1x12: THE MANUAL FOR EMOTIONS

Timescanner reads from the Owner's Manual for Human Emotions and discusses the Library of Alexandria. Written and produced by Richard R Penner. The voice of the Time Crystal Interface is Esther Adaire.

Transcript for 1x12 THE MANUAL FOR EMOTIONS

The following is an annotated transcript of episode #1402747 of The Infinite Now. Originally broadcast from outside of space-time to Earth, June 30th 2015. Despite the recurring "accidents" that destroyed a majority of the intercepted Infinite Now recordings, this recording still survives. Listen to it here.

CRYSTAL: Incoming transmission from The Timescanner

(Temporal static.)

(Echoes from an immense hall full of silent people. A library.)

TIMESCANNER (Voice Over): There once was an instruction manual for emotions. It was lost along with the Library of Alexandria. But last time that I was there I found a copy. It was buried deep in the rare scrolls wing. Down the basement and down a dark hallway unlit by lanterns.

The sound of readers in the library's great hall fade away as we step down rickety wooden stairs and walk down a stone corridor.

TIMESCANNER: Oh wow. Plays. Religious texts. Histories of ancient civilizations. And soon they're just all going to be gone. Without a trace. A planet of amnesiacs with no clue where they came from. Stumbling through time like...a man in the dark

(The Timescanner from this past recording stumbles into a short bookshelf and falls to the ground, then picks himself back up.)

TIMESCANNER (VOICE OVER): If you travel back in time to check out the rare scrolls wing you'll have to bring your own torch like I did.

(The sound of a torch being lit.)

TIMESCANNER (VOICE OVER): The torch along with the lighter to light it with came in my Time Agent Mission Inventory along with detailed instructions.

Past the locked vault of forbidden bibles on an unmarked wooden shelf between a third century encyclopedia of witty comebacks and right next to a metaphysical repair manual entitled Exploded View of the Soul. That's where you'll find it: The Owners Manual For Human Emotions.

TIMESCANNER: Oh man. I can't believe this is all going to be gone soon. Well it would be a shame to go home empty handed.

TIMESCANNER (VOICE OVER): I got out my journal and a pencil.

GUARD: Sir, Sir, excuse me. This area is restricted. Sir, I'm afraid you're going to have to come with us.

(Sound of flames.)

GUARD: Sir. You forgot your torch. Sir. (coughing)

(The flames rise higher. Wood catches fire and crackles, the floor above buckles.)

TIMESCANNER (VOICE OVER): And that is how I burned down the Library of Alexandria. Hey. Don't blame me. I was only a soldier following my orders. Horrible horrible things are asked of soldiers like us, Time Agents. Heartbreaking things. nd sometimes the only comfort we can find is the hope that we will be stronger individuals once we recover from what we go through. And I know that physicists say that information can never really be lost. Even when information is swallowed by a black hole it always re-emerges somewhere in an altered form like a phoenix rising from the ashes. And every tale burned and every philosophy to blow away like smoke from the ruins of human history has re-emerged time and time again, remixed to fit its new context as the window dressing of the ages is rotated. And I did manage to save a few lines from the Manual fro Human Emotions.

(The crinkling of old paper.)

TIMESCANNER (VOICE OVER): One. Emotions are a sword you can only learn how to wield through error. Two. Slice yourself to ribbons. Die. Be reborn stronger. Repeat as needed. Three. Once you've died enough times you will realize that you'll always be reborn. This gives you confidence in your abilities. Not only to avoid death, but also to die gracefully. Four. After enough Emotion Deaths you will be an Invincible Emotion Gladiator. You are the only Gladiator with a killing sword. Only your own blade can harm you. You are always in control of the sword of your emotions. The sword is never in control of you even though it may feel that way sometimes.

Common mistakes: The following are three common mistakes in training to become an Invincible Emotion Gladiator: One. Fear the blade and refuse to touch it. Two. Give up before you become a master. Three. Throw yourself onto your own blade.

Avoid these three pitfalls and continue on with the steps above and you cannot fail.

That's all I have written. That's all I managed to save.

Maybe the burning down of the origin of mankind made way for a history where we had one more inch on the battleground against our temporal enemies. Maybe not. But just like the Manual for Human Emotions tells us, some things have to die and be reborn differently. Each time civilization crumbles and rebuilds itself brick by brick it is rebuilt stronger. Each story rebuilt concept by concept, character by character...Every Shakespeare or George Lucas find a an ember of thought that's been adrift in the aether since before The Library burned and they rekindle it until it rises again into something more durable like a phoenix or like this drawing I have here in the margin of the notes I took of the Manual for Human Emotions. My quick sketch here was based on detailed etchings illuminated in the manuscript. Figures with severed limbs rising from pools of their own blood until they are radiant with an angelic light of confidence.

In my sketches though, the Invincible Emotion Gladiators just look like that cartoon guy from the IKEA assembly instructions.

CRYSTAL: This has been and will always be The Infinite Now.

(Temporal static.)

CRYSTAL: Transmission Complete.