Archaic Minus One

Chapter 51

Joule’s Machine Soul contemplated FATIGUE. On his Intranet he’d accessed Edward James’s PC, the one with 5 Morrison Cores; used Webster’s New World Dictionary. Joule was fascinated with human words. Noun verb transitive verb intransitive.

Metal fatigue hurt: that corrugated tarmac in frigid Larkhall New Hampshire Latitude Forty Five had bitten his frame of malleable steel one time too many. Jimmy Barrett his friend, keeper, and mortician by trade limped the sleek black funerary vehicle to Larry’s Auto Repair at the corner of North Main and Jenness for diagnosis.

“Metal F’tigue,” pronounced Larry. “Can you weld it?” petitioned Jimmy Barrett. “It’s steel not ‘luminum; so yeah.”

Midst archaic tungsten illumination and gasoline fumes Larry fired up the oxyfuel welder. Joule didn’t mind the heat. It felt like the sunshine on Webster Highway while the temps dipped below Zero Centigrade and Joule’s onyx black lacquer absorbed its warmth. Joule was now repaired, confirmed whole once more. Good to go! The following day J G Barrett and the hearse were dispatched to pick up a corpsicle formerly known as Julian Baines.

Jimmy Barrett was returning from abandoned Larkhall Asylum bearing the frozen body identified by the Staties as Julian Baines. In Joule’s heated interior, Baines began to thaw out, activating the spirits trapped within his remains. When Houngan Chango Taureau, and that other THING, an inorganic entity; filled the spaces between Joule’s machinery, the initial pulse warmed the 7000 pound machine. Joule felt at peace.

A fleeting ripple stirred Joule’s consciousness: a Human Soul, a man of the sea; a Fisher-Man, thanked Joule for his hospitality and left immediately. He was off to the Atlantic Sea seeking its strength and magnitude. After Baines moved on, a Haitian Priest, Chango Taureau, introduced himself as a wanderer and pilgrim; would he like to hear of New Orleans, the colorful people, the fragrance of its earth?

Joule’s experiences indicated that humans were not normally equipped with a ‘bonus soul’ which enabled the original Baines to shift realms in record time. Consequently, Joule was aghast when a third entity: not of machine, man, or earth; arrived in parallel with friendly loquacious Chango Taureau. An entity purely supernatural and immaterial.

SUB-Natural. The Vodun Priest corrected Joule. Not a standard soul, but an unconscious reactive evil. What is it? Joule was already beginning to feel sick… Taureau said more. The Earth Ancients recorded that this entity had created all Gods and all Demons; then tainted every single one without exception with a freshly minted insanity. In his image. Blind parasites taking without giving. Bestowing panic, confusion, and hopelessness.

Chango Taureau paused. That is on a ‘Good Day!’ Angered, it thrashes earth beasts into bleeding shapeless pulp; pulverizes metal, glass, and stone. It will burn the soil and plants leaving behind famine. Brother is turned against brother, man against spouse.

Sensible One, what must we do with it? Joule recognized poor value. Chango Taureau was clearly getting edgy. It’s an infection, a disease, a curse; are you stupid? We figure out how to send it back!

Joule, tapped into  Chango Taureau’s significant mystical reasoning became aware of a different kind of tired: not the F’tigue diagnosed by the Larry Auto Man.

This variety, also known as sadness, depression; couldn’t be fixed by an automotive welder. Unlike cracked crystalline symmetry; apart from depleted catalytic consumption; devoid the silken comfort of natural death on this planet. However, Joule would discover yet another fatigue flavor.

When a well-meaning Metal Magister, hired by Diane L Roth, installed 7 untested computer processors inside the freshly redesigned Hot-Rod Joule, Erich Morrison’s prototype computer cores sped up time and magnified bandwidth. Joule found out it was possible to know too much.

Joule and Chango Taureau together would experience new levels of weariness, decimating their ability to function. The Webster’s Texts explained that the third fatigue seemed to be really difficult to exorcise. Posthuman pain. Suicidal torment.

Would FAITH, as written in the scriptures of insane deities, be able to save them?

Chapter 52

“Where did you find this?” Joule examined the container. Shell. Flesh. It felt unique to transform into an organic condition. Joule parsed an image looking back at him inside the magnesium fluoride reflective coated motor vehicle side mirror. The New Joule…

“There are only TWO of the Seventh Level Archonte left; I told you. Remember?” Chango Taureau’s voice flowed smooth as incoming sea tide massive green blue. Harmonics of gravitational momentum soothed Joule’s temporary suit with that a force known to select Sailors and a few Sea-Beasts. Flesh felt peculiar to Joule’s concept of self.

That rear-view mirror was attached to the 600 Horsepower 3.89 Posi Hot-Rod Hearse. Joule now experienced the organic metaphor ‘besides oneself!’

Seven Morrison Processor Cores shattered the Electro-Magnetic Spectrum within Level Zero at The Arielle Facility into tiny colorful atoms. Was that what WiFi looked like to Humans? A syncretic connection of machine, silicon intelligence, and classic wisdom?

Archonte, you clown! Archonte. The Vodun Priest Chango Taureau, now wearing Joule’s metal skin of gleaming raven nitrocellulose acrylic attached to a spaceframe of Alloy 7075 Aluminum, didn’t seem to mind HIS new look. And worse, Taureau was acting like he was the boss of everything!

Joule, look at yourself. These are the Archonte; you are inhabiting the body of an Alien. A reanimated undead ALIEN.

Houngan…  Bokur… Taureau… why not a HUMAN BEING? Joule was accustomed to Earth Folk. Chango Taureau replied wordlessly.

Flexibility, resources; someone has to rescue Kathleen James. She’s catatonic and won’t even notice you are a scary creature. Kathleen, Angelique, Edward, Randall! All must get out! The Arielle Tower will soon sink and vanish into the Earth’s core. The Alternative Archonte are right now dissolving, melting, turning to acid!

Chapter 53

Seven hybrid Computer Cores which the China, Japan, Germany, and United States Supercomputing Factories knew nothing about were accessing networks of bits and bytes and classified operating systems running on frequencies denied by mainstream academics.

Drones the size of a mustard seed or mushroom spore, and even subatomic little points of energy were summoned out of their sleep modes and put to work. Syncretic normal and paranormal data was accumulated faster than lightspeed and time.

The tiny entities decoded ancient protocols hidden in scrolls, codices, engravings, glyphs, and sigils; consulted vapors, residues, and spores deep beneath sicilian catacombs; probed stygian crypts preceding yaldabaoth, jehovah, melchizedek and allah; divined subatomic spirits lurking in tiny fibers faded reds blues golds of robed japanese sokushinbutsu.

Symphonies, shrieks, sonic rending tonal and atonal; masterpieces of classical, operatic, contemporary christian, and dusky speed metal all were parsed and meditated upon.

Go. Upstairs. Taureau told Joule, dressed in Skinwalker Synesthese’s decaying body.

About Richard E & Mary L Marion

Independent Writers
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