048. Leaving The Tower With A Raven

Thomas Maple, leaving the Tower Of L’Undone with Corvus Corvax. Bella Crow leaving with Corvus Corvidae. Christoper Wren leaving with Troglydytus Troglydytus.

A Needle sticking up from the center of the tapestry. This was symbolic of the fall. A dark tower, a tower where the machinery ran on blood; vampire architecture.

Thomas wore a poppy in his lapel – Remembrance Day was not far away. The poppy was a dream gateway flower as well; another Vector Flower blooming in the city. It was a poppy programmed to deflect White Site technology.

Bella Crow wore a brooch with a ruby shaped like an egg in a silver nest. It was a well-crafted metaphor.

Christopher Wren was wearing an Insomniaxe Coffee T-shirt.

There was a story of how the first Vector Flower was the transformed head and spine of a fallen Immaculate Author. There was garden where cuttings from that first flower were grown – The Shard Garden they called it, and it was looked after by The Sheath. Wordswords were also grown there, and Shake Spears. Petalled Mirror Tech.

A man was walking behind them, and behind him another. For a second their footsteps were hidden by the footfalls of the three in front of them. And then the man in front decided to let those steps fall out of synch.

Thomas Maple spun on his heel.

‘The Original?’

Spay smiled.

‘And you’re a Gank?’ said Bella Crow.

‘He is,’ said Spay.

‘And what are you doing here? And why are you following us?’

‘Well, you are working with Carter Brecht, aren’t you? All working to put Coran Andress and David Arnover where they need to be?’

‘How do you know this?’

‘Oh, me? I’m everywhere – ask your friend Quint Essential. I may even be the reason this whole thing started.’

‘And to answer the first questions I asked – why are you here? And why are you following us?’

‘To be there, when it happens.’

‘When what happens?’

‘The reboot. And we know you have Excalibur with you, and she has the Stone Of Tara, and Chris here is carrying a Hand Of Glory. We know that you are an Echo Pattern, and when you do what you have to do – whether we are there or not – we are going to step through into the room with your friends, and we are going to do what needs to be done.’

‘That sounds like something that none of us are going to agree to, or assist you in.’

‘You do realise,’ said Bella Crow ‘That we have satellite covens of Edge Witches rolling around in our orbit?’

‘Oh, friendly with Mary Elizabeth, are we?’

‘You know her?’

‘Sure. I’m connected.’

Bella smiled. Connected? Weren’t they all? Some days she wondered, if she had a chance to, whether she might go back and destroy The Slice. Where did that start though? Might it be with the very man dragged along in the wake of this Original? Gank and his Weapon Eyes? Then the Cryptochrome Eyes that she had seen, and which had inspired her to come up with The Slice? Cryptochrome Eyes which she believed were the root of the transformative tech behind the things that had started as her Crows, and had become the thing known as The Nest. Weren’t those eyes that allowed people to see into the quantum field the very thing that had elevated Spay to where he now was?

Yes, she knew he was Spay, though he thought himself so clever. And Spay, as The Original, he had set The War Ravens in motion. Did The War Ravens become The Nest also? Super-positional beings with Super-positional roots and super-positional awareness might commingle and become the same thing over time, or outside of time; in a story that did not know where it began and where it ended.

Had Bella Crow created the conditions which made it possible for the spread of the influence of the man that created the War Ravens, who became The Nest? Was Bella Crow the most dangerous person in the multiverse? She wondered – wouldn’t all this have come to pass anyway? Wasn’t this the inevitable pattern that the wave was going to collapse into? Had she created the world which made the interconnected truths of David Arnover possible? Had David Arnover then created Coran Andress as a pseudonym for him to operate within his own fiction? Had he then created the stories about Metaphor Tech that seeded the idea that made Metaphor Tech possible, and which led to her inventions, to Gank’s inventions, to the beings that had travelled back in time to shape the world that he, blind to the intricasies of time and reality, then was influence to write about? She was in the gut of Ouroboros.

Thomas had come to her and told her about all the things that were in play, all the actors that were known about in theatre, and he told her that she might play a part in it. She had forgotten that she already had. How far away from the centre of the story had she moved that she remembered none of it? At what point had she changed relation to the story? Being written inside it, rather than writing it?

‘You know all about it, don’t you?’ said Gank.

‘I do.’

‘He’s not playing you, is he?’

‘No.’

‘But you’re going to go along with his plan anyway aren’t you?’

‘Maybe so.’

‘Why?’

‘Collapse a wave Double slot the experiment. See how it all plays out, and if it seems to be exactly the same narrative, then isn’t that just how it is meant to be?’

‘I don’t know – I’ve been following for so long. Caught in the tide of others for so long. I haven’t been in control of my own story for a very long time.’

‘There’s a cab, you guys. Let’s take a ride’

They all followed Christoper Wren into the Black Cab.

‘I have The Knowledge. I learned it from Martello. I am taking you where you need to go.’

The birds flew above that black vehicle with five people smooshed into the back seat.

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047. Force Heaven

Uriel Gates. Vast winged mirrors with masks for faces. On a smaller scale they might call it a collapsed territory, but when it was this large what did you call it? It was strange to see things peeking in from somewhere above and outside.

When you pressed the entry wound over the exit wound didn’t it look strangely like a flower? Strangely like a Vector Flower? Layer upon layer and the space between them, one narrative interleaving into the next, and no real end in sight. People always wanted more stories so they could climb into the uncharted heights of new levels of awareness, or descend into the deep time of consciousness as expressed by various iterations of an idea condensed into a character.

Carter Brecht, out of The Metaphor House. Seymour at The Crooked Womb waiting to suck Coran Andress backwards. Oversight blinded. All of the players, the multi-storied players – stacked upon each other in infinite variations.

Angels in the angles. Onceangels, yetangels. They collect themselves out of light and dark that joust in the arenas of reconfiguration. Sunset and sunrise are detonating bombs whose fallout drops through the drama of each other.

Tibetan Sanctuary Eats L’undone branch was doing a special on Mayan Calendar pizzas, and they all sat there chomping away. Mushrooms and pineapples and pepperonis, and anchovies, and whatever else one might expect to find riding atop these culinary discs.

They woke in Avalon. They woke in Haven East. They woke in Tir Nan Og. Erewhon was astir. Arcadia was bustling. Eschaton was in gear. L’udone was all heavy traffic.

Where you are, where you were, where you will be — all of these things were up in the air. Fractured paths forward, and fractured memories of how arrival was achieved. Everyone was having to erect their own fortifications around the sanctity of their own causality. Resets, and life-walls, and back-sight and forward-sight were sparking up in people like an evolutionary response to the envelope of everything unsealing.

Coran Andress sat there with a Flower Of Babel, chewing on it. David Arnover was writing into a book of fractals; tired of single story coming from him – instead writing something super-positional. Coran was reading it upside down, he smiled, and he shook David’s hand.

‘I wrote a book using a mirror last year. I called it The Extinguished World.’

‘I’d like to read it sometime.’

‘Yeah, we’ll have to exchange details.’

‘I would like to buy you gentlemen a drink.’

‘Your name?’

‘Antiel.’

‘Well, Antiel, I am Coran, and this is David.’

‘Good to meet you.’

‘What are you here for, Antiel?’

 ‘You might call me an emissary. You might call me a plot device. You might call me a narrative handshake condensed into a being that can appear to talk for himself, and is not just a cipher being used to move the story. There are angels in the angles always,and sometimes only by being obvious does the angle or motivation get moved decisively into play in a way that makes it matter.’

‘You’re a catalyst?’

‘I am. A line of code. A reiterative fragment of a pattern. An ingredient you need.’

Coran’s eye began to blur and move as if he were dreaming. David looked the same.

Antiel’s wings moved like a wireframe hurricane through the space, reconfiguring it, casting connections and lines into the understanding of the geography of the area that no one had noticed before. Coran was part of David was part of the room, was an extension of Antiel. Everything was fractured and fungible.

A bar light, a distant star, an eye reflecting light from within or without. An arm, a spiral arm, the leg of a chair; all of it echoing and overlapping and making a physical poetry of the material universe. There was a movement of music through them, and into the vibrational frequencies of every single atom that danced in this localised iteration of the multiverse.

It was an explosion. It was a sunrise. It was a sunset. It was a punctuating mushroom cloud. It was ink dropped in water. It was the expansion of a mind. It was the unfolding of an angel’s wings.

A Vector Flower bloomed in the middle of the room; a stuttering singularity driven lotus flower binding the beginning middle and end of the story into a single instance. Is it Jenny Fred sat at a typewriter? Is it Madrigal fleeing the Dogleg Hinterland? Is it Eveleen moving the Walking House through a sleeping world? Is it some triple-aspected iteration of the goddess sputtering and rallying like a candlelight in a breeze? How would something look moving through time while slightly out of synch with it? All the masks, all the petals. a swirl of wordswords, a bloom of mathblades, a Catherine Wheel built of Shake Spears. A Mandala. A Mayan Calendar. A Map Of The Superpositional All. Coran Andress. David Arnover. Antiel.