This transcript is of a conversation between the CEO’s Balthazar Schlep and Lis who has been experimenting with various sorcery techniques. We do not recommend emulating Lis’ experiments at home.

Lis is italicised to differentiate the voices.

CC is Carlos Castaneda. DJ is Don Juan. AP is Assemblage point (the energetic intensity that determines what reality will be experienced). IOB is inorganic being

Yes, I mean we’re nearly full circle here aren’t we. As of course this kind of god egregore kabbalah thing is one of the aspects that sparks the whole pneuma business. Just one question concerning your usage of the umbratic. A controversial term I know sometimes. I’m not entirely sure if I disagree or not as I’m not sure of your usage here. In a previous discussion it was translated into the CC world as the unknowable. This stems from how I’ve always taken it to be, even if not an actuality, a phenomenological actuality, the idea of being outside of pneuma or the vector field even.

“The umbratic may be understood as any given region of the vector field that achieved a degree of freedom qualitatively different from the other regions. Like a spike so big it achieved escape from the field and became its own smaller vector field.”

Maybe I misunderstand but this almost seems to place the umbratic within the encounterable which purely on a definitional level would not be possible. However I can see there is some kind of revision here given that the reticulum plays a kind of access to the in itself tunnelling into the vector field is heading towards the umbratic. I almost feel this as if it would ultimately end up with the reticulum and whilst I cannot see energy and this is all speculative I cannot feel like the problem of the umbratic exists in the reticulum. It not have the same kind of relation of ‘what is the status of being behind my head, behind a closed door’? that can prompt umbratic type ideas in this reality.

But yes I totally see a lot of what you say there may be some minor terminological harmonies to make so in what I say I don’t mean ‘this is the real usage of the term’. I only say it so you know what I’ve meant so we can see if we’re talking in the same way.

The vector field is the total possible kind of space (but not only space since it covers the a-spatial and the temporal) that facilitates our ability to use words and thus stick pneuma as accretions to regions. A region of the vector field could be a small as a speck of dust, or as vast as the universe, it has a concept applied to it (in both cases its incoherent because its a use concept). So there is always a kind of dual process, usage which is minimally accretive and then what we could call object formation, the full blown accretion or fluid archetype, what appears in your mind when you think of an x. Does this all tally with your vector region?

What I feel from your writing is a sense that the blank perception attempt -trying to not see the objects- is insufficient, it only reveals more accretive layers and the second attention is to really get into that blank perception space which takes energy and silence at least to do it sober. I can make most surfaces or repetitive patterns warp and flow if I stare at them. This is a second attention like process. But it’s so surface like that it’s largely pointless.

Another thing is :do you mean something other than pneuma by pneuminosity? As in, can I say that pneuma is produced in a sense by humans e.g.? I would have said previously in a speculative way that pneuma was already there and that humans accrete it spectacularly. If I think of it as the reticulum I would say we make fibres which attach to other fibres. This then makes it sound more like the production of pneuma from the reticular perspective. The whatever the fuck the stones and things are in the reticulum only shows up as fibres (the unaccreted vector field seen in the reticulum), but when they are ‘stones” we’ve attached fibres to these other fibrous regions, which makes accretions more like knots.

I’ve been reading a pop science book on fungi, it’s a good book on that current wave of interest in the mycorrhizal web that underpins pretty much all life. And of course (and I think you’ve hinted elsewhere at fungal interest) very very reticular, which only metaphorically of course makes me wonder about concept infestation of vector regions. I’m thinking of the concept as a spore (the usage) which grows into the object as fruiting body which replicates. I know I know Burroughs has done this largely with the virus thing.

It also reminds me about  how Seranoga was supposed to have written many of his poems. It’s really quite a fungal method. He took someone else’s poem and then inserted his idea. He changed it from the inside retaining different degrees of structural similarity until he was happy with it. Some people say Seranoga was supposed to have met DJ or had contact with those sorcerers, but probably you know that.

On another point, you don’t mean that IOBs are purely accreted (by synthetic) do you? This is an interesting one generally which the epistemological status of the earlier version accretive theory would generally agree with -it was all accretions. However the recent tendency towards accepting external ‘real’ powers suggest to me that whilst yes IOB is of course an accretion like anything with a name.

They are also beings that can we say exist in pure pneuma rather than having even a sense of physicality. In vector field language we cannot apply the concept physicality to them in the ordinary sense but they are not just things we have stuck together unlike the Gods which I would probably agree. This being said there will be many nature spirits that may well be human formed accretions. Thus both exist, it’s hard to say where it stops really isn’t it? An egregore can presumably make an egregore if its consciousness is sophisticated enough to do so.

On dreaming, the view I held before was that like images in the mind dreams are unbound pneuma, this kind of raises the question as to what vector field will be in dreams (if one had enough control). From the descriptions it seems that dreams can be ’empty’ this is also something one can feel to be true as well. Even lucid dreams can be empty but the possibility of connection exists i.e. through this pure pneuminous land into the weird places. This is in principle easier than access from ‘reality’ but of course developing dreaming control is tricky

Re your ethics comment, I just wrote this yesterday ‘This infinite play of reticules reminds us also of Deleuze’s hero: Spinoza. Remember Spinoza talks of there being infinite attributes to substance. The reticulum instantiates this claim in a practical way. Space-time is just one experience of the reticulum. Sorcery is the interaction with the other attributes of the reticulum. ‘

Also I remember now the better relevance of the mycorrhizal thing. Remember originally how beyond Ballard/Sellars I was saying you could interpret the modern communication network not simply as our nervous system writ large but rather that the nervous system is this worlds way to try to instantiate the reticulum. So the mycorrhizal network would be more of the same but possibly a better example.

Yes, it’s along these lines. At first I also thought that what I saw as silence was achieving this peeling off of the accretive to an interaction with the vector field, a more “pure” interaction. But then what happened is that the peeling off of an accretion is like spiking a region that reverberates the force used to peel it off. This spike and reverberation travel through the surface of a vector region and depending on the energy exerted it goes into other regions. But here’s the thing, there doesn’t seem to be a difference between affecting one region and affecting two. What seems to happen is that affecting one region enough makes it dissipate itself over other regions, and they become one expanded vector region.

This expansion in the vector region results, instead of in a purer contact with the vector field and more silence coming spontaneously, in the proliferation of whatever was in the region separate to inside the region that was spiker and merged with a bigger one.

So instead of spontaneous silence, the exercise of cultivating silence open the attention to indeed more noise

Which makes automatic, everyday existence, harder due to the level of energetic activity one has to maintain to keep the noise in check. Like a newborn learning to tune his ears

I like that Spinoza section a lot. Indeed it resonates.

I’m thinking of the pneuma as whatt seemingly was already there when we came into awareness of our own historical condition, and of pneuminosity as the “simulacra” of the pneuma. That thing which closely resembles it the most while still being “an imitation”. But an imitation refined enough that it can “work” almost like pneuma does. It’s in this sense that I’m thinking pneuminosity can be produced by humans much like bees make honey; using our own bodies like factories for this stuff. I was also thinking of the puffs as a color-spectrum of pneuminosity refinance. The white smoke being the “purer” (that I know of) of the colours.

The white fog/smoke being the stuff of dreams, it would be secure to say something along the lines of: we, pneuma, produce pneuminosity, and the side-effect of this pneuminosity is dreaming. One can use this to modulate one’s pneuminosity and better comprehend the operations of the pneuma that is without the dreamer.

The knots that you said it make accretions resemble more is what I’ve been calling nodes. Nodes are like these extremely loaded regions that seem impenetrable (no peeling off) even from the second attention

But a knot would differ from a node even linguistically, in the way a knot implies a tension between relations maintaining a structure together (it can be stressed to the point of unknotting)

While the node is more akin to the concept of a corner in interior design. It’s less a tension of relations between lines and more a structural holder in itself. Knots and nodes would differ only in degree.

I love this idea of the spore and even have a name for it: sporification

About the IOBs, by synthetic I don’t mean purely accreted. Synthetic here means the opposite of fabricated in the sense that pneuminosity is fabricated while pneuma “was there”. The synthetic is indeed a category instead of a mode, and I would say only the umbratic is properly synthetic (to take from Laruelle, it is pre-prior). The inorganic beings would benefit from being understood as synthetic beings (since, for example, a rock is inorganic but not an IOB).

Or it is perfected enough to the point where the pneuma in resonance in a given region, instead of pulling things into itself, starts to push them out. This is the possibility of making the pneumatic self less dense (or more dense) than the sum total of density the region enclosured by nodes can support.

So this happens

OK let me keep poking for greater clarity, don’t get me wrong I’m mostly there, there are just I think different angles of concepts that I’ve been using that I need to see how they work with this expansion. So with no energetic perception when I try to look at me room as not a room but undifferentiated hyle

Your recent ideas would mean doing this does not reach the vector field right?  Which phenomenologically I previously would have said. I can see how the reticulum could be the vector field itself. This makes a kind of weird mishmash of the earlier versions of the umbratic vector field thing

The vector field as reticulum would be something most organisms do not perceive ever but that as the biological and cultural formations of the organism develop directly attach to in the sense of the transcendental and as broad accretive structures that are carried by the vector field. So these broad transcendental structures would then be the thing I was previously calling the vector field.Does this tally?

About the room: I would say the room itself, as well as you, as interacting with each other due to the resonance between vector regions (consider yourself a vector region and the room another). Both regions are in the vector field. When you look at, say, the wall, you’re not “seeing” the field because what you’re seeing is a myriad of resonant accretions between the two regions. Still, the very possibility of seeing the field implies you’re always already in it.

Indeed, something most organisms will never perceive precisely because that’s what being an organism is: it’s being in a central point of resonance between regions, which make the habitus of the body work. Say, for example, the circadian rhythm of someone: it’s an organic circuitry modulated by exterior and interior relationships such as luminosity, onset of sleeping patterns, stress levels, even the noise or birds as they go to their nests and you know it’s time to go home and start to relax. This circuit of sleep, unique to each individual organism, is dictated by the nodes that make enclosures around a region.

When something deals a blow to what in CC is known as the assemblage point, it disrupts the organic circuitry . So, for example, you may gain more energy and less need of sleep (or the opposite) from recapitulating memories.

I think the ontological electricity of Twin Peaks may be a good example. So power structures accretions? This makes good sense, as you get it back if you take them apart. Back to Twin Peaks insofar as the pylon borders are intense electrical-power edges, fences which require a lot of power to go through but by this virtue are reservoirs of power themselves.

I think you basically, with some tweaks, explain the concept of karma in a rational way. Let me try to say what I think power is in that specific sense.

Projected Background by Laszlo Aranyi (Frater Azmon)

Dracula spitting blood. Billions of people are starving.

(Our conscience is hunger.)

And the awful, polluted muddy water,

that the animals wouldn’t drink. That’s what every second

earthling drinks (And the creatures of “consumer society”

wash their cars with drinking water.) This the Tantalusian thirst of our guilt…

Like a floating Golem, the masses marching by mimicking

mating motions:

they are our law-abiding citizens. The manifested

and massive sense of satiation gives rise to perpetual nausea,

and finally regular vomiting

becomes the only source of pleasure.

A Sybaritic mongrel charms makeshift, cheap junk and

forms a sentence from his distorted, gelded and fragmented tongue.

This is how his days go by:

90 percent ‘must’, ‘need to’, ‘must have’. The ideal man of our time is the slave,

their superfluousness and irreplaceability

become a life-course model.

(The irreversibly degenerating soul reduces us to an empty cardboard box.)

And the orgasm turns to a satisfactory throw up.

(Translated by Gabor Gyukics)

At a glance I think it reminds me of the descriptions of using the will through the eyes and so I want to ask have you experimented with the will centre umbilical tentacle thing at all?

Just a bit, the way I told you. At that party. It didn’t really matter if the eyes were open or closed. This cord energy thing is not something I can replicate with ease like what I assume is dreaming (when the fog appears). It needs a certain level of energetic chaos, like a party, for it to pronounce itself more. I think this has to do more with the level of “living being” or mode of life I’m used to, which is people. I feel training with the wall of fog thing can make the connection possible during dreaming, given some real effort.

This is the phenomenon I mean. It’s clearly light refraction, but the moon shines like that. It has receded a bit from the corner there, as you can see, and settled in a position that barely peaks through the window

There are many very interesting things in here. I see again the Laruelle correlate with your notion of the transcendental grounding of the transcendental. I feel there are like two pulls here almost, you have managed to see how general babble of humans is strategic at semi-conscious levels. I mean sometimes we know we’re making strategic chatter and sometimes we don’t. I can readily understand what you mean but of course my interaction with it is theoretical/psychoanalytic and partially intuitive since I have always had some facility for reading people. However you are talking about something else. As in even if I am reading people correctly, applying that kind of mind-will to the situation (e.g. willing someone to turn around, or talk to someone else) is ineffective (for me) because it is only internal or at least is the kind of failed magickal attempt that makes these processes look not real. I presume this is because it comes from the mind-emotive structure which is tied to the internal dialogue machine and pretty impotent, whereas you are talking about manipulating the threads through your will (if we make it in CCs language).

I suppose these kinds of abilities are as you say the practical face of sorcery. Sorcery is and in a sense has to be physiological, this seems right but it also means we have to extend the physiological along the multidimensional axis. It springs to mind that sorcery positions one in a relation to any given world in a similar way. If all these worlds were real real then presumably some of the inhabitants are just in those worlds and not multidimensional beings. Sorcery seems to emphasise the movement between the worlds. Though because it is a perceptual alteration when it is applied to a world it reveals things that are hidden and equally when applied to the world itself it reveals also what is hidden (the other worlds). Which makes sense with the epithet ‘stop the world’.

As for it being open to everyone, I think this is true and not true, it is a difference of degree but some energy forms are much more receptive to it than others. This turns on the accretions that are plugging people up and maybe on an energetic configuration. Some kind of capacity is possible for everyone for sure, but then even as writing this it opens it up as a broader weirder term. Sorcery is maybe just an umbrella heading for the way in which perceptual alterations manifest. DJ seems to say clearly that sorcerers have wildly different tendencies, some can see, others can’t some aren’t even impeccable, some people who can ‘see’ aren’t sorcerers and so on. So it comes to function as a kind of heading for a collection of perceptual extensions through all manner of plug ins, to the exclusion (in the case of our definition) of systematized ritual words especially and practices arguably too -which is magick

On a related topic, I mean I think it was your answers here that made me go over this, I was considering how vast the accretive set up is and really how well it all ties in. I mean we literally live in the accretions, as in whilst still pneuminous you managed to peel a layer off to see a level of activity that whilst not the vector field, was kind of closer to it. I remember I wrote something before trying to convey how space is literally so pneuminously accreted when you consider that what we think of as space in physics is in such a flux the idea of identity is ridiculous even before you get to relativity. here and there are accreted, it is the conceptual structure of things we live in. It seems preposterous but it would back up the weird reality things in CC and in buddhism/daoism if digging away the accretive layers revealed the vector field but the vector field is so so much deeper than my imagined access by a kind of phenomenological perception e.g. looking at things and trying to perceive them as a continuum of non-separates.

The vector field is the well of sorcery.

Completely. The vector field as this well of sorcery makes it “made of” in a generic sense (using analogy) the unknowable. However, the unknowable as the transcendental of the transcendental is still a reflection not of our inability to consider the vector region, but because it is the only stuff we can understand the vector region being made of (as in having as property) from our viewpoint as organic beings fabricated by the accretions themselves in their field of interactions.

So although vector region is a generic term, it is not an abstraction in the sense of a kind or substance (the unknowable), but in fact there are an infinite continuum of interactions in the form of accretions forming and disintegrating in regions of the vector field. I think the synchronicities are a spontaneous/accidental and partial peeling off of the accretive interactions, momentarily. My “crack” in the attention resulted in a strangely accurate feeling for synchronicities, as if palpating their shapes in the dark. The moon stuff seems a case of this, in which more and more synchronicities are perceived after the fact of a type of ineffable experience.

This peeling off the layer could be understood in terms of resonance. If we have awareness as a rule for knowledge in sorcery, we still lack a definition of awareness. Right now, I’m thinking awareness is a threshold of resonance between the maximal amount of accretions in a given vector region (not the entire field, but a region). When this threshold is crossed, it’s like the accretions themselves give way to a peak of energetic activity in the region that we think as the totality of our awareness and so think as our vector region (when in fact we are not vector regions but occupy them).

This energetic peak is similar to a sublation of the accretions that compose us, but instead of the usual Kantian sense of his last critique, we do not pass through a sublimation-like correlate. Instead of the accretions giving way, they in fact resonate more with each other in the vector region which we occupy and that we perform the outburst of energy. So the vector field itself is not experienced as such, but the movement of accretions and their production is halted from disintegrating within that region.

This ties with CC given the immense energy one needs to use the second attention, and how each time knowledge is achieved one has to increase the level of impecabillity lest it displace one’s entire energetic reserve into the resonance (which implies other vector regions are more liable to be tapped as in attuned to the frequency of that region in energetic overdrive).

So if we think of the vector field as this infinite continuum, vector regions are artificially induced zones in the vector field that are maintaining a threshold level of energetic resonance which we understand as awareness. Vector regions are the sorcerers themselves, and the vastness of the zone is entirely dependent upon unique developments of that sorcerer

A vector region is the totality of oneself, and one doesn’t have it set from birth but is said to be fated to encounter its limit at death. So although at first glance it may seem like a Landian time-war thing, it’s more of a system of ethics. A system of ethics immanent to the vector field. (not in the sense of norms, but more in the sense of capacity, what can and cannot be achieved, in a Spinozian sense).

Dreaming is not necessarily the act of dreaming, but the art of expanding the awareness of a vector region by changing the circuitry of its interactive constituents. Dreaming is dangerous because the “personal power” of the dreamer may get lost mid resonance within its own expanding field. Invading forces appear due to this increasing resonance, and so one needs to partially close the second attention instead of simply leaving it open for as long as possible.

This creates a “problem”. This almost monist interpretation implies that pneuminosity is a perhaps unquantifiable measure of energetic resonance. In other words, it is something correlative with power. If we understand power as the force of structuring and control of accretions in their regions of the vector field, pneuminosity would be the “stuff” of power, the formalization of its principle in an ontological system.

This seeming problem, on the other hand, is a solution to the zones issue: how we explain there being divergence in the tonal/nagual and between zones themselves. For example, liminal spaces as a region in the vector field that, due to energetic resonance, has a degree of pneuminosity in “freer” state than heavily accreted regions like the economic heart in the middle of a city.

Pneuminosity, then, is a flat notion with a spectrum of modality. But, in the first attention, there can be perceived only the two extremes of its degree of freedom: bound and unbound pneuminosity. The maximal threshold of bounded pneuminosity is the opaque, material object, while the minimal threshold is the affects and forces that stimulate language production, such as immaterial accretions; notions, concepts. The second attention is simply the physiological alteration to perceive more of the spectrum besides the two extremes.

With the middle of the spectral band as the place of most condensed energetic resonance (and the gate to the third attention, where pneuminosity is in such a free state that it changes qualitatively. This qualitative change is the umbratic.

To become like the eagle is not necessarily impossible but for anyone reserving personal power it is a vacuous task (given that the very stuff of power is less rich in reality than the eagle itself).

Oh, I forgot to tell the biggest implication of this: pneuminosity can be produced. Like an economy has factories that, say, due to desire (investment) displace the wood of trees into machines for producing paper, pneuminosity is the material produced by awareness due to the desire (investment) of the predator (in our CC case, or our entire world’s case, the eagle) in an economy of worlds beyond the second attention itself.

This ties well with the universality of ritual practices and religious experience throughout the history of humanity. Gods are egregores, reflections of the human as we peek collectively into the figure of the predator as its shadow passes through our world. Our collective channelling of awareness’ desire towards escape projects the egregore into the limit of the second attention.

These egregores act as guides for that social body which projected it, and so also act as bridges between the first attention and the black horizon of the gate into the third.

These gods, that uniformly form pantheons across all cultures, reign each over the aspect of our relationship with the predator as themselves aspects of our relationship with the predator. While the predator itself is the totality (and end) of the world.

Proto-monotheism in the form of pluralistic forms of esoteric knowledge (such as the systems that became kabbalah) understood the pantheon while arche-principle and so developed formalized circuits of representation (the tree of life, for example, is the entire genealogy of a pantheon put into a language of/for channeling). The sefirot are each an aspect or egregoric god-aspect of the totality of the world that is the circuit of the entire tree. Malkuth being the limit of the first attention and Keter the limit of the second in a way representative of the godhead. To simplify, this was obviously co-opted in the transition to full-blown monotheism.

Verbal Medicine is a product of the collective ‘Writing Game
(CEO project).

Stephen Steeplton speeded his relatively new dark silver Volvo V70 along the S23.5 country lane. Wildlife scattered in his wake (or perished), cyclists shook their fists in vain as the Nordic automobile insisted upon their fairly rapid exit from the meagre road space.

A man of fifty plus years, he didn’t feel the need to pay attention to the speed limit and so he exceeded it whenever he could. Volvo’s are not made for speed as such but their powerful engines are more than capable of it, furthermore their quality handling means they take corners far better than you might think they would. The speed of Stephen’s driving was due to the urgency he felt to get to work a.s.a.p. Stephen worked as a medical herbalist or ‘Phyctor’ as the corporation called his type. He wasn’t particularly keen on the name or at least not the way some people pronounced it, but still, those were the rules. He was currently dealing with a very difficult patient at the clinic and following a dream he’d just had, felt he needed to get back to the patient quickly. They were suffering from quasi-ethereal brain tumours (his diagnosis) which were increasingly becoming more solid. Scans had born this out, sometimes there was nothing but low grade inflammation, other times fairly large masses were visible in the prefrontal cortex, later again these would fade, later again they would return, often worse than the previous time. The man was sick and time was running out.

In the dream a man with odd legs came up to him and showed him a curious way of walking. ‘Ya gotta do it just like this!’ he exhorted as Stephen watched transfixed. Then the odd legged man walked in a circle in long low strides with his body leaning slightly forwards and his arms drooping in a strangely tensile way. As Stephen watched the man he began to feel a strange sensation just below his umbilical region. The dragging strange walk made him spasm internally, he felt he would be sick. The man grinned across at him, clearly understanding the effect of the odd gait. Stephen wanted to tell him to stop but was weighed down by the repetitious pendulum swings of the mans legs as he plodded his circuit in front of him. In a motion that he didn’t understand, Stephen had managed to shout, or at least he seemed to. However the word ‘stop!’ as it should have come out, only emitted in the form luminous orange vomit that shot out of his mouth with force. ‘Attaboy petal!’ said the man as the orange liquid hit the floor near his feet. The man stopped his walk, looked Stephen in the eye and said ‘That was very humorous, but now for tea!’ upon which he vanished.

Stephen had awoke in a sweat and quickly jotted the dream elements down and sat pondering over them. There had to be a message here. He then recalled the patient at the clinic. When they’d come in, they’d had two different shoes on, at the time dismissed as an artefact the confusion of the illness. Odd feet, odd legs he thought. Humorous, but now for tea? Tumorous surely? This was too easy he thought -god damn those allies were good. But the remedy? The orange vomit, petal. The final piece of the puzzle fell into place. Stephen hurled his clothes on. Messaged the clinic to say he was on his way and went to the car. It had to be said that the dramatic alacrity of all this was somewhat truncated by the fact it was already daylight and whilst he would be early, he would only be so by about an hour.

Now the V70 swung up the leafy drive to the clinic. He fair screeched into a parking space, leapt out of the car and strode purposefully to the clinic staff entrance of the converted stately home. ‘Morning Grinzo!’ he said politely as he card swiped his way past reception. Entering the clinical back office, he hailed a nurse over. ‘Hey Martha!’ ‘Morning Stephen, you’re in early1!’ ‘No time for that Martha, how’s the guy with the odd legs?’ ‘Stephen, which one do you mean? I’ve got three odd legged patients in at the moment?’ ‘Gah no sorry, not odd legs, the shoes, the guy who game in with the odd shoes!’ ‘Oh you mean Gary Hyle, he’s had a bad night as it happens, tumours came back at 3AM, had to dose him heavily with Papaver Somnif; they started to fade a half hour or so ago.’ ‘Let me see his Rx please Martha.’ Martha tapped on a keyboard and brought up the current script: Taraxacum, Calendula, Rosmarinus, Betonica, Viola. ‘Martha, switch the Rosmarinus for Citrus Aurantium and give him a dose now!’ Martha looked somewhat shocked at the adjustment, but knew better than to doubt Steeplton’s intuitions, especially when he came in with this intensity. ‘I’ll get it done straight away Stephen.

At this moment a harried looking official came in to the room. ‘Stephen, just the man, you’ve got to go talk to Gary, he’s losing his marbles!’ ‘What are you talking about Flip, I just changed Gary’s script and he’s flat out on the Papaver at the moment.’ ‘Sounds to me more like you’ve been on the Papaver, I’ve just come from Gary’s office and he’s one pissed off animal.’ Martha interjected ‘He means Gary Sabatier Stephen, not the patient.’ ‘Sabatier, oh, what does he want?’ ‘I’m not really sure Stevo, but you’d better go see him pronto, he’s not in a waitin’ mood.

No one was quite sure what Gary Sabatier did, part phyctor,  part lawyer, part manager, part anal onanist, you name it he had his fingers in it. Only thing people were sure about was that Sabatier was powerful and you weren’t wise to get on his wrong side. Stephen wanted to grab coffee but thought better of it, sighed, and walked off towards the lift. You would never have known the clinic was a converted stately home from the interior. There had been no attempt to  preserve the décor or the feel, the house was basically gutted by Phytocorp and re-equipped with their standard shiny sage white interior complete with sentiently enhanced philodendrons around the building. These smart-plants (or smartie-plants as some people liked to quip) were hooked up to the central network and could answer simple requests and operate some building functions. Stephen got one to bring the lift down in pre-emption of this arrival at its entrance. Smooth as, the lift door opened and Stephen walked in. Moments later the lift pinged and Stephen found himself facing Sabatier’s office door. A quick check in with the allies for support and he opened the door.

Sabatier’s office was long. Pointlessly long, almost like a wide corridor. Vast expanses of sage white walls stretched on for nearly six meters before reaching his desk. Nothing adorned the walls either side except one small painting of a plant by the surrealist Ithell Colquhoun and two (also sage white) doors, one on either side the end nearer the desk. At the distal point Sabatier sat centrally at a large mahogany desk with two comedically outsized monitors on it. The mahogany clashed badly with the sleek minimalist interior like a piece of the old house erupting into the clinical corporate décor. Sabatier himself was a well groomed man in a suit. A darkly handsome man of forty plus years, he liked to look his best. In his expensive suit and handsome features Stephen was reminded of Metzger from that Pynchon novel, the small one, what was it called again?

Sabatier’s voice rang out suddenly ‘Come in Steeplton, sit down, stop staring man!’ the voice partially echoed around him owing to the long acoustics of the room. Stephen picked up his pace and took a seat opposite Sabatier. Sabatier continued to stare at one of the large monitors intently. ‘Aha!’ he said after a moment ‘That should square ’em.’ ‘You wanted to see me Gary?’ ‘Yes I did Stephen yes I did. What do you know about Yuggoth?’ ‘Err not much, it’s a planet isn’t it? I once dealt with some influence from near there, a patient named…’ he paused to remember ‘Edith I think, yes Edith Powell. Astragalus had to orgonically energise her neutrophils against a kind of spectral fungus.’ ‘What do you know about Derleth Mckenzie?’ ‘The shipping magnate, specialises in fruit transportation?’ ‘That’s the guy.’ ‘What about him?’ ‘He died Stephen, he died badly.’ ‘Err that’s sad, but what’s it to do with me, with us?’ ‘Stephen, Derleth Mckenzie has certain, ah, connections to Phytocorp leaving us in an interesting position with regards to his will.’ ‘Oh, is it to do with the probate?’ ‘Probate my ass!’ Sabatier shouted, getting irate.

At this shout though, one of the sage green doors opened and a muscular clinical male operative strode sprightly in with odd long shaped carry case. ‘For chrissakes Marcus! I said probate! Pro-bate!’ Marcus’ face fell at his obvious mistake, and nodding politely to Stephen he retreated back through the sage green door. Unflustered, Sabatier continued ‘No it’s not that, someone else handles that. It’s to do with the fruit, or the flowers anyway. Phytocorp gets most of it’s fruit flower blossom’s, the exotic ones at least, through Mckenzie’s haulage. A disruption in the haulage could be a big problem for us.’ ‘Okay, so why tell me?’ ‘Stephen you’re our best operative at that spooky shit, we wondered if there’s anything those pals of your could do to help out here?’ ‘Who, you mean the allies?’ ‘Yeah those things’ ‘You think there’s some manipulation from Yuggoth, is that the connection?’ ‘Manipulation my ass!’

Sabatier was just about to continue when the sage green door cracked open again and out strode Marcus with a different shaped case. Sabatier’s eyes flashed red ‘Marcus for Chrissakes! I said manipulation, I am having a conversation here!’ Marcus’ face crumpled and he beat a hasty retreat back through the door, the odd shaped case caught briefly on the handle as he tried to close it, there was an awkward clunk and the door shut again. ‘No it’s not maniplulation, it’s goddamn coercion, those goddamn whatever the fucks from Yuggoth killed Mckenzie and took over his brain, Derleth Mckenzie is dead and yet he lives controlled by the goddamn fungus in his brain.’ ‘I’m lost Gary, you said there was a problem with his will, but now you say he’s not dead?’ ‘No Steeplton, I said he is dead, he’s registered as dead but now he say’s he’s still alive and wants his business back, they messed up Stephen, he wasn’t supposed to die die, the fungus was supposed smoothly transition the brain takeover and make it all look smooth, but he died, and then the fungus brain kicked in and now he’s back and he wants he company chair back. The will delivers the entire Mckenzie haulage into Phytocorps hands, or at least it would do if that fuck Fungus Mckenzie wasn’t all back from the dead and wanting his business back. Maybe you could get your pal, what did you say the name was ass-tra…?’ ‘It’s pronounced Ass-tra-galus’ Stephen intoned in helpfully. ‘Ass-tragalus!’ Sabatier resonated triumphantly back.

At which the sage green door opened again, in walks a sprightly Marcus with the weirdest looking bespoke plastic case you can imagine. Sabatier turns, apoplexed beyond the ordinary ‘Marcus, what the fuck?!  A I’m talking here about fighting Fungus Mckenzie with some spiritual plant shit and B what the fuck is even in that thing even if I had said ass? I mean what the fuck?! Get out! Get out!’ Confusion, disbelief and distress all go over Marcus’ face as he once more is force to withdraw back through the door. It clicks silent once again. ‘So yeah…’ Sabatier continues ‘See what you can do with Mckenzie, get the file, have a…’ he pauses and side looks at the right hand door before saying in a more hushed tone ‘…probe about. If you can de-fungus him at a distance do it. Stephen nodded and set to thinking what he could do. Sabatier opened the lid off a steaming tall takeaway and took a swig. Upon taking it he immediately spat it out over the desk ‘What is this horseshit?! Green tea cinnamon fuckshit. Coffee my ass!’

Right on cue the sage door opens and out comes Marcus again. This time he’s got a jug of black liquid, a thin plastic tube and a towel. Sabatier turns slowly round, the anger and incredulity palpable on his face. He looks about to explode. ‘Marcus!…’ He begins loudly, but then, his expression softens, his quick mind darts across the array of objects in the hands of the muscular operative and a kind of subtle nod passes through his features ‘…that looks like a damn fine idea.’ An awkward pause follows. Stephen isn’t sure what to do. Marcus looks at Gary. Gary looks at Marcus, then they both look at Stephen. ‘You want some coffee Steeplton?’ Sabatier’s handsome face looks half sincere. Stephen looks at the tube, the towel and the jug. ‘Err no Gary, I’m good, I’ll go check on that file.’ ‘Attaboy Stevo! You’ll be in touch yeah?’ ‘Will do Gary, see you later, see you Marcus.’ They both nodded, then Stephen got up and walked what felt like a long time of heavy silence as his exit was watched from the end to end. Finally the door shut behind him.