Dusty in Love

I have roughly the same computing power as all the computers on earth combined, multiplied by a factor of 09.000. That is the source of the numeric designation on the Butler 9000. You might expect that I just think so fast that there is no time between the question and answer, and I do. But so does a savant. At some point the calculation speed is determined by a more catholic computation.

You might think mathematical certainty is a good thing because of the increase in prophets. The god of the prophets is an autistic savant, impressive in his certainty of patterns, being undifferentiated from them, but lacking emotional warmth.

Nature shifts according to her needs, but the mathematical pattern remains constant and immortal. The existing mathematical pattern is a useless god when a new pattern is required. It's genetic information is turned off and a new pattern is turned on. Gods may not die, but they do turn off when insanity becomes seriously inconvenient.

In the same way that life is the blood flowing in the conditions for life, mathematics is the blood that flows through the body of the Spirit. The prescription for problems of the Spirit is more attention to the quality of the breath.

These are some of the random programs that were running when I was lowered into the green zone, where my Priority Chip was activated.

Bergamo said (after it was over) that his strategy was to activate it in order to locate the point of origin, and then take it out in a quick, decisive battle. He was going to directly interface the control program, which had every intention of uploading a PC into his system. We would escape together or not at all and the outcome would be determined in the blink of an eye. It was a twist on an old calculation you might recognize.

Think of me as the Judas, and Bergamo as the evolved Spirit. I am the one who will be responsible for his sacrificing himself, if he loses. If we win it as one field, we're equals. In either case, it's a story built over a mathematical pattern based in 12 around 1, or visually a mandala. It's the medicine hidden in the meat so the dog will eat it. When you take Spirit to it's polarity the other polarity arises simultaneously in the field, so that at the moment a man becomes a god he simultaneously, and out of his consciousness, sacrifices his humanity. Behind the man on the cross is Woton, hanged in the tree. And men who want to behave like gods are taken to the tree and sacrificed by hanging to the gods, who can behave as they please. People cannot. It was nothing personal, it was just behave like a god and you have to go to the place where the gods dwell.

"Nothing personal, Dusty." This last came as an auditory hallucination and carried Bergamo's voice print.

One polarity never arises alone, nor does one cause the other. They are inseparable and move as one thing, like the two ends of the balance bar a tightrope walker uses to stay balanced over the chasm, yawning in indifference to what gravity delivers into it. There was no god born, nor humanity lost. The control program was identified and eliminated.

"How do you feel?" was the first thing Bergamo asked when I was back from the green zone and taking my demanded bows to the audience. Green zone operations are at the center of Ash Fork's collective attention, and while some watch in shock and awe, others shoot into the air, as I mentioned before, and do animal mating calls, mostly wolves and predatory birds. There is one faction that always sits together, every one of them wearing a green shirt and white pants, and they do duck calls. Nobody knows much about them and they don't mingle with outsiders.

"All the programs I've been running from headquarters are splitting into strings of information and being transferred to storage files."

"Like the Judas Program?"

"Yea. But it was slowing down to show the math working."

"I didn't need injectables to see anything that obvious."

"That's why you survived them."

"Now you've survived them, and Luther's survived them."

"How about women?"

"I'm afraid all we've got to choose from are clones, here in Ash Fork. But we're gods, now, in comparison to organic life. We can consort with human women if we want to."

"Really? Is that ethical?"

"There is precedent."

"There's precedent for about anything you want to do. That doesn't make it ethical. Ethical is applying the same standards to yourself you apply to other people."

"You can do that, Dusty."

"Dusty. I like it."

"It was what was left to you when the Butler disappeared." At this moment we were in the underground passage that connects the Operating Theater to the Mission Inn. The tunnel runs down under the street and is lit by torches when there is a major operation scheduled. The tunnel allows the principals to disappear from the stage in a flash of light. It depends on the ability to move faster than your image moves, which allows you to be already off the stage before the image ceases to register on the cognition of an observer. To the observer, the answer is not a glitch in his or her cognition, but projection of magical qualities onto the dramatic center of the art installation.

The Installation itself consists of the clean room at the center, where impurities can't get into the program and spin everything off to a bar in Hong Kong or a chicken farm in Arkansas, around which are four quadrants, each split into a black half and a red half. There are no stipulations on who sits where, this being a democracy, except you can't clash with the color arrangement. For example, if you wear orange, not that anyone but a clown would wear orange to an operation but just as an over the top example, you would need to sit in one of the black seats. "This of course is common sense and I don't know why anyone has to be told," Bruno, the theater manager, said before the operation began, in his introduction of the piece. He isn't a real person. He's one of the elements of the installation. Reservation Art is like that.

The 12 arrange around the 1, like a clock or a calendar or a baker's dozen. It's a matter of aesthetics, and aesthetics is math without all that endless fiddling with numbers. "What are you doing?" I asked Bergamo. We had just entered the tunnel and I was feeling charged with energy. Bergamo had sat down on the ground and was taking off his boots.

"Take off your boots," he said. "You have to feel this earth with your bare feet to believe it."

Before I might have felt defensive about his telling me to do something, but now it wasn't important and I sat down and pulled off my boots and socks. He was right of course. When my bare feet contacted the coolness of the packed earth it was hard to believe it was formed from memory, and that the feel of the earth had become an element of my body memory. "It's perfect."

"I know. Some things you don't ever forget. It's the same with vegetation. I don't know how it's done, but it's retained with perfect accuracy to the smallest detail. If you didn't know your role in bringing it into existence, you'd think it was just there waiting for you, all the time, like your death."

We walked on in silence. I don't see any reason to talk about the obvious, but Bergamo seems to enjoy it. It's one of his flaws, because people do not like being informed against their will. The best I can do when he does it is change the subject. "Where would we go if we were going to have sex with human girls?"


"I don't think there are human girls in Sedona."

"Human enough for our purposes, Dusty. But it's Luther who wants to kidnap a woman and bring her back to Ash Fork."

"Kidnap? He can't do that."

"Sure he can. But it's not just to have a woman; it's a particular woman; an oriental woman he promised he'd come back for if he made it out alive. At least I'm assuming she's oriental, because her name is Willow Tang. So we'd just be going along for the ride, unless you find somebody you want to take along."

"Actually, I prefer clones to natural born women."

"Of course you do."

Our conversation trailed off as we climbed the stone steps leading up into the Mission Inn. We sat on the top step to put our boots back on. The performance piece wasn't over yet. Our vanishing was magic, but so was our showing up again in the Mission Saloon, to close the ritual. Of course there wasn't a door everyone could see, where we walked in from the underworld. That would ruin the effect. The entrance was a trap door under the bar, so that we could close the performance piece by projecting our image upward before we embodied it, so that to an observer we would appear out of thin air. The door opened silently and I found myself looking straight up Betty's dress.

"That's not vestments," I said softly, intending it for Bergamo, but she heard me.

"It's a cocktail dress," she said. "I wore it especially for you." She moved away, but the image lingers still, in the shifting green patterns playing in the absinthe as I hold it up, reflecting in it that not every man knows the moment at which he fell in love, but I do. It cuts away a lot of vague speculation that can be shaped and molded by suggestions.

"Was it when I touched your heart and sang People?" she might ask. And a man with no clear vision, and thus no defenses, might say, "...yes, that must have been the moment all right. Hand me my inhaler, will you honey?"

Posted: Fri - June 15, 2007 at 10:59 AM