WHAT ROBOTS MURMUR THROUGH BROKEN SLEEP
after Naoki Urasawa
I. North No.2
A tornado has touched down in Bohemia, your birthplace.
Before coming here, I very much enjoyed the movie The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
No, sir, I really was moved. I overheard you in your bedroom last night.
It’s the melody you were humming in your sleep, sir. Listen:
Your dream is not a nightmare. Your mother did not abandon her sickly child.
Your eyesight has been deactivated. You only compose on an old piano.
You were humming. You sounded so troubled.
It’s coming this way. It’s the piece you’ve been working on.
The police car vanished almost instantly.
You know the dream I’ve been telling you about: a little flower peddler
in Persia gives his tulips names. My recognition system nearly goes haywire
with electromagnetic waves. The humans would call this a hunch.
Ah, but I have no use for flowers. Flowers must wither and die.
Because I, too, have hatred inside me. Now your thermal
and magnetic rays won’t work on me. It’s faint but
we’ve got plenty of back-up with that police car behind us.
It’s been raining for three days straight.
Do you realise that I nearly turned this dawn into ashes? Do you recall
an extraordinary meteorological event? A strange electromagnetic field,
say in the earth’s crust, for example? Who was it directed at?
You lost most of your body in the war. When you died,
something above us transmitted grief. A mysterious movement,
a kind of weapon, waiting at three thousand metres.
Your wavelength scattered all over the ocean.
IV. Brau 1589
You appear to the murderer in his dungeon.
Surely you’re not here to repair me? I might just be imagining
this shaft, the meaning of my little barricade. They put it up so fast,
I had to laugh. They should pull out the formula for my heart.
Then again, it could mean many things: a single defect,
powerful as the brain; an anti-proton bomb, highly developed;
a peek at the outside world. That’s why you’d never wake up.
Even if I were free, where could I go with this ruined body?