Author : Morrow Brady
The drone found the selenium immediately. It streamed me the augmented view of the apartment block, slowly peeled away to reveal awry silver tendrils cascading from roof to foundations.
Momentarily puzzled, I queried Spengler – my client’s AI monitor.
“Selenium is highly photo-sensitive with good semi-conductor characteristics but not very good structurally” Spengler rattled off.
I scratched my neck and zoomed. The selenium was clamped inside the structural framing and as it snaked higher, it constricted the penthouse’s neck then flared outward to nest a stone and patinated copper rooftop temple.
“1920’s Mesopotamian revival” said Spengler
The ornate temple was topped with a large magnesium tungsten urn, burning with frozen sculptured flames.
“Crazy Architects” I muttered, resolutely shaking my head – ready for business.
Spengler started up again “The selenium exponentially loops each floor making it conducive to receiving and transmitting signals. NASA used similar antennae design to identify dead pulsars. The signals channel ..”
“Stop! I don’t care. I just want to get the job done” I said abruptly.
I crossed the street and climbed into my ex-military pacification unit, marched into the lobby and ascended to the roof.
The bronze door of the rooftop temple reflected sunlight from a cast-in relief which depicted a grand stair ascending to a stone pyramid under a radiant sun. A godlike figure dominated the stair surrounded by prostrate worshippers.
“The door is somehow fused to the stone surround. Is brute force acceptable?” I queried.
“As always, but be gentle” Spengler’s voice smiled.
Air ripped as I configured the casing’s innards. Articulated mechanisms slid and locked into position. I loved demolition mode.
I braced the log sized legs and drew back a hammer fist, accelerating it toward the door. The punch crashed through, releasing a silvery mist.
Inside the temple, sunlight precipitated through a blue stained glass roof-light. Silver ribbon-like crystals, frozen in falling grace, filled the room in varying concentrations. Each crystalline ribbon rooted through a checkerboard floor to splice with the selenium nest. As my bulk crashed toward’s the temple’s centre, my vision was drawn upward, tracing a crystalline river delta as they enveloped an amorphous shape, lace-wrapping it like a spider’s larder. Blue white ribbon shards radiated outward from the shape like a thousand strike lightning storm.
“What on earth is…” I stopped mid sentence when I saw the shape pulsate under thermals. Something inside was biological. Alive.
“She’s five and half thousand years old and she’s nearly ready. She’s Perfect. Box it. Ship it and meet my master in Shanghai tomorrow for the grand opening” said Spengler, sounding satiated.
I returned to the rig and activated the ship container sized Muons that sat at ground level at each building corner.
Blue threads of electricity appeared, dancing across black and yellow diagonal striping. With power soon peaking, the Muons sprang open, releasing a white blinding light. A shimmering distortion field echoed upward and red and blue plasma streams raced across the building facade like frightened veins. The building blurred red to white, releasing a face slapping compression wave as empty space was instantaneously expelled. The remaining solid particles bulleted downward into the Muon’s heavenly gate which promptly shut, venting thick clouds of steam. In seconds the building was gone and the site empty.
As the Muon laden QuadJets ascended from the polymer site membrane, my thoughts turned to China where the decompression ceremony would soon take place. Nanjing road was certainly quite different to Central Park West, but then again, if its good enough for the Sydney Opera House and Big Ben, then its good enough for this little oddity.