One Man’s Heaven is Another Man’s Hell…
A drug-addicted psychopath believes he has it made in his little corner of hell on Terra 4. He’s at the top of his game as a local pusher of a new synthetic drug which allows the user to experience any emotion known to man. Never mind that the drug is synthesized from the harvesting of human bodies. The locals come to buy and he gives them what they need. Things change however, when a most unexpected visitor threatens to remove a veil he never knew he was wearing. She seems to have a power over him that threatens the very foundation upon which his life is built. She offers him a deal he can’t refuse. But is his world real in the first place, or is he already rotting in a prison trapped inside a Virtual Sim?
This short story is a stand alone coming from one of P. T. Logos’ collections of SciFi Short Stories. This short story presents a new edition to the great SciFi / Cyberpunk tradition of Charles Stross, Iain M. Banks, Frank Herbert, and Peter Hamilton.
Welcome back everyone. Forgive the delay, just having to get through a bit of security, since tonight we’ll be talking with one of P. T. Logos’ characters. He just happens to be in jail at the moment.
*buzzer, door opens*
I’m expected, Officer. P. T. Logos sent me over.
Yeah, hold on…We’re fetching him. He bit one of the guards.
I hope that he doesn’t think I’m his next meal. That could get kind of ugly.
Just stay on your side of the room…he’ll be shackled.
Hey, hey how you doing? You the big, bad interviewer?
Yes, sir, I’m your expected interviewer.
- How much they paying for for this garbage?
Nothing – except getting to know and understand you a little more.
I’ll start with the most obvious: What brought you to prison?
- awww…ain’t you nice….alright, I signed up for it….let’s get the ball rolling. What brought me here? haha….lawyers…asshole lawyers not doing their job…
There may have been some people who got in my way too…..they’re not around anymore
Uh, huh. What made you need the lawyers in the first place? Most folks don’t.
- I’m not gonna like you, am I? alright, alright. you want the nitty-gritty. I took out some losers who didn’t have much of a life anymore at one point–that much is true. But I paid the price…did my time. I was only playing the game of survival, you understand? People got a need–I just meet it.
you ever shot up feels before?
NOthing like it. I always got the good shit too. I get you happiness cheaper then anywhere else
Back when I was running things anyway
No. I’ve never needed it. Do you … erm … did you do you work in the poorer areas of town?
- haha! that’s great…”poorer areas!” I worked out of a shit-hole city called Cirlos. On terra 4. A place of abandoned dreams and unfulfilled ambition. You wanna know how feels are extracted, do you? Do you know how? Harvesters get them from your pretty organs….
I gave up harvesting though…anything you heard about that is bullshit. I was set up
That sounds horrible and a bit painful. Did you have to worry about being harvested yourself?
- I watched my back, yeah. But I’m the dealer…suppliers like me cause I keep creds in their pockets and users like me cause I keep the feels flowing…
You think Cirlos is bad. the shithole I’m in now is worse.
they got me on some new treatment–Deep Submersion the pricks call it. And that bitch…Dr. Aristelle…she plugs into my fucking brain and scrambles shit up.
Some form of detox?
- nah…I wish…detox is lightweight bullshit compared to this…I detoxed a long time ago. You ever wake up wondering if everything your brain is telling you is real? Well, I don’t even know if I’m really talking to you right now.
I got no REAL life….I go from one VR space to another—only thing is, most assholes–they know if they’re in VR. In Deep Submersion, you never know
That definitely sounds confusing.
Has anyone ever said when you’ll be released, and able to live on your own again?
- Oh, I’ll be getting out sooner than they think…
They call it treatment, but it’s just bullshit torture. They prob send reports to Control telling them I’m doing better. That I’m starting to show remorse, guilt, hurt–all those pretty feel words. they don’t really know anything
That sounds ominous.
Do you have any big plans for the future? (Beyond getting out of here, that is.)
- maybe I come pay you a visit
- haha…I’m just messin’ with ya
Had me going there for a bit.
- I’ll find my place back on Cirlos….stay on the straight and narrow…maybe. Just depends on which way the wind blows….and whoever pisses me off.
One more question, then. If you were to achieve your heart’s desire, what would it be?
- cold, hard cash…..good friends like Spuds…and the world beneath my feet. Might feel good to knock the shit outta some ARM officers once in a while too…just for shits n giggles
So long as it doesn’t get you into more trouble, right?
- I never find trouble….it finds me
Mr. Razier. It has been an interesting conversation.
Guards, thank you for allowing Mr. Logos to arrange the interview.
Yeah, [we’ve] hauled [him] back away. He has a heart somewhere deep down in there. You just have to claw your way through a bunch of garbage first