The Great Stone of Swarovski

The Confraternity of Neoflagellants (2012)

Day Five...

After many hours of dead air, we came within bluetooth range of the Tower of Olympus, wherein a 1/24th scale hologram of Terry Wogan was said to perform a synchronised chakra discharge from the base of its spine. Using Crystallized Swarovski elements, this Pepper's Ghost from incredible TV could 24ct. gold plate your DS Lite, creating a truly unique talisman investment solution. "Sorry, the item above appears to be one of a kind." Those sweet sweet words I so longed to read, were at last within my grasp. My DS was currently protected only by the promise of paper gold, swathed in gold futures options and spread betting contracts. Soon it would be truly new without tags. My buddy, Level 9 Luminary and Gastromancer Greg Wallace, checked-in on his Diaspora pod. The Diaspora's Border Control server-to-server authentication instantaneously signalled our approach:

We believe people are basically good.
We believe everyone has something to contribute.
We believe that an honest, open environment brings out the best in people.
We recognise and respect everyone as an individual.
We encourage you to treat others the way you want to be treated.

The People's Republic of Swarovski's constitutional terms and conditions summarily accepted, we espied a great white flag thrusting out, and a glittering travelator projecting forth to meet us. Now as soon as this was come to us, we perceived upon it a very ancient warden of the Tower, accompanied by a bulk order of best-buy mages clothed in top notch gear. Extending his hand in welcome, Wogan's tiny avatar sported a new three piece suit woven from upcycled feathers and dream catchers... almost shamanistic for such a respected Goldsmith and sworn enemy of alchemy.

Clearly proud of their Keylontic jerkins and tattooed leg sleeves, Wogan's mage's addressed us silently in a variety of awkwardly frigid poses. Transfixed by the spell of Goldcore State Corporatism, the Republic of Swarovski's guardians stared at us through permanent contact lenses that emulated the google-goggles and narcissistic personality disorder of Ayn Rand.

I handed one of them the Partiki ticket. He scanned the QR code with an old mobile phone before stamping our hands with the Randian quote of the day. "Know, all ye investigators that the head is all things, which if it hath not, all that it imposes profits nothing!" I rubbed at the inky residue, the Fountainhead fabulism almost immediately illegible on my sweaty paw. I glanced at Sir Gregg for analysis of this lucid syllogism, but he was too busy grinding monatomic seasoning into his Big Gold Box. "An amazing experience for contestants", he wibbled. "Amazing!"

The Tower was situated within the deal-busting berserker state of Île Notre-Dame. Independent from both the Montreal Enclave and post-sovereigntist Québec it was run by three master tribes of ingeniously bi-rational schizo-anarchists hell bent on one thing, obtaining unbelievable wealth and power. Fuelled by the late 20th century dream of reviving pre-modern tribalism, their prophets crowd-funded a multiplicity of anger-channeling cerebral sex collectives, re-seeding the human race through rhizomic privation autonomous from the centralizing forces of familial birthing actions. It was surrounded by a massive wall of malicite that reeked tremendously of decaying stem cells and other unpleasantries. "Now I'm not going to criticise until I actually stick it in my mouth," muttered the ever adventurous alchenomicor Sir Gregg. I placed lavender incense burners at the four corners of our collapsible Faraday Cage as began our navigation of the obligatory security maze.

On the other side of the wall the Emerald Order Breneau, the Elohei-Elohim Celestrian-hominid Founders Race and the Azurite Universal Templar Security Team were busy reconstructing Canada's 1967 World Fair entirely from Density-5 Chronocrystals mined in the Mechizedek Cloister. From humble beginnings as the Crazy Deal Artifact Institute—whose mandate prescribed artistic, institutional, and activist methods and practices to address the relationship of post-crisis artifacts to their aesthetic, technical, and social contexts—the project had morphed into a full scale reconstruction of late modern technocratic talk show set mounted on a cradled wood panel.

Marveling at the spectacle presented before us I paused to take a few pictures for the folks back home while Wogan's avatar seized the opportunity for a speculative bout of Gyromancy. Firstly, it arranged an alpha-numeric lexicon in a tight circle upon the ground. Then, removing one sabaton, it began to run rapidly around its perimeter. When capsized from dizziness we assisted by recording the letters indicated by its exposed foot. I kept a close eye on its keylon thrust quotients and blew a whistle when its sortilege had expired. After catching its breath, Wogan's spectral presence stumbled up to look over my shoulder at the tablet which was now thus inscribed;

Take, therefore, halibut and old Swarovski stones created from compressed high resolution scans of wooden letterpresses, and spin together with [RhCl(H2O)5]2+ at several gauss until they become white. Then extinguish in Relentless energy product. If 24 ounces thereof have been accelerated, then reheat with a third part of chicken liver, that is, 8 ounces; separate Merkaba Orbs with Büchner funnel, and cook in the sun and black earth until it forms a gelatinous suspension that looks just like semen.

Suddenly and with great agility Gregg's hologram snatched the tablet and locked away it in his Big Gold Box. Simple and elegant, 11cm x 8cm x 3cm when assembled, it was suitable for flavours, cake or, in this case, tablets.

This being done, we were greeted by a Saskatchewan refugee who gently magnetized us to the side of his armored horse interpretation and conducted us into the Tower.

Earlier in the morning of this same day, energized by the crisp citrus of that first wash in the mercury fountain, and once every man had taken the Dance for Freedom around Tim Horton's shrine, we had consulted the Tabula de Operatione Solis for a proper course of vintage action. It was agreed that we must seek a pre-emptive consultation with third-time-lucky virgin Anna Hayes—Holy Anchoress of the Tower of Olympus—for it was she who had sent the text. "C U in holiest hole ASAP LOL" it had read.

By "holiest hole" she of course referred to the sepulchral fermentation bioreactor, located not on the high street but buried deep in the Towers' basement. This was the building's Anchorhold where Hayes had been power meditating in solitude since her Ceremony of Entombment over thirty years past. Certified to BS EN1004 (Class 3), her physical body already condemned to an open grave she would spend her remaining days drinking limbic elixirs funnelled through a small peep hole and firing preternatural mind-packages to inter-dimensional beings via two versatile treadmills powered Pre-Matter Amplifier linked to Solid State Survivor's Kathara Grid. This was her gift to humanity.

Descending some 365 winding stairs using Gregg's kitchen matches we found the Anchorhold and peeped in through the peephole. Defying statistics, Anna was wearing a summer pilch, a spring kirtle printed with a 1968 press photo of Cary Grant and a winter wimple while grinding away sweatily on her penance machine. In her hands she held a wet and fruity screwdriver and an oxen-class flagellator which appeared to be broken. In front of her bandaged face hung a microphone into which she repeated the mantra "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well," in a surprisingly authentic pirate accent. Rudely, I stared and stared.

Presently I felt a nudge in my back and turned. The Woganagram handed me his Staff of Sentencing and I used it to give the Anchoress a poke. Startled, she nearly fell off but managed to regain her composure and give us a stern eyeballing through the bandages. She nodded and produced a HAPTIME YGH338A USB Cup Warmer, Clock and Hub from her kirtle and stuck it on the end of the staff with some nasal extract. I retrieved the 4 port USB hub/clock and, by way of thanks, slipped her two agility rings, a meteoroid bracer and an Oh Henry! bar to help with the grinding.

Impatient to discover the contents of the stick I patted my pockets but somehow Gregg already had it locked inside his Big Gold Box. Well it perhaps could wait. After all we had to prepare for tomorrow's seminar on the pretty 12-Strand Dna Template & Stellar Activation Cycle. Somewhat telepathically, a page appeared from the gloom with a tray of plant-based, gluten-free fare and instructions to join Solid State Survivor in the Turquoise Room for............. "An amazing experience for contestants", yelled Greg. "Absolutely amazing!"

And thus this fifth day concluded with wonders.



The Confraternity of Neoflagellants are lay peoples dedicated to the ascetic application, dissemination and treatment of neomedievalism in contemporary cultures of premodern futurity.

The Confraternity of Neoflagellants is a writing collaboration between Neil Mulholland and Horman Hogg.
Neil Mulholland is an art historian, writer, curator and artist. He is widely published, and a regular correspondant for magazines such as Frieze, Art Review, Flash Art, MAP and Texte zur Kunst, and is the Director of Postgraduate Programmes at Edinburgh College of Art.
Norman Hogg is an artist, writer and curator. He has exhibited widely and is currently undertaking PhD study in Montreal, Canada.