Typically, these groups were held indoors. Unless… a penance was necessary. Breach of the rules at Crown’s Plank had many consequences, each depended on the infraction and the example that was to be made of the culprit. If an offense was such that it was deemed that everyone must suffer to teach a lesson, group was held after nightfall in the close proximity of a nearby Nephormed. Although the Nephormed were not new to Tobi’s generation, none of the children at Crown’s Plank had been Given Over so the sight of the creatures was a terrible affliction.
While the Nephormed were present in the daylight, the night was when their captivity and use seemed most savage. Certainly, their abnormally large bodies were bizarre to gaze upon as they stood as the pillars that held up overpasses, bridges, enormous buildings (as columns), and acted as towering light posts lining all roads great and small. however, it was the fact that their open-mouth cries were used to light the darkness that most horrified the children of Crown’s Plank. For some reason, it was the suffering that the children understood most.
Tobi had yet to be the cause of one of these penances. Although, she had been on the property long enough to be present at one. During her solitary confinement, she had often thought of the Nephormed and wondered what their existence must be like. Sitting in her chair and not moving or speaking was, to her, agony. What must it feel like to be taken at birth and bound, to spend an entire childhood in an industrial warehouse where the environment was constantly controlled and manipulated for the single purpose of teaching you to shoulder pain all day and cry into the night to light the world?
Before his death, her father had told her of how it had been decided that these deformed, genetically altered creatures would be kept in bondage and used for what had been described as the greater good of all. He had said that the first of them born had been horrific genetic mutations, the accidental results of the common practice of corporations to intermingle humans, plants, and animals at a cellular level. He had wept as he explained that it was only after the Giving Over that they were bred specifically for their luminous mouths and nearly inexhaustible strength and stamina.
To be continued…