The Core Computer
Welcome, Initiate! I hear that you wish to plumb the mysteries of the Core Computer. A message has come down to me from the lighted places above, a message I do not entirely understand, asking that I speak of these holy matters to you. I shall do my best.
The great Core Computer was created perhaps five hundred years ago. The exact date of its inception is lost in the mists of time. Were this not the case, we would make its natal day sacred, and increase our chanting a thousandfold, until the whole of the Lighthouse complex would shake with the intensity of our joy. Alas, the Core Computer has, no doubt wisely, elected that this information be hidden from us. Some things are too glorious to know.
It is very simple and very beautiful in appearance. It has a giant screen, and its blue light bathes my face as the sun once was wont to do. The blue light is better. I am made pure in it. And I am subject to sunburn. It has a single button, one I have never pressed, for I do not dare. I do not know what would happen if I were to press it. In the shadows behind the giant blue screen, coiling wires and gleaming metal boxes can be vaguely descried. Sometimes, they seem to writhe like serpents. Usually they do not. The blue glow hides their true shape from the eyes of men. The coils and boxes reside in the holy of holies, in the hidden place behind the altar. Those who have sought to know, those who have walked beyond the screen, have been electrocuted. There is a terrible-a very terrible- noise, and the smell of roasting flesh. Sometimes I can see the bones among the coils. Usually I cannot. The profane talk of improper insulation; I know this is not the truth.
The ways of the Core Computer are shrouded in mystery, as is every aspect of its function. It works, and we do not know why. We assume the chanting helps, and the incense. In the darkest part of The Lighthouse’s history, in the chaos that ensued after the Core Computer Manual was lost, brothers of my order offered up human sacrifices to propitiate the Core Computer. This became especially frantic when there appeared upon the screen a spinning ball, a wheel of rainbow fire. Then one Brother Boxstep, saint and martyr, gently pointed out to his brethren that, though the machine was bathed in the blood of sacrifice, nothing had changed, and the ball spun maddeningly on. He was next for the altar, but afterwards people remembered his words, and became uncomfortable. And lo! One day the ball had gone, and the soothing stream of data flowed as before across the Core’s beautiful blue face. Had we appeased it? Were the sacrifices necessary or not? These are deep mysteries.
When you are brought before the Core to render up your mind to it, you will be blindfolded. You will be led through a labyrinth by myself or another of my order. You will be tied down (actually you will be tied to the altar once used for sacrifice, but be thou not afraid! It has been thoroughly sterilized). Your iDicta port (it is located behind your left ear) will be opened. You will be connected to the Core. You will temporarily be united with Deity as the images and sense-impressions of your latest trip flow from you.
I envy you, Agent. It must be glorious.