Aloysius was a carefree hare once, pilfering vegetables from garden patches, rolling in alfalfa and clover until he was snatched suddenly one bright day. Many monthes later he awoke, alone in a dark room, transformed, in pain and confused. Cold metal parts had been spliced into his body in place of limbs and organs . In a constant, dislocated state, alarm suppressed by heavy drugs, Aloysius nevertheless feels a burning anger at the tremendous injustice of his new circumstances.

Pressed into service by alien, robotic programming, he is forced to become the assistant to his tormentor, capturing other animals and occasional hitchhikers to act as subjects in Hadrian's experiments in cybornetic augmentation. The range of of his freedom, described by a long cord, attached to his back and ultimately connected to the huge Babbage Engine rumbling in the basement which keeps his life funtions going. Aloysius considers whether it would be possible to escape this torture, whether through murder of his creator, suicide or both. Aloysius steeps in his quiet, mechanical resentment, waiting for his chance.