Poes pose. He watches them morph into ravens. Rabid old men at writing desks. Pendulum swings; maskers dressed in red. In through the mirror, the collapsed and collapsing and uncollapsed house of cards. This may be the event horizon he had been studying as they swung around that last gravity well; that artificial black hole.
At some point, where you break physical boundaries, knowing where you are and what you are can become very abstract concepts, or constructs. And if something starts to talk to you of its construction, then its ability to submit to destruction becomes implicit. Skins are shed, and those things which demarcate edges where on thing ends and another begins – those start to seem less sure … more arbitrary.
Turley could look at his flightplan if he wanted to know where it was that he was travelling to, but although he wanted to know where he was going, that old plan seemed somehow irrelevant. He had not expected to edge into ideational space and be confronted with mirror iterations of a writer.
The Poes were like drones; a hivemind. They were whispering. Then their wings were flapping. Circling around a central figure. Who? Eye of the storm.
‘Hello, Turley, my name is Odin.’
‘Where are we?’
‘On the cusp of something. Did you know this part of the universe is actually a translation matrix.’
‘Are you really Odin?’
‘Are you really Turley?’
‘Yes, it is. I am Odin. I am the black hole. I am something from inside your head. I am my own thing. I am a doorway.’
‘That’s the question isn’t it?’
‘And the Poes?’
‘Parts of me. Parts of you. Nothing. You want to step through?’
He did. He felt the universe pressing down on him, and this seemed like the simplest way to relieve that pressure. And what does that pressure turn out to be when you step through and the door swings shut behind you? To be yourself. To be everything. It all changes.