The prison cafeteria stank, much as you would expect it to.
That didn’t bother Randy, not these days. These days, Randy wasn’t bothered by much of anything.
He sat at a cafeteria table by himself, picking away at his dinner: 2 ounces of meat, half a cup of vegetables.
Before, his life had seen so dramatically hopeless. Three different personalities had been clashing in his head. But over time, the personalities had calmed down, meshing with each other, synthesizing to form a gestalt.
The suicidal thoughts had seemed foreign at first — invasive, come from Katie’s consciousness as opposed to his own. But now he was Katie and Katie was him. The suicidal thoughts were his own.
His time in the future was all too familiar. Those weren’t Praetor’s experiences, they were his own.
It all added up to a cyborg with a surprisingly gray view of the world: someone who felt like they belonged to a different era, someone who didn’t understand themselves, someone who just wanted to be gone.
Everything was so ugly. All around him there was the ugly green floor, ugly food, ugly lunch tray, ugly people, ugly orange uniforms.
A part of Randy knew he should be upset. He should hate this. But ultimately? He didn’t care. In fact, there was a little piece of him that enjoyed prison. He wasn’t sure he could be happy anywhere, so why should he get something nicer than prison?
No friends, no hobbies, nothing to do but stew in the sadness. It wasn’t a healthy way to live.
There was one thing Randy did to distract himself, though. Piss off one of the toughest guys in the joint.
His name was Mac Evans, and he was one tough motherfucker. The problem was that he was a double-hitter: a big strong brute type on the one hand, a telepath on the other. He’d fuck your body up, then he’d fuck your mind up. Worse, he’d laugh while doing it.
Randy liked the sound of getting the shit kicked out of him, which is why he smiled when Mac entered the cafeteria.
Maybe it was because the guy was huge. Wearing an orange outfit when you’re seven tall and half as wide makes you look like a target: a bright color just waiting to get the shit kicked out of him.
Combine that with Mac’s bald white head and caveman-esque brow and you may be able to understand why fucking with Mac was the one thing Randy was excited to do.
Wonder if his mother’s that fucking ugly, Randy thought.
Mac turned around and shot Randy a furious glance.
What are you going to do, kill me? Randy thought. He smiled, waiting for Mac to come over.