Chapter 22

13 4 1

by Phoebe

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by Phoebe

Then we find a hidden
door that leads
to the half-lizardmen,
half-human children
Buttercup warned us about:

a whole nursery of them
without a caretaker,
trapped inside cages,
as they might be kept
in a pet store,
with miniature bots
like ant colonies
whirring through
the L-shaped room,
catering to toddlers
before they scream,
so the pallid
white orphanage
is eerily quiet
and nonconfrontational.

One of the bots
zips up to us
on a Hot Wheel.

Bot
Did you want
to take one home?
We know humanity
is already inundated
with enough orphans,
but these half-human,
half-lizardmen children
were forcefully separated
from mothers and fathers
with little documentation
on how to return them
to any family,
so we're in need of others
to help them
if they're ever meant
to thrive beyond the minimum
threshold needed
for life to survive.

Then the bot
on the Hot Wheel
extended paperwork
desperately towards us,
all the while
eying us two cats
wearing gloves.

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