The Communion of the Blessed Flood. The rainbow, she gathered from some furtive online theologian, wasn’t a promise: it was a curse. The fall didn’t come when the first couple left the garden: all that was some ghastly pre-rapturous dreamtime of trials. What happened was that God rewarded his faithful with eventual holy rains.
Mistranslation, she had read. If what Noah, Ziusudra, Utnapishtim or the same figure by any other name had been told to build was a ship, why did the Torah not say so? Why was his ark not an oniyah, a ship, but a tebah - a box? Because it was built not to ride the waves god sent, but to move below them. History’s first submarine, in gopher wood, three hundred cubits long, travelling the new world of God’s promise. It harvested the meadows of kelp. But those chosen for the watered paradise had failed, and God had been wrathful and withdrawn the seas. That landscape of punishment was where he lived, exiled from the ocean.
The Communion of the Blessed Flood prayed for the restoration of the wet. Marge read of their utopias, sunk not in ruination but reward: Kitzeh, Atlantis, Tyno Helig. They honoured their prophets: Kroehl and Monturiol, Athanasius, Ricou Browning, and John Cage’s father. They cited Ballard and Garrett Serviss. They gave thanks for the tsunami and celebrated the melting of the satanic polar ice, which mockingly held water in motionless marble. It was a sacred injunction on them to fly as far and often as they could, to maximise carbon emissions. And they placed holy agents where they might one day help expedite the deluge.
So this little cell, working in what might seem the most blasphemous industry of flood-defence. They were biding their time. Blocking piddling little backtides and holding out for the big one. When that final storm surged, that sublime backwash came roaring from the deep, then, then they would throw their spanners int he works. And after the water closed on the streets like a Hokusai trapdoor the Brotherhood of the Blessed Flood would live at last in the submerged London of which they dreamed.
from China Mieville’s Kraken