Stephen Második Levele

Stephen levele Lucynak 2012. Július 3.


3rd July 2012
Dear Lucy,
So I returned. It took two days, but I returned, and I found myself, almost as in a dream, at that door in room 913, that threshold.
I stood there this time for what must have been hours. I was not afraid, nor really was I curious. It was not a thing I wanted to do, or did not want to do. Just a thing that I was going to do. I felt that I had done this before.
This door opened silently.
I was dazzled by what appeared to be a spotlight, swinging across the corridor, side by side, occasionally blocked by something swinging just above my head. I stumbled in a few steps, arm over my face, and leaned against one side of what I made out to be a corridor, shod in rusty metal. I peered along its length. It seemed to go on for miles, far beyond the inside of the building, certainly. I was surrounded by machinery — wires that throbbed with electricity, roaring pipes, swinging chains. I looked up.
Someone’s bare foot brushed against my face. I jumped back, looked up. A rail stretched into the depths of the corridor; along its length dozens of apparatuses hung, from each of which dangled a human being, men and women, apparently suspended by a riveted casing that covered the head. Cables and pipes occasionally wrapped round twitching limbs, invading orifices. I stepped forward, fascinated by the beauty of it, watching a trickle of liquid running down a tube from a man’s penis, around his leg, and up into the box from which the whole affair was suspended.
I fell to my knees then, and sang a hymn of praise, and sang in tongues at the wonders I had seen, for I had entered the God-Machine. I do not know how long I was there, weeping and singing, my hands clasped together, before the Angel found me.
The Angel folded itself from the metal of the machine that throbbed at my back, all in clockwork and hydraulics, its eyes indicator dials, its fingers cruel, beautiful hypodermic needles, and it said to me, “Why are you here?”
“I came to find the God-Machine,” I said, “To worship it.”
“Why are you here?” the Angel said again.
I did not know.
The Angel asked a third time. “Why are you here?”
Something shifted inside my head then, something else, and I said, “I exist to obey.”
And I did not want to obey then, nor was I forced to obey. I could only obey.
The Angel seemed to nod, and reached for me with its needlefingers and I closed my eyes and I felt the exquisite pain in my throat, and my mind grew calm and my eyes were heavy and I fell deeply asleep.
I awoke on a chair made of riveted metal in the middle of a room that was relatively quiet, compared with the noise of the room I had entered before, which I now knew was called the Rack. I both did and did not know where I was; the room was perfectly square, and had no doors, and was lit by a red lightbulb on a simple fitting, dangling from the ceiling. I had a tremendous sensation of depth, as if I was infinitely far beneath the deepest surface. The sounds of machinery were far away. They lulled me to sleep again.
I woke up once more and now I was standing up and could not move. My arms and legs were so very
stiff. I could not even move my eyes. A bald-headed woman with metal sockets over her scabby, ill-kept scalp and empty, glazed eyes entered my field of view. She reached forward and lifted my head off my shoulders, and carried me helpless through a door that had not been there before through a short corridor into a circular room.
She put my head down on a table. I could not scream, only watch what I could through the vantage point of what might have been a table top.
The woman walked from the table to what looked like a faceless mannequin body. She began to work at the rough-hewn face with a sort of chisel. I might have been there days or weeks, but I could not lose consciousness or move or even blink, only watch as with reference to my head on the table, the woman made the mannequin’s
face look more and more like my own. When the process was complete, the woman picked up my head, my face obscured under an arm clad in thick, filthy fabric, and put it in a box of some sort. Then she went away. I heard a whirring motor noise, and caught a glimpse of a circular saw in the woman’s hands as she brought it to my forehead. I passed out again then.
I woke up the third time back in the room with no doors, on the chair. The woman was there. I could move normally again.
“You are awake,” she said. I became aware that a thick bundle of cables ran from what looked like a socket inside the back of her head and into a collection of terminals on the wall.
“What did you do?” I said.
“You came back,” she said. “Before it was time.”
“I don’t understand,” I said.
“You were not supposed to come back. You must be shown a thing,” she said. “Stand.”
I stood up. Turning around, I saw the wall of the room fold out of itself and by some complex mechanical turns and shifts become the Angel, or perhaps another Angel exactly the same, leaving behind an archway.
The Angel stood aside. I walked through into another chamber, long and I think oval-shaped. Several more bald-headed people, each connected to the wall by the same arrangement of cables running into their skulls, stood, working on an assembly line, one attaching a component to an object, the next removing a component, the next
removing a different one again, the next adding another, and so on, a different process for each object, so that the unidentifiable objects on the assembly line bore no relation to the objects that had entered the line. I realised that the Angel was standing behind me.
“Observe the third man.”
I looked at the third man on the assembly line. Although devoid of hair, his skin scabby and pale, I recognised him. As Stephen Escher.
“I don’t understand,” I said.
“The third man was Stephen Escher. It suited the Purpose to remove the man’s thoughts and memories after using the flesh, and to create a tool the better to obey the Purpose.”
I realised that this was true. I had been here before, more than once.
“And I came back.”
“You are the ninth. You have never left here.”
I realised that this was also true and that I was new and that remembering what the last mannequin had experienced did not make me the same.
“So when I leave I will forget this place?”
“You will remember. It is the Purpose.”
“What is the Purpose?”
“It is the Purpose.”
“It is the Purpose,” I repeated. And they let me go. And it is and everything is good and fine and nothing you can do and no objection you can raise will touch me because I am not me and you can never tell me otherwise or prove to anyone else, because it’s not as if I will be sending this letter to you anyway. What would be the point otherwise?
These things are all interconnected. The man I set to work calculating for me, I think he is significant. No coincidences exist. I will be rich. I was made to be rich.
Yours as ever


Stephen Második Levele

The Dark Plots of the God Machine Roonel