Saturday, September 02, 2006

In Her name, Amen

The key was the mille-wrench with disappearing propeller. It jigged and turned under my thumb and tore through reinforced steel thrice before moving the four gripped quarter slats in the proper direction. There I stood, proud as a little woman should be in a big tri-corn hat and habit, pushing a juicy wad of tobacco around in my toothless jaw and smiling heavy. The finished product, gleaming metallic rainbows into my sweat-misted eyes, bellowed its fiery motor rumble, and the machine came alive. I heard heaven's gate tremble.

Wiping crystalline boron sludge into my jeans, I knelt before the engine and examined my proudest handiwork. The genius came in the form of an allotropic synthetic. I had discovered it by mistake, loosing a streaking cobalt inferno upon the fueling corner of my shop. Extinguishing the hungry flames resulted in third degree burns along my left arm and permanent chemical damage to my once flowing hair, but nonetheless I isolated the igniting properties. My waxen, desiccated body gave way to human mechanical innovation on a holier scale. Physical senility and gruesome ugliness were a small price to pay for a pardoner’s tool. Alas, worries about my appearance left long ago, pulled into the same void that claimed my sons and the sodomy of my wicked husband.

There she stood, the world’s first worthy invention. Where the smelters of the industrial revolution and the superconductors of the information age failed, I persevered, and in the clanky iron corridors of a makeshift hutch, no less. History says that prophecy often arrives in fire.

These last hundred years tested everything mankind held close and secure. First the robot disease and then the contagious global waves of stealth assassination. My family fell victim to anarchist factions, and I was sold into slavery. Watching tall buildings collapse in the fires of atomic madness, while brave humans were interned and destroyed inch by inch, my mind turned to books. White pages and black ink, the bastions of philosophy and religion in times forgotten, stole and kept secrets from man’s psychological suppression of itself, of spirituality. Escaping my captors, I wandered, seeking solace in roadside kitchens and exploring the convergence of science and divinity.

My first foray into invention came, not surprisingly, through chance. Or perhaps, it was Her plan all along. While walking through a barren plain, I fell into an abandoned mine shaft, its trapdoor obscured by years of earth. Inside lay a scrap heap of discarded hardware. Using flexible microcontrollers from the unending piles of electronic refuse there, I set about constructing an improvised broadcast system. Once finished, I began to deliver sermons of salvation to scores of willing listeners in the streets. I started with the word of Saul, of course, and fused his liturgy with those of Saint Augustine and the 21st Century’s most renowned martyr, Eliza Maria de Brazil. Through resurrected technologies, my message was received across many miles, and my revolution was quickened. But the path through heresy is treacherous and paved with the nameless graves of courageous believers.

They arrived in the night, ripping through my tent and burning my possessions. I was raped, battered and drugged. After my teeth were successively removed, they dragged me through the village and raped me again. I heard children laughing as my skin opened, and soaked me in warm red. When the sun rose, I lay crying and broken. But then it happened: She sang to me. I was overwhelmed with sudden happiness. They had allowed me to live, which amounted to miracle.

Thereafter, I unearthed the mysteries of every scientific vocation, spending days in the dark of my shop, guided by Her greater voice. I felt the thrum of deliverance in my heartbeat and heard trumpets of glory within the idle sounds of tinkering metals. Creating the rapture engine became my soul’s calling, my reason for being. Forty years passed, fraught with more death and sadness in the lives of this domain. I never let failure overcome me.

Then one day it was complete, and I wasted no time setting off on Her mission.

Cackling and waving my New Bible in the air, I reigned truth and justice and Her way upon the scattering masses far below. She howled, my trusty engine, and together we were the archangel’s smiting fist. The brimstone exploded in puddles of blood and bones. Evil burned into white clouds of wrath and forgiveness. A new day of woman followed.
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