Sunday, 15 March 2020

Ping-Pong 7: An attack on the Impossible

Scrap has ANSWERED, with wild tales of the Horizon Society.

And asked, what signifies this?;

An attack on The Impossible

These vast stasis-engines were built by the command of the Imperator Umbra, Emperor of Shadows.

Alone of all that faded half-world, the stasis engines are locked into cosmo-synchronous position relative to the attenuated Cartesian webwork which underpins that slight reality.

The black rails, built of toxic (to the shadow realm) imported iron, are laid beneath the engines in vast circumlocutions of the shadowverses un-sphere. Bridges of white stone thrown across valleys and tunnels bored straight through ghrey hills by savage-minded semimechanical moles.

On the stated day, at the Imperators command, sent by timed lightning-birds, made from the shadows of electrical strikes and released at carefully calculated intervals relative to their destinations position  to the super-coop from which they are released (shadow travelling very slightly slower than the speed of light, so as not to get in its way), the Great Command was sent, and in one simultaneous instant all across the realm of shades, the Stasis Engines burst into life.

This took place before even the final tracks were laid, the engines expected to drive so slowly that there would be plenty of time to reach completion.

So, with a great gasp of industrial power, the engines strook steel and the world moved beneath them. 

In no other realm would this have been possible, but the fine and airy substance of shadow, and its lacing and encompassing with rail and binding with iron, meant that the mass of the shadow realm was just low enough to place it within the grasp of Science to move.

The first moment was the greatest as, individually and all across the realm, the engines breathed for the first time. Of course, many exploded under the untested stress (this was expected, accounted for in projections and is not the image pictured) but enough laboured, coughed, moved and ground round that slowly, impossibly, the realm itself began to move beneath them.

Locked in position and biting into their rails, the Stasis Engines heaved their reality around, slowly, at only the speed of a walking man, but, for the first and only time in this half-grey Empire, the world turned. The sky changed into something other than oaplescent and polarised gloom.

Great cheers broke out all across (the Urban centres) of the Imperium. Weather patterns began to form. Wind happened. Clouds shaped themselves in the air. As the shadow world span beneath the grip of the locked industrial machines it gained, for the first time, movement, seasons, activity, burgeoning life and change.

Yes the cost in materials, labour, poisonings from the toxic iron, lightning birds, exploded engines and the insane tax levels required to keep the engines fed, all were huge. But what is Empire for if not to change the world? And the Imperator Umbra, now titled, 'Master of the Impossible' ("The Impossible" being the name of the greatest, central and flagship Stasis Engine) was more popular than ever before.

In the urban centres. 

And among the middle and educated upper classes.

But Empires have their half-light, and change is not beloved by all.

Out in the distant never-suppressed reaches of the Imperium, in its muttering underclass and, it is rumoured, in crooked alleys of its Paleoconservative Mansions, rage and resistance brewed like bubbling tea. 

Weather! Storms! 


Cobwebs driven from their corners. Leaves tumbling from trees. Birds flying instead of remaining poised and heraldic on the skyline. 

"What is next? A Moon? A SUN?!?!"

So the attacks began. Summoned from the abyssal reaches, radical Men-O-War-Men, black colony organisms, formerly overlooked as ethnically dull and far away, rose from the shadowy sea and hurled themselves at the Stasis Engines in explosively suicidal assaults. 

Worse, they howled hymns of Old-Umbra at they strook, promising a return to better times of stillness and quiet. An end to seasons and the threat of possible snow, awful in its crystalline whiteness.

The image in question shows a split second moment of one such attack, captured by high-speed Daguerreotype. The black, suicidal Man-O-War-Man dives into the engine compartment of The Impossible, in a split second before its explosion. 

The creature was rumoured to be shouting "NO DANDELIONS" as it died.


Now Scrap, I ask you, what is THIS?

Alfrid Shaymardanov