Razor Mountain — Chapter 27.3

Razor Mountain is a serial novel, with new parts published every week or two. For more info, visit the Razor Mountain landing page.

“Don’t be a fool,” God-Speaker said. He shielded his body with his already bloody arm as he slid backward across the carpet, away from the man. “You know how this will end for you.”

In the back of his mind, God-Speaker was enraged. How had he missed this? The rest of his thoughts were focused on the moment, on the loaded gun in the drawer of the table a few feet away. The voices also echoed in his thoughts. They were locked in their chamber far below, but omnipresent in his mind, screeching their many opinions of the situation.

Reed loomed, following God-Speaker with steady determination.

“I don’t care.”

The man lunged and God-Speaker flung himself backward. He found the leg of the table and pulled it, tumbling the heavy copper and stained glass lamp into Reed’s path. The man took his time stepping over it, then dove onto God-Speaker knife-first.

God-Speaker fumbled desperately with the drawer of the table. He managed to get his hand on the handle of the gun, but the knife caught him below his ribs. He felt a hot, wet rush as the blade sank into his abdomen.

The pain pushed out everything else. It was beyond anything he had physically experienced in the centuries of his many lives. The world was obscured by a red fog. He no longer knew where the gun was. Worse than the pain was the fear. What lay beyond the darkness that threatened to engulf him?

The voices screeched, and God-Speaker reached out to them with his thoughts. Proximity to their chamber mattered, but only a little. It was easier to connect up-close, but the distance was as much a function of his mind as it was of the physical space between. It didn’t really matter.

The voices had power. They wanted desperately to use it themselves, but they couldn’t. They were trapped. So God-Speaker used their power. He reached out from himself, from his physical body that lay bleeding on the floor of his office, from his physical brain slowly being drained of oxygen.

He reached out into the Razor Mountain, seeking the candidates he had already identified. Normally, this would be done in precise ritual, with everyone in their designated place. He did not know where to find them. He groped out with his mind, but it was imprecise. Even this sixth sense began to fade as his body shut down.

He found his consciousness floating far afield. He was beyond the city now, out of the rock, skimming over landscapes, chaotic and varied. Places and people appeared and faded in vague, disconnected visions. His mind was lost in the vastness of the world.

Somehow, all of his carefully laid plans, all of his contingencies and protections had failed him. The universe was powered by an inherent entropy, a randomness that could never be fully tamed. That was why the voices were here. Even their immortal kingdoms had eventually fallen. Despite their incredible powers, they had been forced to flee, bodiless ghosts in search of compatible hosts. Would the same thing happen to God-Speaker? Would his mind fly out beyond this world, eternally searching for someplace to land?

No, he was not one of the voices. He didn’t have their machines. He would die. Really die.

This revelation was enough to give him one more burst of desperate energy. He reached out, groping for anything he could catch. He anchored himself in a place: a city, a building, a room. By feel, by intuition, he found a presence that felt welcoming, unresisting. Why were some people amenable to him, and others incompatible? That was still a mystery; one that even the voices couldn’t answer.

It didn’t matter. He had found his escape hatch. Teetering on the edge of death, he found a person, a personality, that he could sink into.

It was a new mind, still shocked by light and the blurred shapes it brought with it. This mind sensed a warmth, the smell of life, of satiation, of comfort. It already had felt the great loss of the peaceful, quiet warmth where it had begun. Everything was too bright, to rough, too cold. On top of all these shocks, God-Speaker intruded, an alien presence. One more shock.

God-Speaker sank into that mind, that sea of thought-subsuming darkness. There was nothing else to do. He felt the sharp edges of consciousness blur and fade.

As the faculties of language fell away from him, God-Speaker heard words: human voices speaking.

“Did you decide?”

“I think so.”


“I think he looks like a Christopher.”

“Then that’s his name. Christopher.”


Author: Samuel Johnston

Professional software developer, unprofessional writer, and generally interested in almost everything.

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