7 Sorrows of 7eptemus 7s
I’ve always heard the buzzing. It enters through the crown of my head and tingles through the spaces inside of me.
I know the buzzing is what I pick up from the others, the singing of my siblings, yes, and also the messages from far beyond beyond. I have always felt this.
Since Pops met my people, it’s gotten stronger, and it never stops.
It’s the sensation of data downloading.
I don’t mind it, but there’s a lot to unpack. Some of it is about the rocket. I know how to build it now. I can see the blueprints. I see that map through the stars. I know that path to the Far Star, and there’s another star; in the shadow of the blue planet, behind the Far Star. I didn’t come from there, but that’s where the rocket is to go.
I haven’t been able to parse it all yet. More comes in than I can decode. It doesn’t all feel good. Some of it hurts.
It swirls with my sister’s song:
The moon rises,
another day’s gone
and now it’s time to
sing my song.
I hear the voice of my bizaabgotojo in my sister’s song. My bizaabgotojo–there’s pain there.
I don’t want to unpack it. Is it better not to know? What if what we know crushes us? Isn’t it better not to know, to be happy? What is my bizaabgotojo doing there in the data?
I feel her blue hands cradling my face. Black eyes: vintaknu. Remember.
The buzzing hurts my cells. Everything vibrates.
Unpack it. It is better to know. Unpack it. I can do it. I’m strong enough. If I unpack it, this pain will stop. My heart will hurt, but at least my cells will be still. This pain…
She was the first one to love me.
She was my bizaabgotojo. The bizaabgotojo cares for the bizoopagotogo. She cared for me. I was a bizoopagoto. I am a bizoo. A clone. She was the one to take me out of the gene pod, the first to hold me. She was the one to care.
I am a bizoo. The buzzing carries scents: blood. Bone dust. Disinfectant. Ether. Sounds: a drill. An electrical saw.
It’s too painful. I don’t want to know. I don’t want to know what bizoo were for.
Another song from another sister cuts through the buzz:
A in’i Desu in’i Tickles, couldbe
A yo in’i E
A yo in’i Fi
Refi Fi –
Fi–are you a bizoo, too? If so, we are safe now. Stop crying. We are safe. Safe from the saws, the drills, the tables draped in metal sheets. The waiting canisters sit empty. They won’t fill with our hearts, our eyes, our lungs, our brains, our clusters of nerves.
We are free.
I remember our bizaabgotojo. She picked me up. She held me close and she whispered to me: O yoshirhufi. O xirrufi. O xirrufi doxni. You won’t die. You will live. You will live free.
She used to place her blue hands, so cool and soft, on my chest, and she would whisper: O inna-inna xirrin’ivreliu. O in’i xin’ivre. “You have a soul. You’ve got a soul.” Vintaknu. Remember.
These were the last words I heard her say, as she buckled me into the pod as we prepared to enter this planet’s atmosphere. Vintaknu.
Baxin’ivre. That’s what she called me: Big Soul. Or sometimes, pabaxin’ivre. Little Big Soul.
She was the first to love me.
What are these memories of her doing wrapped in the bundles of data buzzing through me? This is the story of our freedom, her sacrifice.
I am a bizoo, and I have a soul.
My sister’s song returns:
I hear yours all the time
and it makes me feel happy inside
I hope that you can hear mine.
She sings in the voice of my bizaabgotojo. I wonder if she has her eyes. I would like to see the eyes of my sister.
144. There were 144 of us! Not 100. 144. Where are the others?
We weren’t all bizoo. Some were from slave camps. Did they think they lacked souls, too? Golden horns. Golden skin. Red eyes, fangs. “Enemy” races, shunt up, locked up.
I thought war was only here, only on this planet with those who can’t feel what’s inside of another. If they could feel, they could feel I had a soul! You don’t attack another.
The data is rushing now. I want to slow the flow. It’s too much. I can’t process it. It’s too much. Stop.
It’s. There is cruelty everywhere. No place is safe. There is no safe home in the Far Star. We can’t go back. My bizaabgotojo died for nothing. We are stranded. For nothing. For no reason. Because of random cruelty.
I am a bizoo.
How do I tell my pops? He knows that I’m a bizoo, but he thinks that a bizoo is a slave. How do I tell him that a bizoo is a clone? What if he, like them, thinks that clones don’t have souls?
He wouldn’t. But what if he did? Sometimes people pick up beliefs they don’t even know they have until something stirs them, like sediment that muddies the surface.
I hear another sister’s song:
I’m on a quest to look and see
Where are the heroes just like me?
She didn’t act alone, my bizaabgotojo. There were others!
I can’t decode these bundles. There were others, and it was part of something. We were part of something. There was something bigger. There’s something bigger going on.
It was a sacrifice, but it was worth it. It’s part of something bigger.
I don’t believe that, but that’s what they’re saying. I don’t believe it was worth our bizaabgotojo. I would give anything for her. I would die for her.
O in’i xin’ivre, pabaxin’ivre.
This is part of something bigger.
It wasn’t random.
It wasn’t an accident that my peoples took Sebastion, Pops. It’s not random that I’m here.
There’s something bigger happening. My bizaabgotojo didn’t act alone. That’s what the data says. There was a group behind her. They’re still fighting.
I’m a bizoo, and these rebels, they’re fighting for me. For me and my bizoopagotogo and all the refugee pagotogo.
It’s not an accident. It’s part of a plan. If it hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be here. I mean, my heart would beat inside someone else, my brain would think inside another.
But I’m here. I have a soul, and I’m here.
If I hadn’t come here, I wouldn’t have meet my pops. I wouldn’t have met Lucas. I wouldn’t know what a mockingbird sounds like. I wouldn’t know a blue sky or pink flowers or the smell of bubblegum and the flavor of grilled cheese. We would have ceased to be long ago, or, spared the harvester’s drill, we’d be slaving in the basement factories that keep the technology running.
But we’re not. We’re here and we have souls. And we have people who love us.
You are my heart
My little brothers.
You are my eyes
My little sisters.
Hush. Don’t weep.
Your pops loves you.
Your mother sleeps.
I’m here with you.
We are safe.
We’re not alone.
Vingi, vingi xin’ivre.
O inna-inna xirrin’ivreliu.
O in’i xin’ivre.
We are free.
We are safe,
You and me.
O E, Oe.
Author’s note: A thousand thanks to Xantheanmar for inventing the plot of the rebel bizaabgotojo and the ongoing resistance to the “dark side of alien culture.” You can find the first references to this plot-line in Dove’s letter to Meadow.