Floozman in Space
by Bertrand Cayzac
In a space station in Earth orbit, Janatone Waldenpond, a refugee from Europa, is trying to return to Earth. She meets a long-lost cousin, Fred Looseman. Meanwhile, Jenny Appleseed, the president of the Cosmitix Corporation, holds a conference to plan interstellar expeditions.
Chapter 21: It Is Done!
“It’s you who are un-poetical,” replied the poet Syme. “If what you say of clerks is true, they can only be as prosaic as your poetry. The rare, strange thing is to hit the mark; the gross, obvious thing is to miss it. We feel it is epical when man with one wild arrow strikes a distant bird. Is it not also epical when man with one wild engine strikes a distant station? Chaos is dull; because in chaos the train might indeed go anywhere, to Baker Street, to Bagdad. But man is a magician, and his whole magic is in this, that he does say Victoria, and lo! it is Victoria.”— G.K Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday
From the hotel’s bar, one can see the giant shadow of Floozman. His voice resounds like great waters. “IT IS DONE!” he announces, holding high the rolled-up body of the serpent, which has become no more than a ball of scales busy eating itself. In his hand, the sphere diminishes until it vanishes, and a blazing, minuscule star appears in its place. It’s a luminous dot of an intense black, like the first night of the universe. Floozman flings it high into the air and then, throwing his head back, he catches and swallows it.
“IT IS DONE!” The event reveals itself to each monad depending on the monad’s degree of attention to life. It’s not difficult to understand that everything is disappearing. “HERE IS THE SUPER CERTIFICATE! EVERYTHING IS ONE! EVERYTHING MUST GO!” So the Messiah says.
Everywhere, the small nomads have readied their money for clearing. But in spite of the signs, a lot of powerful monads don’t want to believe in the imminent pre-emption of their assets. No, they don’t. Only those who do fear the Almighty have a vision of what is going to take place after a time, times, and half a time. Only they can see roots untie, rock crumble, and water hiss; the wind blowing cold and hot; birds spreading infinite velvet wings, maize growing up to the sky and crops exploding.
They see their options’ actuarial value wither. And in the depths of the earth and in the firmament, they see dark minerals beginning to glow. Granites, schists and basalts vibrate wildly. In the crystals, the atoms bid each other farewell while blowing a bagpipe tune. They can hear it already: We’ll ride again.
“IT IS DONE!” The web vanishes once again, leaving things for what they are. The avatar of the car, the psycho-geographic map it carries in her handbag and all the other virtual objects disappear from the bar for the duration of the outage.
The boss lady’s weary gaze is deep and not surprised by anything. It doesn’t waver. She says that it’s the end this time but that everything always starts again. “Don’t worry,” she adds, wiping her hands on her slender thighs. In truth she is thinking what the customers are thinking: it’s only a stage show, one of those spectacular destructions of wealth that the rich indulge in to absorb the surplus, the accursed share.
She knows that the Queen has connections in a few cities of the normal land; she even accompanied her there several times, a long time ago. She doesn’t have good memories of the tours arranged by notables in need of sensations: the smugglers, the interminable commuting, the clandestine black magic parties futile, vain and sometimes dangerous, as well as the residents’ dreadful craving to believe and their fearsome technology.
“IT IS DONE!” The hole shines with thousand black fires in the Messiah’s navel. “ALL FOR A QUANTUM! I COME TO REDEEM THE WORLDS!” The web’s event engine makes the ultimate decision. It says that if the end has really come, it’s not a matter of getting it over with, it’s about being part of the event and symbolically accompanying it with all the will one is capable of.
Then all the services stop for good. Memories are flushed, data and programs are erased along with their backups. All the running environments loop on null instructions (NOP). All the virtual worlds sink into nothingness. Their objects are dissolved and with them, their avatars.
EXEUNT Vita, S-Quick, Walt Whitman as well as the virtual Floozman, who disappears from the sky, announcing the upcoming egress of the Messiah himself. As for the old consultant’s avatar, it vanishes without having finished explaining the self-integration method. However — is it a good thing? — he survives himself in the rugged operating environment of his tomb.
All the enriched visions of all the points of the immediate web are extinguished. All the objects with properties in the web’s cloud, all the coordinates, all that owes its existence only to the web’s machines disappears forever.
A sudden surge of energy startles Janatone. She has been dozing, leaning against the wall of the chips stall. Rocked to sleep by the nearby chaos, she was looking for rest as the tired French-fry vendor does after serving all the kids in the village.
The psycho-geographic map has just reactivated itself in Janatone’s implants. “The web is dead,” it announces. “But I’m still here, within you and also in the car, I suppose...”
“Ah... And why should I care? Me too, I’ll soon be dying, at last.”
The psycho-geographic map responds: “Listen to me carefully, Janatone, my beautiful host. Do not believe that death is a refuge. For there is no death. We won’t cease to be when we cease to manifest ourselves, on the contrary...”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m talking about the regions of being that cannot be mapped out. My art is one of delineation and drawing. It’s for this reason that I know well what limits are, if you grant me this point, so to speak.”
“Pfff... Stop playing with words.”
“Okay. The realm of measurement is not everything, far from it. It’s not enough to leave that realm in order not to be. Aye, there’s the rub. You’ll see that when you’re in the interzone.”
“The interzone again?”
“No, not that interzone. Listen. Let me transmit to you the result of my research; we’re running short of time. It’s only a synthesis, because my data has disappeared with the web. Here it is: the realm of limit and necessity is very narrow; it may not even exist. It’s on that side that will is stirring, all that inexhaustible will that is preparing to return to the One.
“But it’s a dreadful trap! The singularity that tends to reconstitute itself at that place cannot stand there. As soon as it is accomplished, it breeds. And BANG! Everything starts again. And everything always starts again, I’m afraid.”
“God would constantly kill herself?”
“I don’t know, I don’t quite understand. But yes, to some extent, she would do that, whether she’s a ‘she’ or not. The emanation resumes and fragments itself anew. It complicates — that is, it coils itself — and boing! — it explicates; it uncoils itself again. And everything becomes like tumbleweed again, from the demiurge down to the smallest bits of slime, not to forget the Archons.”
“I felt the presence of the demiurge, when I was out in the superworld. Well, so it seemed to me...”
“I’d be surprised. There’s none at the moment. You must have approached a flunky. But that’s not all: on the other side — for there is another side of the mirror, if we can call it that — on the other side, the unlimited extends. Matter as defined as pure indetermination, in the manner of Plato or Plotinus.” The map falls silent, it is looking up something. “Oh, that’s right... the web. But here are my notes:”
Matter is neither Soul, nor Intellect, nor Life, nor the principle of the Ideal, nor the principle of reason. It is neither limit nor boundary, for it is merely indetermination: apeiron. [...] It lives beyond all these categories and thus has no right to the name of Being. It will be more plausibly called a non-being [...] It is scarcely more than the image and phantasm of a mass, a bare aspiration to substantial existence.
It is stationary, but not in the sense of having position. It is invisible and eludes all efforts to observe it. It is present where no one can look, hidden from sight, ceaselessly presenting opposites in the things based upon it. It is both large and small, both more and less, both deficient and excessive; a phantasm unabiding and yet unable to withdraw [...]
Its every utterance, therefore, is a lie; it pretends to be big and it is small, to be more and it is less. And the existence with which it masks itself is not existence but a slight of hand making an illusion of all that seems to be present in it, phantasms within a phantasm. It is like a mirror showing things as being within itself when they are really elsewhere, filled in in appearance but actually empty, containing nothing, pretending everything.
“Everything and anything, then....”
“It’s serious. But a small village resists and does not resist. It dedicates itself to the world of measure, our world. I can’t remember how I came to that conclusion or to this other one: I think your soul comes from there, Janatone, and that it is returning there. Like the soul of the girl with the motorbike. You belong to the ones whom Goethe calls THE MOTHERS...”
“A mother... Oh dear! And who’s telling you that it’s not a phantasm? By the way, do we have any news of the Artificial Uterus?”
“I took note that the child was born and that he seriously aspires to the place of the demiurge now that he has absorbed Appleseed. Unless she’s absorbed him.”
“IT IS DONE!” cries Floozman with outstretched arms. “ALL FOR ONE QUANTUM!”
“And that one?” asks Janatone.
“That one? I don’t know where he comes from. Maybe from Matter... Listen to me now, Janatone, you may need this. I’ll tell you where I come from and especially how far I went during the debacle, after the death of Du Guillery.”
To be continued...
Copyright © 2015 by Bertrand Cayzac