The Sintered Man Cometh
Table of Contents

At speed, an unstable system thrashes for equilibrium, constantly shooting past the mark and swinging back. Engineers call it “hunting oscillation.”

The world is out of balance.

A warehouse in Dongbei, China, stinks of butyric acid and diesel fumes. Workers gather here in the early morning hours. Sipping weak tea with flecks of soot, they vow revenge upon their employer, their state and their customers.

They sweep up the metal filings, the oil stains and flakes of rust, dumping everything into the molds. As the heat rises, the escaping gas shrieks like jackals and vultures. The workers beseech Dàhēitiān, the Great Blackness of Heaven, asking for it to break their rules and slay their demons. The older Sanskrit name, Mahākāla, is the Great Death. It is beyond time.

With fingers stained by unfiltered cigarettes, the workers hastily assemble a Sintered Man. Their work done, the blistered makers kowtow, barely stealing a glance at its rough copper feet. Its breath is that of cremation.

An hour later the manager of the warehouse is dead. The Sintered Man steps unevenly into a shipping container, seeking equilibrium and dripping blood.

The Sintered Man knows domination: The anguish of miners and machinists slowly dying in the smog, the frustration of selling and buying a cheap piece of shit from a once-great brand in the first world, and the sense of wonder in children climbing the trash heaps and seeing the tools that broke before a better world was built, because they were engineered to fail.

The Sintered Man steps out of its container in a Techtronic Industries transshipment hub, somewhere in the United States of America. This is the place. This is where the damage ought to be done. Here is the power that buys.

At speed, an unstable system thrashes for equilibrium, constantly shooting past the mark and swinging back.

Sonny Malewski is the first to see the Sintered Man. A cigarette, neatly filtered, falls from his lips before he dies. In a way, he saw it coming. He voted for Trump.

Delta Green can destroy the golem. It does not perform well under load. Not enough torque. They can trace its steps to Dongbei. They can find the warehouse. The Chinese government has already crushed that point of origin, at great expense. Under a shroud of media silence, the cultists have been put away. Anyone behind the Great Firewall who puts in a search for the new rituals of Dàhēitiān will be visited.

The god does not care. A wider departure from equilibrium means a wider swing back, or else derailment. It means a greater violence, a deeper darkness to come. Nyarlathotep can wait. It is beyond time.



This is an entry to the 2016 shotgun scenario contest. Written by Viktor Eikman.

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