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Cyborg Island by Edward Trefts

     At the docking portal, there were two hover crafts drawn up. The two cyborgs stood waiting.
     Gary and his father got in the back of the hover craft, and the cyborgs closed the pod bay doors. It was very cold inside the hovercraft, and the cyborgs drove over the lake.
     Uncle George stood in the back of the other hovercraft. He was smoking a cigar that shot lasers out the sides. The lasers fired out wonderfully from his face.
     “Where are we going, Dad?” Gary asked.
     “Over to Cyborg Island. There is a cyborg lady that’s very sick.”
     “Oh,” Gary said.
     Across the lake they found the other hover craft landed. Uncle George was smoking another cigar. This one was larger and it shot out bigger lasers.
     They walked from the beach to the meadow that was not wet because there was not enough moisture in the air—it had been sucked from the planet by mysterious forces a hundred years ago. Then they went to a treeless area that had been plundered by bulldozers. The bulldozers had blown up all the trees with their missiles.
     There was a bend and a cat came out barking.
     The cat was spliced with a dog, one of the cyborgs told them.
     Uncle George looked down upon the cat, and he saw a nice warm spot on which to sit.
     The cat was also spliced with a chair, he heard.
     When they arrived at the dwelling, Uncle George took a bite out of the cat because the cat had been spliced with an artichoke.
     Inside on a steel bunk lay a young cyborg. The cyborg was incubating a new cyborg baby inside its cold metal body, and the pregnant cyborg screamed odd, fake-sounding screams just as the humans and the two other cyborgs entered.
     Some of the cyborgs did not help her because they were not programmed to handle childbirth. And some were so overwhelmed that they spontaneously combusted.
     “This cyborg is going to have a baby Gary,” his father said.
     “I see,” Gary said.
     “No, you don’t see,” the father said.
     The cyborg mother turned on her side.
     “Where is the Dad?” Gary asked.
     “There is no Dad,” the father said.
     “So in a way the mother is the father,” Gary said.
     Just then the cyborg mother/father started screaming louder.
     “Can’t you give the cyborg something?” Gary asked.
     “Cyborg screams are not real screams,” the father said.
     Later, when the father started to operate, Uncle George held the cyborg mother/father still, but the cyborg bit Uncle George on the arm.
     There was an emergency button on Uncle George’s shirt. Uncle George accidentally pressed that button on his shirt when he was bit and he was beamed onto one of the moons of Saturn.
     The atmosphere on the moon was oxygen-less. The sky was the color of a dark grape. Uncle George started to suffocate.
     He beamed himself back.
     Then Uncle George pressed on another button on his shirt. This one sent him somewhere inside a dragon-shaped constellation of stars.
     Another cyborg walked in the room and replaced Uncle George, and the father demanded a grenade.
     He would throw it inside the cyborg if anything else went wrong—he could not risk having the cyborg baby grow into a cyborg man. If anything else went wrong, and the mother (or father) died while this cyborg baby lived, it would certainly hunt him down for revenge.
     Underneath the table, Gary looked up into the cyborg’s vagina. Its vagina looked like an electrical socket crossed with a flower. The electrical socket/flower was shaking with a small head of some kind.
     The father held the cyborg baby. It wasn’t breathing.
     Then the father threw the cyborg baby against the wall. Then the father picked up the cyborg baby and threw it on the floor.
     On the floor, it started breathing.
     “Where is Uncle George?” the father asked.
     There was a video feed in the wall. It lit up and there was Uncle George floating through space. They were watching him through a camera attached to his shirt.
     There was a big yellow sun behind him in the space where he floated. There was also a ring-shaped planet. He looked scared and confused but he told them he was okay.
     The father looked away from the feed.
     The cyborg baby had come out alive and no one was hurt so he did not use his grenade. Still, the father did not want to give the grenade back to the cyborgs. He tucked it in his pants, thinking it safe there.
     The father was happy. He had helped the cyborgs. That metal thing was now a mother and father of that other metal thing, and that other metal thing might have its own metal things one day.
     The cyborg mother/father covered up its shining, metal vagina/flower with a rubber glove and walked up to the father.
     “Thank you,” it told Gary’s father. Then it reached down his pants and ate the grenade, its head blowing up in a thrilling shower of crud.
     Gary’s father covered up the eyes and ears of his son.
     “Someone cover up the robot,” the father said.
     “I’m still alive,” the cyborg mother/father said.
     But the father and son had made up their minds. The cyborg was dead.
     When the boy and his father left the dwelling, the other cyborgs gathered bits of the head into a spiderweb.
     The sky was filled with hover craft, some bird-shaped. Morning would come soon and they all would turn their crafts to cloak.
     “Why would a robot eat a grenade?” Gary asked.
     “Oh, there are many reasons why someone would want to kill himself with a grenade,” the father said.
     Just the other day, he had wanted to eat a grenade because he was feeling queasy, the father said. And sometimes he wants to eat a grenade in the morning when he wakes up and he doesn’t know why.
     “I guess there aren’t a lot of good reasons for wanting to eat a grenade, Gary,” the father said.
     Gary closed his eyes and tried to turn himself into a grenade. He pretended his lower intestines were lined with explosives. If he jumped up high enough, his stomach would drop and set off the material.
     Gary jumped but not high enough. He did not blow up. In the morning in the back with the hover craft this time on autopilot, he felt like he would never explode.
     Out of the wide, glimmering bubble in front of them Uncle George stepped out, smoking another cigar. This one shot more lasers. He told them he had landed on an alien planet.
     Uncle George held a cloning gun, which the aliens had given him as a parting gift.
     Every time Uncle George shot the boy it felt like he was dying. When he moved his feet, it was like they were dead feet. When he blinked his eyes, he blinked dead eyes. His little hands gripped the cold metal of the hover craft. These were like dead hands.
     In the morning, there were Garys everywhere. Some of the Garys flew around in spacecraft. Others wandered around outdoors.
     Uncle George could not go to the grocery store that week without encountering a Gary.
     Soon, the planet changed its name to Gary because the planet had been overrun by over ten billion identical boys named Gary.
     None of the boys were interested in living with other people not named Gary and there were a couple of wars. Many people had a problem killing little boys so most wars ended with the Garys as victors.
     This all happened quickly.
     “Time goes by very quickly,” Uncle George said.
     He was talking to his clone through a video feed.
     “I know,” the Uncle George clone said. “It seems like last night the Earth was called Earth and not Gary.”
     Uncle George stood in a voting booth. He was voting for the president of the world. The choice was between two boys named Gary. They both looked the same. They both were against high taxes and borrowing money from colonies on the Moon.
     Uncle George looked up at the Moon when he voted. Then he wrote on the ballot, the original Gary.
     The Gary looking over his shoulder inside the voting booth slapped him on the head.
     “You will have to be taken in,” he said.
     Uncle George asked if he could smoke a cigar first.
     While he smoked a cigar, he shot this Gary in the head with a laser. It did not feel much like killing his nephew. It was interesting.
     The guillotine was big. Uncle George was about to be beheaded.
     “What are your last words?” the executioner asked.
     The executioner, like most everyone, was a boy named Gary.
     I was there when you were born, Uncle George thought. I was there for your first words. I looked out for you when your father was out with your mother doing surgery on wounded aliens. Is this how you repay me?
     The Gary pulled the lever. The guillotine cut off his head swiftly. Blood gushed out beautifully of the stump that once was his head.
     Cyborgs feel retribution, too. Their souls are metal but they still want eyes for eyes.
     In the back of the cheering crowd, the sun turned a magisterial color. The cyborg’s son plotted its sweet revenge.
     All the Garys in the crowd cheered.
     Then some yawned. They were tired.
     The sun hurt their eyes.
     Soon, scientists would change the lens of the sun to a more agreeable color—magenta, fuchsia, something like that.
Edward Trefts received his MFA from Notre Dame in 2012, and his writing has appeared in Mixer and Bartleby Snopes. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he will start pursuing his PhD in the Fall. Despite the external pressure, he does not ever plan on becoming a fan of the Utah Jazz.