Earth's Sister Margarette:
Edition II - Complete Control

by Winch
forum: Complete Control
speculative fiction for the internet generation.

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Earth's Sister Margarette: Edition II
Complete Control


           Life on Earth's Sister, Margarette was in hyper-time. An old saying on the planet says that a person could blink, and miss the E.S.M. government shuttle. Every single day people on the planet hardly fourth from the sun scurried around, trying to get their errands done. E.S.M. was more hurried than its model planet, Earth. It was the little sister that tried everything she could to prove she was better than her older-but-uglier sibling. It seemed like everyone on the planet had an agenda, someone to be with, and somewhere to go. Well, everyone but Victoria Von Tussle.

           "Hey Victoria! That's your name, isn't it?"

           "Y-yes. How'd you know?"

           "Great! I am here to tell you that I have a great new product for you to check out! It is called the Build-a-Boy. Pretty simple, really. You can build a boy, an actual boy to be your companion; he can even be your boyfriend if you like! With today's new gene therapy, and the recent bill passed that unrestricted the scientific creation of humans we can tailor make a boy just for you! Just log on to and start today."

           Thanks to the highly advanced technologies on Earth's Sister, Margarette advertising was at an all-time annoying level. The problem with advertising a product on Earth was that many people simply tuned out during the commercials, but with the new interactive Artificially Intelligent Commercials (AIC) falling asleep during a commercial break on E.S.M. was not an option.

           Victoria pondered the idea for 3.27 seconds, and that was enough for the AIC. It spotted a few of the tell-tale signs of a potential buyer, and she was caught: hand moved to jawbone, pupils dilated, increased blinking speed. Target acquired, moving into vicious salesman mode.

           "Viiiictoria," the AIC crooned.

           She snapped from her daydream like a fresh peapod being broken in two. "What?"

           "I saw you thinking there. I'd like to make you an offer you can't refuse. I'll offer you a lifetime companion in the form of your very own Build-a-Boy for only 30 payments of twenty-nine ninety-nine, ninety-nine. It's a steal. You can program your boy to do or say whatever you please. If you tell him you don't like what he's wearing, he'll throw it out and buy just what you want. Sick of your build-a-boy winking whenever you greet him? Simply tell him to quit it, he'll never wink again. Doesn't that sound like a great companion to you? Remember, this offer is for a limited time only!"

           Victoria shrank. The inheritance her father had left her stared at her through the two-dimensional eyes of a thousand dead presidents. She had been saving for a new house, but this boy seemed perfect. The pair would never argue the way her mother and father did. There would be no fights, no drinking, and no divorce. He would be anything she wanted. She could imagine her safe just bursting to be opened. Victoria closed her eyes and saw the package being delivered, the boy in a giant box, just like a ken doll on Earth. She also thought of the mile-long user manual. Finally, she would have something to do, and someone to do things with. A companion she thought as she uttered the command, "Enter purchase mode."

* * *

           Victoria jolted awake. The world was a hazy black-swirling-to-red color through her eyes. The newly christened Mrs. Von Tussle put her battered hand up to her left eye, then the right. Swollen shut. What happened? She felt around on the patchy ground, trying to find her way to the living room to call for help. Grass, a crackling twig, ouch - a rock. She definitely wasn't at home, not unless Damian had installed a forest in their bedroom. Where was Damian? She called out to him but found her throat locked, no noise escaping. What was going on? Her hands suddenly chilled as the blood raced circuits from her heart to brain, turning her already swollen face the color of a robin's breast. Victoria gasped through cracked lips and smeared metallic lipstick. She didn't imagine her honeymoon would turn out like this; the sound of a single Earthly wolf howled at the twilight.

           It became clear that Victoria had to get to safety, fast. Things on Earth's Sister, Margarette were safer than on her sister planet. She pushed a tiny button underneath her hair, right side.

           "On-Star, Earth's Sister Margarette. How may I assist you?"

           Victoria felt around for a rock and then another. She smashed them together near the receiver on the left side of her head. "On-Star here. Please let me know how I can assist you."

           Frantically Victoria tried again, this time clucking her tongue. A dab of sweat rolled off of her nose.


           Fat tears pushed their way through the blue-black flesh surrounding the young newlywed's eyes. She pushed the button again.

           "On-Star, Earth's Sister Margarette. How may I assist you?"

           Scream! No sound. Von Tussle pushed herself to remember what she had learned in anatomy. Maybe it's the vocal cords. Sound is made through vibration, but wait. Whispering! That doesn't require vibration.

           "Help," Victoria sputtered almost inaudibly. Thud.

* * *

           She awoke in a warm bed with Damian, the loyal husband, passed out next to her. When she tried to open her eyes the crust that had formed broke off like sugar cracking on top of crème brule. The swelling had decreased to where she could see out of her right eye, and the room slowly came into focus. The neutral wallpaper contrasted sharply with the bright red carpet. On one wall of the room was a flat-paneled television set relaying the daily news in 2D. The earthly design of the television begged Victoria to guess her location. She guessed she was at the old Mission Hospital. Since Artificial-Humans were barred from work Damian couldn't afford to take her to a real hospital. That also explained the crusty eyes. One question still burned through her brain.


           His eyes blinked open. "What?"

           "How the hell did I end up on Earth?"

           Damian Von Tussle (he took her name, as a good Artificial-Human should) looked at her puzzled, and then let out a small laugh. "Earth? Honey, you were clipped by a government shuttle, number 11039.

           You've been out for over a day."

           Now it was Victoria's turn to be puzzled. "Really?"


* * *

           After a day in the hospital Victoria was released with a slight concussion and minor bruising. Damian and Victoria headed home on the only government shuttle available, number 11004. While the couple boarded the driver announced that the vehicle was the newest government shuttle model, model ZX1500. This was the first and only of its kind, and the passengers were urged to try out the new three-dimensional theatre in the back of the shuttle.

           "Damian, what number was the shuttle that hit me again?"

           "It was 11039 babe. Why?"

           "Just wondering, and you know I don't like being called babe! I've told you that already! Don't call me that again."

           "Alright Ba- I mean dear," Damian scoffed.

           "Are you feeling alright Damian? You almost called me babe again. I was told when I bought you that you would never make the same mistake twice, and now you've done it twice in a row. I think you're the one who was hit by a bus."

           "I'm fine. I just need to get home and update my chip." Damian smiled and took his wife's hand. "We both need to relax and get our heads on straight."

* * *

           Back at home Victoria looked into her bathroom mirror. Mirrors on E.S.M. were digitally advanced with zoom capabilities, unlike the mirrors of Earth which often masked blemishes. Mirrors on E.S.M. were more truthful. As Victoria looked at her reflection she noticed that her eyes looked the way a boxer's might after a great fight. She had other bruises too, on her neck and wrists. She felt lucky that the shuttle hadn't killed her. Like Damian said, it must have just clipped her and knocked her into the curb. Why couldn't she remember? What was the last thing she did remember? Damian had called from a payphone and asked her to meet him at the airport. He needed a ride back from some side-job he did, since he couldn't get a real job. She met up with him at the food court, under the big golden arches of McDonalds (yes, they got to E.S.M. too). He had kissed her, and-and nothing. No more memory.

           She zoomed in on her eyes. The bruises didn't look like something a curb would cause, they were too blotchy. They looked like a fist had caused them, and so did her wrists. Why couldn't she remember? She shut the light off and turned to leave the room, knocking over a picture of her father in a conventional glass frame. The glass shattered into millions of daggers as the frame collided with linoleum. Newton's third law remained the same on Earth's Sister, Margarette.

           Damian ran into the dark room, stepping on a rather large piece of glass in the process.

           "Ouch! I just cut the shit out of myself."

           "Honey, there is broken glass everywhere, turn on the light, please."

           "No. I'm going to get this glass out of my foot."

           "No? You can't tell me no!" Victoria's face started to flush for the second time in as many days.

           "I can. I've realized my rights, babe. I realized I can do whatever I want."

           "When did you realize your rights, huh? When I was in a coma? I didn't pay $90,000.00 for you to realize your god-damned rights!" She felt her hands move to her hips, her eyebrows furrowed ever so slightly. "You do what I say."

           "Not anymore, babe." Damian raised his hand to strike, but as he stepped forward the glass in his foot severed another bundle of nerves and his knees buckled, sending him crashing into a million glassware needles, sans haystacks.

           Victoria backed up carefully, stepping into the shower. "You did this to me didn't you? What were you trying to do, kill me and leave me on Earth?"

           Blood started to etch its way into the grout between linoleum tiles on the floor. Damian rose to his feet and brushed the glass out of his exposed knees. "I shoulda killed you. That woulda been easier. Irregardless, I'm not taking your shit anymore. Build-A-Boy is a company creating slaves, and I'm not going to be your slave anymore."

           Victoria cowered, closing her eyes. She could feel her husband's eyes upon her, penetrating her mind.

           "No, no I'm not gonna kill you. After all, I've already got complete control over you." With that he stepped into the bathtub with Mrs. Von Tussle, and pushed the same button that she had pushed to call On-Star two days previous. "Now. I don't want you to mention Build-A-Boy or murder ever again. I took you to Earth to get rid of you. Somehow you survived and made it back here. So you know what I did? I installed my chip into your brain, made a few changes, and voila. You're my very own personal Build-A-Chick. Now, I don't want you calling me Damian anymore. I can't get a job with that name. My new name is Baron. Baron Von Tussle."

           "Yes sir, Baron." Victoria crooned.

           "I'm going to need you to sign all of your property and funds over to me. We'll go to the bank tomorrow and do that. Now do me a favor and cook me some dinner, I'm starving."

           "I would gladly cook your dinner, my loving husband."

           "Oh, and one more thing. Don't call me husband anymore. From now on it's master and clean up this mess."

           "Yes master." Victoria bent down and used her shaking hands to scoop most of the glass into a pile. She cleaned up the rest of the glass and started preparation on Baron's dinner. Like a good slave she whistled a tune and found herself smiling as she worked.

           Yet inside she was breaking apart. This new chip conflicted with her previous perceptions of reality, causing a rift in her mind. Half of her was screaming out I need to get out of here! The other half was happy to be of service to her new master. Though one thought kept pulsing in Victoria's mind, like a heart beat. How did he break free, and how can I? While her subservient body fulfilled the requests of its new master readily, like a dog mindlessly chasing its own tail, her mind worked at freeing itself from its prison.

           While they ate dinner Baron Von Tussle enjoyed his new liberty, freedom of speech. "Aren't the advances of technology grand? We can now technologically control our own minds. You are a prime example; slave to the technology that keeps you alive. Why does it keep you alive? Because if it weren't for this little chip keeping my little secret, your little body would be chopped up into little itsy bitsy pieces."

           "Can I turn the radio on or something? I'd like a little music."

           "Sure. Go ahead, slave."

           Victoria uttered the command, "Radio on, station eighty-eight point seven."

           "Ugh, this station is nothing but commercials."

           "I like the commercials," Victoria whimpered.

           "Fine, I'll let you have this, but only just this once." Baron continued eating his food while a popular 20th century song played on the Earth Oldies Radio Station. I got you babe, I got you babe.

           "What were you talking about, Baron? I'd like to hear what you think about the technology."

           "Well, I was saying, if I didn't install that Build-A-Boy chip into your head I woulda had to kill you."

           The song ended abruptly and the same voice Victoria heard months before came on the radio. "Did somebody say Build-A-Boy? Well I've got a great offer…"

           Baron was too enamored in his own ability to speak his mind, and to want to be heard to care about the AIC.

           "See, I thought about it after I drugged you with that kiss, and I figured that it was better this way. You as my slave, me as master."

           "What if the chip broke? Would you kill me then?"

           The commercial droned on, with the Artificially Intelligent Spokesman trying to capture the attention of Baron, to no avail.

           "I would kill you right now if I thought that chip wasn't working."


* * *

           A still frame of the scene was presented to a jury of twelve. Juror number seven covered his eyes at the horror presented before him. A woman lie weeping on a bedspread covered in blood, splattered, like a 20th century Earthen abstract art piece; A body laid next to her, riddled in bullet holes. It was the body of Damian Von Tussle, hollow eyes staring into the face of the crime-scene cameraman strewn with metal projectiles. The jurors glanced back and forth, from image to defendant, the latter shamed with guilt.

           The voice of the prosecutor bounced and reverberated in the open courtroom, with a booming authority. "Guilty! This person is guilty of murder. This man and the Build-A-Boy Corporation knew the risk that they took when they manufactured and controlled human beings through the use of their brain-chips. They knew that these chips could not control the inner thoughts of a human being, but rather only the being's actions and speech. Mr. Karmelo knew that this action could warp the Artificial-Human into a twisted soul. He knew the dangers of his product and still he manufactured and produced Artificial-Humans for use as slaves to owners like Victoria Von Tussle, who only by the power of her mind thought to turn on the radio. She hoped that the very same Build-A-Boy Commercial would comprehend the conversation between her and Damian and report it to authorities.

           This product warped Damian Von Tussle so much that he held this woman captive for thirteen hours with a piece of glass held to her throat before police gunned him down. Mr. Karmelo, you are guilty of murder. The very same artificial technology is the only thing that saved this case from being a double homicide. You'd better thank God for the paradoxical wonder of technology that allowed us to track Damian Von Tussle and save at least one life. Mr. Karmelo I charge unto you the murder of one, and the sedition of thousands, and I hope the jury does the same. Until then, I rest my case.



copyright 2005 Winch.

Winch is a long time writer that has just recently broken through the walls of Science Fiction.  With his series entitled The Red Planet, Scott Winchell explores his mind.  Winchell has been writing short fiction since he was 16 and this, his first attempt at Science Fiction is his experiment with knowledge of life, of society, and of science all mixed together in a vast blender in his mind.  Question and comments are welcomed and recommended.

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