By E.S. Wynn
Elves will never understand the fascination that humans and dwarves share for metal and stone. They do not feel the life in the cold, dead bones of the Earth that allows either race to excise and bend them to the construction of such unnatural things as fortresses and instruments of war. Even into the ages of steam and silicon, even with the decline of the old races of fae and fire as they were swept up in humanity’s burgeoning swell and forced to adapt to a new world of neon and nanotechnology, the artifice and obsessions of man with bending and working the secrets locked within the body of the mother eluded the guardians of life and sky.
Or so it is told. That is why Dayvin hides his ears, brushes them off as cosmetic alteration, something he’d done on impulse as a teenager after having seen Star Trek a few too many times. He does not tell anyone of his elven heritage, just quietly pretends to be nothing more than another ordinary cyberwear install technician working the line at the city’s largest augmentation hospital, his nimble hands meshing flesh with the metals and plastics of man.
He knows that no one would believe the truth anyway. With the almost religious brand of skepticism born of reality TV and the sermons of men like James Randi, even the government hardly cares about elves anymore. Dayvin hasn’t seen an intelligence agent or had to mail in a control and intent form in over seventy years. It’s almost instinctual, the way the reality that the humans have cast for themselves pulls away from the shady places where the older races still dwell. As cybridization spreads and mankind becomes more and more like its machines, always striving to blur the fine line between the two just a little more, the old races fade further and further into a hazy fantasy remembered only in games and the minds of those who have spent too much time watching Lord of the Rings.
Even Dayvin sometimes finds himself doubting his heritage, wonders what it truly means to be human as he wires the bodies of his clients with synthetic neural tissue laced with the metals of the earth. Elves will never understand the fascination that humans and dwarves share for metal and stone.
But then, am I human?
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E.S. Wynn breathes fire when no one is looking and is secretly (definitely secretly) obsessed with women who have short, spiky hair. On Sundays, he takes tea with Buddha, Jesus, Thor and Bob Dole (because Pizza doesn't exist on Mondays.)
Labels: Earl S. Wynn