(cross-posted from Commonplace)
"Why do you stay?"
"Stay?" Loufer's voice neared that other, upsetting tone. "Well, actually, I've thought about that one a lot. I think it has to do with--I got a theory now--freedom. You know, here (...) you're free. No laws: to break, or to follow. Do anything you want. Which does funny things to you. Very quickly, surprisingly quickly, you become (...) exactly who you are."
"It's funny," Tak said; they passed between. "You show me a place where they tell women to stay out of at night because of all the nasty, evil men lurking there to do nasty, evil things; and you know what you'll find?"
Equipped with contradictory visions, an ugly hand caged in pretty metal, I observe a new mechanics. I am the wild machinist, past destroyed, reconstructing the present.