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“God Almighty!” Charlie shook his head in awe.

“Don’t blaspheme, Charlie!” Selivanov said. “Not here of all places! Oh, I know it’s a common expression. But after all, there is no ‘God.’ And, if there is, he certainly is not ‘all mighty.’ That title should be reserved for our Master.”

“Yes, sir.”

The sight which had prompted Charlie Drenth’s response towered above them, like a massive black pillar supporting the building’s roof some fifty feet above their heads. Charlie pushed Selivanov in his wheelchair along a catwalk towards the gigantic edifice.
“I wish you could see it, sir,” Charlie said.

“Oh, I can see it well enough in my mind,” Selivanov said. “I designed it, didn’t I?”

A cylindrical machine with the girth of a Redwood, the first of the Engines had been completed a few days past. It gleamed as though polished in the glare of the overhead lights.

“Should we be wearing earplugs, sir?” Charlie asked.

“No, no,” Selivanov replied. “We won’t hear anything, Charlie. Perhaps a slight hum. The machine amplifies energy, not sound.”

“Is it gonna get hot?”

“No, Charlie,” Selivanov said. “We will observe neither heat nor light, no sound, no bells or whistles. The effect on us should be more subtle, though I must admit I am rather anxious to experience it firsthand.”

“Me, too,” Charlie said.

“It should be something akin to religious ecstasy,” Selivanov said. “A communion with our Higher Power unlike anything we’ve felt before.”

“Boss?” A tall black approached, wearing the white smock of a technician. “You ready?”

“Oh, most assuredly,” Selivanov said. “Onward, Charlie.”

The catwalk opened onto a wider section that encircled the Engine near the base; a protruding section of machinery marked the primary control area. Charlie maneuvered
Selivanov into position behind a blinking console.

“Very good, Charlie,” Selivanov said. “Activate.”

“Thank you,” Charlie whispered.

Selivanov held his breath as Charlie flipped up a plastic cover, pressing a blinking circle. The console chirped, the Engine coming to life.

“Thy will be done. Master,” Selivanov said.

“Yeah,” Charlie said. “Amen.”

TheCheezman • April 14, 2020

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