“De Anima” / A Memorable Fancy #277

We wandered the sinuous ways of the National Bazaar, making sure not to lose each other. People grew silent at our approach, stared, muttered in their throaty language.

One corridor contained nothing but engineered animals, no being in its natural state. The merchants looked proudly on their wares. A woman in a parti-colored scarf showed us a small, clever biothing that walked a few paces on command, nodded its head and turned around when it heard the words “Zafir, haf!” The woman suggested three thousand of the local currency, but we backed away, said “No, no,” with a kind of revulsion. The small machine looked at us, open-mouthed with disappointment. We went on, biotronic sounds of weeping behind us.

A man a few booths away had been observing us, our obvious discomfort with the idea of engineered animals. “Even you,” he said, “even you in the West have done this: Sheep now good for nothing but food, too stupid and clumsy to defend themselves; dogs – all the dogs want now is master, not knowing they were once wolves and were themselves masters. You have made seedless grapes that cannot reproduce, cows that are nothing but protein factories, hogs too gross for unassisted sex, and many other soulless thinglike human-cursed beings besides.

“We have done such things also; but at least we acknowledge the horror of what we’ve done.”

00 Seventh Effect front cover small image

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