Several things appeared inside the stone hall of the temple at once. A centaur fell to the ground, landing on his heavy stone arm, which cracked the stone floor. He was followed by several gallons of Galeic seawater, a few layers of forest floor, leaves, branches and a flopping mermaid. A bird flew off with limitless speed from its unexpected point of origin, and went smack into the wall on the far side. An angel hovered in the air where he had sprung up, praying for deliverance, while a few feet away on the floor, two parts of a piecemeal raptor scurried away in different directions. Once the mermaid recovered from her initial shock, she unhooked the electric guitar-like object she had strapped on her back, and pointed it at the centaur, mostly because it was the first thing she had fallen on, and she needed someone to blame. The centaur’s arm began to glow a violent yellow, and he ducked out of the way, just in time, as a beam of radioactive sonic energy seared past him, and hit one of the stone pillars behind the centaur. The mermaid then aimed the guitar at the angel, preparing to strum it and fire again.
An electronic voice resounded through the hall. The top half of the piecemeal raptor which had been readying to pounce on the mermaid, stopped in its tracks, as everyone’s eyes turned towards the source of the voice. The voice, that seemed to be coming out of the shadows on one side of the temple, spoke again.
“This is a house of knowledge, a temple of information. Such sa…sa…sacrilege shall not be tolerated. You are in the Temple of Morsur Bater, and you will behave accordingly. Now, lay down your we…weapons.”
There was a moment of silence as the new appearances processed this order. Then the mermaid replied fittingly, “Eat my tail!” and fired in the general direction of the voice. The short-lived burst of energy illuminated the darkness before it seemed to disappear harmlessly into nothingness. In that brief moment of light, the source of the voice had become visible, eliciting a sudden respect from all present. In the ensuing quiet, the centaur softly said, “I didn’t know they made them so big.”
The electronic voice spoke again, “I forgot to mention, the nothingness into which your p…p…p…powerful attack just disappeared, th..that was my helper, the V…Void. It was what go…go…got you here.” Absolute silence. The voice realized what the problem was, “My s…s...speech sy…sy…synthesizer program is a little f…f…screwed up. So I stu…stu...stutter. So su…su…su…su…su…”
“Sue me?” The angel offered helpfully.
“Yes, that!” The voice replied emphatically.
The centaur managed to find his tongue, “Who are you? Why have you got us all here?”
The angel, in soothing tones, answered for the voice, “Haven’t you realized where you are yet? This is the Temple of Morsur Bater, the house of knowledge, the gift of the Datumi. And the voice if, I’m not mistaken, is that of an Informatrix, one of the last omniscient supercomputers.”
“Exactly! C..C..Carbon Sykes, at your service.” The voice responded cheerily.
The mermaid, her hand still on the fret-like part of her guitar-like object, barked out, “Yeah, great, but what in Mergol’s name does it want with us?”
The voice spoke again, “Let me exp…exp…explain…”
One of the raptor halves interjected, “No, try someone who won’t take a whole century to explain.”
The voice seemed to ponder over this, and after a while, “Okay, how about a mo…movie? I can show you what this is all about.”
There was a general murmur of assent. Instantly, there was a set of clicks and beeps from within the shadows and with a whirring noise, one of the side walls, slid past to reveal a huge flatscreen television. The screen slowly flickered to life, just in time for the undead bird, which had hit the wall, to finally manage to crawl back into the centre of the room.