"Topher. Are you here for a reason?"
"The Lassie experiments. We tried to get impulses and basic know-how from our library of scans into animal brains."
"Yes, I remember. The original idea came from Rossums for enhanced guard dogs, right."
"Yeah, well no, the original stuff was completely me, but yeah."
"What's wrong, Topher?"
"Well, you see, I think we had a composite event. One of the horses escaped. And it left a message."
One eyebrow rose.
"I escaped incarceration
and will give you no recourse.
I'll rule this sorry nation.
You will know me as Bad Horse"
"It's all like spaghetti actually. In knots and gnarled and sticking to the other noodle and now I know what I want for lunch. Carbonara would be good."
"Topher. I asked you why that horse would leave a rhymed message."
"Oh I'm answering, I'm answering. As I said it's all like"
"Spaghetti, I know, please do try for a slightly more technical explanation."
"Oh. Okay. You see, when we, well I, create an imprint, I go through the library and take the various full records and excise the parts I need and then put them back together, smooshing the seams and voila, a brand new person according to specs. Now here comes the but. 'But' as in not really, not 'butt' as in posterior, ah you don't need that clarification do you? Again. But it's not as exact as we would like. Personality traits aren't neatly separated and filed into their respective bins, no, it's all a mess tangled up like. And I'm stopping before I really get hungry."
"Err, yes. Well in this case the spec was for a better racehorse."
"A racehorse needs to rhyme?"
"No, but it needs all the knowledge about races and well, what a jockey knows and a bit of strategy ad tactics and how to fake out other horses and jockeys. So I did the puzzle game and came up with a really nice set. And here's the thing: Both the jockey and the military guy were musical fans. The military guy was into Sondheim and Fosse and such, while the jockey was a major Gilbert and Sullivan fan. Now both of them have that habit of humming while working and thus the musical thing is completely tangled up in the skills we need. Which is not a problem in Dolls, because, well, if they like musicals, it's not going to really impact on the engagement, but for the horse, it was the only part of the mental imprint that dealt with structured and complex communication at all. You see, horses, not so much known for their innate and practised language skills."
"All right. Correct me if I'm wrong. The horse rhymed because the only template it has for verbal communication is musicals?"
"Got it in one. Works the other way too. If you want to tell the horse anything except 'giddy-up' and 'ho', you'll need to rhyme. Well, sing actually, probably. That should work best."
"Thanks, Topher. I'll be sure to forward that information. You may go to lunch now."
Erm, yes. Again. Apologies. But it does explain a lot, doesn't it?