TheNeverPages Serialisation
Series 5, Episode 6

TheNeverPages - Series 5, Episode 6

Paisley is sitting on the hatch of the LHC pipeline. Though he came with us, he cannot go any further. He must stay guard and though it pains us all to leave each other yet another time, it must be done. MGV2 and I are going into the LHC.

Inside the LHC Pipeline. Read over Tesla’s entry about surviving the Stage Firing from within here. Quite incredible to have done so and to have gone through space and become entwined with fabric of Multiverse in such a way is astounding. We have now to find a way to get from inside the pipeline to inside the reactor complex that sits in the centre of this great ring. Must find a service tunnel.

The service tunnel runs for the radius of the pipeline ring, right to the centre of the compound. Flickering red lights line the hexagonal corridor. Wires overhead like veins. Cannot see the end of the tunnel.

Seemed to be walking down hexagonal service tunnel for centuries. On and on it went, the repetition of the blinking red lights almost tipping us into dementia. We held fast. Made it to a hatch. The other side of it lays the reactor core!

We are in the reactor core and it is a hive of activity. We must be tens of leagues beneath the surface of Pripyat now and above us an impossible maze of walkways and gantries that cross over the expanse of the open reactor. We opened the hatch from the service tunnel and we were greeted by a descending ladder that led down into a murky abyss. The only sign of depth were the blinking lights every kilometre or so (blinking blue this time. The beacons did little to dilute our sense of unease at our approaching descent. Down we went).

We are now at the base of the reactor core, tucked into a dark corner. Perhaps nobody has ever been so far down here (since its construction anyway). Great columns of glass stretch up, way out of sight. The column glass must be a yard think and inside, balls of liquid float in abstract gravity, colliding, morphing and breaking apart. Sometimes they form recognisable shapes – a dog, a Model-T, a church, a man, a trombone. Sometimes they even form vistas, dioramas that look like they have been moulded from jelly. They form and hold their position for a few seconds before falling apart. The scenes are uniformly of devastation; mushroom clouds over cities, great tankers capsizing in oceans, tsunamis engulfing whole islands. Everything is chaos inside these tubes.

Above, across the myriad gantries rush workers. Some in overalls, some in radiation suits and others in white coats. The sense of industry is palpable, but is overshadowed by the sense of dread and of expected disaster. In my mind MGV2 tells me of the dream of mine (the dream in which he lived, and the dream in which I melted inside this very reactor core) He tells me of what is to come and he tells me that we must prevent it, or if we can’t, we must save as many as we can. He echoes Tesla’s last coherent thoughts. I agree, though the images he shows me in our conjoined mind of that existence horrify me. This was my death in that reality, and most probably my death in this reality. All death is the same, it is only the details that change.

We have taken rest at the base of the core as we are overawed at the sight above us and agree that notation is important as we (and others) have carried on this NeverDiary over dimensions, through time and across landscapes of life, death and the great FurtherUnknown. We need to take stock of all around us, all we witness and experience. We need to take time to ‘smell the flowers’ as my mother used to say (my final image of her, half frozen in winter, on that crooked rocking chair does not turn to sand like other memories…instead, falls now to snow). Time to smell the flowers indeed, perhaps more than ever MGV2 and I need to do this, we are on the edge of the precipice. This is our inhalation before we plunge. This is us.

After we left the dry-canal with Paisley, we ventured back to the hotel. We expected to find Angeline and Tesla there (after reading her entries) but it was morning and so we assumed that they would be working. So far, we have not seen either of them here. Tesla works on the walkway leading to the observation platform which is a hundred leagues overhead. We will make our way there. We will explore floor by floor.

MGV2 is now running his hands over the glass walls of the reactor columns. The globules inside are attracted to his touch and they form a replica of him, mimicking his movements, just as I do in life. It is quite calming to watch this little mirror-dance. Everything is a copy. Everything is a silhouette. Everything is everything else. Our minds reflected a conjoined stillness as I wrote that last statement. We agreed.

He has suggested that it is time to go. We’ll advance through the internal network of the vast complex, room by room, floor by floor, back up to the very top of the reactor core. Bold spies we are!

We have advanced up to level 278 and so far we have encountered workers who have, to a man, ignored us. No shouts of "Halt!” No questions at all. We were simply passed by. Everyone is programmed to do their duty it seems; gloomy machines of industry. Mechanical flesh beings. We passed through endless rooms of desks and terminals, wires everywhere, pipes, steam vents, bulbs, switches, everything is connected in some way to something else. It seems that not one rivet is wasted in this construction. We have no hope of understanding how anything works, instead we are focusing on finding that one mistake, that one agent of chaos that must, inevitably be floating around here somewhere. There will be a document, there will be a lose wire, or a hidden room that has been overlooked.

We seek a ‘time’ or a ‘place’ where Brekker will abound when this final, catastrophic Stage Firing occurs. We need to know the secret.

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