Because without our records, none of us really exist.

It took four weeks for the new regime to find me. Four weeks from inauguration day. I never wanted to be political—I was happy just to be able to see.

Forty years without being able to see anything. Maybe a whisper of hearing around the edges. Helen Keller with a computer. It took a year to train my brain to receive impulses from the new eyes. Two years to learn to hear properly, no extra charge.

I was their proof-of-concept. If the doctors could train a fully-grown brain to accept the bionics, they could market them to everybody. Infrared, ultraviolet, colors from everywhere, see in the dark. Better than the real thing. Safer.

No more accidents in the dark.

Yeah, I can see in the dark. And I can see security sensors and scanners. I can hear ultrasonics. Takes getting used to. Brain's gotta adapt, make new wires for itself. Takes a while—about ten years worth to go from blind and deaf to walking around sensor pools.

That's why they've got me in here.

Another 600 ticks till I beat 8 hours. If I'm lucky, the candle will burn out by then. Buy me a few more hours. Eyelids feeling like a bad case of jock itch already. I can see the flame there, past my lids, like a sloppy watercolor. IR does that.

A prototype, right. Yeah. Too dangerous to rip them out and replace them—the nerves would have to be rebuilt. Or something. I had to resort to contact lenses to filter the signal. Doctors didn't think it would be a problem.

Not a problem? You try looking at a burning match in full spectrum from microwave to X and tell me if you don't feel like someone shoved a serrated bread knife through your skull. Even the brain can overload.

I wish I was blind again. If I was, they'd never have come for me.

But I'm their symbol. Everything that's wrong with the new world. Not even human anymore—not with these eyes. I have to face judgment for my abomination. For playing God.

The candle is their purification. They're recording the whole thing—I can hear the CCD cycling sixty times a second in their see-in-the-dark security cam. They'll show the whole world how weak we really are.

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