Mr. Parker
rating: +172+x

Mr. Parker.

Don't look so surprised, you have to have known this day was going to come eventually. One of your fellow boarders was kind enough to let me in. They won't be disturbing us, so please, sit down.

Let me make sure I have the right Jackson Parker.

55 years old. Born in inner-city Detroit. Multiple tours in Vietnam. Sentenced to death row for killing a police officer. Date of execution May 19, 1979. Now a professional waiter at one of New York City's finest bistros. And…anyone ever tell you you look like Ernie Hudson? You know, the black Ghostbuster. Maybe I'm just thinking of him because the sequel's coming out in a couple of weeks. Whatever, forget it.

One thing they don't have in your file is your unshakable faith. You believe, in a way that so few others do, that everything happens for a reason.

I might feel the same way if I was one of the rare D-classes who have escaped termination. I have to say, you certainly earned this little life you've made for yourself here.

I saw the footage and the pictures from after the…event. I don't know if you ever had it fully explained to you what happened there. We learned that the creature you decommissioned was responsive to the beliefs of its viewers. One of our guys must have got it into his head that the thing was going to kill everybody. And because he thought that, it did.

Until it got to you, of course.

I know your exit survey was a little while ago, so to refresh your memory, the way you phrased it had to do with "falling back on your faith." You showed, in the face of this blood-drenched monstrosity, unwavering belief that you would make it out of there alive. And because you believed, it was true.

Listen…I'm sorry about what happened to you.

We used to be so callous. Hell, it was to the point of being stupid.

There may — or may not — be a thing that'll kill you if you blink in the same room as it. So far as we can tell, this thing also shits all over the place. Almost every time we sent some guys in to clean up its mess — snap! Their life's over, just like that. Only just built a robot that can do the cleaning a couple of years ago. It sickens me to think about all the men who never came out of that room, all because we didn't think of them as human. Just a letter and numbers.

But what we need you for, it can't be done by a machine. Look, I've been thinking about this a lot lately…there's something remarkable about the human heart. Don't you agree? No matter how much we want to give up or say "no" to life, the heart still beats. That's all it knows how to do. It keeps on beating: "yes-yes, yes-yes." It's admirable, something so resolute in its work.

And I know how you work, Mr. Parker. You know I'm here for a reason. And I think you know you're meant to do something that will save a lot of lives. If you do this for us — if you do this for me — we'll do everything in our power to make sure you get whatever you want for the rest of your days.

I think I can tell what that expression means.

Let me know when you're ready to go, D-14134.

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