The Transcriber Part 8
The Transcriber Part 8
Syro was dreaming for the very first time. His body was reacting to his strong urges of desire as well as his naïve hopes for forgiveness, and something to fill the gaping hole that his loss had left in him. Demoralised. If that was their goal, then they’d achieved it. But it wasn’t really their fault. It was him who had not acted. He delayed, and he lost. Fate made its choice, and was punishing and tormenting Syro for his reluctance to follow through.
As much of a genius as he was, Syro did not understand the human condition, nor the emotions that arise to protect and keep the things we love and hold most dear. He also didn’t understand how dreams were a way for the subconscious to communicate to him. He was in a glade somewhere. It was strange. He recognised it, except he knew that it was impossible because he had spent every day he could remember within those red captive walls. A prisoner of a faceless captor. Now he felt free, he could smell nature, feeling the breeze blow through his hair, dewdrops trickling down his skin, and the chirping of birds. He could make out two figures walking behind him, but he didn’t know who they were. When he turned around, their faces were an obscured, blurry smudge, an agglomeration of distorting colour and moist texture. He felt for some reason that they were bad people, very bad people, but he didn’t know why. He rationalized it by attributing it to the guilt he felt about destroying the statuette. He was a bad person, the good ‘him’ was him and the ‘bad’ hims (there were two, so twice the badness) was behind him, pushing him, relentlessly, emotionlessly made him so morally ambiguous that he didn’t even recognise himself anymore.
We all have our inner demons. The only difference was that Syro was seeing them in a human form, in a form not unlike his own. The glade quickly took on an uninviting feel, and Syro ran. He ran as fast as he could. And then he ran faster. He began to accelerate exponentially, running initially at the rate of an Olympic athlete, then an automobile then an aircraft. Of course this was just his subconscious; it was just a dream after all. As reality around him began to meld together in a trippy kaleidoscopic rainbow of dazzling and garish hues, Syro noticed that there were no longer any people following him; he was alone again.
His pursuers gone, there was no further need to run. As soon as he stopped, he realised he was now in a laboratory of some sort. It wasn’t like any of those modernistic workspaces in science fiction or crime procedurals, nor did it have the trappings of a lair of some mad scientist bent on creating a new mutant virus to graft tomato seeds onto the arms of homophobic gerbils. It was an extremely large room, cavernous even, with white walls, white tiles and a white roof. In the distance, he could make out two objects. Syro decided that if he ever got out into the real world, his lab would look something like this. Pure and minimalistic and fully equipped to ensure maximum efficiency and optimal operating capacity. As he approached them, he saw that there were instead two rectangular blocks of roughly carved slate with a surface of smoothly polished, gleaming marble. They were operating tables, Syro realised. Strapped on top of each table were his two pursuers from before. So they hadn’t given up chasing him after all, they’d been captured. But by what? His mind? What was this dream trying to tell him?
Syro stood between the two tables that restrained his enemies, now with no reason to fear them. The manacles that bound them to the stone tables vanished, and now the two dream figures had turned into ethereal creatures of black smoke. Then one of them let out a sudden cry. The smoke was being sucked from it by some invisible vacuum. The consistency of the smoke thinned until the being fully dissipated. In its place was a box. The other smoke creature rasped one final warning to Syro before it too was consumed by the ravenous void. Then it was gone, replaced by a similar box. On closer inspection the boxes seemed to be pulsating slightly, and exuding a high pitched buzzing that overwhelmed him. Syro sank to his knees, his hands firmly pressed on his ears. But it was to no avail. Syro screamed and opened his eyes, and saw the red walls he had known all his life.
Quivering, with sweat trickling down his body, Syro remembered the parting words of the creature in his dream.
The Transcriber will save us all.