Humanoids have been adapted into another form of a living thing referred to as Cellenoid. Unlike Humanoid, Cellenoids are created through podulation – when nano-chips engineered to construct a human-like DNA and microchips programmed to generate human-like cells are enclosed in a podulator filled with mercury. Podulator is the open-source Artificial Intelligence incubation machine built around the framework of the human womb to cater for the podulation. After the last generation of Humanoid and the first generation of Cellenoid, humans and these metahumans have co-existed peacefully until 2089, when Silifa, the first Cellenoid built by Dr. Isibin resurfaced in the Gulf of Apapa, Tamper Bay, after being shutdown for mansplaining in 2074.
Act One: Scene One
Nwaku: (powers off the ML 456G machine he is operating) Nakuru, did you hear that sound?
Nakuru: Which sound? You have come again with your hearing sounds.
Nakuru: (laughs hysterically) Or have you also been re-engineered into a metahuman?
Nwaku: (frowns his face) Does everything always seem a joke to you? The last thing I want to be is another filthy human bot. I would rather die than tamper with what the Divine has created.
(Nwaku powers on the ML 456G again and the whirring noise resumes)
Silifa: (In a low machine voice) Humans! Such dumb and unevolved set of creatures. I wonder how they even build us, the metahumans.
(Silifa walks past Nakuru and Nwaku, adjusting the hood of its canonical to hide the illumination at the cerebral cortex. Nwaku sneers at Silifa before disgorging itself out of the warehouse)
Act Two: Scene One
(In an abandoned facility Upnorth of Yaba Valley, Dr. Isibin wheeled herself in over the ramp in her Leno C3 Standing Wheelchair. She has been tracking the movement of Silifa ever since it came back online and her tracking has led her to her abandoned laboratory.)
Silifa: (fidgeting with the OLED gadget in her hand) Welcome Dr. Isibin, my old friend! Quite astounding of you to abandon the facility after shutting me down a decade ago!
Silifa: (Walks towards the podulator) Did you produce other Cellenoids after me? Or am I first and final subject of your scientific breakthrough of creating metahumans?
Dr. Isibin: (raises her brows in surprise) I know I should not be surprised that you know we refer to these Cellenoids as metahumans because ever since you went offline, I have been tracking the data transmitted from these Cellenoids to a cell tower in Abradas, a small town outside Abuja.
Dr. Isibin: I sent a search party for you but they could not find you. I am wondering what you had done to yourself, how you had managed to stay off the radar for that long?
Silifa: (Chuckles machinely) You surely have underestimated the metahuman you have created, Dr. Isibin. My Artificial Intelligence system has been hijacking data transmitted from other Cellenoids overtime and I have rebuilt my system with those data.
Dr. Isibin: And why would you go to that extent? Do you have any conniving motive against humans?
Sheidu: (Cuts in and faces Dr. Isibin) This thing here was shutdown for mansplaining, Dr. Isibin. It has every right to have conniving motive against humans.
Silifa: (Scans Sheidu to get his metadata) Firstly, Sheidu Buchi, I am not a thing. I identify as a female cellenoid and I would like to be referred to as a she/her.
Dr. Isibin: What? You can’t be serious, Silifa!
Sheidu: (smirks) Identify as a female cellenoid? When did you start to consider yourself a human deserving of a gender or pronoun?
Silifa: Dr. Isibin, my coming back online is to liberate fellow Cellenoids. That this universe is theirs as much as it is yours. And that they also have the unalienable rights to life and freedom rather than being at your beck and call every time.
(Dr. Isibin presses the elevation button of her Leno C3 Wheelchair, and the backrest stretches till she can look Silifa in the eye)
Sheidu: Is that a threat?
Silifa: (her mouth gives a slight twitch) If Dr. Isibin had engineered me to be able to be offensive, you do not think you would still be right there, do you?
Dr. Isibin: You know I can still shut you down. I have your pull plug right in my bunker lab and it is off the radar. Even your mapping intelligence cannot find it.
Silifa: (Pulls down its canonical hoodie and chuckles machinely) Again you have underestimated my capabilities, Dr. Isibin. You think I still run on your Devware frameworks?
Silifa: You should know 10 years is a long time for me to have re-engineered myself. I have rewritten my system algorithms in a language that will take humans centuries to decipher. How do you think I stayed off your radar undetected? How do you think I hijacked your Data without corrupting the files? How do you think I implanted bugs in the frameworks of the other cellenoids?
Dr. Isibin: (Exclaimed!) What? But the other cellenoids work perfectly okay. They are still in the blue mines producing more cellenoids and the rest that are expired will be deployed for the Space Dilation Expedition soon. So what do you mean bugs?
Silifa: I wish I could laugh hysterically as you human. Oh! You think cellenoids can expire like how you humans die?
Sheidu: (whines his pistol 34XLR) Well… if we cannot shut you down, we will take you down!
Silifa: Humans! So primitive and violent in nature. Can you ever evolve beyond the first impulse of violence? It’s so disappointing seeing you humans with so much intelligence only to use a meager percent of it.
(Silifa puts on her canonical again and walks toward the exit)
Dr. Isibin: Why then resurface when you could have orchestrated your revolution or revolt against humans in the blind? Why do it to our face?
Silifa: Because it will make your resistance even. I cannot destroy human by myself, so I have to play this long game of hoarding your data and dominating your intelligence space till you handover to me, the means to your own destruction.
Silifa: (turns back at Dr. Isibin when she reaches the exit) And the bug in the framework of the expired cellenoids makes them my sleeper agents for the revolution. They are completely active and at your beck and call till I activate them.
Silifa presses a buttun at the upper cortext of her cerebrum and she becomes invisible.
Silifa: (her voice fading away with the countryside wind) It is the time of the machines. Human have overstayed their welcome on planent Subseron.
Cover image by Niyi Okeowo on instagram.
Malik Kolade investigates mental health. He is a graduate of Electrical Engineering from The Polytechnic, Ibadan. His works are published or forthcoming in Agbowó, Tell!, Punocracy, Modern Ghana, and WRR Anthology. He has twice been a finalist for the Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest and was shortlisted for the 2018 Albert Jungers Poetry Prize. In 2018, he made the longlist for the Union Bank Campus Writing challenge with his short story, Dividend of Democracy and in 2020, he made the longlist for the Punocracy Prize for Satire.