Review Summary: Fates Warning strikes progressive gold in a different direction.
It was cold, the sunset had faded out with the fog to unfold perfect darkness. The man's silhouette dragged across the moist ground and moved to light a cigarette, a flame with the last warmth of the night. His hands were wrinkled, cold, and gave the thought of decades of dedicated hard labor. Walking with a crisp stride, he stepped over to the steel gray building, a manufacturing plant that beckoned to him, with a thought of something echoed in his mind, something…. something….
Light. Brightness. The lone man dropped the cigarette, the wet ground extinguishing it as the lights around the building shone across the mist. His jaw opened just enough to awe the shock of the moment, looking toward the towering street lamp. With a slight shiver, the man glanced at his watch to find it frozen, the hands of the clock attuned to their position. He was late from his break. He looked at the main entrance and felt a pull, a calling. Destined to enter, he knew it would be a return to the same routine, always too quick to be true, too real to be a dream. As he entered the building, the workers were frozen in place, almost dormant. His breath had halted, almost choked, as if the last breath was stolen from his own throat.
All of his life this man had wanted something great, to be admired by many, even loved truly by one. His dreams and desires were his last inspiration in this world. This was where he had worked, where he had lived. His last breaths, his heart and soul were spent upon the labor of his business. As he glanced upon this familiar, yet different world, the workers around him were frozen around their machines, operating a now ceaseless machine. It had become clear to him again, a flicker of light in the dark. There was a piece of the puzzle that had yet to be analyzed, the calling, his spirit of belonging. His longing to be a part of something grander, of a grandeur project, it was all a false sense of freedom, growing with dependency. It hit him with a stolid, strong blow; he was nothing more than a part of the machine.
Everything was perfect, flawless, he spun around, the world spinning with him as he reexamined the beauty around him as if it were his first breath on earth. Yet, in the flawlessness, there was regret. He felt it, striking him as he fell to the concrete ground, separated from what he might have done to invoke it.
Across the empty workspace the workers were gathered, frozen with their workspaces, their machines. The air currents had ceased, the steel gray image was a giant, static scene, nothing more than a plausible image in the lone man's mind. Was this all a dream? To him, could this be more than a image placed in his mind? Was he imagining this or was his brain in a vat and all of this a charade? Just then the machine started, with every man moving to the rhythm, time no longer a core piece to this mystery. The staticness of the scene was dissolved. The workers minds were closed tight, unaware to the reality of their work. Every man present was non-reactive to the lone man's presence, as he was a ghost to them. While in different arenas of being, the man would complete whatever he could do to erase this truth, or falsify this fear. He could see the emotions in their eyes, the sweat on their brow, and the fear in their stance. As he fatefully viewed their movement operating the machine, he felt apart. He was disconnected.
He broke into a sprint, limping over crates, fluidly leaping over the scenery across the steel interior of the building. Collapsing, the man fell to the ground, the waves of emotion caressing him, the tides of destiny breaking him apart. Tears.
The man's watch resumed its course, and the lone man turned his head back to the sky of rafters. There was only one way out, one thing to do. He knew he was a pawn, and the only way to freedom was through the machine, the woodwork.
Suddenly, the machine came to life, the workers diligently operating the complex array of algorithms and control panels. The workers had no acknowledgement of the lone man, and he knew he didn't have a choice. The machine was the antagonist, and freedom could only be obtained beyond its hold on him. Viewing the complex around him, he climbed to his feet. To the side of the building's walls led a stairway, with a room overlooking the workers. Running through the groups of drones in the plant, the man ascended the stairs with his stamina falling, his faith attuned to his last belief of hope. Words of cunning, shinning stunning. Men of grandeur, blinding, numbing, with winsome wiles in specious styles.
His own feet lead him to the final room, the man now with a heartfelt emotion entered the presence of the control room. With an ominous breath and an open, dry mouth, his hand gripped the lever. Everything he couldn't imagine had collided to this moment, the void of life around him grasped his senses, and the mechanical life was no more viable than the life around him. With instinctive fear he pressed the button on the switch, and cranked the lever downward.
As the apparatus of the motorized life died, a light shone through his mind. As if the very being of the world had crumbled apart, the light forced him into collapse, falling to his knees. The feelings he had bottled, the ideas that had provoked questions unanswered, the fears that had inhibited him, all led him to his demise. This machine had given him a false purpose where there was none, and now he had nothing left to own, nothing left to lose. Yet this lone man was merely dreaming his life away, his mind was chasing time, and his dream was yearning for something…something… something from nothing.