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The music plays.

“What is this?” says Hearing, reading the latest auditory input summary. “This sound is really complicated – class 4, at least. What do you see?”

Vision raises his head from the viewscreen, blinking rapidly as his eyes adjust to the dim lighting. “Orchestral concert. Quite professional-looking, and a big crowd, but no one misbehaving.” He walks quickly to the computer and opens a chat window.
“Just a moment… okay, Memory says it’s the school orchestra. We’ve been to a few of their shows, one sometime last Fall, once in the spring, blah blah blah… anyway, that’s what it is.”

Logos throws the door open and quickly walks inside, typing furiously on her smartphone in order to remain in contact with the control room.
“Okay, what have we got?” she inquires.

Vision usually presents first, but in a case like this protocol indicates that Hearing take precedence. “It’s a veritable storm of sound,” he says slowly, trying to figure out how to describe every intricacy. “Different volumes, frequencies, tempos… multiple different dynamics going. Sometimes they emit at the same time at different frequencies, other times one is continuous while another goes on and off at irregular intervals. Most confusing.”

“You can see it on the screen,” Vision adds hastily, gesturing at the glowing rectangle built into the wall. “It’s a school concert, according to Memory. What do you make of it?”

Logos opens her mouth, about to deliver a customary well-formulated thought, but pauses. She frowns, lowering her phone, her eyes darting furiously between readouts. “This is a real stumper,” she says, somewhat distressed. “This sound seems to be evoking a response in surrounding bodies, but I can’t figure out a connection. What about it elicits a positive reaction? Perhaps I’m missing something, but it just seems to me like a lot of sound! It’s actually kind of intimidating!”

She retrieves the phone from her pocket, punches in a number. “Hey Superego, it’s Logos,” she says. “How are you? I’m fine too, thanks. Listen, do you know why this sound is important? I can’t figure any reason at the personal level, but maybe there’s some weird social purpose?... Yeah, I can see the positive responses from everyone else, but there has to be a reason. I hate dealing with this sort of thing! I don’t know what it means, Memory is going to have no idea where to file all this input…”

As they fret in the highest tower of the brain, the audiovisual input is relayed to the basement, to a dark room where Pathos sits at his decrepit computer screen. His clothes are old and worn, his frame gaunt and pale, soaked up to his knees in subconscious sludge. He reads the report, chuckles at his bosses’ frustration, and types in a directive.

The corners of the mouth turn upward in a smile. The music plays on.





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