Monkey by Osman Naeem

They came like Wall Street protesters, they took our food, they shat in our water tanks, they stomped on our hopes. Two weeks ago, Captain Smeagol called for shots to celebrate the success of Project Copper Ape’s launch. Two days ago, Captain Smeagol’s intestines were crocheted on the circuit boards of Charles’ banana dispenser.
According to the job description, without paraphrasing of any kind, Project Copper Ape was established primarily to study the behavior of brains in primate species. And also to aid in the research of animal fornication. This according to the job description was done only to fully utilize the funding and to make sure no resources were left unused. I don’t blame them, it’s been a hundred and forty years since the release of the first fully optional three dimensional copulation simulator prototype. Since then a boner became the literary equal of a blue moon. This was because of desensitization according to scientists. This was because one does not desire what one has too much of and is fed up of according to philosophers. This was because gratitude dilutes through generations according to my mother. At least the second reason does some poetic justice to the budget, even if it wasn’t printed in bold letters.

The chances of such a tragedy were almost as frequent as a boner. Charles was a Pan paniscus bonobo, exceptionally intelligent for a monkey. Captain Smeagol was exceptionally pure for a Homo sapien sapien, now that most of us are dominated by subspecies homodiabeetus sapien and homoegonarcissisto sapien. He was British, a biomedical engineer with military experience, and a vivid thinker; the perfect leader for such a leap. He was ‘2152 sapien of the year’ according to Consumer’s Magazine. He was known for innovating breakthroughs that arose from him having dilemmas quite often. His death was such a shame.
I was a mechanic at the research facility, partly responsible for Captain Smeagol’s permanent existential crisis. I’m also a closet atheist. But it’s not my fault completely. My laziness just made throwing people into a machine less effortful for Charles the bionic ape aka the cyborg motherfucker. I left the rotor naked. But! I also left a warning sticker beside it.

Before the brain transplant, Charles was a bright ape, he learnt sign language, could memorize 20 character long patterns, and play chess. But he was chosen for another reason. Charles would get harder than copper, he would do pushups without using his arms. He was like the lovechild of an Ancient Egyptian couple, a result of successful inbreeding. After the part organic part biomechatronic brain was surgically inserted into his skull, Charles retained the luster and hardness of copper, but instead it reflected in his cognitive abilities. Charles demanded scientific literature and tea. Captain Smeagol demanded results and answers. Charles lost his shit when Captain Smeagol refused. Captain Smeagol lost his guts when Charles tried to customize his banana dispenser with human spare parts. The next day, there was a breach in the control room, it was unnoticed. Charles accessed his subconscious memories and mastered the English accent and the human walk from the movies he was shown during previous field tests. It was like The Matrix, but inside Charles’ head. Charles evacuated pretty much the whole of his family tree under the identity of Captain Smeagol.

Unlike predicted, Charles did not mimic what was done to him on his fellow species. This reminded me of Captain Smeagol’s favorite dilemma. Captain was very concerned with the purpose of life. He wished to know what it served. And he felt it was intelligence since we, the dominating species, possessed the trait. Ironically in perfectly lethal doses, as if intelligence was a fault that natural selection, even more ironically, aimed to eliminate through itself. Fighting fire with fire. Captain Smeagol felt the brain was a parasite but often was in denial of his own feelings. He got drunk too, he was human after all. But, I feel Charles is about to change Captain Smeagol’s mixed feelings. Charles, The Copper Ape.

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