Fred was certain that everything’d gone according to plan.
Sure, it was only the third time he’d been called upon to complete the procedure. But why should he worry? It was the first thing they’d taught him at the Neural Corps Academy, a matter of routine that even those struggling with the coursework could exact if necessary. And he wasn’t no goddamn wash-out, he was quick to remind himself while taking a deep whiff of the checkered material.
He was Fred DeCoup. First, a child prodigy. Then, the star student-cum-valedictorian. And at twenty-two, the youngest cadet awarded the position of Reprogrammer General .
Needless to say, Fred was more than a bit startled when the subject woke up screaming. Typically, subjects’ reentries into consciousness are marked by outward expressions of tranquility, sometimes even gratitude. But when XT-203 came to, he was writhing with hatred and spitting vitriol.
“You piece of shit! You raped me! I remember everything! Release these clamps so I can tear out your throat!”
Fred DeCoup dropped XT-203′s boxer shorts from under his nose. He froze. He knew that everything hadn’t gone according to plan, that he’d made an error of the most egregious sort.
In his perverted ecstasy, Fred had forgotten the most important rule: always run a mind-wipe.