Monday, December 10, 2012

Jogging With Roussel 16: Part 1



One day Cantarel, after having completed the construction of a permanent doorway between his late 25th century laboratory at Locus Solus, in Montmorency, and the laboratory complex in the temporal rift stasis warp in O/x space took some time to relax in the trans-temporal library, which was actually more akin to a museum, or Wunderkammern.  The TTL was a complex used by many versions of Cantarel, and Cantagrael, as well as Doctor Welles, and numerous Chlorlock scientists like Professor Majesty.  Its appearance was something like that of a 19th century gentleman’s club, but there were no restrictions on any gender or for that matter, any modulation of the would-be reader’s body at all; Cantarel was simply fond of the comforts of certain centuries, and cultures, but you wouldn’t say it was a completely recognizable culture which the TTL represented.
The books were housed in massive free-standing shelves of what looked like carved Cinnabar in the large open area of an oval rotunda whose floors, though covered in seemingly abstract marquetry revealed innumerable discrete scenes worked into the abstract overall design, many of these worked out by Cantarel’s friend Roussel and his workshop of chlortron craftsfolk. There were also interspersed in this area large wooden reading tables with elaborate lamps, and magnifying stations for some of the books were inscribed with nearly microscopic texts. At one end of the oval rotunda whose walls were elaborate variations of cabinetry and display cases, and mechanical inspection and storage stations, there was a large area of comfortable divans and low tables, and there were chlorlock waitors who were perfectly eager to bring one a hot or cold drink, or a meal for that matter.
Though the shelves appeared to be Cinnabar, they were in fact composed of Erythrite, and around the opening to each shelf was a thin hovering frame of yellow glass, some dull, and some luminous if in operation. From time to time, if one watched carefully, you might see a hand reaching into the shelf to remove a book, as there were library frame portals scattered throughout time and space, and these were in use continually, and sometimes new books would appear. No bodies would be visible, as the library itself was fixed temporally, a book would be lifted out, and the hand and the book would disappear as the hand pulled it through the frame. Above the cabinet of curiosity levels of the outer oval wall, there was higher up, a library of Erythrite communication busts which was roughly an analog of the authors list of the library, so that many of the authors could be contacted by means of trans-referential temporal sequencing, the contactors thoughts being inserted subtly into those of the contactees and vice versa.
Cantarel was sitting quietly on one of the many divans enjoying a warm cup of yerba mate’ and tulsi tea, and reading a book by his distinguished colleague Dr. Bex Saint-Isles called The Establishment of a New Theory of Genetickal Heuristicks in Light of Certain West African Shamanic Lycanthropy Traditions, and their Ancient Roots in Alchemical Yoga Among the Indian Diaspora. In front of him on the table was a small dull metal tray like a shallow pewter mask on which was arrayed a variety of fig species, and a smaller amount of cheeses, one of them pink, as well as something unidentifiable, a smallish waxy cube of cloudy yellow gelatin with a small but well-formed plant growing in it bearing three small purple flowers of exquisite construction; each unique, and of an apparently asymmetrical radiality, the whole item not over 5 cm high. Cantarel was becoming more and more interested in reading about a special subject which Dr. Saint-Isles had discovered, a man whose shamanic practice had spontaneously reverted to something very close to a highly advance alchemical yoga while still a boy, a veritable lycanthropic prodigy whose skill encompasses spontaneously what one might consider a mastery of typical yogic practice, but enlivened by West African traditions of shamanic lycanthropy. The text described a marvelous event whereby the man, in his late fifties at the time of the writing of the book was seen to be able to illustrate stories by changing his body along interspecial lines, though the process was fairly lengthy at the time, or at least, this is how the book had portrayed it, perhaps so as to keep the text within the realms of possibility and scientific believability.
Cantarel could resist the temptation no longer. He finished his last fig, and took one small bite off of the gelatin cube, and bit off one small purple flower, and washed it down with a drink of his yerba-mate’ tulsi tea, and climbed the stairs toward the Erythrite bust of Dr. Bex Saint-Isles which he immediately attempted to contact. Laying his hand on the small brass contact plate at the base of the bust, he fell into a light trance and carefully spoke into the consciousness of the distant personage. “Would very much like to meet Fogar. Where is he now?” In a few moments came the earnest reply. “Fogar is now quite old, but lively, and we have him here in Dieppe in a small apartment. I’m sure he will see you!”  Canterel packed a small bag, and headed for the train station to catch a line to Dieppe, choosing a more scenic method of travel.
Canterel had debarked to have dinner at a restaurant he adored in Rouen called “The Four Emplaced Views” which served a very special dish whose impetus was Canterel himself, or rather one of his creations. On the menu was an item called, Mousse De Faux Escargras ala Cantarel Superb whose history was rather interesting. In the early days of Canterel’s genetics work which was carried out under the special tutelage of the great Nobel Prize winning physicist Louis de Broglie, Canterel had developed a hybrid free-living chlortronic goose liver snail which by exposure to certain frequencies and intensities of light would not only gorge itself, but would become engorged and grow to a great size, weighing roughly a kilo, and the flesh, neither true animal or plant, still retained its delicious character, which could be prepared as any regular foie gras would be. After his small repast, which the staff had prepared in innumerable variations over the years, Canterel finished his small glass of red wine, and asked for a small neat Espresso which the waiter brought with a small tan sugar cube and a helix of lemon zest, exactly as Cantarel liked it. Sitting there in the wonderful restaurant, Canterel began to get an inkling of a project for his Orientalist club, and for a new transtemporal deviation. He wrote a short note to Abu Dakni, folded it, and enclosed it within an envelope and scrawled the address, then affixing the stamp, bid adieu to his trusted friends the restaurateurs who had all lined up to hug him, or shake his hand, as he had pledged not only his ideas to this particular restaurant, he was part owner. Canterel continued on to Dieppe, dropping his slight parcel in a post-box near the departure platform.
In Dieppe, he debarked later that evening, and took a cab to  56 Rue de La Barre where his family owned a small townhome whose first floor contained a business called “Ideal Shop” which was a used clothing store operated by a Turkmenistani family called Bakzoushi, to whom he rented the space at an affordable rate. Across the street was a little restaurant called “Kabob Anatolie” which was good for a light lunch, and which served a spicy green relish to which Canterel was especially fond. As he passed quietly through the Ideal Shop to reach the private inner door of his townhome, he noticed a faded print for sale on the wall within a crackled white painted frame. The image was of a ghostly naked sexless pale child hovering above a remote mountain lake surrounded by gigantic American Sequoia trees, its face obscured by the intense light it was projecting into space as it gazed upward into the starry void. At the bottom of the image in a cleared little space of its own was the title: ‘La Perfide Albion’. He made his way up to his rooms through the cluttered dusty staircase which had come to be an erstwhile storage area over the intervening years of the home’s disuse.
In the morning, he recalled his dream, obviously stirred by the delicious meal of Mousse De Faux Escargras ala Cantarel Superb. It was the year after Dr. Orson Welles had revealed to him the existence of the distant future, and had given him the corroding Eloi texts which he later took to Louis de Broglie, and from which they developed the remarkable new mathematics and prostheses which allowed Canterel~ “Terroriste!” A man in a red Phrygian cap was chasing Canterel through a series of brickwork tunnels. Canterel looked down at his heavy workman’s boots, his ragged wool coat, as he passed before the sooty windows of strange puerpoddities his mirrored self was goggled, Maldorored, his hair stuck up like an anarchiste in the manner of a sail-backed lizard. Finally, he turned quickly into a small doorway and pulled a heavy iron pipe from his coat. When the man rounded the corner, this ‘Cunterel’s Theorem’ bashed his skull. Then, Canterel was standing with de Broglie looking at a large blackboard of equations, on which some were beginning to jump and chase themselves. One of the equations was chasing another through a derivation, the chunky brash expression suddenly reciprocal’d tearing off a chunk of the other expression’s variable for coding the probability lemma of this very dream, ejecting an H which created a sample space where at once the GREEN VICTOR HUGO was standing. “Romance Unites Science With Revolution,” said the indomitable H over the fundamental lemma. Canterel approached the great variable, and pulled out his key, a large golden key on which was written:

NIHIL REI CONVENIT

Then he slid the big golden key into the navel of Victor Hugo and they were both swept away by an avalanche of green and wondrous worlds.
Canterel was shaving as he recounted the dream back to himself, making some notes in a little book:
 Revolution cannot be appropriate, or it will not be revolution, but every Revolution results from inappropriateness.     

Your perception is my disease.  

IT’S AWFUL CONVENIENT.

8H à? “offal”//

Madame Bakzoushi knocked on the door. She had brought up a lovely tray of coffee and some of her wonderful little breads, and a cup of orange juice. “Madame!” cried Canterel, “You grow more lovely with every passing year!” “You wish!,” said Aisha Bakzoushi. “Aren’t you hungry, it’s 10 o’clock?” Canterel was something of a late riser. 
After a lovely breakfast, Canterel had decided to stroll across town passing in front of the very train station from which he had arrived when he saw none other than his good friend Abu Dakni. “Doc!” called Canterel, the good-natured Orientalist happy to see him, and quickening his gait to the impact of their embracing. “How could my letter have reached you so fast?” “What letter?” said Abu Dakni. “Indeed,” mused Canterel. “I’ve only just arrived here to investigate an apparent sighting of our crazy demi-goddess Nedda!” “Skariovsky is here?” “It seems so,” said Abu Dakni. “Curious.” Then Canterel began to recount his plan to Abu Dakni:
“You and I, for a long time, have been interested in the world of Pre-Islamic Persia. What if we were to create an alternate time-line where Zoroastrianism suddenly achieved technological power, and was led to global dominance by an amazing African shape-shifting Yazata! What if we were to lead the Zoroastrian Sassanid Empire to Euro-Asian dominance?” Abu Dakni looked serious for a moment, then smiled. “As long as you don’t mind me exporting a few relics back to this timeline for sale in my shop!” “Of course!” said Canterel, “Capital Idea!” They strolled through Dieppe briskly lost in their thoughts of Fogar, the divine Yazata shape-shifter savior, while unknowingly Nedda Skariovsky followed at a discrete distance dressed as a man, wearing a deep blue rough silk three piece suit, and a bowler hat, blue alligator shoes, and a carrying a cane of milky blue lapis with a golden head which resembled a hybrid of a gazelle and grasshopper, a grazelle, no doubt.  

Martial Canterel, and Abu Dakni knocked on the door of the townhome of Dr. Bex Saint-Isles unaware that Nedda Skariovsky was stealthily closing in behind them. Jovial Bex answered the door wiping his mouth with a linen napkin and wearing a bright green silk yukata patterned with tiny golden bats. “Aaah Canterel, Dakni, and Skariovsky!” Canterel and Abu Dakni whirled in place to see that Nedda had indeed stepped up into the group unbidden, but before Canterel or Abu Dakni could utter a word, Nedda Skariovsy pulled out a small ornate pink marble video tablet which showed what was obviously a movie of a magnificently dressed Fogar in a beautiful pink marble palace, in an indoor garden strolling surrounded by his grandchildren to whom he was candidly teaching his shapeshifting techniques, as some of the children were covered in patterns of fur, and some had hands which had become cobra heads. “I have come back here from the future you created Martial, I am Yazata Zairi-Gaosha, a temporal guardian of the Sassanidae Empyre, whose unquenchable flame must never be extinguished! I came here to witness the birth of our great world!” Jovial Bex, smiled broadly, putting his soft hand on Canterel’s shoulder. “Always milking the cyclopean nipple of paradox! My beloved Canterel!” “Astonishing!” cried Abu Dakni. Canterel, feeling a wave of relief, but also seizing on an opportunity for further leverage on other projects immediately, and noticing his own immense power in the situation suddenly and gravely spoke, “Zairi-Gaosha, We have no way of knowing absolutely if Fogar is amenable to our plan, but if he is, I must ask you to make a solemn promise to leave the American continents alone. Nedda smiled. “The Nations of Great Balam are Sassanidae’s truest ally. The Uinicob are safe, and they travel to our lands unhindered, and are equals in the eyes of Zoroaster, as are all beings.” “I can’t wait to see the pottery!” Abu Dakni unexpectedly chimed in. Everyone laughed, as Abu Dakni’s child-like enthusiasm for material matters seemed so incongruous in the midst of such heady developments. “Every action negates entropy!” Canterel said softly as they all went into the home of Dr. Saint-Isles.
Bex Saint-Isles set out several large platters of fruit, some containing washed fresh whole fruit, and others with little dishes of fruit salad, and bade his guests eat. His wife Martine brought in a wheeled cart which carried an amazing Russian samovar which she parked underneath a stained glass window she had made, the guests were told, and whose image had been gleaned from Boris Kustodiev’s painting, The Merchant’s Wife, which figured a robust and elegant woman raising her tea cup in tribute across a table of cut fruit while a frisky tabby cat hat been caught in mid-leap about to disrupt the serence scene unbeknownst to the madame whose graceful serenity all at table admired.
“Today is Saturday, and Fogar usually meditates on Saturdays, but I have a method of communicating with him in cases of emergency. Bex suddenly sat a rather ornate bamboo cage on the table which contained a hairless ferret wearing a tailored velvet suit. As Martine removed the gentle animal from her cage, Bex Saint-Isles wrote a note in some obscure form of short-hand, rolled it up and slipped it into a short wooden tube which he attached by means of two small clasps sewn onto the back of the little messenger’s jacket. Martine then released the animal who clambered up a tiny staircase along one wall and happily got inside a brass and glass capsule which sat before a hole resting on a brass chute extension. Martine then pulled a purple tassel which hung from the ceiling which activate the pneumatic tube with a schlepping ‘fonk’ sound, and the creature was gone. “It may take several hours before he arrives, or he may send back Lalalique with a further query. Everyone sat contentedly munching fruit and sipping tea, until finally Canterel spoke to Nedda proffering a question, “Are you aware of the insertion point? You say you are from the ‘Sassanidae Empyre’? The ending the Sassanid empire was a rather messy business. It might take some time, for Dakni and I to figure out the best of all possible insertion points.” Nedda Skariovsky, or ‘Yazata Zairi-Gaosha’ smiled. “You obviously did figure it out, Martial, but let’s further the temporal paradox by allowing me to tell you.” Canterel and Abu Dakni listened closely. Nedda-Yazata continued. “In the early 900’s as you are certainly aware, there was a social development in Islamic society which was called Qarmati(…)” Abu Dakni broke in unconsciously as was his slightly rude habit, “COMEDY?!” Nedda waved his comment away and continued. “I misspoke. I had meant to say Qaramita.” “My beloved?” enjoined Canterel, joining Abu Dakni in a boyish echo of their usual Orientalist parlor semiotics hijinx. Nedda made a mock angry face, and continued, “No Cara mia, Qaramita, or ‘those who wrote in small letters. A paradoxically revolutionary movement which contained elements of Zoroastrianism, a Vegetarian Utopianism, and a millenarian paranoia about the coming og the Mahdi, and the rise of the Magians, and which culminated towards our insertion point with the bizarre power handover of the Qarmatian collective to an unknown Persian man who by careful archaeology we discovered to have been called Yazfogar Uruz’el. “Fogar!” Canterel and Abu Dakni said aloud in unison. “Précisément.” A subtle chime and cold flash went through the room. “I’ve got to take this,” said Canterel, pulling out a pair of heavy Erythrite sunglasses with yellow lenses, and strange looking snail from a box.
In a small antechamber Canterel received a trans-temporal call from Professor Majesty. MC could hear the call through the snail which fitted itself into his ear, and he could see through the temporal frames of the glasses. “I have just completed a rather delicious experiment here in O/x, Martial. You know how we have always loved Rabelais’s Gargantua and Pantagruel? Well, I have inverted the symbiotic pathways, and have created a Chlorlock Gargantua which can house Eloi vehicles carrying chlortrons, or even a supporting feature for making an Eloic substitution for Chlortronics!” “How has the sui generis program been proceeding?” “We have closed the gap on the frequency shifting problem which allows us to open a portal to any universe n, and pipe its flow and any n material into this one, but there are certain stability constraints like portal size, etc, but velocity wise, this could be weaponized, or conversely used as a powerful terraforming tool.” “Do the standard portal messaging protocols convey?” “Yes, we can open one or more of these portals in most any space or time given proper reception. You can’t open up a gate in a lightning storm.” “Would you be able to use the Sui Generis program to replace biochemical cloning?” “Certainly! You yourself worked on the precision framing mechanics phase. Portal framing allows nearly infinite complexity, which certainly includes cloning.” “Gear up a 15 frame set to produce Gargantuas. By the way, who is in it at present?” “It’s me, Professor Majesty, ready to piss on the world!” “Good work Professor, I guess you could even fit their big Par-is’s with a portaling frame generator controlled by the Eloi within?” “It’s just a slight rewrite!” “Make it so!” Canterel tapped the little snail’s back so that it knew to retract, and he removed the glasses, and returned to the group. The Ferret had returned, and Fogar would be there within the hour.