The contrast was such a blaring signal that it made the eyes sting and the watchful mind, that naturally engages when entering back streets, ring with observations like ‘despair’, or ‘crime’. Or, ‘somewhere, somehow, someone’s paying for this.’
From an ancient, steel-grilled loudspeaker a voice rattled forth with a sound as might be achieved after two hundred years of chain-smoking.
“Ha!” it began. “I’d say all the little problems and self-occupied frustrations of his parish members have finally broken him!”
Above the loudspeaker were two bloodshot eyes the size of golf balls. They had no sockets but hung free, mounted on thick optical cables of metal coiled with strips of flesh and nerves. The whites were more of a yellowish color. Without lids or any other expressive devices that normally surround eyes, this naked pair simply glared wildly. Above the crude mechanism of the eyes and the loudspeaker was a fishbowl containing green liquid and a human brain.
This head, if you can call it that, was mounted on a telescopic arm protruding from a wooden box that hummed. Slim hoses ran along the arm, transporting bubbling liquids to the brain. Dials and switches riddled the front of the box and cracked leather carrying straps hung on the sides.
By any and all reasoning Colonel Olga Breinz should have been dead. But here she was, the last vital parts of her, brain and eyes, preserved and kept in a vague state of aliveness.
“Or is our over-paid servant of dreamers just having another bad day?”