A slimy, oatmeal-like, little blob is reacting to the edgy riff of the electric guitar. ”The very unpleasant little creature” from the Flight of the Navigator. Its cells are just beginning to awaken from their inert slumber as they begin to do little flips and contortions, throbbing together as they bathe in the fluid that is secreted from every corner around them. The rugged sound of my electric guitar fills the empty room. Leftovers of yesterday’s meal are standing there, smelling like a grimy drain and vegetables that are too green to eat. Today, I would eat an egg for breakfast. I fixed it and swallowed it down with some coffee made from deep-roasted beans. Inside the gooey stuff, a soul was pulsating. It was my soul. Satisfied with my breakfast, I played a few more cords. The goo inside me began to throb again. It was gradually growing, fusing with my body from inside.

There were trees outside. I and the goo had been walking under their needle-shaped leaves for a little while. These trees used to be different. Until the dictator put a spell on them. He took their personalities away and made them uniform.

The goo was expanding inside my body. I could tell that my membranes were being used by it as places for it to gradually siphon my bodily fluids into without interfering too much with the rest of my body.

Everyone knew that the dictator himself was just a spell. It was said that Someone, some higher being, was responsible for it.

We came close to the cliff. By then, I had turned into the goo. A waste pipe was opening up to the ground where we stood. It led along the side of the cliff to the top where the fortress stood. We went into it and crawled upwards for about half a mile. Inside, it was dark and gunky. A faint sound of music was coming from the direction of the cliff itself. As we went up, the music became louder and louder until it turned into the hum of a machine. We found an exit, and it let us into an enormous room. There were windows on all sides that were looking out onto the clouds. We walked around. Nobody was there. Just thousands of machines lined up all over the place. Some looked old and some new. Many of them looked like they were made of components from different ages put together. Others looked like they were ancient but with little fixes and extensions from all different ages. Someone had spent hundreds of years continuously adjusting and revising, probably as a way to deal with countless exigencies as they came up one after another. Some places were so covered with the footprints of fixes and adjustments they looked like the evidence of ages of sedimentations of minerals recorded in the cross-sections of land. It was hard to tell which parts were functioning. In the middle of the place, we saw a platform that seemed to be wired to the rest of the machines. It looked like a control deck. We walked up to it. There was another blob of gooey stuff. We fused with it and became rulers of the world.

— Yohey Cho, BFR Staff

One thought on “Short Story: The Machine Room

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