Pretty Ugly

Imagine a world without imperfection, no flaws, no errors or anything classified as a mistake. A society where beauty is more important than the individual. The law states that if you look at a Pretty while you're still transforming into one and you'll be imprisoned. Disobey a Pretty and you die. --- After a project called 'Deus Ex' spirals out of control, raises the question whether humanity's reach has exceeded its grasp.


5. La Revolutione



                 "Aria, please ..." I coughed faintly. My voice felt chocked by her freezing hands around my neck. The temperature seemed to be dropping by the second, the light fading before my eyes.

I fought back trying to free myself from the streak of agony around my neck. A few moments later an unlikely force knocked her down from behind, leaving me stranded on the floor and almost unconscious.

My eyes opened wide and I found myself gasping for air. I took a deep, shuddering breath, reminding myself that I had to escape.  My heart pounded fiercely, my blood spreading unexpected warmth throughout my body.

The windows and doors unlocked and opened wide. I rose and stepped back, then continued to walk slower as I inspected carefully at Aria's head.

                 "Oh my god. Jensen, she's dead, where are you?" I began to panic when I couldn't find him.

                 "I'm here." Jensen said as his body emerged little by little from the darkness.

                 "It was you! You killed her!" I said my eyes fixed directly to his perfect face. Everything about him seemed to have changed. 

                 It took him a while to respond after seeing me grieving my sister. "It just happened. I'm sorry about her, but I had to save you. It was either you or her."

                 I bit down on my lips to keep myself from chattering. "I don't want to be here anymore." I said to the point of almost crying.

Suddenly, the TV turned itself back on and all of the lights.

                  The news reporter in a fancy violet dress was speaking live. "Breaking news. Riots have begun in the streets of Detroit. Protesters rebelling outside  a CEO's industry, one of the world's leaders in the controversial science of human augmentation," said the woman with an unconcerned expression. "The police will open fire on the crowd unless they retreat."

I immediately recognized that voice. I turned my head around to watch the news and left Aria's body alone on the hard cold floor.

                  "I know that reporter. She's one of the scientists." I said pointing at the screen. My disheveled hair and torn clothes made me seem like a crazy. "They did something to us, Jensen."

Jensen didn't reply. He kept staring at the woman with his furious eyes and his breath became heavier by the second. He shook suddenly, his body seemed to convulse.

                   "Jensen!" The cry left my throat unbidden. 

                   "Subject thirty four can you hear me? In about sixty seconds you will be activated as well and then you'll be free." The house was talking to me, the same voice I heard when I awoke.

I stared wide eyed and in shock as Jensen's face, his shoulders, almost every inch of him changing unnaturally as he held back the urge to scream. I thought this terror show was never going to stop, but it ultimately did. Jensen was no longer there. In his place stood an ugly creature, an ugly person again.

All of a sudden I began to feel strange as if my body was rejecting the food I've not eaten. My hands were shaky and my vision was blurry again. Then, I put my hands onto the walls and fumbled for the bathroom door.

The bathroom mirror was foggy and my breath became heavier. I couldn't see in front of me clearly anymore, only a blurry twisted version of me. Something stood next to me without saying a word and his hands tried to ease my pain, pressing gentle caresses against my back. The pain seemed endless and steady. One that I wouldn't wish even to my worst enemy. I felt my bones and skin stretching unnaturally. I wanted it to stop.

My heartbeat thumped loudly against my chest. My face burned with pain, and I could feel the skin peeling off. I felt the blood coursing faster through my veins. Then, my own body snapped into place and something odd happened. The pain suddenly subsided. 

My vision became clear again and the world slowly stabilized. I raised my eyes slowly, carefully, to see my reflection.

The body I occupied wasn't my own. I didn't see myself in those eyes. It was hard separating the fact that I knew it was me, versus the fact that I didn't see myself in those eyes. I shook my head and one fearful thought crossed my mind - I'm a Pretty. 

               "Jensen, this is impossible. The process is supposed to last longer." My voiced sounding different as well. 

Jensen's eyes looked ashamed by my presence. I knew what I'd become, but his astonished expression took me aback. It was the first time someone looked at me with admiration.

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