15 February 2012

Chapter 77 - Greed

I survive, dissolving into the floating black egg with a combination of sheer terror and exhilaration from the wild arrival. My mental abilities are not reformed as a singular identity. I am a soup of tiny parts travelling long, dark vessels at phenomenal speeds. Like shattered glass in a strong wind, sharp shards of me are dispersed in a roar of sound and light.
Too scared to unclench my senses, I tumble along these alien conduits, holding the bulk of me together as a tightly wrapped ball of frail matter. Packets of pure thought crowd past, zipping through my floundering, cloudy essence; disseminating my whole in their headlong rush.
I am making a mess of this communications channels and set off something big and dumb. It crashes through the clutter, attempting to clean the blockage I have become, away. Before I can armour myself, I’m shoved into the break-down lane of their information highway, and left floating in the back-wash of a bright energy stream.
Emotions settle in topsy-turvy and back to front guises. A fire’s heat and glacier’s cold replace sight and sound, and even those sensations are dim. Bits of me continue to be torn off by passing Parasite thought particles. Enough of me is carried away that I become concerned at the loss of my identity. Blindly I send out a call for them to return.
It works! Specks of me clump together, but the resulting wholeness is unwieldy and causes another choke-point when I venture out into the conduit. I jam it solidly and burst apart under the backed-up pressure.
Panic is fleeting when I realise this weightless, dimensionless space requires no coagulation of my whole. A dimming sensation is not a lessening of my ‘self’ but the first signs that I am acclimatising. No ill-effects follow the second dispersal and the free-floating bits don’t go far.
The invisible force of the Parasite cleaner bulls into me again, obviously keen to move me along. I produce thrust to wriggle slowly away. The heavy-handed concierge assists my vagrancy from its busy sidewalk with a hefty kick.
Regardless of existential status, a determination not to be man-handled makes me buck against the directional trend. I project my cloudy consciousness into a spearhead and borrow the propulsion method of an octopus to sightlessly thrust against the flow.
Fatigue drags at the substance I’ve become. I hesitant before sampling the energy that saturates this place. I sip at a few stray flickerings of light and find it gritty and unclean. As I choke down some more, I wonder at the generator that imprecisely controls this randomly spiking and dipping power.
I let out an antenna to play in the high-gain static fuzz around me. A visualisation comes to me of its fountainhead. It is a ponderous, rudimentary brain, bred for one purpose; the provision of mental energy. The Parasite’s swift evolution has been creative, but these plugged in creatures are uncontrollable. The energy they distribute cannot be regulated. They deliver whatever they are capable of making, and that quantity is distributed as far as the network will allow. Therefore, if I take just a tiny bit more, no-one should notice.
Temperance has never been a proud trait of mine. Gluttony overtakes the intended, judicious sipping. I rampage into a crackling stream of raw power, stealing great Groper gulps, as if raiding a restaurant buffet before the fat people arrive. My newly bridged brain node approves of the greed. It is enlivened and soaks up as much energy as I can force-feed it.
An inevitable backlash builds. Overindulgence brings violent regurgitation even in this strange place. Oh, God, it’s an epic purging. Vomiting sparks, I’m propelled through several obstructions and beyond the Parasite construction, into the empty darkness, where I spiral into unconsciousness...

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