How luminous the Machine. How dire Gaea's straits. How heavy and unwanted the press of circumstance, like a Samoan rapist.

Now Hitomi stands in the Throne Room; she is as a rat in a Cathedral. Before her spans the Apparatus sustaining the Emperor of Zaibach himself, Dornkirk. The ancient scientist is alone with her; all guards have abandoned their posts. Ineluctability and dread and a miasma of destiny-alteration particles hmm in the air.

Behold! the Apparatus hisses and whirrs, and Dornkirk looms titanic, decrepit, like a semi-ambulatory drooling dotard of withered dignity and bleary irritation and Ted Kennedy brain-tumor senescence. And Hitomi is struck, to the inmost thoughts: she is a devout Buddhist, and she remembers Siddhartha Gautama recoiling from the senescence.

A moment later, the putridity overwhelms the Hitomi Tanaka's nostrils: she staggers as a kuru-crazed cunt and vomits a wash of yellow bile, chunks of chili and broccoli, dog-meat, and thickened carcinoma tissues. Consciousness returned to her seconds later; still reeling, she gasps and nearly slips in her own vomit as Dornkirk calls from on high: 'Can you not See...the Dialectic of the Desire and the Actual are now in Connexion within this World. No more will humanity suffer Unrealised Dreams; no more will humanity be yoked by Exigency and Labor for the Subconscious.'

Hitomi sputters, plugging her nose both at Dornkirk's reek and her own. she begins to speak, but Dornkirk waves a hand; the Siphoner flashes to life as sudden as the kangaroo's lunge, implants images from elsewhere into the Hitomi cortex: a desperate struggle not a quarter-mile from the Great Ziggurat, but are look as one to the Sky Above. Ethereal filaments come down and trap them all, for a moment, in a web of frustrated latency wishes and long-held hopes and dishonest desires, till it erupts into a veritable cornucopia of intersected algorithms of Desire and Potential. There a man gritting his teeth, his profoundest wish to be the most handsome fella on Gaea, but very much thwarted by his opponent, a good-looking tall man who fervently wished there were no wishes. Oh, to see the battlefield; a charnel pit. Oh, to see the battlefield; a roiling sea of ignoble intention and mentor-diverted dreams and primordiality psyche discharge.

What does your Von desire, young lady? says Dornkirk, as reading Hotomi's thoughts. Flies buzz around Dornkirk, like a Beelzebub eunuch of cleverness and centuries-long celibacy.

To be continued.