Sir John walked down the wood paneled hallway and tried not to look at the art. Some of it was distinctly modern and whilst he imagined Emile might have been able to make sense of it, it wasn’t Sir John’s cup of tea. There was a nice painting of a place that was apparently called Sunnyport, but other than that little caught his eye. Eventually the corridor came to an end in a vast room, with white walls, empty save for a large throne on the opposite side. The throne was highly ornate with carvings of a serpentine nature.
Confused by the absence of anything else, Sir John looked around and then finally up.
“Ah” he said, then “Aha.”
The ceiling was one giant mural. Like some of the artwork on the way it looked rather abstract, except that Sir John recognised the motifs. He stared up at a collection of interconnected cogs, gears and machine parts, with flashes of lightning in between.
“This is how I see the world,” he said. “A mechanical, physical universe invigorated with the energy of spirit.”
As soon as Sir John had said this the mural started moving, gears and cogs turning and lightning flashing between the parts. Sir John stared up, fascinated. He then began to notice a pattern to the lightning. The bolts seemed to be following a path that converged over the throne.
“I bet that energy extends down,” he mused,” into the chair. I wish I had the ectoscopic glasses, they might be able to see it.”
Sir John touched his temples. They were on his head.
“Of course,” he said quietly and pulled them down.
Sir John could now clearly see the paths of power forking to the chair, and more, he could see a being formed out of that power. Sir John grinned.
“A fifth avatar, of course, from the four come the fifth,” he thought, “A being of pure spirit.”
Sir John looked at the creature. It was hard to make sense of as it was formed of lightning energy. But it seemed that it was speaking although Sir John could not hear.
“I think I have the hang of this now,” said Sir John. “I imagine if I hold out my right hand, my Thanatograph would be here.”
Sir John touched the machine and turned it on. The machine, which was adapted from a gramophone and was intended to pick up spectral voices, began to spin. A deep and sonorous timbre came from the large horn on top.
“You seek the key piece then,” said the Avatar.
“Indeed,” said Sir John, “what must I do to acquire it.”
“You mean you don’t know,” said the voice chuckling.
“Ah,” said Sir John, “yes. Rather obvious. And to get home the same. I imagine.”
The Thanatograph was silent, but the avatar smiled. Sir John reached down and picked up a small metal rod.
“Well goodbye then,” he said and promptly disappeared.