.also, i am a twat
Joined: Jan 2008
Pt1 - 1st draft...
Encircled by cautiously assembled ad-hoc antique gadgetry, the decrepit & cracked reliquary that was the last of the great tablets blinked with intermittent light & the screen flickered momentarily.
She quickly signalled a disconnect - “No smoke, that’s a relief. We’ll lock down that configuration” called out the head woman, “Let me secure that last pin in the rig and we’ll try again. Make sure you keep the water feed-rate stable, I’m going to need a steady current, run it just above the regulator rating & don’t let it drop, if we get this old wreck operating like the others did we may not get much time. And make sure you’ve got your stylus ready.”
The younger man glanced across gauge and dial, before looking back to indicate his readiness on all counts. And then, under the intently maintained & wary gaze of her ardent adherent, she soldered the last strands of the cobbled together power loom onto the malformed & improvised plug in the now confirmed order, and tenderly slid it wholly into the corroded niche in the base of that marvellous mechanistic artefact of a now bygone electrical age, which they, and others before them, had studied so long.
It had been painstakingly assembled from the mixed remnants of three such devices found so long ago in the same site dig - a screen from here, a button set from there, the best of the technological residue that slow passing time had left them – but all centring around the last viable drive & processor board they’d salvaged from the last remains that weren’t either crushed or crumbling, or otherwise unhappily mashed thru her predecessors careful endeavours. Of course she’d incessantly studied the almost infinite records, notes & diagrams of their work with the objects, pored over the eternal & sacred religious scrolls conjecting at their source, their meaning. And now, on the brink of their last chance of unlocking the devices mysteries, she found herself pausing to check her trembling hands, now overflowing with their own micro-voltage of nervous anticipation, before straightening herself, and looking squarely in the face of her uneasy subordinate.
“That’s it… Once you trigger that relay we may not have long – according to everything I’ve been taught it should present the last thing it displayed, and we’ll be the first to see it for a thousand thousand years. Here illuminated upon this archaeological detritus of our deep distant past we’ll slip a glimpse inside the roots of our myths, and legends will be to us revealed - Stories spoken round eons of night fires will be thereon displayed in their original form…”
Again she stilled her hands, and then each in turn breathed in search of clear mind, sat together in silence for a short while, while they wondered whether it would ever feel like it was time. And they could not but think anew of what might be revealed, what mysteries resolved; the roots of what myths would be gleaned once the long dormant screen shone out thru the mire of ages, its inscrutable obscurity once more illuminated across an age of darkness.
“I have The List…”
“Forget the list. We know the list. We’ll compare it with what shows on the screen once we get this thing up. That’s if it does the same as the others did.”
“But the Recording Form, there’s an order, a protocol.”
“I know. You think I don’t? I’ve read reams of them. We’ve all had our theories as to what we may find, but I want to try to come at this unmarked & impartial, from a new direction. The Form tries to concentrate you on the detail, when previously there’s not been a long enough live period with one of these things to get more than a few notes down. I want you to concentrate on the broader range of content, get me more headings. If we do what they’ve all done before us, we’ll just get the same results – the power is in the things we haven’t done – Use the memory skills that got you into this job in the first place. Remember, I want a wider record of what we see, get down the headings and then memorise anything else you can. This is our last chance. Remember everything you can, we’ll unravel it later.” She ground her teeth & imperceptibly nodded, and he closed the contacts that fed his juice thru the jigged up power-rig, and on into the now hard wired relic.
...using the wrong spanner since 1964...