Monday, March 12, 2012

Terms & Conditions

penumbra . 16

The Carpathians are a race whose misfortune it is to be possessed by the spirit of wonder – gardeners in spirit and in doing, they bring to life between their labours and their fingertips the most verdant and meticulously un-uniform families of flower; as if by constant experimentation with grafting and splicing they may create the answer to all of their most private and existential questions.
Nevertheless, without their continued labours – continued in the face of the ultimate crisis – the looming surface of the moon will bring about the final act of that crisis; a collision of unthinkable consequences.

Often, in the throes of a particularly vivid chlorophyll dream, DeSandro experiences the odd sensation of alienation from his own shell. He stands outside himself and looks around, unburdened by that which constantly reminds him that he is indeed him, and is allowed to obtain a objective view of his world.
And looking at himself and his place within that world he wonders why he continues to work. He isn’t being paid; who needs money when there is nothing left to buy?
And yet he keeps on doing it; feeding this machine, this so-called Saviour Machine.
A very Carpathian man.
In earlier times his recreational flirtations with his mind would have, if known, been frowned upon by the authorities; seen possibly as an adoption of less tasteful traits of the citizens of MantraRay: pride and self-regard. But these are not earlier times; here on the precipice DeSandro’s flirtations can only be admired as acts of immense bravery.
He is aware, even as he carries out his managerial duties, that to focus on the apparent futility of his existence is to deny his role in the complex interactions of the remains of a society so small-minded as to allow its leaders carte blanche with power. He cannot help but wonder why they had not torn those leaders down before it had come to this; why hadn’t someone pushed the emergency stop button?
From the vantage point of the treetop eerie afforded to him by his chlorophyll dreams DeSandro sees clearly that politics, the politics of human relations, is a contract of trust.
These thoughts are an inner landscape almost as barren as the one outside.
DeSandro wonders just how far he is prepared to travel.
Perhaps it is only the yawning chasm of hopelessness that keeps him swimming against the current.
Somehow in the middle of all this, DeSandro considers himself to be in a position of privilege.
In the overall picture of the world – the bigger picture – he is suspended - like a spider trapped at its waiting place – between those above, in suspension and those below, in despair.
A position of privilege nevertheless, and one that seems to bear out the benefits of the Carpathian way.

The creation of antilight cannot be seen by the naked eye.
Indeed, even an eye clothed in light filtration lenses - infrared or ultraviolet or any of the ones in-between - cannot see the most subtle birth of antilight.
[Extract from a sales tract for John Smith’s Black Hole Sunscreen Oil]

While it can be argued that the possession of power holds the greatest advantage in just about every historical event, physical location is of prime importance in the event of global catastrophe.
The Canals, their sides streaked with rust, their flat beds long reaped or scorched of the ubiquitous kelp, now serve as high-risk motorways for convoys of migrants heading for MantraRay in the hope of finding sanctuary within the city’s boundaries.
While the triangle of cities, MantraRay, Carpathia and Golgotha Sestri had, prior to the end of the world, been a successful interchange of goods and services, there had remained nevertheless those whose lack of resources had made it difficult to gain access even to entry level strata in the societies of those cities; societies that had considered themselves ‘civilised’.
These unfortunates are now forced to flee their once spartan lands, made barren and all but inhospitable by the approaching moon. And where is left for them flee to since Golgotha Sestri, never a destination of choice, has long since fallen to the desert and Carpathia, due to her location, still has enough power and resources to repel all non-invited boarders?
MantraRay: a city that once took pride in its artistic intent; a city that considered itself the centre of all things cultural.

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2 comments:

Harlequin said...

wonderful stuff.... a real carpathian tale (or so it seems to me!)

Garth said...

DeSandro's role in the story became clear to me last weekend - it will be revealed in Episode 28 ;]