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[personal profile] baloonworld
I wait in the darkness. Those who share my prison are rather less upset by being locked in a chicken house; this is because they are chickens. So, for that matter, am I, but I am from Kansas, and this place, Ev, is a fairy country, and one can not expect to travel from one to the other and remain entirely as one left.

The fat one just shuffled in her sleep. She'll wake up within the next minute and peck the one on the end to assert her dominance.

Dorothy tells me that there are no chickens in Oz, so this may be my last chance to spend time with others of my kind, although Dorothy is hardly an authority on any subject. Especially diplomacy, which leads me back here, locked in a hen house and threatened with drowning if I do not lay.

There she goes. I step back and round, so she will perceive me as another part of the flock rather than as a threatening individual. When I get out of here, I will not be sad to never again see baselines.

I lay my egg for the day and mute my normal triumphant cackle. Its dead, which is just as well; the head-swapping bitch can have it. All my eggs are dead. If I go to Oz, they always will be, unless...
The thought is repugnant enough that I cut it off, but consciousness is not without its drawbacks. I grit my beak and follow the logic through. I can live a long time in Oz. Maybe 6 years, maybe 10, maybe even more if life in fairy agrees with me. Alone.

The others are waking up. They will open the hen house and let us into the yard soon.

Or I can have children. There I've thought it. If I was braver maybe I could look at the damn cockerel and inside, at a level below the structured cadences of language and the rationalities of conscious thought, but so very far above the dumb instinctive actions of the baselines, I'm screaming in horror at what I'm contemplating. He's dumb. They're'll dumb. They're all so dumb I can guess the next move of every single one of the dumb bastards and still have time to contemplate growing old alone and years of regret and it doesn't matter what I do I will always regret this day.

I could let him. No, be honest to yourself, I could make him, because baselines don't have free will, not when I'm here and I know how they'll react to everything before they do.

The door's opened, letting the light in, and the rest go outside. I'm hungry, and need to escape, so I follow. Cluck. Cluck. Nothing conscious to see here, hen-keeper. No reason to keep the fence repaired but foxes.

He's found food and is calling us to eat first. I'd call it gallant if I couldn't see blind instinct pulling him through his predetermined paces. I wander in with the rest, peck peck, scratch at the floor, the fat one won't see me as a threat if I stand here, peck /these/ pieces of grain, scratch at /that/ bit of floor. And he, he won't notice me unless I walk over /there/. If I did he'd drop his wing and dance round me and mount and in a few months time, and the years that follow, I won't be the only hen in Oz. The loneliness will last a lifetime.

And I'll always have fucked a baseline. The humiliation will last a lifetime too.

***

You know how it turned out of course. The children are a fairly obvious clue, and Dorothy will tell you that I beat him up afterwords. I'm not exactly proud of that, but after I made him mount I felt like I lost control: he was after all, about twice my size, and had very clear set of actions to run through. My choice was bad enough, but to be helpless to a baseline was unbearable.
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