1 Aug 2015

The Ark: A Second Interview

Hail readers!

If my previous collaboration post on Socialism failed to capture your attention—’tis not my usual contribution to the Magical Realm, I admit—or if it merely irritated you, fear not: for today, I have updates on the Ark.

Chiefly among these is another interview—following on from the one conducted on our other main character, Conall Danann—which once again features the Guardian. This time, It concerns itself with asking our darling protagonist pressing personal questions on, for example, his fascination with technology.

Additionally, it also serves to bring in a few tentative details of the Ark: the shortage of leather, for example, is one such detail. There are numerous others.

With the second interview complete, the first stage of planning is over. Expect to see the prologue soon; along with, in due time, the first chapter. As mentioned previously, all posts concerning the Ark will be titled with the prefix. I will post parts of the Ark, in future, along with various analyses and personal insights.

Until then—here is the interview with Casey Kearney. If you wish to comment, do so. The Ark is as yet inchoate, and feedback is much appreciated...

An Interview with Casey Kearney

How remarkable, I think, as I examine these queer technological creations. There are a multitude of them: I can see microprocessors—new graphene and old silicone present among them—along with RAM sticks, GPUs (bright red and verdant green among the motifs), and many more computer innards besides.

I have always been amazed at humanity’s ability to invent; to create wonderful designs of creativity and ingenuity. Despite their inherent physical weakness, their impotence in the face of awesome divine power, humans have always possessed one thing the Gods do not: genius.

‘Impressed?’ he asks. ‘I’m Casey, by the way. I would ask who you are, but I’m more interested in how the hell you got here. What are you doing back here, anyway? The store is at the front.’

‘Call it idle curiosity,’ I say, as I examine him. He is broad, tall, and blond. His eyes glimmer softly, alive with the depths of a blue sea. He is dressed simply—jeans, the quintessential white shirt—and yet appears curiously elegant, in a manner quite unlike that of the ordinary teenager.

‘Well, sorry to burst your bubble—whoever the fuck you are—but idle curiosity won’t fly by my uncle. He’ll feed you to the vultures if he finds you squirming through his stuff.’

‘A pity,’ I remark, ‘since these, if my intuition serves me, constitute your stuff. And alas, the vultures have long since forsaken me; death is not a choice bequeathed to those such as I.’

‘Huh. I guess you’re right. What was your name again?’

I smile, entertaining possibilities. ‘I am the Guardian; but ask no more.’

‘Why?’

‘You are not ready for the answers, even if you were to truly understand them. Now, instead—tell me this: why is it that you retain these technological paraphernalia of yours? Many, I see, are obsolete; and of the more modern specimens, none form a coherent whole.’

‘Call it a hobby. I collect old computer parts; I enjoy turning them into computers of the past, or even simply trying to make them work.’

‘A noble quest,’ I opine; ‘but what is it, fundamentally, that so draws you to them? Why do you embroil yourself so; and why do you entertain yourself with technology, as opposed to, say, poetry—or the other, more hedonistic aspects of your existence?’

‘You mean, why aren’t I fucking girls out in the big wide world?’

I can but laugh, amused at his indecorum. ‘Though I know it is not women that draw your fancy, yes: in essence, that is the question.’

‘Aside from not liking girls—I mean, what is it about tits? I never understood it—I’m not screwing every hot guy that passes me by because, well, tech fascinates me. We—humans, I mean—have developed these amazing inventions, based on nothing but looking at the world, developing hypotheses, testing them... basically: common sense. And through years of hard work, passion, and brains, we can send people into space; talk across the other side of the world; and have tiny little chips that do, like, billions of calculations per second. It’s amazing.’

‘Your creations are no doubt remarkable, considering the limitations brought to you. But even so I wonder: is there a personal element to this? Are you so fascinated by computers because of... something about them—something that calls to your analytical mind, your questioning thoughts, your fascination of the world?’

He takes rest on a nearby chair; I content myself with hovering above, lounging as if dispassionate at his amazement.

‘How do you do that?’

‘What? This parlour trick?’ I exclaim, as if surprised. ‘For one such as I, gravity is but a mere construct of a supreme imagination.’

‘Is that code for “I have this, like, really awesome antigravity machine; and fuck it, but I’m not telling you a damn thing about it?”’

My mouth pulls itself into a wry smile. ‘If by “awesome antigravity machine” you really mean to say “being master of the universe,” then yes; I do harbour secrets.’

‘Anyway...’ he interjects, as if suddenly remembering my former question. ‘About that. You’re right; there is a personal element to it. I’m fascinated by the interconnectivity of it all, for one,’ he elaborates, moving to one partially completed unit. ‘I’m fascinated by the fact that the motherboard recognises the processor; that the processor that communicate with the board to relay a variety of functions, such as sound; and that, somehow, when I plug-in the RAM, the PSU, the monitor, everything... it all lights up. It’s like magic.’

He begins connecting cables, tightening screws, and plugs in the power source. ‘Then—bingo! It all lights up.’

As if one cue, the BIOS screen flashes. I place my hand on the contraption; suddenly, blue zeroes flash. I don’t need physical contact in order to perform this, of course, though it does add to the drama.

‘Whoa.’

‘Indeed,’ I confirm. I change the scene to show parts of the universe: stars collapsing; supernovae alight; nebulae, resplendent in their multihued magnificence, birthing new solar systems and galaxies.

‘That’s some trick,’ he exclaims, awed. I wonder if he has finally figured out that my powers do not stem from mere technological fancy. I suspect he did so the moment he saw me levitate; but he indulges in the charade, not yet keen to change conceptions about reality. (I would search his mind for my answers, but they can wait. Besides: it would be most impolite.)

‘But onto more important matters,’ I say, allowing the computer to boot normally.

‘Such as?’ he enquires unabashedly.

‘Questions about yourself,’ I elaborate, helping myself to one perfectly ordinary seat. It is fashioned from a synthetic leather (real leather being much too expensive these days), and designed in the minimalist fashion of former years. It is surprisingly comfortable, regardless.

‘Explain.’

‘What would you do if...’ I continue, tasting possibilities, ‘... you had to survive this Earth? What would you do if you—let’s not tread softly here—wanted to get on that ship?’

‘You ask difficult questions.’

‘So I am told.’

‘Well, let’s start with the worst, then. I would never get myself on that blasted ship if it involved foul play; if, according to my actions, I would hurt those more deserving than me. I am consigned to my fate, whatever it may be. And as for surviving, well—humans got this far, didn’t they? We survived ice ages, the plague, even managed not to fucking nuke ourselves all these years. What’s a few droughts gonna do?’

I smile, considering his words. ‘Noble thoughts indeed. But what if failure meant more than just survival, more than just escape from a difficult world; what if it meant abandoning the one whom you hold most dear?’

‘Love? This isn’t fucking Romeo and Juliet, Dr G,’ he responds, eyes questioning his nickname. I smile in amusement. ‘I will find new love, new possibilities—be they here or on that sanctimonious Ark.’

‘Very well,’ I concede; ‘think what you may. You have never experienced love; never felt your lover’s caressing hands, their soft kiss of life. But, as I so often say: time will tell. Until then, best of luck to you, Casey Kearney.’

‘How did you know my surname? You must have looked it up,’ he adds, though he is evidently uncertain as to how I might have done so.

‘Just as I must use that door to get out? Just as I cannot walk through that wall?’ I probe.

‘Nobody can walk through walls, Dr G.’

I laugh. His eyes are still wide long after I have passed through that wall. What fun he will be, I muse. And what majesty the world will see! Consigned to his fate, indeed...

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