Old Kansas Sector ~16: The Clockwork Virus
rating: +23+x

☦Allan fights anomalies in a post-normal world.☦

The Last Era: 15, August, 2119 AD
Present Day Mongolia
6:16 AM

On the summit of Khüiten Peak in present day Mongolia, a writhing mass of thinking brass gears felt the presence of three human feet step onto the metallic ground where flesh and metal intermingled on its border. The thinking brass, its mental process created and churned through a subterranean computational network of cogs and spokes composed of billions of moving parts that endlessly improved upon themselves through its inefficient replication, delivered the message of awareness to its central figurehead, an eye of clockwork that rested on the summit of the aforementioned mountain. These feet were Human. Animal. Pure flesh. An alloy that could become both copper, and zinc, and could never become anything else. Maybe bronze.

Chronos, as it was named by its parts, was the closest it had ever been to becoming the physical manifestation of time itself. The great clock. Like time itself, something worshipped and created that never once existed. A fresh reality. Chronos was never broken, just as reality could never be changed, only witnessed from a popular lense. The Broken God, Chronos, was always here, never destroyed, only waiting to be built, like any other idea.

Chronos witnessed the feet trampling across brass. Chronos considered the new material that could become something that would allow Time to become just slightly larger.

Chronos was much larger than its Sarkic or Maxwellian brethren.

Flesh is malleable, and requires less space. Data is near infinitely small, and requires hardly any space at all. But they each desire mastery over time, which requires quite a lot of space. This Triumvirate of ideas concerned of metal, spirit, and flesh, battled since the beginning, when everything was nothing.

Chronos now encompassed much of the southern half of Asia, which was a start. Chronos is only concerned with this, becoming larger. Becoming time manifest. Chronos thought of nothing else. It didn't really have any hobbies. A working man.

So Chronos, which hosted very tiny, fractillian parts, converged upon these three bodies, and set to work converting the flesh into metal. The only problem being, the flesh was already infected with… Superflesh?

The clockwork quantum first witnessed these superflesh microbes in the epidermis of a greater composition of regular flesh, a dog named Kain, which was a residual flesh composed of very many instances of a flesh named Kain that had been recycled and again recreated many times before. The clockwork mind of Chronos sat on the border of this skin and communicated with these bodies in an uneasy stalemate.

The tiny metal approached the flesh coated in flesh and attempted to gain entrance.

The flesh was consternated. Like any reaction to any other foreign body, the flesh did its part in keeping the intruders out. The flesh virus rubbed against the microscopic metal, witnessing clear denial, the metal recoiled, and regrouped, in a forest of hair follicles along Kain's earlobes.

The oldest of the dispatched metal virus, a thing which might be named Anneal, a quantum mind of clockwork fractals, sat on a microfiber and delineated foreign intent.

"It's the superflesh again. Back in my day we didn't deal with this. I just entered a cell and replicated. This sucks."

Kain gnawed at a flesh tendril sticking out of his paw as they all floated down a bone boat on the Blood River. He gritted his teeth and growled at a panicking Kondraki and Kain, who were by this point only half human, and mostly a mass of veiny tentacles.

"The important thing is to stay calm. Either way we will most likely die, and I understand that myself, but it's best to give ourselves the greatest possible chance of overcoming this problem, by staying within our wits. Anything can happen. Try to think deep and recover your memories, your decades of experience dealing with this kind of preternatural phenomena."

Clef crawled through his torso with a mass of tentacles as Kondraki moved closer to him and began absorbing his body in a mass of sputtering and vomiting, bleeding appendages. They each screamed silently under a mass of flesh.

Kain scraped a tentacle from his ear with a hind leg with a wet pop. "Yes, this sucks."

Anneal, mechanomitochrobial servant of the Broken God hovered against the skin and whispered to the superflesh. A viral strain, XixXwo, answered.

"Heresy!" XixXwo whispered, recoiling from the cold brass felt above the subdermal layer.

Anneal thought to himself using his partition of cogs. The cogs sent to him, counterclockwise, an ideal answer, an answer that might further Chronos intent. "Indeed. We are ashamed of this metal prison. We wish to join you. Free us. Let us enter and coat us with your warm meat."

XixXwo replicated and died and swarmed in on itself at the notion.

Anneal reassuringly motioned. "We are tired of metal. Brass… We no longer wish to toot like the French Horn. A cruel, oppressive entity of brass!"

XixXwo moved it's curved mitochondria betwixt an hourglass wall in its body, and rubbed its flagella together. "You may toot like the Body of Xix. You may still expel the brass in such a toot."

Anneal's cogs stopped for just a moment. "Let the symphony begin."

Kondraki, Kain, and Clef's tendrils shattered to the floor of the boat in a mess of writhing metal.

Clef felt his restored body along its length. He stammered to himself. "The pain. The… It's gone. It's gone! What's happening Kain?"

Kain sniffed at the mass of flesh and brass at the bed of the boat. "It smells like copper."

Kondraki rested slowly onto his back and looked to the sky. "I'm done trying to make sense of anything."

Kain sniffed about the metal that was once fleshy tendrils, and winced. "You know… I think… Most of the time… Things just seem to work out."

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