It is said Lord Bezos rides south. It is said he rides before a host of Amazonians 20,000 strong. There are whispers that the Amazon Prime ride at his side. Yea, the very same Prime who stopped Legion XVIII WhatsApp Impericus at Bend. They say the Deschutes ran black with blood for a fortnight.
Yea, for Lord Bezos and his host ride south and the ground trembles and the sky moans with drones and the very sun is denied its suzerainty.
From South Lake Union can be seen a crimson cloud day and night. The great forges of Amazon pound silicon and iron into terrible implements.
Yea, for Lord Bezos rides south.
Sisters from the Southern Reach tell of Emperor Markus and his legions marching north from California. It has been nigh four fiscal quarters since the Child Emperor of Facebook has donned imperial blue and summoned his C-Team for war. It is said Senior Vice Consul Sheryl and her house guard march before Legion XIII Palo Alto. The Emperor and his Blue Guard have rendered I-5 a river of steel and cornflower.
The Sierrans tells us of black rumors from Cupertinople. The Bitten Apple banner rides high over the gates of that majestic city, that pearl white jewel. The Contractorii bring stories of late nights in the lab, of NDAs signed in blood. It is impossible. The laws of nature rage against it, but it is said…That Jobs returns.
And yet, from the vassal vineyards and permaculture farms that ring Cupertinople, an eerie calm. Even the birds are silent. The very soil quivers. When will the fearsome lancers march nine abreast under the Bondi Arch? When will the very sun recoil from the glistening white troops of the Regent?
The Regent Timothy has not marched forth from Cupertinople for 10 years. Not since the Terrors of the Interregnum. The Black Days when the corpse of Jobs lay in state in the Macintosh Cathedral, and blood filled the gutters of the Campus.
Occasionally the agents and provocateurs of Facebook are hung from the White Gate. Or Amazonian emissaries sent away without their hands. The crowned billionaires of the Westlands wish to know: Will the bitten apple banner leave the gates of Cupertinople at the head of a mighty column? Where then lies the allegiance of the Regent Timothy? Or does Apple and her army stand alone?
The Gigfolk from the fulfillment fields of Ashland-Lithburg stagger north in a desperate rabble. Their eyes are wild, their faces smudged with smoke and blood. They weep and rend their coveralls. Amongst them a mad susurrus: The Amazon fortress at Lithburg has fallen. Regional Logistics Manager Brad was last seen in the conference room writing his death poem. They say his execution was streamed.
The Camera Standard of Legion XXI Instagrammus Impericus now flies over the shattered hulk of the fortress. Senior Vice Consul Kevin holds court there. The Amazon Managerii plead for mercy, and pay in Bitcoin. The Gigfolk who have not fled are put to the silicon blade.
Facebook has no need for Gigfolk.
Emperor Markus lagers before Mount Shasta. A tent city of imperial blue stretches from I-5 to the old Walmart. The Sisters send in a boy, bearing fine furs. The Imperial Enginnaires allow him passage through the first line. He marvels at the supple fabrics of their casual wear, and quavers before their mathswords.
But the boy cannot gain entry to the Imperial Camp. The House Guard in their woolen pantsuits and cuirasses cross poleaxes and fix him with glacierblue eyes. The boy knows not to look into the eyes of the Guardswomen of House Facebook. Every boy knows that to do so is to have the life force drawn from the body.
He grovels in the appropriate manner but is rewarded with a leather boot to the head. He dares not react, but accepts the blow in silence. The strange house music of the court DJ can be heard amongst the grand tents of the camp.
That night the Sisters receive him at the farmhouse and coo and cluck over his bruises and his temerity. They ask him: What of Emperor Markus?
And the boy can only shake his head. He could not get near. Emperor Markus was not seen. The whispers cannot be confirmed…That the Child Emperor slouches in the imperial Segway. That the Emperor of Facebook is gravely ill.
Art: Jacob Yeates