Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Where They Built the Bodies"

This poem came out of the March 6, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] curiosity and [personal profile] mirrorofsmoke. It also fills the "laboratory" square in my 12-3-17 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by a pool with [personal profile] ng_moonmoth, [personal profile] mama_kestrel, and [personal profile] fuzzyred. It belongs to the series Diminished Expectations.

WARNING: This poem contains disturbing images. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes seduction for violent purposes, a mad science lab, graphic description of slavery and other abuses against sentient beings, brainwashing, vengeance, industrial espionage, death, and other mayhem. Please consider your tastes and headspace before deciding if this is something you want to read.

"Where They Built the Bodies"

I seduced the man who made the oids.

It was easy -- he was old and ugly
in ways that had nothing to do with
the wrinkles on his skin -- so he
yearned after what I offered.

He showed me the laboratory
where they took the samples,
most of them from people who
didn't know what was happening.

He showed me the factory
where they made the parts,
both biological and mechanical.

He took me into the workshop
where they built the bodies,
assembled from mismatched parts
so they could never pass for human.

He took me into the darkroom
where the programming began
and the personalities developed
like images appearing on archaic film.

The oids came in as fragile, soft machines
fresh and vulnerable from the benches of creation.

They were taught to balance on two feet,
then bound to serve and put to their knees.

They came in as machines, but left as slaves.

I had no illusions that anything I could do
would ever stop this atrocity; it had
grown beyond even him.

But that wasn't what
I had come for.

I had come to make him pay.

He was so proud of his accomplishments
that he had no thought of duplicity
as I pressed myself against him.

While he fondled my flesh,
I slipped a chip into the computer
behind him to copy the information
about how the oids were made,
programmed, and reprogrammed.

If nothing else, I could give them
more control over their own fate.

When the process was complete,
I palmed the chip and secreted it
back in the hem of my sleeve.

Then I slit his throat
and emptied him into
the sampling vat.

For once, he would
give life instead of death.

* * *


Dessa - The Crow

"He took me to the workshop
Showed me where they built the bodies
A blacksmith, a mason, a carpenter
And in the darkroom, where the whole assembly started
All the clothesline where the hearts hung to harden
You come as fragile, soft machines
And you're bound to fast, you're bound to grieve
But you're built to balance on two feet
So why you living this last year from your knees"
Tags: activism, cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, horror, poem, poetry, reading, science fiction, weblit, writing

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