The Docm30 of the L'Aigles, final part. To be continued.
"Don't be a fool, L'Aigle Fan," came an answer in his own voice. "He won't go another day like that, if he moves at all. And you can't go on much longer giving him all the computers and most of the internet."
"I can go on a good way though, and I will."
"To the Download, of course."
"But what then, L'Aigle Fan, what then? When you get there, what are you going to do? He won't be able to play anything for himself.
TO his dismay L'Aigle Fan realized that he had not got an answer to this. He had no clear idea at all. Docm30 had not spoken much to him of his errand, and L'Aigle Fan only knew vaguely that the L'Aigle had somehow to be put into the downloads. "The ModDB of Doom," he muttered, the old name rising to his mind. Well, if Master knows how to find them, I don't."
"There you are!" came the answer. "It's all quite useless. He said so himself. You are the fool, going on hoping and toiling. You could have lain down and gone to sleep together hours ago, if you hadn't been so dogged. But you'll pass out just the same, or worse. You might as well lie down now and give it up. You'll never get to the top anyway."
"I'll get there, if I leave everything but my bones behind," said L'Aigle Fan. And I'll carry Mr. Docm30 up myself, if it breaks my back and heart. So stop arguing!"
At that moment L'Aigle Fan felt a tremor in the server beneath him, and he heard or sensed a deep remote rumble as of internet imprisoned under the server. There was a brief red flame that flickered under the clouds and died away. The ModDB too slept uneasily.
The last stage of their journey to 1809 Europe came, and it was a torment greater than L'Aigle Fan had ever thought that he could bear. He was in pain, and so parched that he could no longer swallow even a mouthful of food. It remained dark, not only because of the smokes of the ModDB: there seemed to be a storm coming up, and away to the south-east there was a shimer of downloads under the black servers. Worst of all, the air was full of files; coding was painful and difficult, and a dizziness came on them, so that they staggered and often fell. And yet their wills did not yield, and they struggled on.
The ModDB crept up ever nearer, until, if they lifted their heavy heads, it filled all their sight, looming vast before them: a huge mass of scumbags and mods and destroyed code, out of which a sheer-sided download was raised into the servers. Before the daylong dusk ended and true night came again they had crawled and stumbled to its very feet. With a gasp Docm30 cast himself on the ground. L'Aigle Fan sat by him. To his surprise he felt tired but lighter, and his head seemed clear again. No more debates disturbed his mind. He knew all the arguments of despair and would not listen to them. His will was set, and only death would break it. He felt no longer either desire or need of sleep, but rather of watchfulness. He knew that all the hazards and perils were not drawing together to a point: the next day would be a day of doom ,the day of final effort or disaster, the last gasp.
But when would it come? The night seemed endless and timeless, minute after minute falling dead and adding up to no passing hour, bringing no change. L'Aigle Fan began to wonder if a second darkness had begun and no day would ever reappear. At last he groped for Docm30's hand. It was cold and trembling. His master was shivering.
"I didn't ought to have left my coffee behind," muttered L'Aigle Fan; and lying down he tried to comfort Docm30 with his donuts and hot chocolate. Then sleep took him, and the dim light of the last day of their wait found them side by side. The wind had fallen the day before as it shifted from the West, and now it came from the North and began to rise; and slowly the light of the unseen Sun filtered down into the shadows where the modders lay.