American Chimera – 20.6

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“And that’s the way it was for two years. I ended up going to therapy, got put on a truckload of medicines, and have been hospitalized three times for psychiatric episodes.” Jen’s eyes welled with water. “And, you know, I see what Vic meant about Dani. She’s a pretty ordinary girl, down in there, and just as nice as they come. But I see what she is, I know what they did.”

The interrogator lifted a brow. “What did they do? Is something wrong with her?”

“There’s headaches, other things. She’s athletically skilled, so her parents have had a pretty easy time covering up how many health issues she’s developed. She’s developed ulcers, had thyroid issues, and has to take a bunch of weird vitamins to account for nutritional problems. Whoever made her was a genius for getting her together in the first place, but they’re evil for letting it happen.”

“You don’t think she deserves to live?”

“I don’t think she should have been created. I’m ambivalent about whether she should die now or not.” Jen blinked her eyes, forcing a tear to run down her cheek. “Honestly, I’m ambivalent whether we should all die or not. Someone obviously made, probably still makes, something that lives in pain. How could we let that happen? Why would a good universe allow that to happen? We’re no better than the damn ape men, not really, so who’s to judge that the human race is worth saving?”

The interrogator crossed her legs. “Several international votes are working towards the goal of keeping humanity safe. We’ve all made many terrible sacrifices, and it’d be terrible to let your service – or mine, for that matter – be in vain.”

“Weren’t you listening?” Jen asked. “It’s already in vain.”

After an uncomfortable moment’s wait, the interrogator uncrossed her legs. “It is my job to interview everyone involved with Dani Huffman and determine if you’re ready to be released. I have to admit that I’m unsure about your case, due to your self-destructive behavior.”

“Hmph. So you’d let me go if I weren’t a loon?”

“I’d be more certain you wouldn’t disclose classified information in effort to harm the world, if you weren’t a ‘loon.”’

Jen released her fists. “What did you do during the war that put such a stick up your ass?”

“The war doesn’t define who I am anymore.”

“It doesn’t?” Jen asked. “I take it back. I’m not the loon here.”

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