Salton Weir 3

“Is this supposed to look like the end of the world?” said Lucas. “That’s not a criticism, by the way. It’s just the canal water turned blood-red gives that impression. Maybe we just watched too much anime though.”

I looked out of the eyes of a pteranodon at him. It required a turn of the head. I could only look with one eye and then the other. I started to understand the sorts of problems that birds have, and why they tend to look quizzical, when they are merely trying to look at all.

Lucas waved off the lack of response. “I get it that the vocal chords might be different. I’ll also admit that I wasn’t really expecting a reply. My main concern is whether we have gone forward or backwards or whether I’m supposed to think of time as a helix or ourobouros. Again, I know there are no easy answers and there’ll be hell to pay, but I do expect you to stay awake while we’re on the telephone, yeah?”

The whole development of the technology, from the dream of telepathy and communication at a distance, through to Teilhard de Chardin’s Noosphere made flesh, and its ultimate annexation as a narthex or foyer to the end of civilsation was sketched upon a Rizla in the bathroom Bible. Welsh language for obvious reasons.

“The dream of flight though. That wasn’t a purely magical project, in the same way that telepathy was. It was largely a form of jealousy about birds, bats too, but it’s mostly about how something so stupid could fly. No offense.”

I considered flapping off across the endless verdant woodland after that. I considered the state of my talons and tried to envisage the sorts of nail clippers that might be up to the job. And still something vast and dark and full of festive cheer expanded exponentially in the night behind us. It couldn’t be avoided.