Written by Atticus Payne
Art by Zeen Chin
Here are the unpublished findings of unknown.
How do you create the perfect human? The first path this question opens is of definition: what does it mean to be perfect? What does it mean to be human? Then method: how does one achieve perfection? Humanity? To be human is to be imperfect, as much as to be an infant is to be helpless. It’s what a mother expects of the baby, a god, of its creation.
So, this, really, is the question; and the question, the task. How does one override human nature and achieve perfection?
Humans feed off emotion. This phenomenon defines humanity, and in this definition lies the method to perfection. In this experiment, emotion will act as fuel, a carefully controlled variable within a monitored, sheltered environment. Things grow in the direction of pressure, taking the path of least resistance. Children are no different—cage them up for a while, and soon enough they grow in that direction, and that direction alone.
The emotion should act as a perfect, organic drug. While anger would be costly to contain and sadness would encourage sloth, fear would prove optimal. Fear: encourages action, and more than that, fast action. It ensures precision, heightened awareness, adrenaline-given energy, and best of all: addiction. This fear was administered by the humans’ own bodies, trained to be in constant rush.
The humans are raised in survivable homes, with sufficient resources for the typical growth cycle seen in them; those being nutrition, physical shelter, education, and upon reaching a suitable age, social stimulation within society in the form of classrooms and caregivers. Care is taken to this last variable, ensuring the specimens are grown with only the bare minimum needed—brief interactions when being served or required to serve. This is to avoid the possibility of each specimen’s fear being transferred to other “safe” spaces.
Specimens’ environments are also created with the added element of fear instilled. This included unstable living situations (constant moving of homes and unpredictability of resources), unstable caregivers (high stress environments in education and volatile caregivers), and the practice of harsh, triggered punishment (whipping or otherwise physically harming the human, public shaming and danger of the human, and various methods of starvation; as well as the mental harm of the human, such as the witnessing of violence or threatened violence, and the threat of inconsistent punishments). All of these lead to a higher level of stress in the specimens, which induce a constant state of hyper-awareness, defence, and energy.
This led to the heightened efficiency of the grown humans, therefore creating the “perfect” set of humans. In constant states of alertness, they are forced to perform at exceedingly high levels. In all forms of work, the specimens are precise, methodical, and quick. They are as close to perfect as a human can get.
Grown in the direction of applied pressure. My perfect humans.
The humans joined the real, uncontrolled world upon reaching the legal age of adulthood. They’ve already begun climbing in their respective fields, most having made notable success within weeks. They never know when to stop achieving, because they do not know what’s driving them. And even if they do find out—say, one becomes a scientist, or an investigator—they won’t want to stop.
What they have, while uncomfortable, is a gift. A constant drug that will only make them function better.
Maybe you can try spotting them, however. They’re everywhere.