I can’t remember when my body was all me. All…natural. It’s all hinges and gears. Cables and motors. Wires. Circuits. Microprocessors. It’s all I know it as.

The kids call me Dinosaur. The old “hunk of bits” shambling through the Physi. Only my brain touches the Light. They’re all made of It. Neon holograms. They harden up when they want to see how the old folks live. When they want to vacation somewhere quaint.

They trend into new and colorful forms all the time. The big thing this season is ancient mythology. Purple minotaurs. Hot pink dragons. A lime green sphinx here and there. Once or twice I even saw a human form. It’s not quite as popular as the others. Reminds some of them too much of when everyone was walking meat. Only the coolest kids dare give that a shot. Only the coolest kids don’t get the ridicule for it.

I’m here. Maintaining pieces a millennium old. Looking for bits and bobs to keep cobbling myself together. I’m one of the last Piecemen left. We few holdouts who didn’t want to seek refuge in the Light.

The bright monsters come by in the evenings to gawp and snicker. Well…the closest approximations their bastardized avatars can muster while in the Physi. They seem to show off for me. Turn their brightness up and cast my shadow against the junk piles at all manner of frightening angles. They laugh at the flickering monster they create, but some of them shudder too.

They play at being monsters, but my shadow has a thousand arms, a thousand heads, and gives them just a bit of fear that maybe these terrible things could have once been real. Maybe there was once a time that these things actually crept out of ancient, haunted shadows and made us all afraid. There was once a time when shining a light on an ugly thing meant that someone would have to face it.



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