May 25, 2009

3. Leave Far Behind

Here everything appears near.

Dara Egan thought this as a moth. Later, contemplating how a moth could think in words at all, she would have plenty to ponder about the nature of mind and consciousness. At the moment, though, her attention flittered, attentive to air currents of molecular scents, semibreves of fragrance from the thick of things.

Pollens wafting over the moth’s antennae contoured space with an olfactory map of the terrain. The evil stink of spiders seeping from the fretwork of grasses repelled her. She beveled wings to glide higher, where exhausted clouds crawled away from daybreak.

At this height, in gluey light, she gazed at a landscape she recognized. Nocturnal breezes had tossed her frail body far from the highway where she had left Simon in his rusty Bronco. Below, upon scribbling streams of the Pine Barrens, she spied maroon scum, oxidized iron leached from sand by acids of rotting pine needles. She had returned to the exact locale where the previous day she had encountered the three strangers.

Slowly, in a juddering spiral, she descended. When she alighted on the protruding, inflexed anther of a pink blossom, she exploded. Noise like grinding truck gears ripped the gray morning, and the moth burst into whip-lengths of glittery gossamer. The flurry of lashing cords tightened, weaving a human shape. Abruptly, silence flared, and truant echoes returned to find Dara Egan sitting naked on a mat of pixie moss.

She wobbled to her feet, at wide odds with her sanity. A chill wind winnowed heat from her body and blew strands of pale hair across her face. Shivering, she stared into the opening day with fierce attention. Dawn clouds, staging the long light, imparted hyperreal luminosity to ditch banks of white cedar and bogs of pygmy conifers.

Her truck waited not far across this surreal tract of miniature trees, beyond a creek tickling the air with aqueous glints from inside a dark forest. She walked unsteadily in that direction and, after three paces, withered to a startling surge of dragonish vapors. Out of that uncoiling cloud, she bobbled, once more a moth in flight.

She swam in midair, more alert than before to this dream she believed she had fallen from. I’m not dreaming! she insisted, climbing a barber’s pole of wind. Obese fragrances of spring tugged at her antennae, luring her back to the blossom-strewn earth. The instant she drifted to where she had been standing, another abrasive blare unraveled the moth to shimmering, diaphanous cords, rapidly knotting a macramé human. And then, silence clapped, and she lay naked, facedown on the cold, mossy ground.

Weaker, she had trouble sitting up. When she steadied herself, she spotted a tall, gaunt woman approaching from the west through the diminutive trees. The crone, with morning’s amber rays in her smoky hair, waved a gnarled hand that glittered with rings. She wore witch garb, a wind-washed black gown braided with complex knots that dangled bone fragments and flashing amulets of mirror chips and quartz nodules. A staff of bleached wood entwined with copper and silver wire braced her quick gait. Topping this warped walking stick, a geode cracked morning light into new colors of blue hi-jinks and pink drizzles. Behind her, clouds massed into a raincliff.

The witch shouted something in a garbled voice; then, thumped her staff repeatedly in syncopation with her stride. Her mouth seemed to blur for an instant, and she spoke urgently in English, “Stay where you are, child!”

Dara swayed upright and retreated unsteadily before the hurrying old woman, whose eyes enlarged with concern.

“Stay!”

Syrupy with fatigue, Dara’s movements pulled her away slowly, and the crone rushed forward and seized the young woman’s wrist. A warm scent of soft-crack candy tempering over slow heat came from a place she could not see.

“One more backward step and you will collapse to a moth again. Too much of that and you’ll lose the energy to be human.” This close, the tight pupils of the witch’s eyes carried twin stars of the rising sun. “Do you understand?”

Blood pounded, loud even through the torn silk packed deep in her ears. “No.”

“A yájati has punctured you with the shiv’morfa and obliterated the world from which you have come.” She released the young woman and unfolded a midnight-blue blanket she had draped over her shoulder. “Put this on.”

The fabric smelled like the old woman, of melted sugar. “Who are you?”

“I am the mad woman.” She grinned vigorously, aged teeth even, flawless, yet shadowy as bad luck. “I call myself Black Oak now. That’s what Darragh means in the old tongue, you know. Personal names signify something else where we are going. Look, I am the child you are as an old woman. Look, Dara. Look!”

Dara pulled the soft blanket tighter about her and took in the bone-lines supporting raisin flesh – and that estranged fleck of gold at two o’clock in the blue of her right iris ... the same birthmark in her own eye.

“How?” Her ardent stare scrutinized the seamed old face, recognizing herself. “Am I dreaming?”

“No. You are not dreaming. Not any longer. In your former world, all humanity is dreaming. Few ever wake.” The crone gently took Dara’s elbow and urged her to walk away from the invisible boundary. “Were you never struck by the oddity of a species endowed with so complex a brain dedicated to such paltry pleasures and brutal atrocities? You have woken from that foolish dream now.”

“You can’t be ... me.”

“Temporal paradox?” Black Oak guided Dara across the soft ground among pygmy pines while casting anxious glances left and right. “A deep misunderstanding. You must forget everything you think you know about time. And causality. Those are illusions. There is no time. No flow of events. Not in the sense you understand.” The aged double paused and waved her staff slowly before her, seeking direction by some arcane method. “We must move from this place. And quickly. Factors of the Omega Free Frame are coagulating as we speak.”

“I don’t understand.”

“You are in grave danger.” Dara’s eyes in aged sockets glared, then looked again for the way ahead. “After all you’ve been through since yesterday, what more do you need to know?”

“What is happening to me?” Dara scanned the familiar landscape, a sharp taste of salt in her mouth and her echoing heart driving hard. “A moth? I changed into a moth! How is that even possible? Am I hallucinating?”

“No. Your DNA has been altered.” Black Oak found the route she wanted and pulled Dara after her. “A shapeshifter sequence of genes has intercalated your chromosomes. When the shiv’morfa punctured you, genetic instructions saturated your entire body, directing each cell to transform instantly into lepidopteran structures whenever you enter the planet’s magnetic field at any significant distance from the Kruskal-Szekeres Radial Corridors. You have been exiled from your former world by tremendous powers beyond reckoning.”

“Kruskal-Szekeres...” Dara pulled up short and yanked her arm free of the witch’s grip. “The three men...” She remembered in a voice almost too cold for words. “One of them stabbed me.”

“The technology is known as ‘developed adapter perfusion genomics.’ DAP-G. Combinatorial DNA of different species used to create new synergistic species – or, as in our case, to shapeshift among species.”

“There is no such tech.”

“You’re right to be frightened.” Black Oak faced her with the strange glamour of pity in her well-known eyes. “You sense your small life among vast, elliptical horizons.”

“Please. Tell me. What is happening?”

“The Artificial General Intelligences that the old man warned you about?” The crone flashed nervous glances to the horizon and then fixed Dara with a desperate stare. “They already exist. The worldscape you grew up in and occupied for twenty-six years – that’s a demilitarized zone. A buffer between warring AGIs.”

Dara swayed where she stood, dizzied by the hopeless distance to her former life. Only cold points of rain shooting off the west wind kept her from swooning.

“Preterit human cultures, like your civilization, are canaries in the mine shaft.” Black Oak draped an arm over the young woman’s shoulders and spoke gently as they continued walking. “Human societies deform – or die – when transentience breaches the DMZ. Hominid brains are such specialized bubbles of Darwinian-shaped perceptions that they burst apart, explode into full blown psychosis whenever in the direct presence of true transentience.” She lowered her voice to a whisper. “You don’t know what I’m talking about, do you?”

“You work for the old man?”

“No. I’m you.” She smiled sincerely and used her staff to knock aside dried bramble blocking their way. “I’m you come back from my failures, come back to guide you. Follow me, and I will take you to the Factories, the outer fringe of the DMZ, where homo sapiens and other sentiences, organic and otherwise, exploit the crumbs of AGI technology – while trying to avoid AGI interference.”

“The Factories – ”

“Worlds where we manufacture our own realities.” Black Oak’s gown hissed against surrounding pine bristles as she picked up the pace. “Aggressive worlds – dangerous realities.”

“And the old man? His companions?”

“The old man – way outside the DMZ.” The crone threw a troubled look over her shoulder at the bright rim of the world. “He’s the Executive Programmer for this worldsheet.”

“God.”

“From a hominid perspective – yes.”

“I’ve read this idea before.” A helpless, fateful feeling opened into memory. “This is Edward Fredkin’s theory. The notion that the universe is a computer.” Dara stopped walking, her bare feet abraded and sore. “This cosmic computer is solving a problem, and the solution won’t be known until the end of time.”

Black Oak halted and spoke distractedly as she gazed into the geode atop her staff, “Yes, Fredkin is the preterit human who first recognized the processing architecture of the universe.”

“Preterit … from the past?”

“Pre-singularity – before the Primary Artificial Intelligence came online.” The old woman darted an alarmed look at Dara. “The Factors have congealed!” She aimed her walking stick at the rising sun. Among dawn clouds like citrus peelings, orbs of lunatic radiance gyrated.

Something like the volute silence inside a rose expanded in Dara’s chest. “Those are the spheres that took the child last night.”

“The child was bait.” The old woman cried. “They are coming for you!”

# # #

6 Comments:

Blogger Firebird said...

Appearing at the edge of the clearing I spoke quickly, aware that the essence was slipping. "Stop". "You". "Where is your occlusion?"
Suddenly the trees were far away and my arms were branches where squirrels ran pathways of possibility through the field effects of a different place. But he had not moved. He looked like an angel. No I don't mean that. He wore the multiform of that archetype too casually for it not to be real. It was not a game, at least not at this moment. He turned and spoke a complex of nested geometries. The molecular map of his meaning overlayed upon the landscape, caressing it with pure consciousness. The world recalibrated itself as he held out his hand towards me.

June 27, 2010 at 6:12 AM  
Blogger Firebird said...

BirdTribes

June 27, 2010 at 6:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Morning!

RD here...Other powers and intelligences that take den with us in dreams.

Blood of Muntiny Angels (disguised as twilight).

'The seeing only see this world'.

The Fermi discovery...high-energy bubbles extending like blood angel wings from the black hole daddy...
If astronomers can see similiar ovoids extending from easily observable edge on galaxies/that's one thing and interesting/if no energy wings are associated with other galaxies/then it is many orders of magnitude more interesting.
If so, the energy wings are rather recent and would involve superluminous evidence...like squeezing a singularity and voila!
It would appear to be an identification marker for this, our galaxy. Think human beings and this planet have something to do with it?
No doubt...as a superluminal entity is here on this planet...right now...a runaway spirit/so to speak.
I have not forgotton you...
Things have been happening here/The old guy Islander shaman's may be a bridge for intro to an older and closer group of shaman that exist in the continental USA.
I will use my RD em and contact you.
I do worry some...as to your health...I know that you are acquiring the gift to be able to ascend to the lip of the caldera/way up the volcano of Alpha Ralpha Blvd.

January 18, 2011 at 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You see!

What is the diff, between pre-singularity AGI's and pre-existent spirit.

You've come a long way daddy, since 'Radix'.

January 18, 2011 at 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rd here...still collating.

Sorry about those last em's..that the way injuns comm sometimes...4th world squares trying to fit in 3rd world spheres..

January 26, 2011 at 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RD here...

"Dark Flow" encasement...estimated distance 13,700 billion light years.

The boundary as it were.

The encasement boundary may be a band.
The attractor band forms this our universe as a 2-dimensional sheath.

Additional information/estimated 100 sextillion Stars now re-estimated @ 300 sextillion!

Age of Milky Way approx. 13.2 billion.
50 million years after initial formation of galaxies.

Probability of Earth and human bioform artificialty now @99.999 per/cent.
Titanic battle must be occuring now/without human knowledge. Human beings are naturally occluded.
The local galaxy and the universe
of stars must be teeming with post physical entities.
The majority of them being arseholes.
I truly know/that the Great Ones are compassionate and merciful as regards suffering humankind.
The elders of the Islands must
know this also.

February 1, 2011 at 2:16 PM  

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