Brother Dustfish: The Desert of Dead Ideas In which we meet Able Summary and learn of his simple existence in the far ends of the Shattered Land, The Desert of Dead Ideas. She lay buried amongst tall pumps, devices, pipes and hoses, in a tattered, gray linen nightgown. Able can barely see her from where he stands for all the detritus and blankets. The little accordion towers, built at his father's behest—command, rather—surround her and move asynchronously up and down with tiny huffs and sucking sounds. The small back room of the family's shack is a miniature city skyline, filled almost entirely with whirring machines and dirty glass, all huddled around a valley where her body lay on a small, rotting mattress. Only a single window, high up on the rickety wall, allows in any light, and only a breakfast-tea-colored light pushes through the twin filters of dirt and fingerprints on the inside and gray restless dust outside.