They were always assigned a number. Just a number when they came in. I know they were just for experimental use, but they could have at least named these children. Even weird names. Random names. Names you've never heard of, or extremely common names. Names you hear everyday.
But no. It was just a number. The first one was called Number 1. The second, Number 2. And so on. So far, they've gone into the hundreds, the thousands even. We're now up to 2717. I know this only because I saw him, I saw the number. My father let me slip by him in time to see their next victim. A childhood friend of mine. He was apparently -for the most part- brain dead. There was no fixing him at the other hospitals. I stood there, my fourteen-year-old heart beating madly out of shock over what I saw that day. My best friend being carried in on a stretcher. My best friend being used for experimental life-saving surgery. My best friend was about to die in my father's hands.
I never knew what they were doing, but my father assured me they could save him. He told me that they'd finally found a way to save those who were brain-dead. The ones that were supposed to never wake up from their comas. I tried so hard to believe him, but I never knew what was going on, so as you can guess, it was very hard to.
Days passed and I wasn't allowed to see him.
Finally two years.
I had long given up hope for his survival.
There were times where I barely thought about him anymore.
I did have these odd dreams about him, though.
I'd wake up in a cold sweat over it.
I remember in my dreams, standing there, watching him. I'd smile, he smiled too. I'd reach out my hand and in return he'd reach out his own, only for me to find it a mechanical mess. Looking back up at his face, it was all metal. Glowing red eyes, a metal skeleton asking if I knew how to kill a cyborg. That's all he was in the end of the nightmare.
I loved him. He was the frist friend I ever made. The only friend I ever really had.
The point is, as much as I loved my friend,
These dreams had made me really hate him.
Another month passed before I saw him for the first time since that day he went in. My father took me into the ICU. My friend had survived, he told me. He was finally goingto be alright. I smiled. Maybe this would shake those terrible nightmares from my sleep. Finally seeing him after two years of hiding from him.
My father brought me down the row of beds. They all had curtains around them. I knew these were the ones that were failing. There were too many tubes and cords for them to end up surviving. Finally, we stopped and he left me alone. There were no tubes or wires sticking out of my friend's bed curtains. My heartbeat sped up. He was okay, he was really going to be alright. As I pulled open his curtains, my heart immediatly sank.
My friend was not human. He had a large scar running up his right cheek and dissapearing into his hair. His eyes were red. Bright, glowing red and he simply stared straight ahead, his mouth slightly open revealing the tips of metal teeth. He was no longer human. He was nobody. A metal skull in a shell of human flesh. I opended my mouth to speak, but was cut off. He spoke first.
"My name is 2717." He said in a robotic voice.
I stood there, my heart beating madly in my chest. This couldn't be real. It just couldn't be. As I made to leave, he turned his face slowly to look at me. A sad expression fell upon his features and he spoke again.
"Do you know how to kill a cyborg...?" he asked, in that same, robotic voice.