• The Abandoned Plexus

The Abandoned Plexus

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The soldier moves, faceless and anonymous: tiny against the immense stillness of the machinery. As he explores, painstakingly covering every square inch of this unfamiliar terrain, a thought occurs to him.

If the machines were to whirl into life around him, he thinks, they would crush him into nothingness in an instant, despite his high impact, self-contained armour. A shudder runs through him at the unwanted thought, and the digital readout of his heartbeat and blood pressure – just visible at the bottom left of his visor – blips as both increase slightly. The soldier takes a couple of deep calming breaths and he tells himself not to be silly. The machinery is big, but no longer dangerous. The metalwork is rusting, small flakes falling like bloody dandruff when he touches it, and the engines are seized up solidly. Quite apart from all that, there is no power supply to the old factory, just gaping holes here and there where anything deemed salvageable was stripped out and whisked away.

Lights twinkle here and there throughout the factory as automated exploration vehicles move through the areas the soldier cannot reach. They send back a live stream to headquarters and the soldier takes comfort in that: should anything happen, they will know about it immediately. Maybe they would be able to reach him in time, maybe even no time would be too slow: but at least they would know where he was, they could retrieve his body and let his family know.

The soldier continues to move through the long-abandoned factory, he sees and mourns the loss of the great, ambitious minds that dared to imagine a world different to the one that existed, dared to imagine it and then dared to build it. It is no longer acceptable to change the world so dramatically, humanity has been hoist by the petard of its own hubris and further exploration and progress has been abandoned in favour of letting Nature have her way once more.

A noise sounds, alien in this ultra-quiet place. The soldier turns sharply, half-dreading what he will see, half-expecting to see one of the exploration drones struggling as its battery ran low. Another noise: goosebumps break out under his armour. The first noise could have been anything, but this one was different. This sound did not belong here, in this time and this place. This sound was that of a baby’s laugh.

Goosebumps prickling, the soldier drew his weapon and reluctantly headed in the direction from which the sound had come. Even as his senses sharpened, listening, looking and even scenting the air, he was aware of the fear growing in him.

What was it? What was in the factory with him? And would he live to tell the tale?

Pigment inks on 271gsm satin paper, professionally hand-bonded onto a 5mm cast acrylic panel.

Limited Edition of 30 prints:

  • 10 at 48″ (w) × 20.4″ (h)
  • 10 at 36″ (w) × 15.3″ (h)
  • 10 at 24″ (w) × 10.2″ (h)

Each limited edition acrylic print comes with a signed Certificate of Authenticity, and is ready to hang.

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