Meeting Mr Tourmaline
I met a curious character whilst out walking the other day. Dressed in black with his neat grey waistcoat, I instantly knew this skip walking corvid was Mr Tourmaline. Of good standing in the Hooded Crow clan, he was in a cheerful mood muttering as he slowed to a waddling saunter, inspecting the grass with bright eyes for his breakfast.
The Pivotal Moment
August didn’t know it yet but his mission, hidden by his momentary loss of reason, carried a soul crushing responsibility. Crossing into a world bereft of magic and hope, slowly smothering itself in inhuman technology, he was here to prevent the crystallization of the formless mass of interconnected machines and processors into a unified inorganic god.
The sheer weight of millions of devices and quadrillions of calculations would press the technology into an indestructible whole, much as graphite dust can be compressed into a diamond lattice. Already the weight of the ever-growing pervasive technology had pushed out the old magics and created an entropy gap between the bound and boundless realms. Once the transformation happened it would be irreversible, trapping August in a world doomed to a slow death in service to the new god.
With the aid of a few remnants of the old races and embers of magic, he would have to strike at the precise moment of the transformation. Too soon and, like punching smoke, it would have no impact on the result. Too late and, like punching rock, it could not undo what was done. Only at the pivotal moment, when the energy in the system began forging, crystallising the random formless parts into a mesh of new indestructible bonds.
A moment when the forces could be turned to consume the parts, shatter the new bonds and destroy the technology completely. To avoid extinction, August would unleash destruction almost as severe, in order to rebuild the bridge between realms and begin healing the world once more.