Spires had been missing for some time. But what had been days seemed years
to him now. His crisis of concsience had finally given him no respite, and the
answer to his troubles seemed impassable.
In a fit of desperation he’d interfaced his mind to a difference engine,
using the same light signalling method he’d developed for the Virus. Now it
would enter him. He needed to think his way through to enlightenment.
But the long and short bits of binary made no sense to his human brain. So
he drank. The mixture was recommended from very low sorts north of his humble
Wheatstone, persons whose recommendations should never have been taken by
Deadly nightshade, wormwood, caffeine, vodka, cacao. He almost gagged when
drinking it down, and soon wished he had. The world resolved into wave upon
wave of neverending nightmare. And somewhere, somehow, he switched the
Difference Engine back on.
He awoke in the morning, or seveal mornings later, barely able to see.
Everything was too bright. In his shaving mirror he saw glowing green eyes with
no whites. He wore smoked lenses thereafter. He found old disgarded
ecclesiastical garments in a costume shop and paid the quizzical owner to dye
them darker colour.
Then he held a funeral for himself, shaving his hair off and burning it for
anyone passing by to see: his old soul’s cremation. From now on he was some one
Later in the day he reached the doors of the Church. He had parchment. He
It would be perhaps the end of him to do this, but something compelled him. Bits of code alive from the Difference Engine danced a minuet of logic in his brain. There was no bravery, no foolishness, only varying degrees of acceptable loss based on value of action.
the first nail was pounded in
the second nail went in easier into the granite stones and he didn’t need the rickety ladder
He paused for a moment. “What was I thinking?” he said to himself incredulously.