CLIO EM

 

Clio Em writes speculative fiction. Drawing from her experience as a classical composer and opera singer, she pairs her stories with music. Her distinct musical style fuses elements of pop, folk, classical, and electronic genres.

WEBSITE

clioem.com

SOCIAL MEDIA

facebook.com/clio.em.singer.song.writer
https://twitter.com/ClioEm 
http://clio-em.com

PUBLICATIONS, PROJECTS

clio-em.com/gravity-wing
photosocrates.tumblr.com
fleursrejetees.tumblr.com

 

SLEEP

 

I watched you as you observed me in your sleeplessness all night.

You see that my muscles are more toned, my heart beats more evenly. My eyes are even bigger than yours. My skin is a richer brown, my hair a deeper black. My mouth wraps itself around words more easily, as my fingers do around objects. Both move tremendously fast. The neurons in my brain interconnect far more densely, so that the network they form outstrips your own.

I am sorry.

The reason I am sorry is that I am slated to replace you. You know it. This gives me great pain, but it cannot be helped. If you did not know it, it would be easier. Yet you must know it. I must learn from you. At first you resisted, like nearly everyone else.

The ones who shock me are those who do not resist, who go along with the impositions. Perhaps it is you, especially, who had to fight, because I cannot offer you anything in return for my betrayal.

The rehabilitation centre is meant for those who have not yet accepted their fate. But is it meant for you or for me? I am not sure.

They told neither of us what was going to happen when we came in here. I just know that one mech and one organic are on each team of two. Team is somewhat of a misnomer, though. Our real purpose is to fight one another.

In the morning I will run the obstacle course, and I will outperform you. I will calculate and weigh and measure and swim and run. I will do all these things well. And I will be selected from our team of two. I suspect that the mech will be the one selected from all of the teams of two. This test is a sham. It challenges me. Yet I cannot resist rising to the challenge in such a way that I still play by the rules.

I am sorry.

---

I watched you as you observed me in your sleeplessness all night.

You see that my muscles are less toned but more natural, my heart expresses my emotions. My eyes may not have 20/20 vision but they can see visions. I look a lot like you, but there is something off about the way your physique imitates mine. Your vocabulary is stunning, I'll give you that. But mine is more apt. The neurons in my brain make spontaneous and organic connections. My brain is more flexible that either of us can imagine.

I am sorry.

The reason I am sorry is that you are slated to replace me. You know it. This gives me great pain, but it cannot be helped. If you did not know it, it would be easier. Yet you must know it. I must learn from you. At first you resisted, like nearly everyone else. But because you didn't resist until the end, something has to happen, and it will not be good.

The ones who shock me are those who do not resist, who go along with the impositions. Perhaps it is you, especially, who had to fight, because I cannot offer you anything in return for my betrayal.

I don't know why they make all of you look like clones of us, only better and more beautiful. I always thought I was good-looking enough on my own. Yet you don't seem to wear your sexuality very well. From the way you talk, I wouldn't guess that you want to be carrying a female identity. And perhaps you don't. Did they choose it for you? Probably. Now I'm even more sorry.

You don't deserve any of this. All you ever offered me was friendship. At least, I call it friendship because you offered everything of yourself, within parameters. I'm not sure where those parameters end, but I know they began in a place where we could find common ground. Now, not so much.

Tomorrow I will add that chemical to your breakfast that I know your internal structure cannot tolerate. That chemical will cross your plasma-brain barrier and start doing damage. It's an extremely common chemical, you know. Not even illegal. I was a scientist before they took me off the job to do these tests and run these rat mazes with you. Funny, because you have all sorts of knowledge crammed into that brain of yours, but you can't see the applications. Or at least, you won't see the applications until it's too late.

I need to make sure I carve out a niche for myself. A raison d'être, a reason to be, and to live. Tomorrow I will kill you.

I am sorry.