
“There we go.” The woman removed the wires and waved her hand in front of Tepha’s face. The eyes tracked. There was no expression.
“Good.” The woman nodded. “Stand up and go through the blue door. Follow the instructions you are given.”
Zonked people were cheaper than robots, could often still handle independent thought, and the price of feeding and housing them was minimized by their lack of want. If the woman found them creepy… feeling was not part of her job description either.
The woman who had been Tepha did as she had been told. There was nothing in her to suggest any desire to do otherwise.
Written to July 19th’s Thimbleful Thursday prompt: Zonked OutWant more?