Monday, January 29, 2007

Against the Blog: 3-9

There are a bunch of arms merchants trying to get their hands on the mysterious 'q-weapon'--the one based on quaternions. The quaternionists explain that the weapon has something to do with manipulating time, but it's still very unclear to me. Piet Woevre wins the bidding war, and is presented with a smallish object in a leather case.

Meanwhile, Kit and Umeki hook up, and we get a bit of soft-core pornography.

As the conference is ending, agents are visiting the hotel to keep tabs on things. Among them is Woevre, and when Kit sees him, he assumes the worst and flees. This sets off a chain-reaction of various other people misconstruing his reasons for doing so and dashing off after or away from him. Or just away.

In the end, Rocco and Pino take him for a ride on their torpedo, to an unnamed city, long-abandoned and inhabited now by ghosts. The same--or an equivalent of--the nameless city from earlier?

Piet finds him there, and starts shooting. He glimpses the Inconvenience above and decides he must destroy it, so he whips out the q-weapon, even though he still doesn't know what it is or how to use it. Once he has it out, he gets the overwhelming impression that it's a conscious entity. "Something flashed, blinding him for a moment, leaving his field of vision a luminous green. The sound accompanying was nothing he wanted to hear again, as if the voices of everyone he had ever put to death had been precisely, diabolically scored for some immense choir" (564).

He ends up on his back, stunned. Kit is standing over him. "What happened old buddy, shoot yourself?" he said, with apparently sarcasm/condescension. "Tricky piece of hardware there--" (ibid).

Take it, Woevre screams, and gives the device to Kit, then runs away. Kit hears gunfire. Did he shoot himself?

Back at Ostend, Umeki is soon spending hours studying the thing. It has lenses and mirrors, and it splits light into two rays--Iceland spar again. There's a good bit of talk about it, but it involves math. And physics. Kit has an epiphany, for SOME reason, and realizes that he and Umeki have to part. He "woke knowing for the first time what he had to do" (566), although what exactly this is is not clear. He gives the device to her.

He leaves town.



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