[[!meta title="Docker Compose"]]
[[!meta author="Daniel Silverstone"]]
[[!meta date="2018-07-03 14:45:00"]]
I glanced back over my shoulder to see the Director approaching. Zhe stood
next to me, watched me intently for a few moments, before turning and looking
out at the scape. The water was preturnaturally calm, above it only clear
blue. A number of dark, almost formless, shapes were slowly moving back and
forth beneath the surface.
"Is everything in readiness?" zhe queried, sounding both impatient and resigned
at the same time. "And will it work?" she added. My predecessor, and zir
predecessor before zem, had attempted to reach the same goal now set for
"I believe so" I responded, sounding perhaps slightly more confident than I
felt. "All the preparations have been made, everything is in accordance with
what has been written". The director nodded, zir face pinched, with worry
writ across it.
I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, opened them, raised my hand and focussed
on the scape, until it seemed to me that my hand was almost floating on the
water. With all of my strength of will I formed the incantation, repeating it
over and over in my mind until I was sure that I was ready. I released it into
the scape and dropped my arm.
The water began to churn, the blue above darkening rapidly, becoming streaked
with grey. The shapes beneath the water picked up speed and started to grow,
before resolving to what appeared to be stylised Earth whales. Huge arcs of
electricity speared the water, a screaming, crashing, wall of sound rolled over
us as we watched, a foundation rose up from the depths on the backs of the
whale-like shapes wherever the lightning struck.
Chunks of goodness-knows-what rained down from the grey streaked morass,
thumping into place seamlessly onto the foundations, slowly building what I had
envisioned. I started to allow myself to feel hope, things were going well,
each tower of the final solution was taking form, becoming the slick and clean
visions of function which I had painstakingly selected from among the masses of
Now and then, the whale-like shapes would surface momentarily near one of the
towers, stringing connections like bunting across the water, until the final
design was achieved. My shoulders tightened and I raised my hand once more.
As I did so, the waters settled, the grey bled out from the blue, and the scape
became calm and the towers shone, each in its place, each looking exactly as it
Chanting the second incantation under my breath, over and over, until it seemed
seared into my very bones, I released it into the scape and watched it flow
over the towers, each one ringing out as the command reached it, until all the
towers sang, producing a resonant and consonant chord which rose of its own
accord, seeming to summon creatures from the very waters in which the towers
The creatures approached the towers, reached up as one, touched the doors, and
screamed in horror as their arms caught aflame. In moments each and every
creature was reduced to ashes, somehow fundamentally unable to make use of the
incredible forms I had wrought. The Director sighed heavily, turned, and made
to leave. The towers I had sweated over the design of for months stood proud,
I also turned, made my way out of the realisation suite, and with a sigh hit
the scape-purge button on the outer wall. It was over. The grand design was
flawed. Nothing I created in this manner would be likely to work in the scape
and so the most important moment of my life was lost to ruin, just as my
predecessor, and zir predecessor before zem.
Returning to my chambers, I snatched up the book from my workbench. The
whale-like creature winking to me from the cover, grinning, as though it knew
what I had tried to do and relished my failure. I cast it into the waste chute
and went back to my drafting table to design new towers, towers which might be
compatible with the creatures which were needed to inhabit them and breath life
into their very structure, towers which would involve no grinning whales.