My host studiously ignored the open portfolios of photographs that had been retrieved from my carriage. Presented therein were proofs from the aforementioned exhibit ("mechano-erotica", it had been dubbed by the artistic community). Androgynous waifs posed in the controlled symmetry of Machines; the hair on their heads and elsewhere thickly woven with industrial cable; black metallic powders darkening eyes and lips.
Next morning, they'd hardly gone a mile when the boy found something dead. He crouched over it. He called Jacsen over. "It's a raccoon, ain't it?" the boy said. Jacsen stared at the carcass from his saddle. "It looks just like you," the boy said, awestruck. His words rang ill and Jacsen felt suddenly sick. Heat sick maybe and he needed some water.
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