2018-11-21 10:00 fiction cyclopaedia

Cyclopaedia Chapter Twenty-Seven: Final Report


We have completed our investigation and present this report as a summary of events and conclusions. We understand that further details and explanations may be necessary given the chaotic nature of this case, a supplementary timeline will also be provided.

Importantly, we are directly responsible for the explosion that took place on the 3rd—we ordered it. We understand the tremendous damage done to the research facility ends any viability of that structure. We understand what we've done has wide ranging impacts. However, in the interest of protecting its scientists and workers, as well as ceasing the peculiar Electric effects that have caused or contributed to outages in the city and its social consequences, we took action rather than hope some solution would eventually emerge from outside agencies.

We have concluded that the disappearances, and certainly demise, of four individuals, Ove Eng, Jon Orten, Pietr Koss, and Eero Ringen (Director of the facility) were caused by the mechanism known as the "Master Compiler".

After being present for the sudden, unexplainable disappearance of Pietr Koss, a laboratory worker and last remaining technical member of the project, we had the premises evacuated.

We promptly wired the engineering office at the Ministry Of Internals as well as the Ministry Of Statistics under whose aegis the facility was commissioned. Several representatives from each were promptly sent to the Division. We explained what we knew and what we experienced as best as we could with as much technical detail as we understood. There was considerable skepticism, particularly since none of them knew of the existence of the specific project known as the "Master Compiler".

We also wired representatives of the Cyclopaedia, for whom the project was initiated, informing them that the project was hereby terminated in the name of public safety.

We understand this equivocal declaration would cause turmoil. But, by the time all the parties involved, official and unofficial, knew of our orders, we were determined to have destroyed the mechanism.

It should be noted here that the original representative for the Cyclopaedia, a Compiler Hedvin, abruptly left the city shortly before we issued an order for his arrest in connection with the disappearances, and for involvement in the distribution of an unknown drug. Yesterday a search of his apartment revealed the contents of his Compiler's kit—wherever his destination, he had no intention of working. While it is common for Compilers to be sent on assignments, due to other pieces of information we believe the location is related to illicit drug trade. There is no reasonable means for us to apprehend him while he is in his currently remote, unknown location. But we advise, and request to be given a new case, relating to this substance known as "Vermilion". Once Compiler Hedvin returns, assuming he returns, he should be immediately taken into custody, and presumably the drug he is transporting should be seized and analyzed.

We are unaware of any formal recognition in this matter from the Cyclopaedia, however we believe that, unofficially, Compiler Hedvin's actions have been sanctioned by several parties.

We brought the engineers and scientists we consulted with to the laboratory. We were still concerned that the mechanism would, or could, compile other subjects. But our supposition, which we expressed to the technical team, was that previously only those directly connected to the project had been in danger. Among Ove's papers we found evidence, in the form of a kind of formula, an antique indexing notation of the Cyclopaedia, that he was using himself as a compiling sample. He was training the Master Compiler to categorize and contain himself. We do not know how literally his intent was, since he created the passive Electric power source, we feel he was aware of the danger. Also, there appears to have been incentive provided by Compiler Hedvin's supply of drug as well as a radicalization process through Compiler Hedvin's philosophy and influence that a disparate set of data fed to the Cyclopaedia would later poison, or alter, the political and ideological direction of the institution. We believe that, for all intents and purposes, the mechanism contains a copy of Ove Eng.

While we didn't find examples for the other three victims, we concluded that their proximity to the mechanism, to Ove Eng, and to the programmatic aspect of the device subjected them to the same effects. Since no bodies were found, and since we witnessed the compiling of Pietr Koss this conclusion seems inescapable. We do not fully comprehend what criteria the Master Compiler would have used to target these individuals, and given that all expertise on the workings of the mechanism no longer exist, we believe personal proximity, or what the scientists called "contextual proximity", was the primary factor.

Our suspicions about the mechanism being related to the Electric outages were quickly confirmed by the engineers. Strong opinions were expressed. But the consensus was that the machine needed to be discontinued. Given our initial attempt to turn the device off, and subsequently the disappearance of Pietr Koss, we decided we would disable the machine from the bottom of the well by force. Since we did not, and do not, understand precisely how the independent Electric system works for the device, the engineers concluded that they would bluntly, physically cut all wiring and cabling as close to the surface of the machine as possible.

Much like dangerous work in a mine, a series of engineers stood arms length apart and always within sight of each other. Observers were placed at the top of the well with ropes and mirrors designed to work in treacherous shafts. While there was some concern about the risk of Electric discharge, the engineers volunteering for the work had ample experience with difficult Electric situations. We felt confident.

The mechanism would then be totally isolated, without connection to any outside Electric, or any unknown Electric device, and the consoles on the laboratory floor. This should contain any issues related to outages, we believed. Once everyone was in place, we gave the order to cut everything off.

When the lines were cut away there was a cessation of activity. Then, as we witnessed previously, operations began again—this time without any obvious output at the consoles since they'd been disconnected—but the apparatus was in operation. The engineers were baffled. This unusual Electric source, they said, must be part of the column, the three story tall mechanical installation itself. They explained a kind of ambient field surrounded it, energized by activity of any sort. The more of us there were, and the harder we worked, the more strongly it would react.

It was then we ordered the device to be destroyed by any means necessary. There was strenuous disagreement on this point. Several of the scientists argued that the technological loss would be too great. The engineers involved with Electric for the Capital felt that destruction was absolutely necessary, given the changes of another catastrophic outage. It was likely, they suggested, that the Master Compiler was passively consuming Electric remotely, from the Capital itself.

This was confirmed soon after by a messenger from the city who we'd instructed to tell us if any outage occurred, since we could not independently or reliably determine that from our location. An outage did begin about the same time we tried to disable the machine. Arguments were then made for ways and means of destruction. Placing explosives on the mechanism directly was an obvious thought, one we proposed, which produced a howl of disapproval. If the explosion wasn't strong enough, who knows how the passive Electric would react, perhaps consuming all of the energy. Since there was no clear understanding or agreement about how much explosive power would be needed to destroy the device, another proposal was made—to bury it.

But for this to be effective, the engineers and scientists agreed, there had to be a layer of shielding. A dense, heavy metal. Since the mechanism was already situated in a tall metal-lined well by design, they decided that filling the well with a mix of rock and metal filings would suffice as long as the top, exposed, area of the machine were covered completely with thick metal plates. Then it was suggested that the lab around the mechanism be imploded in place, to increase the dampening effect and to make sure these actions could not be easily reversed. Preparations were made with great urgency.

Meanwhile, with the knowledge they'd gained at the laboratory, the engineers made adjustments to the Electric in the Capital. They were able to rotate the outage, enabling power in one neighborhood, disabling it in another, in schedules, thereby avoiding a period of social upheaval similar to the one previously experienced.

The walls and roof of the laboratory were set with explosives after the well had been filled in and covered with shielding. Reports said the blast could be seen from the city. The collapse of the building was complete, resulting in a pile of rubble that buried the device.

Given that we believe, and were advised, the situation was dangerous for both individuals nearby, and the condition of the Capital, we proceeded with a measure of necessary autonomy and secrecy. Our apprehension that involvement by external agencies would cause indefinite delay is not unfounded. The conclusion of any investigation gives Inspectors the prerogative to pursue judgment we determine appropriate, knowing fully that these actions may cause the displeasure of other agencies. We understand this may effect our standing in the Division, but we maintain that our duties were clear and irrevocable.