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A third voice was indubitably that of a mechanical utterance-machine connected with one of the detached brains in the cylinders. There was as little doubt about that as about the buzzings; for the loud, metallic, lifeless voice of the previous evening, with its inflectionless, expressionless scraping and rattling, and its impersonal precision and deliberation, had been utterly unforgettable. For a time I did not pause to question whether the intelligence behind the scraping was the identical one which had formerly talked to me; but shortly afterward I reflected that any brain would emit vocal sounds of the same quality if linked to the same mechanical speech-producer; the only possible differences being in language, rhythm, speed, and pronunciation.

H. P. Lovecraft, The Whisperer in Darkness

Specimen

Washed out of muddy waters
After months of rain and flood—
Sending swarty occult scholars
Forbidden tomes to prod—
Are carcasses of unknown
species, half-decayed.
Whether fungoid or crustacean?
The remnants much too frayed.

In the danken, cold, and shady cellar
Keeps the scholar
His own specimen.

On an orb in untold darkness
Where nighted towers rise
Loathsomeness is gathered
Beneath sunless alien skies,
Preparing for the ritual
To their deity without name.
Upon the sooth-stained altar
You spy the off'ring's frame.

In the blood-soil'd, hideous, nameless god-shrine:
A sacrificial
Human specimen.

"I saw the body spread on that dank stone,
And knew those things which feasted were not men;
I knew this strange, grey world was not my own,
But Yuggoth, past the starry voids - and then
The body shrieked at me with a dead cry,
And all too late I knew that it was I!"

(H. P. Lovecraft, Recognition)

In suspended animation,
Unmoved for untold years
You float within your own-shed
Cell-preserving tears.
Now by scholars from your stasis
For studies you are pryed.
Put in jar all neatly label'd
With formaldehyde.

To the dry-skinned, blonde-haired,
Blue-eyed scholar
You're a specimen.

The Nameless City >


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