Stunned and speechless I wheeled around.
I knew this face. This face that smiled at me with thin lips.
“Gr…grah..am?” I stuttered.
The lanky tweed clad thing chuckled.
I just gawked.
“That fool nephew of mine has gotten you into quite the conundrum. But I suppose it was in the cards…”
“Yes, Graham Hoyt is my brother’s son.”
The smile grew more wry.
“So are you my lad.”
I checked my pulse.
“Didn’t you just announce the true philosophy?”
I was confused. “Zero?”
“Yes. That is the name for the shivering thing called now. The only thing that can be.”
“I don’t understand.”
“We’re all dead.”
“I was never one for Zen proverbs.”
“What is this unfolding?” The Hoyt scion spread his hereditarily prodigious wingspan to signify the surroundings.
“Death?” I ventured.
“Yes…life is the blossom of death..but how can such petals spread when the only soil is…” Cameron Hoyt stamped his wingtip clad foot on the ground.
“Where are we?” I asked.
“The Amazon of course. Mato Grosso region in the vicinity of the Xingu River. Or rather where it will flow.”
“O come now…you don’t stll believe in accidents?”
“I don’t know…but I sure don’t take much stock in fate.”
“Fate has nothing to do with cause and effect.”
“I’m glad you aren’t a Calvinist.”
“And what are you Alan?”
“What am I in what way?”
“What are you?”
“If you mean what do I do? I’m a spook and propagandist. If you’re asking a metaphysical question. I neither know nor care to know.”
“Good. So you are aware that matter is spirit.”
“Sure thing buddy.”
“Assuredly celebrant. Assuredly.”
“There is a reason you were able to enter. I do not for a second believe that you have forgotten that your mission here is a rite. Is a pilgrimage.”
“O. O indeed. O I A D A. The rapture of the empty spaces. Great mother, great matter, pregnant now with another star.”
“That’s some serious hippy gaia shit my friend.” I chuckled.
“We do not shun the masculine.” Cameron smiled. “You did see your father’s seeding Eden?”
“Those dudes in the balloon.”
“So you’re saying that the Amazon is a community garden?”
Again he nodded but with a chuckle.
“Far out man.”
“Well, you know that I’m here on a mission. So why don’t you tell me how exactly I will find the city, how I will unlock Voynich?”
“You are making the mistake of addition.”
“Come on don’t give me that shit. We know it’s not a metaphysical fairy thing. It’s a real city, with real cool star galaxy hopping, star harnessing, gizmodoodads.”
“Yes, the city is real.”
“Ok…so where is it?”
“You have the map.”
“You know it’s not that simple.”
I leapt back. I leapt back because I was now speaking to a man I’d only seen in photographs.
“My but you are a ninny.”
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