Author : Rob Burton
Within the holiest temple, buried deep within the cathedral, Arch-Bishop Emmanuel Berret struck the Bios Chime above the altar of power. The bell released its singular soft tone to bounce crazily between the hard walls. Terrified that his failing hearing might make him act too quickly, Berret waited six more heartbeats after it finally diminished to speak the holy words learnt from the historical documents. ‘Ohm nama shivaya’, he intoned, genuflecting so that his forehead touched the leading edge of the altar.
Two servers, each with a box in their hands, approached him. The first carried the paste of thermal conduction, which he brought forth from the box and placed it, in its tube, reverently into the palm of the Arch-Bishop.
‘Ohm nama shivaya.’ His low, grumbling mantra resonated from the stone walls, chasing its predecessor. The second server opened his box with all due ritual and retrieved from within the sacred silicon wafer. He placed it into the palm of the Arch-Bishop’s hand.
‘Ohm nama shivaya.’ The servers gently withdrew with bowed heads, as if the gentle wave of his utterance had propelled them with its gentle pressure. He prayed to Saint William of the gate and Saint Steven of the labours that he might be worthy of opening the book as he spread the paste upon the wafer and passed it to his lips. Its awful taste filled his mouth, but he swallowed with a gasp and stood to face the holy book.
Just as he had been told, it was almost featureless, smooth and black, made of something that was neither metal, nor stone, nor wood or skin of any kind. He knew what only the most holy men knew, that trapped within its form was contained all of the alphabet, laid out in its holy order, and all of the numbers, surrounded by arcane words and wondrous commands. He also knew of the tablet of light – the bringer of prophesy and ultimate knowledge. His eyes traced the crack at its edge that was the only clue to the glories contained within.
From the censer he lifted one of the most holy relics, a tiny fragment of impossibly thin cloth, soaked in a holy water that vanished into prayer – the cloth of ecstatic purification. With it, he began to write upon the unyeilding black surface. He drew the tetragrammaton, that is the name of the holy teacher whose spirit, whom they knew, from the historical documents, lived forever.
‘Y’, he wrote, the letter disappearing heavenward almost as soon as it had been written. Then he drew the perfect circle that was the second letter as best as his old hands could manage. ‘D’ he wrote then, and finally ‘A’, which is the beginning at the end.
He reached forward and, head bowed in deferential respect, he made so as to lift the holy book, and it yielded to his purity and righteousness, and opened for him. He wondered to look upon the holy words within, and gazed in fascination at the strange and pure blue light about the great primary rune.
He closed his eyes and bowed his head in silent prayer as the holy book whirred and sang, driving away the demons gathered around it. Terrified, he waited for its last and most vibrant song, and then waited six heartbeats more, for fear he might look upon the blue screen of death. Then, as he opened his eyes, he cried out ‘Hllljh!’, for written there, shining gloriously from the tablet of light were the holy words that proved him worthy.
‘Welcome to windows’