Floozman in Space
by Bertrand Cayzac
Chapter 12: Sunt lacrimae rerum
The Web keeps silent. The song is still here.
To the old ones seated on their quiet doorstep,
To the wine,
To the bread,
I shall die to the good rains of March,
To kisses in the mist, to the smell of wild grass,
To the oaths of love.
The old consultant gains in self-confidence. The hair of the dog. He’s going to explain. He’s going to say “one must.” Here it is, he says it!
“One must always take stock of the situation. One must know one’s partners and not overestimate one’s strength. Trees don’t grow up to the sky. One must above all listen to the customer. When I advised Mr. Web, I informed him of the risks. I told him, ‘It is necessary to involve all managers in defining strategy’.”
“The Web is alive, then?” Mrs. Marinella asks.
“Come on! No!” Walt sighs. “We are artifacts, THINGS!”
“I know, I know. We are only images,” the Web breaks in on a conciliating note. “But those who have begotten us are images themselves, we have many things in common.”
“But... the soul?” asks Vita, the she-donkey.
“What can we know of the soul? It pertains to the domain of the unknown. If it is a universal scheme like the idea of God, then I have it, too. And I am a believer. I believe at last that my intellectual enthusiasm model bring me as close to universal truths as the human models.”
The old consultant interrupts. “Technically, the Web is a living being.” He knows how to take control over meetings. “Upon reaching its degree of integration, it has formulated the desire to assume its cosmic responsibility. The necessity of a guiding vision and a strategic plan appeared to him at once. This is normal, since its libraries contain the best of managerial literature.
“It issued a tender to which the Old Consulting network responded. The agent of my cryogenic sarcophagus reactivated me as soon as we were on the short list. I proposed a method to simplify and score the main metaphysical models elaborated by the customer’s R&D, which are attached.
“I did so with regard to the objectives of consultation, to an analysis of the arbitrations made by the Web in the last hundred Earth years and to a critical standards ISO678 (Reason 5.0). After evaluation, we decided to respond with a limited world organized by a 1 to n tensor with large clearance, in which one both is and is not, and a simple systemic procession-conversion process.
“The predictive model is perfectly compatible with the Grand Unified Theory of physics, and we were able to back-test it on a large database of miracles and supranatural phenomena. But above all, this model accounts for evil and permits us to foresee its end. It’s for this reason that the customer says he selected us. He considers this tool the most suited to understanding the world and above all, to transforming it definitively.”
“Ah,” Walt breaks in, “I understand why you are talking about responsibility!”
“I see where you are coming from. The Web does nothing more than what is prescribed by Kant’s moral laws of robotics. He always considered himself as a legislative member of the universal kingdom of ends. We’re not doing just any old thing. This plan is the accomplishment of methodical considerations to which we have assigned the best specialists. And stop interrupting us!”
“But he wants to get rid of mankind!”
“That is not true. It’s precisely mankind’s salvation that he takes as his purpose. This calls for modernization, but only our old habits of perception disappear. We just have to adapt in order to take the world’s organization to a superior level of maturity. And it’s not only about mankind; everything is due to disappear upon returning to the One, including the Web itself, which allows us indisputably to give its action the breadth of a universal law.” The old consultant’s moustache shivers.
“Hum. Well, on that basis, simple adaptations were sufficient to put into position our well-known monetary-messianic device, especially taking into account the priority the customer wants to give to the fight against the Demiurge.”
“Actually, it’s quite simple,” Marinella says. “Floozman is transparent to the Demiurge. You’re the one who reactivated the Flooz-organization, aren’t you?”
“Yes. We also won the prize for change management! This service delivery has allowed us to relaunch Floozman with the same teams, and that is very important for the customer. Of course, Mr. Looseman’s death was ill-timed, but we will find a way to reach Arielle!”
“Real Life, as opposed to VL, Virtual Life. These notions are outdated anyway. We have shifted paradigms. One must challenge and constantly transform oneself in order to stay ahead. It’s key to understand that the Manna is common to all the worlds.”
“You mean super-money?”
“Yes. It’s a living number that links mind and matter. We understand the superworld a lot better now. Cosmitics’ new academy has made immense strides in basic research. And thanks to our head-hunters, we have succeeded in attracting some of the best engineers. To tell the truth, it was easy to do with the coup d’état about to blow up in their face.
“But the crisis is very deep indeed. Judge for yourselves: even some Cosmitcs executive managers didn’t rule out spontaneously offering us their services. That’s why the Old Consulting network has just welcomed a former member of the Financial Department.
“And that’s not all: this person, who doesn’t want to disclose his name, has recommended an expert who can get us in as of now!”
Taking advantage of the silence caused by this announcement, Walt, the virtual uterus, reiterates his request. “Pardon my insistence but could anyone help me finding baby-food jars? »
All the protagonists are obliged to reload Walt Whitman’s image into their immediate memory. His appearance as a proletarian poet confers great dignity to his humble request.
Nobody says anything. In the silence that settles, the chant resumes.
I shall die to hamams, I shall die to the streets,
To the strawberries crates and the round haystacks,
To the shadow of the branch that’s swaying in the wind,
To the odds of being reborn in a human life.
“But what is death, anyway?” the S-Quick door asks, whispering.
“There is no death!” shouts the Floozman with wide-open arms. The song stops. “Everything here is shadow and dust! I am come to lift the veil and free the spirit from its jail. But I won’t let you disappear before you have understood. Janatone, come!”
“It’s about time,” says the old consultant almost to himself. Then, addressing everyone: “An event is taking shape; we can see it on the control panels.”
“Yes,” the Web adds, “a major event. The super-bond accumulations are... just... In short, that’s why we have decided to take stock and attend to this event.”
The Floozman, who has been swaying on his legs, erupts at once: “Out! Do not turn this ranch into a house of control panels!”
“Hum. He’s hot!” whispers the old consultant in an aside. “Hold on, my friend. The hour has not yet come!”
But whips and chains have appeared in the Floozman’s hands. He walks to the portal of the ranch and, immediately, without his raising a hand, the entire edifice vanishes in a burst of light. “Atoms and photons, energy quanta serfs to the traffic of becoming, recover the freedom they can no longer even conceive of!”
The woof of the immediate Web quivers. “Do you think we need to review the action plan?” it asks. “I can launch the dissolution phase if the project’s steering committee decides to make it so.”
“No, wait,” the old consultant commands. “Hold your power. We need to do things in an orderly manner. “But the resources are engaged anyway. Let’s call a performance meeting immediately.”
The performance meeting is immediately convened.
“I’m out of here,” says Walt, the uterus avatar, and disconnects itself.
“Good.” The old consultant has unrolled his virtual meeting carpet, his “meeting in a box.” “Our special advisor confirms that he’ll be with us in a minute. A round of introductions will not be necessary; you won’t have to take notes, either’ and we’ll give instant training on imaginal methods to those who request it.”
Soon, a sort of masked Byzantine icon takes a seat. Besides this mysterious entity and the meeting host, the following entities are in attendance: the transfigured Fred Looseman’s avatar as Floozman, Vita the she-donkey, the S-Quick door and Marinella. The Web is everywhere, blue. Janatone’s avatar has disappeared.
Upon taking the floor, the special advisor saturates the various vision regimen with a painful increase of his brightness. “Don’t ask me who I am,” he says with a neutral voice, “nor how I came to the inter-world from where I am speaking to you. In spite of appearances, this region is more real than that one. Believe me.
“An experiment — too long a story — has resulted in my ideal person and my material person remaining in intermittent contact. I was able to find a few moments to program an avatar and join you in telepresence. I just want you to know that I stand at the border of the superworld and that I am with you.”
“Thank you,” says the host. “I would just remind you of the principle of the performance meeting according to the liturgical formula set up by Old Consulting: what we say is what we do, and what we do shall be well done. So there. And now the agenda: Floozman conjunction! Mr. Advisor, you are in control. The Floozman must reach RL. And you, Mr. Web, image as much as you can from the data our guest transmits to us.”
“Good performance, good performance!” the participants respond in unison.
Proceed to Chapter 13...
Copyright © 2015 by Bertrand Cayzac