I’m inhuman. Subhuman, really. I know because they tell me this frequently. It’s not always spoken — although they’ve done that too. But, it’s obvious because of the little things.
The smaller cage. The moldy food. The testing rate — that’s the surest sign. Most of the human specimens at The Beta Jensen Center for Genetic Research don’t suffer through three, sometimes four tests a day. I think the human Congress passed a law guaranteeing no more than one test per week on ninety-nine percenters. There were other restrictions for ninety-nine percenters as well — certain pain levels couldn’t be exceeded and some kinds of corporal punishment are forbidden.
“Move,” it’s a grumble, barely intelligible.
It comes from a large, two-legged beast-like creature with heavy brows and a deep guttural voice. He’s obviously not a ninety-nine percenter. He’s lucky if he has ninety-five percent human DNA.
I move quickly to get out of his way, but not quickly enough. With a shove, he pushes me towards the wall and my head hits the peeling plaster. I shrug my shoulders and find a corner with relatively little fecal matter and drop to the floor in exhaustion.
This week has been bad. I’ve had multiple tests every day so far. They call them tests but I’m pretty certain some of the staff just enjoy torturing us. The one they call Dan doesn’t even hook me up to the instruments sometimes — he just hits me over and over, screaming obscenities until I pass out.
Some of us have names. I call myself George–an inside joke based on a cartoon I saw before they took away our television.
Most of us don’t have names. Most of us are like the brute that just gave me a splitting headache–lucky to know a word or two. Anyone below ninety-five percent human DNA generally can’t speak and some of the animals created in section nine are so uncontrollable they euthanize them almost immediately.
Eventually I fall asleep in my filthy corner of the cage but I have fitful dreams. Screams and obscenities rage through my mind and I frequently wake to find the pain in my dream is only sharper when I awake.