Interconnected

Lightning turns the sky into graph paper. L-- shouts 'this way,' and his bright eyes target me with reflected horizontals and verticals. The thunder plays four/four in my gut. We trip on curbs and scrape along walls, running - ricocheting - down narrow city lanes. There's a deeper sound, God making a plosive, the opening of whale song, and then light, and I realise it's another negentropy bomb, on the next street. Nothing for a second. In the gloom the city looks identical but raised to a higher octave. Potential. 4. 3. 2. 1. Then the world exhales and drops into regularity. A creak as the building next to us attempts to adjust to the sudden order imposed on its far side. The crystal structure spreads, architecture aligning, physics gentrifying, roads straightening, square paving slabs unfolding from one another. Another creak and a slump this time, L-- is caught in dust and rubble. I crouch over him; there's blood on my hands as I hold his head and the lightning is the same shape as his body. 'They're homogenising us out of existence,' he says. His teeth are red. 'Find the Deterritorial Army. Tell them the layers of emergence are becoming too tightly coupled. Tell them objects are no longer sufficiently mobile on the substrate. Don't wait.' It smells of wet brick; mysteriously I think of ferns. L--'s blood is thickening into hexagons. I turn and run.