Proteus, the Jurassic beta-release human, has met a luminous creature on a headland overlooking the world’s ocean. The being understands his speech, which is glowing shapes rather than sounds. Part One is here.
The stranger introduced herself to Proteus.
I’ve named myself Evita,
and you’re the conduit of my creation.
Not your ribs, but your intangible phrases
that weave the darkness
with their phosphorescent trails.
Between the near and far,
they reconnected, coalesced,
and here I am.
Proteus was quintessentially humble,
but because he couldn’t count as high
and because he thought that he alone
had created the glorious Evita,
he chose to elaborate
his personal achievements.
…the fish were simply flapping there,
although one was slightly nibbled on the tail,
and I deduced that they were four
…and not a trilobite in the pool,
because they became extinct
at the end of the Paleozoic,
so finally I could count from zero
all the way to four…
…the diplodocuses charged,
and as I fled between the cycads,
I enumerated their legs:
an indeterminate number,
and dividing by four,
I ascertained the object-oriented tally,
another indeterminate number.
I call this “computing.”
Evita professed an unexpected interest
in the natural numbers.
tell me more about two.
Proteus was mesmerised
by the glitter of his own words
reflected in Evita’s eyes.
On he went, sprinkling
his numerical ascent in powers of two
and he paid no heed
when Archie, the archaeopteryx,
swooped out of the night
to fly around his head in urgent circles.
He didn’t know, and neither did I,
that the pseudo-bird
was trying to warn him
of an imminent inconvenience.
beneath the carboniferous sky (detail ×2 above). Made by VEE, the visual evolution engine.