Bartholomaus Hamson offers his sleaziest of smiles.
‘Grin on, fine friend,’ says Jodocus Meaddowcraft. ‘Planet now feeling fear and not happiness.’
Bartholomaus Hamson begins to shuffle inconveniently and though the world could never know this is Bartholomaus Hamson expressing his joy at arriving through spontaneous dance. His dermatitis skin forms new flabs and folds and flakes as Bartholomaus gathers an unseemly pace.
‘There is a multitude of us,’ says Jodocus Meaddowcraft. ‘One after the other and then the next again forever now. More than you can count.’
‘Behold the Unslept’ says Jodocus Meaddowcraft, pointing at the screen. ‘See how they play.’
‘Each one summoned by a mistyped search.’
The Assembly looks and what it sees chills to the bone. A hundred thousand million figures in perpetual tortured motion; fighting and climbing and dancing and jumping, in gangs and alone, all moving forever. The image is grainy but there was no doubt as to what the world is seeing, the end of itself. They begin materializing. All the shapes and sizes you can imagine. Many you cannot hope to.
‘I don’t know what I want with you yet,’ says Jodocus Meaddowcraft to the General Assembly of the United Nations. ‘You brought me here and I haven’t had time to formulate a plan.’
All languages at once are heard true in his ear. Only the world cannot hear each other.
‘You gathered people are right to be afraid because it was a terrible idea to wake me up and get me here from there. A terrible idea.’
The Assembly have no words.
‘I will take petitions like a king from old. You may visit me in my court. I will accept tributes of all and every kind. I will read four letters a day but only if they are handwritten. Be there in person and be prepared to wait for a long time.’
Jodocus Meaddowcraft turns to leave.
‘I warn you though,’ he says over his shoulder. ‘I cannot ever be fair.’