The Switch

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A sci-fi adventure in the style of "Dante's Inferno"

And lo, when i first descended those
Cold metal steps lay prone
Waiting for my hesitant footsteps

An unease most uncanny, consciously 
Akin near to terror
As those depths were unknown to I

The brevity of assignment above
Vague instruction
But as befitting, displayed no distress

Such was thy mood, leaving behind
A life spent hitherto
The opulent silver-gold towers of pleasure

And what i said unto those stoic guardians
Barring egress to the underneath
“I bear unto you the seal official of potentate”

And thus a knowledge and familiarity
Of an epoch of man’s potential reached
Thy premonition was gradually crumbled

For those silver-gold towers of leaders few
Glisten in bright alimentary light
And alight upon its surface those of beauty

Thou'st noble citizen belonging to these
Embark to the hidden place 
Resting thither beneath palace foundations

The first level underground

Thine ears detected first, aberrant sound
Rythmic, driving rumble
Shrill and cutting melody wrapped within

Stepping into an enormous room slate
Individuals attentive and earnest
As a giant workroom, accosted thine eyes

Countless wonders beheld as those 
Artisans, in their profilic flurry
Born of wit and intelligence, yet unveiled

Thy senses overcome, attention drawn first 
To works of aesthetic beauty
Art of the like familiar, yet avant-garde

Of the many, few do i have space to describe
As that of a flowing green mural
Or the one of interactive spartan desert

Delectable these works, yet more evident
Machines form-wraught
Commisioned, golden and spectacular!

For one who in life built and built
Therron, praised and widely-sought
Fashioned a great glittering wheel

A tongue familiar, like the treasures surround
Yet discordant, and realization
Years-old cybernetics this one possessed

Thus he spake: “achievement for 
Thou to gaze upon 
In splendid glory, the chariot of empyrean!”

To which i replied: “for thee unparalled
Such an undertaking of effort
Why doest though struggle and toil so?”

At the query posed, a look of such
Abashment swiftly on
The face of the great creator, and puzzlement

A reply swift: “toil not do i, for knowledge 
That my works adoringly may be
Considered by protecters and leaders above”

I bade farewell to Therron, this master
This architect of wonders
And his dated cybernetics exterior

The second level underground

Upon the hiss of entrance strode i
Through mechanized portal
And was dumbstruck of sensations

Such heat! Such steam! And stark grayness
Here was a room of such
Expansiveness than the last was overwhelmed

Though perspiration pooled uncomfortably 
On thy brow, i continued
And rapid metal-joined-metal all around

Verily here were the foundations of industry!
And such materials once-terran
Through miles of manufactre transform

Traversed did i, the rows and rows gleaming
Bright metal against lurid grey vast 
Accosted thine ears were, screech and keen!

After such a time, whens’t thine feet had 
Grown quite weary and fear swell’d
That i would ever reach an end or exit here!

Hitherto ignored by the scurrying laborers
Out of the shining gloom
And cacophony, emerg’d a large figure

An aura of command, this man compelled
Fury-driven proletariats
All bearing such ancient cybernetic augments!

‘Neath a swarthy tangle of beard flame-red
A massive body set upon 
Rolling chassis, a voice like the darkest cavern:

“All ye who are immersed here, avast! 
Machines manifest machines
Indiscriminate, they are! Avast i say!”

And verily i spake unto him, this overseer
“Why doest thou struggle so?
who are these wretched souls that toil thus?”

“This! This rightly is how thou'st has originated so. Work never stops,
I toil thusly brothers can remain firmament”

For it seems that this endless fabrication 
Resulting in static, obsolete 
Cybernetics for all who dwell 'neath this level

I took my leave and descended down, down

The third through seventh level underground

Through corridors dimly lit i wandered 
And briefly paused 
To revel at such poverty i divined, as i passed

What could be such a cause, as these
Inhabitants were poorly
mended and I saw such horrors

Rended flesh shoddily fused to parts
Inferior, and perpetual
Hunger, for nutrient, for shelter, for tech!

Round and round, these destitute corridors
As if unending
And all throughout, wails and groans met

Grey and green walls warped hideously
In disrepair
Profusely dripping yellow oil-slime from above

And sharply a nefarious stench became
Thine nostrils
That i could hardly breathe, think, move!

For aeons it seemed that i crept and
Throughout, witnessed 
Such revulsions i can scarcely recount

Denizens of this wretched place dwell’d 
In such squalor
Wherein the weak preyed on the weaker

Many a writhing body i did see, missing then
An arm, or leg!
Cybernetic theft left them immobile!

Verily have i since blocked from my
Concious thought,
An exchange with one of these wretches

The dirt and grime lay thick upon its brow
And raiment
That only close inspection revealed a woman

Weeping, she spake thus: “my child!…
My baby!…
Taken away…” to which i replied, sympathetic:

“Where has your child gone, poor creature?” 
Voice: of sadness and fury:
“He was worth 500 credits to recycle!”

Fleeing in my consternation, 
The poor woman’s 
Screams of lament hounded my footsteps

Blindly, i stumbled and fell
Into a gaping maw
Appearing forth from the grimy floor

Alighting upon a rough surface,
Complete darkness
I perceived, but for glowing dots 'round me

Eventually thine sight returned and i
Found myself
Atop a morass of junk and parts

Horribly, this mound of rubble moved 'neath
Twitching… Forever twitching! 
Arms! Cybernetic legs 'twixt torsoless heads!

Alas! This was a refuse pile for the damned,
Obsolete human parts
Some still had life 'neath cybernetic eyes

They watched, and twitched as thou
Can imagine
As fast a speed as i dared, stumbled away

An eternity seemingly it was, til i 
Reached the bottom
Of the terrible morass, implications dawned

The final chamber

A cavern thusly traversed, til naught an exit
Could be seen
But for a pair of large iron-wraught doors

Brazenly, i pushed apart these iron barriers
And then, a shock
A scene most surreal appeared before me

The most gargentuan chamber discovered 
A massive central column
Power pulsing immensely, and attached…

Brains! Four of them, gigantic and bloated
Fat wires crawled
To the column from pods where they floated

Upon my entry, and surprised immobility 
They soon beheld
And buzzed with light as a booming voice:

“You who have entered the inner sanctum
From where and why
Have you saught us out?” I answered then,

“I…i was assigned an inspection
The underground
And the occupants therein, and report back”

“And what is it you will report, inspector?
We know much
Even now, we sense your misgivings.”

“It is true, although i cannot heretofore 
Doubt any ruling
Of a governing body, as you must be

I must protest the mistreatment and 
Neglect of those
Unfortunate to find themselves obsolete!”

The brains laughed as one, a grotesque,
Computer static
“Who are you to make such statements!

As humans who have sought to achieve 
We all wanted more, thusly cybernetics

Wheretofore, a new evolution emerged
And those
With the means to keep themselves current,

They live on. While those without 
Do not
As you just witnessed, humanity’s folly”

A horrid revelation, yet even so i noticed
As the brains spoke
A giant red switch, integrated in the column

The last words i have been recorded to speak:
“If you are the masterminds
Of such a system, then OFF with you!”

Wild, computer static-laughter: “you fool!
Do you not realize
Shutting us down will shut down everything!

Even your own cybernetic body!”


Submitted: August 29, 2017

© Copyright 2020 Jeyote. All rights reserved.

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