Retrospectively she realised that she'd had at least one point four seconds of creaking crescendo masquerading as a warning before the violence of the shock hit. But it was too late for regret now. She lost focus as lines and digits danced chaotically in her eyes. An earthquake, she thought. Somewhere deep, some part of her groped for information. She should stand under a doorway, or was it lying in a bathtub? No, a doorway.

She felt the firm pressure of the surface next to her on her right elbow as her left shoulder began to lead the charge in countering gravity's demands on her physical form. She could feel the strain at the back of her neck as her body's calibration mechanisms executed millions of years of programming to ensure her head stayed up top. Briefly, and because she had nothing else to do, she marveled at the thoroughness of this bio-structural mitigation. If only she could so effortlessly deflect the universe's brutal reprimands as her body did.

Perhaps it was time to find that doorway. No, a quick approximation demonstrated that, since she had no idea where she was, it was objectively more efficient to let the body handle it and conduct other business while her world reset itself. She reckoned on this disturbance lasting one and a half, perhaps two seconds longer before she could regain her visuals and get back on target.

Fuck, anything could happen in two seconds. The measures she was slowly winding up on the cusp of Amsterdam's trading times could have been spun out and hours of careful calculation would be rendered worthless by nature's selfish wants. In truth, she knew that those hours were more than just careful calculation, they were hours of nurturing and longing. They were hours of love and perverse lust, creating something that was at once a child and a lover to her. She had felt it grow in her blood and her bones, had felt the drip-drip of warmth as it trickled from the perfect nothingness of the digits and lines, down her spine and into the centre of her. That trickle had carved away at that nothingness, digging deeper, emptying it and hollowing it, becoming a roaring, pounding goliath and she had felt her body seize itself as she watched it. She had distantly sensed the prickle of the hairs of her arms and neck standing alert. Then she had felt her heart, the size of a beach ball, skip along the edge of the bottomless canyon the goliath had created between herself and the other side.

Eventually, her breathless desire would come up against her uncontrollable need for release as her mind desperately thrashed, begging for the end. Then came the leap. Should she make it to the other side of the bottomless canyon then her beach ball heart would explode, the raw chill of life would soothe her skin as the hairs settled, her jaw released itself and she breathed the first breath of life that would send blood coursing through her head.

Should she fail the leap then the glorious vibrancy and dazzle of the world would collapse, filling with hard greys and hopeless lament. Crushed by her own arrogant lust she'd recoil, hide herself in the flat world, ashamed and unworthy of the lights and wonder of the nothingness.

The strain in her neck was fading, the digits and lines were re-assembling. Another shockwave hit her - memory, carrying in its wake a sudden vision of ice, of unmeasurable and borderless pure white from behind glass. In a brief and forgivable moment of clarity she remembered the ice, the ship on an endless expedition along the incline of the market. She remembered arriving here two weeks ago, feeling the same shudder and crash of the thick, brittle sheets off the bow as she watched the ship plow a new course from the bridge. Here there was no earth to quake, just an infinity of ice.

Perhaps everything here was vaguely magic in some way. She gathered herself and she might have frowned slightly as she realised that her newborn ravine had been filled with the slurry of careless market activity while the ice had temporarily stole her away, but she wasn't sure. She was off and away, far from her possible frown, listening hungrily for the tell-tale drip of a vast, bottomless canyon waiting to be born out of nothing.