Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dead Rite chapter 143.13

“Be that as it may.” It felt odd to hear the imp to be using a phrase Uncle Frederick was fond of, “One doesn't generally involve a golem in a conversation.”

“But why? Given the issue of secrets, I mean. Why not allow a golem speech?”

Devious issued a puzzled laugh. “I don't really think you understand the issue, sir. Golems were originally made for drudge work. Mining, building tombs and pyramids and more especially, military applications. Think of a standing army impervious to swords and arrows ready to be commanded into battle at a moment's notice.”

“Yes? And?”

“Well, sir, you don't want the golems talking, do you? They might talk to real people and find out they're the only ones shovelling shit in an effluent factory, or they're the ones risking pot and paper pulling salt out of a mine full of chlorine gas or they're the ones going up against the emperor’s cannons. Worse still, they might talk to each other and say seditious stuff like 'The Ming the Merciless just kicked two-three-eight off a ledge. I don't think he's a nice man to work for and besides, I hear the human soldiers get something called wages.'”

“Yes but...” Harold raised his hands and dropped them again. Arguing with Devious felt more and more like arguing with his mother. He knew he was right but his point of view was as effective as spitting into a waterfall.

“But what?”

“Dill isn't going to be a servant golem. He's going to be an independent being.”

“Oh.” Devious paused to fit the spine onto the pelvis and began rolling our ribs. “Like that, is it?”

“Like What?”

“He wants his independence.”

“He's independent now. He just needs a more articulate body.”

“And a voice, you say. Four thousand years of tradition not good enough for a zombie.”

“Ah.” Harold nodded, finally understanding the imp's point of view. “That's what this is about, is it? Tradition.”

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