Pride and Punishment

Pride and Punishment

I think it is time for me to shed some light on what the government has unleashed on our country and our - increasingly harder - efforts to contain the fallout. Because now I, too have made it on their list and I can’t say I’m surprised.

Maybe I should start with a bit about myself: I am part of a government program called Fallen Angel that started out in an attempt to create a kind of ‘super soldier’ - like that has ever gone well.

The thing though is that in our case it somehow did, me and mine turned out exactly like the guys in white lab coats had planned. I asked them once why and they told me the reason none of us lose our minds or something is that they did not try to create something unnatural, instead they only searched for a way to unleash a human’s full potential. Let me explain: You ever heard that quote about how we only use ten percent of our brains? That quote is mangled and originally talked about using just ten percent at a given time but with our bodies we actually do use maybe thirty percent at most. You can occasionally read stories where people pushed boulders several times their weight away to avoid getting crushed, or somehow falling off a balcony and surviving without any lasting damage, stuff like that.

Our scientists looked at those stories, verified some of them and ultimately came to the conclusion that for some reason a lot of our bodies’ potential is merely locked - by our brains. By studying brain activity of Olympic weight lifters and others accomplishing astonishing feats they figured out a common denominator, managed to turn it into a drug you could sell to anyone able to afford it.

Of course you can imagine how much the government liked that result, and of course you can imagine that they moved hell and earth to prevent this discovery from becoming common knowledge. I would know, I played my part in shrinking the circle of those in the know. I understood it, all of us were pulled from existing military programs, from some odd places even and we all had our share of life experience before entering Fallen Angel. At this point there are maybe a hundred people on this planet who know of Fallen Angel - and the President of the United States is not among them. Nor his predecessor, nor even his direct staff. There is one General working for another general who reports to the White House, I am not exactly sure who he is but the need-to-know stops there. At this level any man with political considerations on his mind becomes a liability.

But back to the program itself. Because the drug needs to be replenished every other week they have a good bit of leverage over us, but honestly it’s not bad. There is a withdrawal period, but it’s possible to get through it and a handful of people have indeed chosen to retire and no one bothers them in their remote cabins or cutesy suburban homes. Honestly life is pretty good, the work we do matters - good or bad - and if we need something we get it.

And that makes all the sense in the world because the whole reason we are so busy is because of the few people for whom good pay wasn’t enough. You see, originally the program was called just Angel which was a funny acronym for ‘Augmented New Generation ELite’. During the testing stages someone in a rare case of decency decided that we might as well test the results helping those in need. Weird, I know but regardless that is what happened and many of us spent years helping out in countries struck by disasters. If you look closely at news report of the ‘heroes’ of any given disaster you might find a couple of us. Anyway, when tests came to a close and it became apparent that unlocking the full potential and therefor success was within reach everything changed.

Everyone had their own dreams and plans for what to do with this technology, but not everyone could handle the inevitable truth that the government would exploit the program for their benefit and their benefit only. I already mentioned that I was part of the clean-up, some good men and women died in the conclusion of Project Angel and I considered many of them my friends. But it had to be done, a technology like this is nothing to make available to the general public, that would create incredible chaos. Just think about a drug that would render ninety percent of security on the whole planet obsolete. Everyone could look at a locked door and just kick it in, everyone could smash heads and break necks because this thing does not make you invincible. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, it just wasn’t an option.

Of course there were some who escaped the net we cast, inevitable when you deal with people smart enough to create life-changing drugs and analyse brain waves. Many knew what was coming, or feared it at least and had long decided to hedge their bets and prepare for the worst case scenario. It also shouldn’t come as a surprise that many of those had copied their research, stockpiled Angel for themselves and spent their significant wages on flight plans.

It also should come as no surprise that those people have little love in their hearts for us, people who dedicated their lives and efforts to a cause only to be betrayed when the time came to reap what we had sought. Men and women who used to be part of a secretive family and now spend the remainder of their days in solitude and paranoia while we are on their trail. It was at this point that the program was renamed to Fallen Angel and a great deal of our time was allocated to hunting them down.

And again I was okay with it, as much as I could understand their situation I still had no issues playing my part in keeping things under wrap. In fact put under pressure you could see their true personalities, half of them thought running straight to the Russians was a good idea - as if the Russians ever had any intention to do good with a discovery like that. The other half, well most of them simply went dark, went silent and I got to visit a whole bunch of remote, clandestine places over the following years.

We dealt with the turncoats first, you can understand how it became a priority to avoid any actual intel leaking over to the Russians. We had all the advantages over them, a massive network and all the resources we could want and after hooking into national security databases we identified likely contacts for anyone willing to trade hot information. We had to burn some assets, had to do some counter intelligence and before they knew it we lay in wait where they thought safety waited for them.

Honestly I never hesitated during those first few months, if your answer to betrayal is to betray the betrayer as much as everything you once stood for you don’t have to expect mercy from me. I like to think we did everything right with our limited resources, keeping things under wrap had the highest priority. However, once things quieted down a little I was pulled out of the field and reported directly to the Director of the strategic team. I guess I did my job well or something. Anyway, it was then that I got a chance to grasp how we had been so focused on containing one fire that we had allowed another to grow exponentially in the meantime.

I guess it’s not surprising that many of those who went off the grid did not just hunker down and wait for us to come, but instead opted to fight back. I looked at a long list of incidents and reports, freak attacks on government places as much as random sabotage that was clearly not done by ‘mere humans’. Think a government depot where the second floor metal door was simply bent upwards to get inside with no way to get any heavy machinery up there, stuff like that had cops scratch their heads all over the world.

About K. P. Monkey

K. P. Monkey has been writing for more than two days now.