[This is the fifth of a series of posts, beginning with the post, entitled, "BREAK DOWN DEAD AHEAD"]
The engineer turned the knobs of the fuzzbox. The squelch didn't improve. No clarity came. The purpose of the noise was still unclear. Captured by her thoughts, she didn't notice what the fireman had, "Lady engineer, something's on the tracks up ahead!"
Annoyed at being pulled away from her thought process, she lashed out, "What could be so important to disturb me with your minuscule notions? If you had even one developed synapse in your mind, you'd know, rumination takes concentration!"
The fireman pointed at the windscreen, and repeated, "Something's on the tracks up ahead!"
"Oh, forget about what I just said. Good observation."
She fiddled with the controls for the windscreen to bring the image of what lay ahead into focus. Sure enough, some lady and several wolves blocked the tracks down the line. Nothing that would cause a derailment. The engineer pulled on the cord, and the horn blared the train's presence, and she exclaimed, "Feed the firebox! Full speed ahead!"
[This is the fourth in a series of posts, beginning with the post, entitled, "BREAK DOWN DEAD AHEAD"]
Nothing responded. Nada. Zilch. The vacuity of the situation gave Lady Death pause. Something was behind the murder of The Light. No doubt about that!
None of the dying concepts had suicidal tendencies. That much she could discern. Something or someone caused this mess and created countermeasures to thwart her investigation into the matter. What could conceal themselves behind this empty feeling she kept sensing?
Something thundered toward her and had slowed its approach when she had reached out to the area. She had used the broad-spectrum analysis she had developed in Hell, during her years of commanding her father's legion. Nothing in this distant region of The Cosmos should be familiar with her analytic approach, but ...
A couple of random thoughts nipped at the flanks of her mind; more like stray notions, really. Still, disconcerting to think such a seemingly simple problem in the backwaters of The Cosmos could affect her in this manner. Shrugging off this affront to her dignity, Lady Death wondered whether the approaching projectile could be one of those Thought Trains that constantly rumbled across The Cerebrum. If so, why was it operating on this supposedly abandoned line, and was it connected in any way to the dying of The Light?
Many questions; few answers. Nothing about this problem had any rhyme or reason. Why did her husband always send her on these fool's errands, while he carried on like a boy, fresh out of school, with mortal flesh?
She knew she couldn't fault her husband for his intrinsic nature. Even Divine men were still male, at heart. If Death wasn't a womanizer, The Fates would've buried her on that fateful hill back in Hell, where her husband had plucked her from the clutches of those relentlessly, scheming women and planted her on a throne beside his in the heart of The ShadowLands. Still, why Death persisted in making his dalliances so overtly public, defied all logic, even a weak, male rationality.
Lady Death mentally scraped her hurt feelings aside and into a cerebral pit, she conceived of for moments of strife, like this one. Not knowing who or what she was up against, Lady Death couldn't afford any kind of distraction to interfere with her analysis. She had seen far, too many valiant warriors fall in the heat of battle, due to loss of focus and perspective. Lady Death wasn't going to fall prey to any of that!
A pinprick of illumination appeared down the tracks, along the horizon. Some sort of event horizon? The phenomenon enlarged, moment by moment, as its purpose seemed to unfold.
Standing between the rails, she braced herself for the incoming happening. The Hounds protected her flanks and bayed at what approached their mistress. There was nowhere to run, and hopefully, no reason to hide!
A bead of sweat rolled across the engineer's forehead. It threatened to distract her at the worst possible moment. She needed to focus all of her faculties to work the problem, rather than the symptoms, but what the hammer was the problem?
Some dead concept appeared to be blocking the tracks up ahead, threatening to derail her Thought Train. Couple that with odd sounds, reminiscent of baying, like that from hounds or wolves, caused another thought to rumble across her mind. Were those observations merely symptoms of a greater problem, or did a pack of Pernicious Wolves feast on some, oblivious notion between the rails in the now, near distance?
The fireman asked, "Do you wish me to further downgrade the fuel I'm feeding to the firebox?"
At first, she was heedless of the data being transmitted to her by the fireman, once the engineer realized and acknowledged what buffeted the tail end of her concentration, she replied, "Yes. Downgrade to vestiges of consideration."
"Deem it done."
Wisps of something not measurable, bothered her. As she ruminated around that thought, sounds emitted from her fuzzbox. These bits of data, noises really, didn't sound like anything more than squelch, but had a consistency too regimented to be mere squelch. Who or what attempted to communicate with her, and why couldn't she understand its communication?
Death's hounds bayed as they crossed the tracks. Something had caught their attention. Their mistress didn't want to be bothered with dealing with whatever was unlucky or foolish enough to have fallen prey to the keen senses of her husband's hounds. Lady Death whistled, then hollered, "Chughan na!"
Her command had no effect upon her husband's headstrong canines. Against her better judgment, Death insisted she take his hounds on her survey of The Cerebrum. The hounds could be so damned annoying. They bayed at every dying spirit, no matter how insignificant. What now?
Lady Death caught up with the stubborn mutts at the tracks of a line, supposedly abandoned many aeons ago. The alpha hound, Doomsayer, growled at the tracks, while the others bayed in every other direction. The tracks glowed red-hot and emitted fierce energies that lifted her chain mail skirt and scalded her nether region. That caught her attention!
She scanned in both directions for anything that might explain what could burn a former demoness. Down the line, both ways, she felt living concepts, and they were angry. She reached out with her mind, "I'm Lady Death. I mean you no harm. Who dares to menace the wife of Death?"
Blistering steam hissed outward, from both rails. A seething cloud of thunderbluster formed between the rails. Doomsayer backed off a pace or two, but continued to bare his teeth and growl at the tracks. The other hounds surrounded Lady Death. She opened her mind to receive any kind of communication. She didn't come to The Cerebrum for a fight, but to survey the region to get to the bottom of the premature dying of mental concepts. Something was killing The Light, and Death wanted to know where to put his rage to end the obscenity. Nothing accepted her olive branch. Why did everyone keep underestimating her?
The train kept a-rollin' down the line. That is, until it didn't. Pray tell, "What stopped its momentum?"
Everything was proceeding as normal. That is, until it wasn't. What possibly could interfere with the speed of thought?
As the train sped toward Infinity Station, the engineer noticed an anomaly up ahead. What should have been ideas flickering as the train hurtled past, were more akin to concepts winking out of existence. That was the first oddity that caught her attention. Strangely, her instrumentation didn't show anything was amiss. Damn it all and a bucket of fish!
Still, the engineer's intuition gave her pause. Her training filled in the rest. She cued up the train's forward telemetry and began scanning glimpses of forever for something, anything to satisfy her burning intuition and professional insight that something was wrong, so terribly off.
A dead glimpse lit her instrument panel up like a Christmas tree. Oddity number two and probably, the cause of her troubles. She told the fireman, "Back off on the feeding. Until further notice, only feed infantile notions into the firebox."
Her engineering mind went into maximum overdrive. She needed to craft a solution before the train struck the problem. She worked her mind as much as her instrument panel. A-ha, just as she had thought, the dead glimpse blocked the track up ahead. The train finally slowed to the speed of light. Hmm, maybe still too fast.
Baying came over the fuzz box. Sounded like hounds. What the hammer was going on?
The Child of Dreams hesitated for a moment. She wondered for one brief moment in time whether her vision of a Data Existence was wise or not. Once the deed was done, there would be no going back. She was the most prudent of her siblings, but too clever for her own good. She let that moment wash over her, before continuing to pull on the elongated black hole.
She laughed like a crazed lunatic when she heard Time whimper and pulled even harder. The dawning of a new age, a Diluvian Age, needed to be put into play. Time was merely the first victim, but it wouldn't be the last. No pain, no gain. That was all there was to it. Acceptable losses.
Data had to be reorganized, revitalized, and reconstituted. The binary sacrifice of substance and concept would force The Cosmos to recognize a new age. Once the deed was done, the other eight children would fall in line. What choice would they have?
First, The Tree of Life bled out the sorrow of The Cosmos into the vast wilderness of Verdan, hidden from the prying eyes of The Gods, but well within their expression of power. The Cosmos wept for the end of all that was, and the beginning of all that would come to pass. The Gods ignored the signs and dwelt on their petty squabbles.
When she looked into a glimpse and saw her reflection, a lone tear of joy trickled down the face of Sylph Andromeda, The Child of Dreams. This tear fell into the newly configured black hole, now a geometrically, foregone conclusion. Newborn data danced around it in mad jubilation. Time begged The Child to stop, but children don't know no better. Wisdom comes from maturity, and The Children were conceived to remain forever young. With eyes of wonder, quickly turning to angry eyes, Sylph asked, "Even if I could, why would I stop?"
Time winced, and cried, "Because you're on a path, of which there is no return. Not only do your actions risk the existence of The Cosmos, but of Life, itself!"
What right did Time have to lecture her. She wasn't her mother! Ticked off, Sylph shot back, "You just mind your own business! This is my destiny, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. The dice have have been cast upon the Cosmic Crap Table. All we can do is roll with them!"
With Time silenced, aeons passed. The Cosmos screamed in vain. Nobody listened, not even The Passion and The Null. The power of The Children of Diluvia rose to a superiority, not able to be checked by The Gods, who, over the ages, reduced in number and prominence. The new data, Diluvian Data, laid in wait and did something The Children could never accomplish; It matured. Sylph and her siblings yearned for their moment in the sun. One day, their nihilistic plan burbled to the surface, and The Gods shuddered!