While El was damaged, there was little that Pilot could do except wait things out. Locomotion was limited to the least possible lumbering movements. Sure, he could ‘walk’ El, he could crawl too, and he was beginning to get how to compensate for the left-right thing but flight was impossible. He’d tried of course, but those circuits, along with much of his memory banks were either blown or fused. Without extracting himself there was no way to make repairs.
Normally his Elevator would have braked smoothly, banking across the atmosphere at terrific speed but in a controlled and predictable manner. Instead, he could feel himself flipping end over end over end as the Elevator spun out of control, feverishly trying to right itself and brake by using its automatic stabilizers and powerful thrusters. He headed directly for a massive ditch below; and crashed into the earth there, pushing up mounds and masses of red earth in the process. The Elevator’s smoking chassis left a charred trail over a dark, grassy embankment, turning the wet wilderness into a steaming, slippery hell fit only for a fire demon. Not being a fire demon however, Pilot was shaken rather badly.
Pilot knew, as surely as his old hard cover calendars were reliable go to items, Brain Paper books may be today’s calendar equivalents in broader application. While the entire suite was familiar to him in some detail—its documentation was, after all, a core piece of his early training—never before had said information been published in any form, for any reason, least all for sales. “Well then, here we are.” he thought.
Shards of sunlight punctuated by sharp shadows, sliding and flashing across the paper as his hand gripped the pen and slid it rhythmically across the graduated lines. Dressed for the weekend’s summer weather in shorts, tank top, hat and glasses, and a green bandana worked around his neck and face as a mask.
The sun, flashing through the trees and the windows of the moving vehicle continued to trace shadows and shapes on his Brain Paper.
There was ambivalence at first, then a rising tide of recognition, coming at first in glimpses, looking ahead, and in moments alone, coming in rising tides and moments of intense curiosity, ambition, accomplishment, satisfaction, correction and practice, practice, practice.
Prior to this, of course, he added lubrication liberally and did certain exercises designed to flush waste products out of his system. Enthusiastically thus applied, and equipped, Pilot proceeded to redress his entire apparatus, taking time for light documentation as he went. He liberally applied a recent ointment to his fascia, which was visibly in need of attention, he noted
Anyone who knows anything about elevators knows that without roller-bearings, they’re not going anywhere. For whatever reason Pilot had to forge Elevator’s roller-bearings himself. Elevator’s roller bearings either were never there, or disappeared.
Looking again, Pilot could see that space, still darkened, was lightening up. The purplish haze he had seen earlier was gone, replaced by a greay light.
Other, interior perspectives interested Pilot most. For instance, whether one was coming at a topic from the point of view of the Blue Hills of Understanding was considerably different than if one was being either an Emerald City Builder or an Orange Anecdote Instigator was, again, entirely different from a Golden Pyramid Architect. Anyone can do this, if one tries.