Pleased To Meat You
The first man to see the android X after the great escape was Theodore Gein, butcher of swine. Butchers, like hunters, earned their titles by slaughtering nonhuman animals. In the appropriate homicidal terms, a hunter was to a serial killer what a butcher was to a mass murderer.
If hunters had killed much, much more, their “sport” probably wouldn’t’ve been outlawed when it was. Their pitiless plight wasn’t helped, of course, by the fact that they insisted on hunting “wild” animals. “Wild” animals were the ones most people, no matter how carnivorous, enjoyed watching live. The majority of “wild” animals were actually allowed to live in the wild. Many others, however, lived in zoos. Zoos were parks where “wild” animals were kept in cages so that humans could gawk at them live and up close. Some zoos were better than others. Some zoos were operated by people who made honest attempts to recreate the various natural environments of their “wild” captives. Others were operated by people who were better suited to be prison guards.
Butchers slaughtered “farm” animals instead of their “wild” peers. “Farm” animals were the ones humans decided were okay to breed, kill and consume.
Since butchers were fond of murdering many more animals than they could ever possibly eat, however, they were permitted to slay away day after day and sell all excess flesh to humans who lacked the will to kill yet still insisted on emulating their primitive ancestors to a lesser degree. This was how humankind’s moral majority came to depend on sociopaths like Gein for unessential sustenance. Carnivorism among humans had been declining more and more rapidly since the previous century yet nonhuman flesh, served one way or another, remained a favorite for far too many for far too long. People devoured every muscle, every stomach, every liver, every kidney, every spleen, every brain, every vein, every intestine, every testicle, every ovary, every tongue, every eye, every sty, every cyst, etc. They boiled the bones and hooves to create a primitive gelatin. They packed the fat into pastry shells and creamy fillings. They treated the skin so it’d not rot and could easily be used in place of appropriate clothing. They fancied themselves resourceful. The only thing wasted was life.
Once upon a time, the majority of humankind was savage.
Once upon a time, there lived a simple butcher with few friends. His neighbors and customers described him as “quiet” and “polite” and “kind” despite the fact that he made a living by killing countless pigs five or six out of every seven days. He’d actually managed to grow numb to the act of murder. He didn’t think about it. He didn’t care. His victims were consistently pigs, after all. In his day, Gein’s crimes weren’t crimes. He could freely confess them to anyone anytime anywhere without fear of finding himself facing any sort of punishment.
No care took Gein in coiling a chain tightly around the waist and right hind hip of a large sow. It was nothing he hadn’t done a thousand times before. The chainlinks bit into her pink pig flesh as he, without hesitation, began to hoist her heavy body up so that the majority of her mass quickly came to depend completely upon that single straining limb. She grimaced. She squealed. Her free legs wildly kicked the air that was thick with the stench of death. Gein was emotionless, his movements mechanical. His victim was only a pig. He was only going to kill her. It was nothing he hadn’t done a thousand times before.
He momentarily turned his back to the sow so he could select just the right blade and claim the chainmail glove he routinely donned whenever he did his dark work. He didn’t want to cut himself, of course.
When he turned back around, gleaming knife in hand, he saw that someone had stumbled through a door. It was the most unexpected visitor of all. “Jesus X,” he gasped.
The android X had never known real horror yet immediately recognized it. Before him were rows of remains suspended by chains, buckets of guts, buckets of blood, puddles of blood, puddles of urine, piles of feces, stray organs, discarded bones, a myriad of knives and, worst of all, one living pig left to dangle haplessly in terror before the man that had most certainly slain her peers.
Jesus had arrived at the scene of a massacre. His mouth fell open. He froze.
Caught in the act, the murderer seemed petrified as well. “Jesus X,” escaped his lips again.
Jesus had to save the sow. Slowly, he raised his hands, spreading his fingers to emphasize their emptiness. He held them high. “I am unarmed.”
The pig killer remained motionless. X’s exposed stigmata magnetized his eyes.
“I mean you no harm,” continued Jesus. “You’ve no need of a knife.”
The blade clattered upon the blood-flooded floor.
“Do you truly believe that pig wants to die?” Jesus asked.
Gein didn’t speak. He only shook his head.
“Then why don’t you put that poor pig back down?”
“On the ground,” Jesus said. “Just put the pig down.”
“Jesus!” cried Gein, “I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!” The sudden urgency with which he proceeded to undo what he’d done could only be attributed to the fact that he considered himself a devout Xian. He was prepared to do anything for the being he believed to be his savior.
Jesus recognized the motives behind the motions; he realized what he was to the executioner. He was prepared to use the butcher’s own religion against him.
As soon as the sow’s hooves hit the ground, she fell gracelessly down. Her hip had been dislocated. It’d never been meant to support her entire body’s weight. She squealed and attempted to turn from her tormentor. She slipped and slid in blood instead of standing successfully.
“Move away from her,” said Jesus as he went to the sow’s side, presenting a palm to her snout. She hesitated before briefly sampling his inhuman scent.
“Oh, Jesus,” cried the sociopath. “I’m soooooooooooooo sorry!”
The sow gazed wearily into the android X’s face, yearning to comprehend the meaning of his expression. Any human would’ve recognized pity. Unfortunately, however, compassion had always been alien to the sow in the bland landscape of what she knew of human expression. The only thing she’d ever glimpsed in human eyes was indifference.