The situation is simple. There are a few clues distributed all across the world that such a thing as the crystal exists and you either chance upon them or you do not. It takes a specific frame of mind, an opennes to the possibility that not all things worthwhile can be found in the light of day. In case you do find the clues, you then further have to believe there is something to them and that it’s not just so much horsedung littering the informationsphere. There are certain very specific pieces of information and coincidents that can clarify your thinking but apart from an inborn curiosity, the continued pursuit is mostly a matter of chance and perseverance. There will be the sensation of thriving, of serving a purpose that transcends the self: the crystal manifests this. Finally, if indeed you’ve had all the necessary serendipity and endurance plus curiosity to pursue the matter to its logical end, you will find out that the crystal is only always guarded by one person at a time, aprocriphally granted some temporary form of immortality.
So then it dawns on you, already having pursued the matter this far and now unwilling to give up on this unfolding of your fate/destiny/providence, it appears clearly before your inner eye that the last three things you have to accomplish, and this is the really hard part, the part that might have you pushing up daisies in a fetid corner of Neo Quito or Altra Luna or one of the thousands of metropoles around the PanGal Fed, is to track down the almost unknowable, mysterious, ultra lethal present guardian, steal the crystal and dispatch him/her.
In the beginning, there is usually a wicked, ebullient desire for medium-term immortality [every guardian at some point is displaced] that characterizes people engaging in the quest. If this is related to our laughably short life spans or other factors cannot be definitely asserted.
Anyway, such is, in the most condensed form, the situation, a superlatively delphic vying for a jewel said to bestow a certain form of immortality upon its guardian. One cannot know the crystal but one must act as if one does. Apart from the general inscrutability of this secretive quest, there is one further sore, anxious, open point to be mentioned: what happens to the former owners? Nobody knows as their bodies never turn up in any mortuary records, archived news items, infosphere dossiers, etc. a cause of considerable disquiet.
She sits down across from me, not on the couch but on a plain plastic chair next to it. Crystal owners have got themselves a nasty reputation for the ingenuity in terms of interpersonal booby-traps of the bloodiest kinds. The gun is still pointed unwaveringly at my head. I try to look at her in the most beningn way I know how. I would like her to still be able to make a better decision.
– So where is it?
– I posess a large number of different things, Lady, you will have to be more specific for me to cooperate.
– Mr. Huizinga trust me when I say that I haven’t come here for the playing of games. To make this easier, I can tell you that I have chanced on the info available in Altra Luna. That I have made my way to Neo Quito. I think this information, between the two of us, should quite suffice. Please then, just your answer.
– Do you know anything about the size of the crystal? About what exactly it does? Well, obviously you do not. So much for the doing of the homework.
– Is that so? Enlighten me then, Mr. Huizinga. What they say about guns is this: introduced into a situation of ambivalence they create absolute clarity, a knowing for all participants of the power structure. We have such a situation here.
– Again, Lady, a complete lack of homework. I also have heard similar things about fireweapons, though, of course, with the thing in question being the crystal, we both know that this doesn’t apply any longer. The ambivalence of the situation for us, in the know, is of a different order… yes?
– This of course being the time-honored distract and conquer strategy, which I assure you, Mr. Huizinga will not work with a person of my highly focused ilk. What you need, it seems, is for me to issue a threat, to start counting down numbers where zero signifies your molecular departure. It is not in my style to do things like this. So I ask you again: where is it?
– The thing about the crystal you should be aware of is that the rumors, the murky asides, the conjectures are in fact directly related to the truth of the object in question. But in a way that most do not envision.
– Mr. Huizinga, you speak very obscurely. Perhaps you are right, perhaps a gun is not enough to clarify things, perhaps we have to always fall back onto words. So let me rephrase what I think you are saying: the crystal, which is in your guardianship, does in fact bestow immortality?
– To a degree, yes. If you stop this foolishness of yours, right now, put away the piece then we can agree on a peaceful compromise.
The tension in the living room is a humungous, breathing, sweating beast. Her U.P.Ex outfit is too hot for the temperatures and she is shifting about on the plastic chair like a lobster in a pot heating towards boiling point, ready to issue that same high pitched death squeal. There are rivers down her back, pools in the seat of the pants, a trickling feel on the underside of her arms. Indeed, the whole thing is not at all going according to plan, due to the fact that she had completely overestimated the piece or underestimated having to deal with an individual who is in a totally different modus operandi.