Sun. Jul 14th, 2024


Electroman: moral rectitude or top-down fascism & mindless violence in 8 parts

A short story by Evan Hay

Electroman is alpha & omega: shocking old-school authenticity in a virtual ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ social media era of asternal semantics, communicated en masse, with intense feeling yet atrophied definition. Electroman’s legendary power represents veritas: the whole damned truth, & nothing but. With humanity’s rank & file, running a real risk of losing sight of its impersonal raison d’etre over a trifling tangle of inconsequential options, amid modernity’s treacherously mixed reality, this scientifically designed OG is pre-programmed to re-magnetise our sacred universes fine-tuned moral compass, & save western civilisation’s time-honoured dynastic concepts, cultures, & networks from obliteration. Traveling time & space at warp speed, soaring in honour of our abiding godly empyrean, Electroman ventures into oblivions deepest lifeless valleys; surviving volcanic chasms spewing volatile fiery substances, braving uncharted fenlands infested with freaky web-footed inbreds, & scantily clad sultry harlots, before scaling the snowiest mountaintops, without concern for life or limb. 

A blēssed & anointed OEM production, Electroman arises erect: a clean, unerring ghost, in his own portable machine. Brand new, & reassuringly expensive AI; a patented intellectual property untarnished by contemporaneity’s monstrous rattle of uncouth virtue signalling, come ignorant self-expression. Trademarked sigils engraved across this cybernetic organism’s proud meaty chest, pay tribute to heroic derring-do; E-man’s wry smile revealing unparalleled valour, & an absolute focus on duty. Only the epic majesty of Electroman can avert what only last week seemed inevitable; flashing across earthly skies he seeks out evil, harbingers of calamity, or any bugger who gets on his manufacturer RTX Corp’s wick. Typically, lukewarm types, whom Electroman’s gilded creators regard as the apotheosis of everything effeminate, outlandish, &/or un-Anglo-American; fell creatures, that must be nipped in the bud, lest they surreptitiously spread, like urban fox faeces, which if ingested, provokes infected wretches to vomit mauvais oeufs of anarchy, over countless innocent, societal casualties.

One such cockroach, queer Bernie Sanderson, a shifty, adventitious pharmacy proprietor, groomed that honest, congenial confidence, manifest amongst east London’s openly landless teenagers: turning susceptible minds involuntarily against national service, with a vile style of humanist propaganda, neo-socialism, balalaika music, charcoal burning ethnic teapots, caviar, & mind-altering fungi. Sanderson, a disagreeable Bitcoiner, Muslim sympathiser, & suspected Marxist, was particularly distasteful with a piss-yellow polyester shirt collar, & rampant facial acne. This Russian-speaking interloper appeared on the plot one day, leached of empathy: an ephebophile, with an unwelcome, adoptive cod-English accent. Apologists opined he’d escaped from an oblast of total misery, loaded with immemorial hurt & resentment; others carped he’d crawled out from under an alien rock, or an acrid cloud of condensed communist fog, wilfully determined to undermine an intergenerational ‘us versus them’ bulldog mentality obligingly bred by forelock tugging neo-villein forefathers, into Blighty’s native adolescents. 

Tintack, LSD, GHB, & liberal doses of Rohypnol were force-fed during class A drug orgies, carried out on camera, in the box bedroom of Sanderson’s grubby ground floor maisonette (located within that oddball borough of Hackney), which sported crass pro-Palestinian flags, & lurid 1970s wallpaper. Poor unfortunate street urchins were bound with rainbow electrical wire prior to being submitted to bestial rape, & associated pansexual degradations of every description, after inducements of flattery, false promises, small change, & intoxicating vodka-based cocktails. Sanderson’s diabolical web of terror was strong, persuasive, & repetitive; his distinctive Slavic silhouette cautiously espied from betwixt dusty venetian blinds, a permanent depraved fixture of this deprived, ragtag community’s life: a painful indelible blot on Vicky Park’s penny-pinching, cutpurse neighbourhood, bordering the river Lea. Sanderson’s dank stain seeped into an offbeat communal mindset; securing easy ingress, through the needy district’s basest behavioural patterns-cum-preoccupations. 

Weird spectral souls, subsisting in this down-at-heel neck of the woods, tended to be gig economy bedsitters, cowed, intimidated, & routinely harassed by absent retiree landlords (gloating over vicious price rises across London’s property-cum-rental market). Or disengaged mothers, & a handful of lickle babyfathers, in the zone; each too wrapped up administering day-to-day operations, celebrating uncanny arrays of narcissistic tics ’n’ tats, to notice Sanderson sucker punching their offspring’s solar plexuses. None of these creatures targeted by Sanderson alerted appropriate authorities about an assortment of rank obscenities playing out in the middle of terraced residences; nor did the manor’s dime droppers, errant parents, their random bedfellows, or local OAP bedwetters up to no good, sneak peeking from behind twitching curtains with silent contempt. Persons in this fey section of E9 were permanently out to lunch, on the spectrum, addicted to self-absorbing pastimes as likely to drive them mad, as bring delight.

Howbeit, no amount of terror or vacuity cast dark shadows over prophetic-cum-proprietary state-of-the-art detectors: super-duper pulsed kaleidoscopic micro-sensors. 3D mapping innovation for rugged cyborgs, generated by Raytheon in collaboration with Boston Dynamics. Plenary digital surveillance kit reimagined, boasting unbounded range, E-man’s omniscient electronic componentry relayed flashing transgression alerts to smart monitors. Simultaneously processed data capture predicted mission implications, enabling an immediate response. Instant reports summarised & sent to control panels, melded to the sweatless palm of E-man’s steady righthand; all part & parcel of advanced nanotechnology implanted into his fire-retardant membrane. Thus, highly sensitive LiDAR scanning devices, accurate enough to spot common clothes moths aflutter beneath smoke-stained cornicing, ogled at debauched hot kink sessions (with chaste clinical precision) in the mind-blowing, liminal actuality of Sanderson’s musty deathtrap of a property: riddled, as it was, from cracked ceiling to threadbare carpet, with dry rot & mould. 

Searing down from the stratosphere, Electroman smashed through these rented dwellings leaky roof, & upstairs loft room, startling untold millions of illegal, brown-skinned immigrants, squatting there on a hair trigger. All of whom later in custody, pleaded that in droves they’d fled US, EU & UK sanctioned homelands, on account of economic hardship, irrevocable environmental catastrophe, or due to being terrorised victims of colonial warfare, perpetrated by NATO collaborators claiming divine rights to profit at some other mug’s expense. Not a fanboy of diplomatic procrastination, angry Electroman crashed headfirst, straight through Sanderson’s vulgar, artexed ceiling. Surprise, shock & awe were in the air, but Electroman had no truck with banalities, or idle conversations with a low budget porn king; this ugly quarry barely had time to quail, as in a blinding moment of stark-naked perception, Electroman’s powerful fists righteously smote Sandersons’ crooked nose (an unmissable, unstraightened, aquiline schnozzle, protruding provocatively from this insolent, steppe-hopping blackguard’s rodent-like physiognomy). 

Electroman unleashed a sustained heavy barrage, of explosive, military-grade blows, snapping Sanderson’s Eurasian spinal cord, as if it were mere soft canned fish bone. Yet, with an unfathomable wrath provoked, & his gander up, E-man was unfinished. As Sanderson lay grounded, helplessly paralysed, nude from the waist down, spreadeagled across disjointed parquet flooring, E-man knelt on his target’s puny physique. Deploying a level of professional detachment typically attributable to seasoned vivisectionists, he continued pummelling & pounding Sanderson’s repugnant face till it was an unrecognisable quagmire of bleeding, excoriated flesh. Brown bread, Sanderson had paid the ultimate, terrible price of criminality (plus compound interest). Let it be known, shit rolls downhill. Cry God save the King, England, & Saint George! Rejoice in a proper top-down execution of justice: a sobering lesson to dodgy johnny foreigners, or dubious strangers, considering pushing their luck, by daring to cock slimy snooks at Electroman’s unforgiving robotic fortitude-cum-monumental skull & crossbones Old Testament aggression.

A version of this story by Evan Hay, illustrated by Chris Page, first appeared in Dig magazine in 1988, and reappeared on The Cannibal’s Gazette in 2020

Evan Hay on Instagram

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