In the Lair in the Underground of the Valley

Indeed he was a master-mind - the evil kind.
He bid me build a biostrain, infecting brains
To make them cede their surest will, for good or ill.

Truly, yes, he asked me first, of course, not using force
Nor was there even once a threat - and don't forget
He offered stakes like equity - if I would free-

Lance this job, he'd pay triple - ethics niggled
But late again to pay the rent I simply went
Ahead and CRISPR'd in some gene I had once seen

Which triggered on a certain sound which I had found
Caused hypnotic states and total trust. I 'spose I must
Confess the germ in which it spread: I also bred.

I'm sorry for the hordes that died. I really tried
To test it first, but time was short and to abort
The master plan was much too steep a price to keep

On waiting for replacement mice - we had tried twice.
My vesting plan was deadline-based, and so I raced
Ahead when others might have paused and said "it's flawed".

He was a truly awesome boss, and thought the loss
Of half a million souls on earth was surely worth
The knowledge gained by moving fast. Good startups last.

"At least we show we execute!" - His puns were cute.
Our angels though; they did not like our plan to strike
A deal with Death or Devil; though our best demo

Could clear a land of racial line in half the time
That famine, flood and total war combined with more
Apocalyptic startups' goods then ever would.

The VC buzz was "sound's clichéd", so we were swayed
To pivot to transmission tech and got a cheque
For hypno-tech deployed by touch; we spent too much.

We made some awesome tech, all right: transmit by bite!
It's viral growth, by herd of mouth. Our trial down South
Went well enough that Valleywag said we had snagged

The fastest growing unicorn! Our plans were drawn
For IPO but scale achieved and cash received
Diverged. This time the market tanked and we were thanked,

But all let go, "for non-perform" and thus the storm
Of jobs that came and went that I ... never got: why
Employ leprous, tainted by the smell of "not done well"?

I lost my lab. And my machines. And notes of genes
That might have stopped the zombie flood. And special blood
The vampire flock might fatal drink. It's gone I think.

The Valley's now a toxic mess, and more or less
Our species' future also lost, the total cost
Was death worldwide with billions sick. But think: we fixed

The 101. And those engineers' stagnant careers
Don't face a closed allocation. And number one:
Much cheaper houses in the Bay! We did OK.

Greg Baker 12.Dec.2015

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