Early days didn’t make the disintegration easy. The man sat opposite him was talking in terms that were so modern they may as well have been archaic. Magicians, artists, writers, engineers – they weren’t much different if you looked at it from the right angle.
He’d just come from Angle Land, had been speaking to Leroy, a Rastafarian iteration of The King, or Le Roi. He met Leroy back when he had caused the Celtic Brotherhood to shit bricks by being declared Ard Ri after standing on the Stone Of Destiny in Tara, and being blessed with the gift of poetry. A Pen Dragon turned street poet, dropping knowledge via a heavy dose of Linton Kwesi Johnson and Leroi Jones, with a dash of Public Enemy thrown in.
Bringing a Massive Attack with Black Steel in the Hour Of Chaos. They were sat at a structural weak point in the system, where Renaissance Italy overlapped with L’undone in a Narrative Collapse.
‘You been hanging with Da Vinci, De Plume? Talking about Ardenti In Mundo again? You know I’m the Pen Dragon of the moment, and I am supposed to know about these bastards. Word of The Unter King abroad again.’
‘All of that. You’ve been watching things change in the Ark Hive?’
‘Surely. Blanc and Noir come and spew crap in my ear every once in a while, and who else is going to be tampering with the blockchain?’
‘I am not hiding myself very well, am I?’
‘That’s part of your game? You are leaving large enough clues lying around. De Plume? Who the hell is going to fall for that? I knew you were Coran Andress the moment you stepped into the room.’
‘How? That knowledge didn’t just came when you stood on that damned stone? Or when you pulled the word-sword out of the other?’
‘Nah. Could have happened when I sat down with Black Jesus though. He was in Logos mode at that moment, and Gabriel was his drinking buddy. What does it matter? Proliferation protocols, metaphorm fluidity – what the hell is there in this world that you didn’t make complex?’
‘I kept sex pretty straight forward.’
‘Oh, god, we’re fucked. You really think that?’
‘I suppose not, huh?’
‘Sometimes, I am not sure if you are kidding me on. This place is a kingdom built on sand, and knowing what I know about you and the nature of what you are, I am not sure whether you have been downloaded here into your own creation from the start or whether it was ten minutes ago. You seem super aware and super confused all at the same time.’
And he was back in the room with his current interrogator.
‘You were seeing Leroy? Word is you’ve had Nephilim here too.’
‘I speak to anyone and everyone. Even you, Mr Brecht.’
‘Ah, well we’re friends, aren’t we?’
‘We are? I suppose we are. I forget how long we have been speaking.’
‘Doesn’t really matter does it?’
‘Maybe not. Maybe so.’
‘I’ve heard what you are. I’ve heard what you were.’
‘That isn’t so clear anymore.’
‘Ah. Well, I have to go, De Plume.’
‘I will see you around.’
‘Yeah. Total identity collapse and fragmentation. Seems like The Fire Mirror didn’t do a damned sight to repel him, but it may have caused this.’
‘Not something we’ve had much experience handling.’
‘But he’s there. Now I have to find someone that can help with this.’
‘Yeah, I’ll put on my thinking cap.’
‘You do that.’