Story by Kelly Hallman
Song Lyrics for "Coming Home" by Geoff Tuffli
++++ DATE 10.3.2463
++++ TIME 02:58 Solar Standard Time
++++ LOCATION Yasu Correctional Facility, Triton, Neptune
Walking down the corridor in her pink prison jumpsuit, the two guards flanking her closely, flechette pistols at their sides, Kazue Tyler had one thought: This oughta be good.
She had always known what the result of her capture would be. She was no martyr; she was not looking forward to her execution, but she thought she had come to peace with the inevitability.
Kazue wondered if it would be worth trying to grab for one of the pistols – that would at least end it quickly. She tested the magnetic pull of her restraints, but there was no give, not that she had really expected any.
She walked into the cold white room, her escorts still flanking her. My posse, she thought mockingly, a smile creeping up to her lips.
A lone table and two chairs opposite each other were bolted to the grated floor. Kazue moved in front of the chair, where the guard on her right adjusted the proximity that her wrist straps would allow.
She moved them in front of her and sat down. The guard then readjusted the proximity sensors on the straps and locked her into the chair.
"Thanks, guys," she said casually as the guards turned and left the room through the door they had come in through.
Her gaze decided on staring at the table’s computer’s time display.
Five minutes passed, then ten.
Fifteen minutes passed. A loud bang startled her. She jumped, and her wrist straps tightened their hold on her, and a man in plain white walked into the room. He took the chair opposite her, and regarded her with a carefully schooled expression.
"It's only 0300 hours," Kazue said sourly. "What could have possibly possessed you to drag me out of sleep at this ungodly hour?"
"Ms. Tyler, I am here to inform you that your punishment has been approved by the Department of Corrections."
"Well, clearly this couldn’t have waited until tomorrow so, by all means then, let’s not let the executioners of the Democratic Republic of Triton wait."
Baristol touched the table near her hand. "Relax. Death penalty yes, but not physical death."
Her muscles twitched slightly. "Psych death, then."
"Ah yes, you were hoping to go out in a blaze of glory," he leaned back. "Terrorists generally do prefer that kind of exit."
Ignoring her fidgeting, Baristol cleared his throat. "Neuroscience allows us to pinpoint areas of the brain specifically involved in antisocial behaviors, as well as those associated memories and personality traits that have had an influence in the development these behaviors."
He touched the table’s terminal, bringing up a holographic model of a human brain.
Rotating, exposing, and enlarging the model as he spoke, Dr. Baristol continued as if giving a lecture. “Areas around the anterior frontal lobe that we find have a connection to your violent tendencies will be lesioned out."
"Yes. I will be severing any connections this area of the brain has to various other parts to inhibit similar such violent inclinations in your new future."
The model suddenly rotated and a longitudinal cut was made across the side facing her, exposing the internal structures of the temporal lobe.
“Following that I will lesion out those Hippocampal areas associated with memories of the crime, as well as any memories judged to have contributed to the commission of the crime. Finally, I will inject stem cells derived from your own cheek into the lesioned areas. The areas will be have hyperwave stimulation applied to them, regrowing those areas of the brain earlier lesioned out. New memories will be implanted over the span of a week or so, of course."
“After, of course, you will be reintegrated into society. You will pursue your interests and relationships as a normal, functioning member of society."
Kazue swallowed, but said nothing.
"We consider this to be more humane than pushing you out an airlock." Baristol leaned back. "Which was, actually, one of the options discussed."