Brainmail: Carnal Biotic Luminosity
Warren Ellis speaks clever:
In the warm, musky twilights of far-off Malaysia, the kingfishers and bee-eaters give way to nightjars and owls, and the fireflies, or “kelip-kelip” as they are locally known, put on a dazzling light show. Thousands of these insects commence their fluorescent display, flashing on and off two or three times a second, some stationary, others circling around. In some trees a whole colony of fireflies will flash in absolute unison, hour after hour, in the manner of the lights on a Christmas tree. Male and female fireflies are both able to flash, but only the males flash in unison; the synchronised display serves to attract a mate. It is a vast conversation of light, powered by a controlled chemical reaction that takes place inside the light-producing organs on the underside of the abdomen.
It already grows dark, here in Olde England. I am alone. Chemicals surge down into my light-producing organs, tightly controlled until I am suffused with the purity of illumination. Who will be hypnotised by my nocturnal display? Who will join my conversation of light?