so what now
The councillors already asked themselves how will they meet, if the city
won't connect them. They can't even arrange for a meeting. Led by psytronicians'
advice, they went to the park. All who had psytronicians along, were found
there. The rain was dripping slowly.
-Two rainy days in a row. Badly disturbed temper.
-This may be part of the program as well. City's obliged to offer stronger excitements sometimes. Once in a lifetime, a thing like this.
-Shouldn't be allowed to do things like this; city's first duty is...
-To avoid mocking its people.
-Strange kind of humour. Too much integral.
-What do you mean "too much".
-Just like that. What do you think, how many people built this city?
-None. Just machines.
-That's OK, but someone had to give it sense, initial idea. How many creators?
-Ten. Hundred. How do I know? Thousand?
-And this had sounded like one.
-You mean someone built his own sense of fooling around? Imposed it to city, for memory of generations? A bit selfish. Man with such a autoerotism couldn't infect the machine so completely; wouldn't have enough building blocks.
-Not just fooling around. The loneliness of inner profession speaks from it. Nobody to share the knowledge with; once he could, with those Technicians.
-I've analysed this talk. Really feels like one person. Doesn't look much like what city used to talk before. It was more impersonal. Maybe it's just an impression, because its voice was somehow more normal than usual, but...
-Is anyone using that room?
-That one would have to be both a Technician and malicious. We don't have these.
-There used to be.
-Yes, and a time traveller too.
-No shit. Do you have everything you need when city operates properly? You do. Do you have unfulfilled wishes? Just enough to get you know what you live for, and far from enough for a real frustration. Would you risk all that, would you risk happiness, just to show off that you've learned to get into the system, or what was the way it expressed it.
-I wouldn't, nor anyone I know. Someone from another city?
-Keep hunting the suspects, especially outsiders, and you will reinvent the army.
-Nevertheless, there's someone. We criticists agree on that. This isn't Ilyf and Petrov. I feel the works of one personality. Most of all it looks like a scenic performance. Someone is in the machine.
-Working hypothesis number one: ghost in the machine. Let's assume there's one. So? How do you find it? Where do you start searching from?
-What the cop said? Intuition and luck. Who elaborated on that?
-Want a list? Transcendental gamblers. Cabalists. Some of, what the hell they called themselves, you know those guys who pin the ECG contacts to themselves and use it to direct the laser plastic modulator, ah, yes, cordial sculptors. Well, how fact can we pick them up?
-Who knows whether they'll disturb their peace for this. We don't know exactly what we're looking for.
-If they refuse, we may all lose or finally find peace. Nirvana is on the horizon, if we fail. Yesterday I've ordered a list of cities for twenty years ago. Ten missing, three new appeared. According to some calcs of mine, the malfunctions increase at a rate just slightly of logarithmic 0,00013, but daily! Time to total system breakdown is roughly minus ten days. Don't know if we do have that much.
-Since when do you know calculating? You are, seems to me, a geometrist.
-Projective graphics, if you're interested. There are some numeric models of projective space. I just know how to post a problem. City calculates it.
-And you trust it?
Some residents of Lamster have thus come to understand that "unpleasant silence" is not just a scenic expression, but more of a physical phenomenon, almost as palpable as a cold heater.