Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Jogging with Roussel 11

It was sometime in the Fall of 1965 that CIA agent Ray Echenoz-Bolger had agreed to meet with a man named Ninrutas Erbaf in a café not far from 15 bis Boulevard Jules Sandeau in Paris called Les Niobmol. He claimed to have a strange object and story which he wished not to make public, but to turn over to the American government on account of his love for his wife, an American woman who had recently died. Agent E-B made note of the man’s curious appearance after the meeting in a little notebook whose pages we still have:  wildly flaming gray hair as if shocked by electricity / a mustache vaguely tinted green and twisted / into two points like those of Salvador Dali /and wearing only a tight cotton undershirt / to reveal a musculature like that of an acrobat / from the circus, and a scarf of deep crimson - a leather satchel with an odd rubber handle / Mr. Erbaf then began to recount the details of a shocking story, one whose contours Agent Echenoz-Bolger was acutely interested in, namely that of an alternate timeline that involved Canterel himself illustrated best by describing  the thwarted siege of Paris by the Nazis. It seems that Canterel was very worried that Paris would fall, and not having had time to muster his resources to protect the whole of France from the terrible madman’s forces would in any case reverse history and protect Paris. As the Nazis approached Paris, Canterel began to bring in beings he had made from other timelines, the first was an enormous version of the cat Khóng-dek-lèn whose brain and nervous system he had been able to genetically encode with erythrite. The enormous animal who had descended from Canterel’s original pet retained all of the loyalty of the original but contained much more ferocity and intelligence. Instead of the dull metal cone of his forebear, this new Khóng-dek-lèn wore a shimmering metallic crystalline cone bristling with dendritic emitter arrays. Able to foster powerful magnetic fields, the creature could not be damaged by any conventional projectile as its native field was super sensitive, and could react minutely to any incoming object. Accompanying the animal were four divisions of Erythrite Hoplites, red skinned soldiers of ancient Greece whose minds were primitive but fell under the control of Khóng-dek-lèn as foot soldiers. Designed under the tutelage of none other than Nicola Tesla, these electrically powerful beings using only specially designed spear analogs could release their Erythritic charges in exquisitely powerful bolts rending flesh and metal equally. Canteral released Khóng-dek-lèn and the Erthyrites and saved Paris. Agent E-B was very skeptical: “How did that timeline fail to become the main reality?” “It is the main reality,” claimed Erbaf. “The timeline in which we find ourselves here is a darker hybrid line instigated by Nazis toward the end of the war.” “Then why did you come back here,” queried Agent E-B? “Because of you!” Erbaf exclaimed smiling, then chuckling. At that Erbaf pulled open the rumpled old leathern trousse, and revealed a rather large portrait bust of Agent Echenoz-Bolger himself as an old man made completely of Erythrite. Accompanying the bust was a mechanical box, and a smaller sack of attachments which Erbaf laid out on the table wearing a silky pair of green gloves. Agent E-B noticed blue sparks of electricity dancing at the ends of Erbaf’s mustache as he handled the bust. As he built the mechanism, Ray Echenoz-Bolger could only stare with open mouth at his older self  depicted so nobly. “Take hold of this bar,” said Erbaf.  Erbaf had taken out a waxy metal bar and connected it to the box, and then to the bust, suddenly Ray Echenoz-Bolger was in contact with himself in another timeline. As Erbaf worked the controls and knobs, Ray Echenoz-Bolger met nearly a hundred different versions of himself in teletemporal communion with the bust. “I will teach you how to operate the controls,” smiled Ninrutas Erbaf quixotically, as a tiny blonde-haired woman came out of his hair and sat down on his shoulder.