The Devnomicon

The sounds of electrical shocks reverberated throughout the room in front of us, visible to us by one-way glass as the latest failure is dragged out of the room. It's better that way. It makes me feel safe knowing that whatever I did to the body of whoever was inside couldn't know who I was so they could put a dying curse on me, even though I'm not exactly the superstitious type. Though sometimes I wonder if there was a god. Whether he was just as fascinated as I am as to what I am about to do.

The procedure was quite simple. Surgery was performed on a live host, without anesthetics, and they are relieved of all sensory organs, partly to compliment their new appearance after the rehabilitation. Eyes, olfactory glands, and tympanic membranes are all crippled or removed. Then, through an advanced form of electric shock therapy, signals are sent at the right intervals to rearrange the subject's mental state so that it may be more receptive of the serum later in the experiment. During the last stage is usually when the subject expires from stress. The exact details of this procedure became common knowledge soon after we submitted our experiment to our superiors, and I don't have any doubts in my mind that it's intentional. We became instant "heroes" who were going to develop a program to rehabilitate all dissenters, and that put all the more pressure on us to succeed.

It was all science. All of it. At least I think so, but my colleagues still like to pretend like it's a mystical, unknowable force. It's not. I'd studied multiple forms of "witchcraft " and experimental surgery side-by-side. Arithmetic alongside transfiguration. Physics alongside metaphysics. When you really get down to it, they're not really all that different. It's simply just a different set of steps to get a desired result. I puzzled out the methodology of those kinds of things long ago, and I'm still learning. However, this time, I'm on the frontier of a new breakthrough. One to rival even the Protectors.

Sitting in front of me was a puppet. A thing. A husk. I felt nothing as they dragged it into a chair for our latest experiment. As it slid across the ground, I noticed it left a red streak from a bandage wrapped around a stump on the bottom of its ankle. I'm not one to usually ask about where the test subjects come from, but Dr. Maronna, who seems to have a sliver of humanity more than I, said she knew what happened. She always knows what happens. Maybe deep down she relishes in it, or maybe the opposite. I'll never know. We all secretly despise one another for the things we do, but we're all a band of hypocrites. She spoke the corpse's fate.

"This one died trying to run from a sentencing. He was accused of the crime of protest and attempted to flee arrest. His left foot was destroyed through a small rocket deployed through a nearby drone."

I simply look back to the glass as they fit the corpse into the chair, binding its ankles and arms, not saying a word. The sounds of the switches and leather belts tightening, a melody I had heard many a time this past month. It struck me when we first began just how much our experiment resembled the electric chair, a pre-Authority world relic meant for humane execution. However, as the corpse was already dead, in a way, what we built was its exact opposite.

I can't really say that I was in anticipation for what was to come, or that I was on the edge of my seat. I already had my pen positioned over the box that marked "non-desirable results" even before we pressed the switch. In the event that the experiment failed, we simply brought in the next pile of bio-matter and adjusted some parameters in hopes that it was a "desirable" result the next time.

In the event that it was "desirable", it would be a breakthrough more groundbreaking than any of the Protectors. If we ever had the chance to mark that accursed box, the Authority would flood the streets with the friends and relatives who committed crimes and release them back to their loved ones. In a way, they'd be rehabilitated. Instantly the armies of the lawbreakers would turn into the armies of the Authority, with the Protectors being second to the horror as their fellow citizens realized what we'd done when we checked that box. That unholy, life-perverting box. What we mean to do isn't to bring them back whole. We'd learned the method to do that ages ago. What we mean to do is simply to make it so that every citizen could become a Protector. To set a good example and correct their loved ones to not stand in the way of my superiors.

We started the count down. The electrical arcs started again after our assistants slammed the door to the chamber shut.


It didn't do anything.


It began to convluse, but that could just be because of any residual nerve reaction.


We began to saturate the room in the chamber with a gaseous form of what we nicknamed the "Reborn Patriot" serum.


It begins to start breathing, appearing to inhale the serum and taking on a slight purple coloration.


It opened its eye sockets, and begins to look around, almost as if it was in a trance.

I look at Dr. Maronna, and she nods in response. I take off my glasses and take the microphone.

"Who are you?", I say.

In response, it points its face towards the camera, eye sockets opening widely and breaking out into a smile, revealing rotten, decaying teeth. It begins to speak.

"I am John Marquis Roe, a believer in our Righteous World, and I promise to be a new and improved model citizen."

"What do you desire?", I say.

"What everyone else should. To encourage my fellow citizen and loved ones to pursue justice and encourage cooperation with the Authority, like my family." it says.

"What are you willing to do to in pursuit of that goal?", I say.

"What we are all expected to do.", the monster says.

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