This chromosomal Usual Suspects line:And this story, which is called 'The Chrome Chromosome' and which starts like this:
Tentacle arms in I surrender pose;
Look closer, though: and each is made of zips.
The microtubal slider is drawn down
Their lines sag open, yawn, and through
These smallest needle-eyes emerge
Men, elephants and whales; bulked biospheres:
A meta boa’s swallow in reverse.
This isn’t a surrender: they’ve all won.
The arms are up in celebration.
‘You know how Candelaria robots are,’ says the first.Re-reading the story was an interesting experience. There are bits of it I quite like; like this hailstorm, which is the start-point for the end of the world:
‘I don’t,’ he replies. ‘Tell me.’
‘Meticulous, is one thing. When they set out to replicate a homo sapiens, they do it thoroughly. From the baseline—up.’
He considers this. ‘Where am I?’ he asks.
But that means nothing. ‘What’s Candelaria?’ he tries. ‘They’re, what: different to regular robots?’
‘See, you know robots.’ says a second voice. ‘But you don’t know Candelaria.’ One voice, two voices. It’s like he’s talking to Tweedledum and Tweedledee. ‘It’s all in there,’ Tweedledee says. ‘Need to rootle it out. You know your own name?’
He finds he does. ‘Thirteen.’
‘There you go!'
‘You’re definitely starting to remember stuff.’ Tweedledum again. A grin, in the dark, like a crescent moon on its side. The scent of grape. And in his thoughts Thirteen was standing in a vineyard—in an actual, true-to-god vineyard—and it was chilly, and the light was changing. Hail was rattling through the leaves, and the sky was closing. An old world storm. Lightning flashed, but distantly and indistinctly, a shuddering glimmer through the unscattered clouds. Those hailstones were tiny and hard: grit-monsoon.
‘I’m getting,’ says Thirteen. ‘I’m getting memory flashes—.’