A Fanblade Fable – by Bob Lock
posted Friday, 13 November 2009
I am proud to present a ‘Fanblade Fable’ by Bob Lock who says he was inspired by my own Cern Zoo – Fanblade Fables, but in what I deem to be an otherwise original and hadron-provoking fashion. Thanks to Bob.
The 90th Intervention Of Natural Webster
© Bob Lock (2009) – First published here today.
It wasn’t even a darkness, it was a nothingness. The nothingness transformed into a something. Into light.
‘Natural Webster 89 please proceed to nexus Epsilon Delta 982.’
Webster opened his eyes. The flat, grey door of his recovery cubicle confronted him.
89? He thought. I’m sure my interventions have been more than that. A momentary loop caused him to freeze for a split-second whilst the rest of his brain came online. Hmm… 89 it is, unless… no it has to be.
The recovery cubicle’s door slid open and he stepped out, almost colliding with a boy on a bicycle who swerved violently but did not stop. The bike’s baffles were badly out of synch with the rotating wheels causing deformed vortices that made his tuned-eyes ache. He looked away. The perturbance in the ether seemed to be not just localized, like that which he had just witnessed by the passing cyclist, but far-fetching, perhaps even multi-braned. He swallowed noisily. An inter-brane anomaly. The last of those had been catastrophic, for that particular world at least. Here the fans had coped, just…
‘Webster?’ The pipe interrogated, even though he knew that sentient machine had already determined he was indeed Natural Webster – a name awarded him as his mother was one of the rare ones who had elected to give birth naturally to him. His father was, of course, a dictiomat, constantly refining and adding to the multi-dictionary that spanned the uncountable membranes of the universes that the Conglomerate had discovered, and needless to say, dabbled in.
He acknowledged the pipe. ‘Yes.’ And closed his eyes. The mouth of the pipe gaped open and devoured him. Moments later, he was translated to the nexus Epsilon Delta 982 and he opened his eyes again. The aroma of overheating bearings swiftly overcame the smell of hot chestnuts, which was a trait of traveling by pipe. The huge fan before him was running beyond its prescribed tolerances. Somewhere a brane had sequenced up its large hadron collider, Webster blinked rapidly at the blades, his augmented eyes allowing him to strobe-view across the dimension into the other world. Webster called on the nexus to free up extra portions of his brain, portions that were usually linked into the weft of the world’s fan network. As his hippocampus came back online, a shard of memory caused a tremor to run through him. He thought of his father, working diligently to collate the infinite number of words from the infinite number of worlds. Then he frowned. Was it his father? Or, was it his son? In the space of a millisecond the question was asked and pushed to one side, there was no time for such unnecessary cogitation, other matters were more pressing. He had to find the other world’s Cern Zoo before the collider fired its accelerator and the Higgs boson particles, which would be formed, converted the installation into an event horizon on the cusp of a newly formed black hole. A black hole which would reach across the nearest branes to it, deforming reality and pulling those branes perilously close to each other, in effect, potentially initializing what was colloquially know as ‘The Big Bang’. The start of the universe, or universes. Alternatively, if looked at another way, the end of them.
As his rapid eye-blinking increased, the strobe effect caused the gigantic blades on the fan to seem to stop. Behind them, he glanced into the other world as he had done 89 times before – when he was called to intervene in similar circumstances. The vortices around the fan, which kept black hole anomalies in a state of equilibrium, were balking at the stresses imposed on the enormous baffles that fought to keep them in synchronization. He felt, rather than saw, the nodes of other fans of the Conglomerate throughout his world attempt to take up the excess flux in the network’s weave. He imagined the boy on his bicycle. Even he was probably receiving orders to peddle faster, as were an almost infinite number of other cyclists and the planet. He hoped the majority had their baffles tuned better than the youngster that had almost run him over.
With almost no thought, as if pulled by some unknown force, Natural Webster was drawn to the other world’s Cern Zoo and soon found what he was looking for. The bird cocked its head slightly and looked up, once again Webster had the strange feeling that the animal knew of his presence, ridiculous obviously, but…
His personal fan unit cut in and he understood his brain was dangerously overheating and the hardest part was yet to come. Although he would have liked the luxury of having a few minutes to allow his, now fully functional, brain to cool down before the materialization he knew there was just not enough time. He gathered his strength and concentrated.
The beget bread formed from the coalescence of Webster’s imagination and the free matter in the other world. Without instruction, the bird collected the small morsel and took flight. Webster’s next job was simpler. He displaced the small animal from one location to another. As the bird flew over the large hadron collider it dropped the beget bread and another world was saved from annihilation, for now.
Epsilon Delta 982 returned to normal, cool running. The heat from Webster’s brain dissipated as quickly as it had increased. His personal fan unit whirled silently down. Inside the enormous fan housing, he glimpsed the smile of one of the elder children and waved in acknowledgement as it raised a pink hand in silent salute. In the brief minutes before his brain was re-sequestrated into the globe’s nexus weave, Webster allowed himself his one and only gratification. He strobed the fan for that world’s man. The man responsible for the Cern Zoo algorithm. However, he was saddened to find him incarcerated and forced to conjure up new and unusual words by his captors and tormentors, words which Webster’s own father, (or was it son?) would ultimately have to collate and add to the ever-growing dictionary then Webster realized he could no longer remember, son or father…
He deduced that once again large parts of his brain were being utilized by the weave and not by him.
As the pipe translated Webster to the nearest recovery cubicle a young cyclist with poorly tuned baffles sped past and felt strangely drawn to the man, as a passing comet might momentarily be captured by the gravitation field of a nearby planet but whose velocity was enough to break it free and send it on its way. Or, drawn as a son might be drawn to his father, or even a father drawn to his son.
Webster closed his eyes, the light transformed to darkness and the darkness to nothingness.