Dorn set the Amplifier back in its casing and reclined. It felt good removing its tight weight from his grotesquely enlarged skull. He stared at it fondly, smiling. He was proud.
Then he noticed the dead clumps of hair that had come off along with the device and the moment was spoiled. Then they were burning, in his mind and on the desk. With a controlled fit he extinguished his rage and waited as the ribbons of stinking smoke dissipated. Although visibly vanished, the matter that once was a part of the organism Dorn Ricker, something of them was hovering. Dorn recognized this remnant after a moment of study and reacted as swiftly as he had before. He removed the atmosphere from his office with a ear-shattering howl.
Much better, he thought.
This minor holocaust reminded him of his efforts upon the demons in the caves. Oh, the mental gymnastics employed to make them turn upon the hiveminders! The irony of uniting broken minds in unity against an entity that sought the very same! His earlier pleasures regained, Dorn searched to enjoy this moment more thoroughly and removed the gravity.
Sweet weightlessness...his blood flowed in steady bursts with a heart long robbed of unconscious function; it was in Dorn's control now, like as nearly everything else. And, in time, just everything.
He was above his desk, floating near the ceiling in peaceful reflection. These breaks were still necessary, but less so than in cycles past when all of this was first set into motion. Total Awareness is exhausting, he thought, upside-down three feet in the air. I deserve this.
But then the Earth-lights caught his tiny eye and the halos of fuzzy light upset him so he shut them off. He vanquished all light in his office and wallowed in its absence. Back, he thought, back back back. Dorn spun himself in such a way that the top of his head became the centrifugal focus. He was rotating upon his enormous mind, the room around him; the ship, the stars, etc. And with things just the way they would be, Dorn was very happy.
He would not need reading or even the promise of writing. His Amplifier was just a crutch, part of the rehabilitation for his changed mind. His work now required no deciphering of exterior minds or cramping them under the will of his own. Dorn needed only feel what things become, and that would make them so.
"Great-Father, praises be." A grin showed.
"Ha-ha ha! And blessings in the red sun see!"
His hysterical laughter set Dorn spinning faster and faster. The blackness created began to swirl and spill into the whirlpool of glee. Light bled in.
He heard a strange pop but hesitated, too enthralled to prematurely cancel his joy. Instead he succumbed to it. He savored it like a fine orgasm. He let himself last there, a mutated and fleshy simulacrum of all black holes, his pleasure forever corralled in his own event horizon. Dorn ignored the seeping light for his own indulgence.
And it was all the time they needed.