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Book: The Nomads and the Mind Machine
Chapter 3: Inconceivable Cruelty

“They appear to be in perfect health.”  Aj Nin said as he examined a small data screen on the side of the silver dome.  “Their sedation is still deep and peaceful.  Their transit to this world was successful.”

“That is obvious.”  A voice said from the far side of the large concrete-walled room.  The man was tall and slim, and his entire body was covered in a thick coating of black fur.  His clothing consisted of nothing more than what looked like a pair of metal boxer shorts, and some metal armbands that ran from his wrists to his armpits.  Yet more metal, in the form of a thick belt, was wrapped around his waistline.  A dense collection of bladed weapons hung from the belt. The man moved smoothly forward, his spindly legs making careful and precise steps.  His weapons jangled as he walked.  He stood next to Aj.  “Open it.”

Aj nodded.  He operated a control on the dome’s rim.  With a whirr of servos and the deep hiss of hydraulics, the front half of the dome lifted up and folded back revealing an inner transparent dome.  A bright light illuminated the dome’s contents.  There, in the centre of a greenish soup of sludge, were two old male humanoid heads.  Their hair, grey and ragged and long, sank down into the sludge.  And so did their straggly beards.  Several pipes and cables were connected up to their necks.

“Wake them now.”

Aj Nin configured some of the controls.  Almost immediately the eyelids of the two heads began to flicker.  He examined the data screen.  “Consciousness is returning.”

The eyes of one of the heads opened.  Blinking rapidly, his eyes looked around, obviously startled.  A few seconds later the eyes opened on the other head.  Their mouths opened and closed like grounded fish.

The furry man spoke.  “Welcome.  I am Yug Evahsadeen”

The head on the left spoke.  “Where am I?  What has happened to me?”  His voice was synthetic and modulated.

“Where you are is of no concern to you.  What has happened to you should be obvious.  You head and the head of your companion have been removed from your bodies, placed in a life-sustaining transparent dome and transported to this place.”

The eyes of the left head looked down at the greenish sludge.  An expression of extreme distress spread across his face.  “Why?!  Why would you do such a thing?!  Where is my body?!”

“Both of your bodies have been vaporized.  You will no longer need them.”

The head on the right spoke, his anguish obvious even in his synthesized voice.  “You cannot to this!  Do you know who we are?!”  His eyes turned and looked at his companion.  “We are the most respected…”

Yug interrupted.  “Of course I know who you are.”  He leaned closer to the dome’s surface.  He smiled, revealing a set of brown teeth.  “It is precisely because of your identities that you are here.  Your supreme intellects are essential to my scheme.  You should be flattered.”

The first head spoke.  “But why did you destroy our bodies?  That is a sick and senseless act of inconceivable cruelty!”

“As I said before, you will no longer need your bodies.  Maintaining their existence was pointless.”

Ignoring the continuing protests of the severed heads, Yug Evahsadeen turned to Aj Nin.  “Reseal the dome.  Have it installed immediately, get rid of the workers, and then initiate the countdown.”

Aj nodded.  “It will be done.”

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