Itsy & The Infinite Web 09: Excellence Through Animism


The tiny tour took the elevator up to a smaller hall of analysts observing those below them through the transparent floor, which wasn’t a two-way mirror at all, as the giraffe now observed had observed.  A llama looked over at them in surprise.

“Oh!  Hello!” she said.  “I’m the division head here, and you three must be a tour.  Did you know that seventeen thousand six hundred and four gorillas in thirty six piles puts four hundred eighty-nine apes in each?  I’ll show you around or two,” she said, smirking at her own joke.

She led the touring three back over the pre-toured room as Fool and Jerk Group threatened each other with tablets of hard data.  “The unknowing below us are involved in a double-blind super-secret study. They know their work helps us all detect fools and jerks, but they don’t know it helps us above them perfect fools and jerks.  Soon we will reverse engineer the complete imbecile, just as we overhauled and optimized the total jerk years ago.”

“Why do you need perfected fools and jerks?” asked Itsy.  “What use do you have for them?”

“Well, I’m not entitled to know myself,” the division head said as she pushed another button.  “I stay on my level, but you three don’t need to!” She ushered them into an opposite elevator.  “Happy observations, but we have everyone we need to see right here, and down there.”

The elevator shut, and opened into the surprised face of an emu.

Itsy sighed.  “Let me guess.  You’re the division head here, know something numbered about piles of chimps, and run a triple blind study on everyone.  How’s that for a round or two?

“I perceive you’re perceptive,” said the third division head, “but you’re also quite mistaken.  We take the work of everyone here and use it to cram ghosts into apes.”

Itsy and Prudence were speechless.

YAY!  APES!” Joy screamed with glee.

The emu looked at Joy with considerable interest, then back to the group with interest considered.  “Allow me to show you the animal magnetizer. It’s actually quite enchanting!”

She led them to a huge machine next to a large sign that said EXCELLENCE THROUGH ANIMISM with a picture of a gorilla gazing upward, perhaps to progress itself, with a bucket on his head.

“Electric animal spirits were rediscovered by the same guy who rediscovered apples,” explained the emu, pulling a lever.  “Our bodies are full of confused living things. First, we pass the apes through the soul crusher to empty them out internally.  Then we inject highly specific spirits into each ape. Watch me infuse this orangutan with a passion for thermodynamics!”

An orangutan dropped into a glass tube and began to convulse.

“It looks rather unpleasant,” chided Prudence.

“No pain, no gain!” said the head.  “We fill ‘em to the brim with animism, using all assorted forms of life, like the spirits of tribes, cultures, religions, laws, arts, sciences, romances, humors, et cetera, ad nauseam, ad hominem.  We cram ‘em full of ghosts, and stack ‘em into organized piles by species of spirit.  It’s all very precise, rational and objective.  We have all kinds of rationales and objectives.”

She led them onto a balcony and Itsy whistled, which is hard for a spider to do without lips.

Beyond the balcony, above and beneath them, deep down into the ground, beyond what Itsy could see with all eight of her eyes, was an elaborate, unending arrangement of apes, concealed in the core of the tower.

Itsy had found the itch.

Everyone knows apes itch continuously, and this many on an elephant could hardly be irrelevant.

The division head smiled.  “Yes, in everything we have achieved the excellence of apes.”  She leaned over the rail and hollered, “YOU ARE ALL GREAT APES!” which echoed through the spires of the grand piles.  “I’m trying to be encouraging. We need to keep their spirits up, or the piles are surely done for.  We keep each ape sure and in stock, and each stack stocks others in support, but not so much that they completely intermix.  For instance, mathematics leans on precision, which leans on purity, which leans on security, which leans on feeling warm and snug in a blanket, which leans on everything else.  If we stack ‘em high enough, our top theorists can oversee everything, theoretically speaking.”

“Which apes are underneath all the others?” asked Itsy, equally impressed and horrified, peering downward.  “The pressure must be incredible.”

The head’s smile turned.  “We’re still sorting out the basis, but if we keep them organized and divided up here, it will sort itself out in the end.  I don’t go down into the stack base myself.  That’s tended by the p.h. demons in the pits.”

An alarm went off, and she looked up in surprise.  “I’m sorry, but that’s the fair warning. A science fair has broken out spontaneously somewhere in the building, and I must ensure that it’s properly stacked.”  She pulled a stuffed toy gorilla out from her lab coat and offered it to Joy, who gleefully accepted. “Why don’t you two come to the unforeseen fair with me? You just might enjoy it!”

Prudence sighed.  “Joy enjoys everything, and I accompany her, whether I enjoy it or not.”

“As for you,” the head said to Itsy, “I’ve been told that the Judgerment upstairs is interested in a word or two, between you and them, with you.  Unfortunately, we don’t have any stairs down here, so to get upstairs you’ll have to take another elevator.”

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