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The Great Machine was a powerful photonic matrix built by Count Crankshaft to create the Light-Forms, sentient beings made of solid light projected by this contraption. To this end, the Great Machine holds the Holo-Pods, devices that contain the essence of those projected by the Great Machine. Crankshaft's goal was to find a way to almost entirely diminish the impact in the ecosystem of his species, who had used up and left uninhabitable the previous planets they had called their homeworlds, Inkandessa 1 and 2. Inkandessa 3 was about to suffer the same fate when Crankshaft created the Great Machine, and Inkandessa 4, the final planet in their star system, would've been their last chance.

Meat-Forms and Great Machine from Silver Surfer Vol 8 9 001

Meat-Forms working on the Great Machine

Ever since the conception of the Light-Forms centuries ago, those few of their species who had refused to transition into holograms, known as Meat-Forms, were tasked with the job to maintain and keep the Great Machine running to ensure the continuing existence of the Light-Forms.

Great Machine from Silver Surfer Vol 8 9 002

The Great Machine holding the Holo-Pods

In modern times, the Great Machine was unwittingly put at risk by the Silver Surfer. He and his companion Dawn Greenwood visited Inkandessa 4, and the local Light-Forms secretly replaced her with a Light-Form duplicate, with the intention to dispose of her physical body as dictated by their tradition. When the Surfer learned this, he used his Power Cosmic to temporarily disrupt the solid light constructs to bypass the holographic shield that hid the farm of Countess Crankshaft, where the real Dawn had been taken. The Meat-Forms and Countess Crankshaft worked to fix the Great Machine and eventually restored it. When he was scolded by Countess Crankshaft for damaging the Great Machine, thus putting at risk the lives of the Light-Forms, the Surfer apologized.[1]

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