Safety Catch

The whole place is run on valves. Along a cosmic camshaft, seeming to rotate into the misty, mildewy distance. You see this much, as you hurtle towards the gnashing teeth of cogs flashing in the dim light. The shudder grows louder, you feel it in your marrow. Each fiber of your being is being assaulted by the enormous reverberations of unthinkable expenditures of kinetic energy.

Something clamps your torso, cold and hard yet gentle. You are rotated to peer into a metallic head. It’s quite expressive for its limited armatures—Cold War era bulbs blink in place of eyes, and the green waves of an oscilloscope makes up its mouth. It seems to indulgently smile at you. You consider the human need to anthropomorphize as the machine carries you to safety.

At the door to the basement, the machine salutes and winks before disappearing so fast you see the reflection along its metal carapace as a single line stretching into the distance.

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