Thursday, March 05, 2009

I Am the Resurrection

In the Country of the Blind ~ Alan Pollack

Everybody knows that it’s bad luck to pass the Souq without closing your soul-gate; and to enter is ill advised by those who value all sense of decency.
My mentor used to say that no good ever came from the Souq, he would list its sins on his fingers:
  • Profit-Gain Viruses such as Gate-loggers who suck all the thoughts from your pattern, leaving you incapable of complex-function and easy prey for the slave traders who lurk in the shadows and alleys of the necropolis;
  • Mischief Viruses like The Imp of the Perverse whose sole purpose is to countermand your subroutines while pumping your serotonin levels to disguise his actions.
…to name but two

But what are we if not obliged to disregard the advice of our elders?

The Gatekeeper gives me the eye, the firewall bank glittering behind him in his booth.

Thyristor passes me at the entrance, a white lace hem of prejudice showing on his brow. He gives no sign of recognition other than a subtle angling of his sleep-stick in my direction – a convenient tree on which to lynch his fears.

My proximeter sensors shriek briefly before readjusting personal space parameters to the environment. Colours collide while vendors leer and lurch across my path offering:
  • Neurotic body imaging
  • Plasmetal endo-skeletal enhancements
  • Third-eye upgrades and Zen Armour
  • Pre-EMP operating systems for that retro feel
  • Adrenaline courses and endorphin patches
…they say if you can’t get it here, you can’t get it anywhere.


As I approach his stall, Nand graces me with a lop-sided smile (probably a result of overuse of his own product), as he offers me a free sample of his latest code-hit, “This’ll make your gates tingle baby,” he promises.
“Leave my gates outta your sales-pitch Nand; I’m here to see my ‘sistor”

She emerges from the stall, umbilicals, her lifeline to the code, writhing black angel wings from between her shoulder blades, her irises enhanced and multicoloured, “What brings you up here among the heathen?”
Before I can change my mind I activate the initiate sequence: my arm strikes out with precision honed in the simulator – I plug directly into her neck-port.

I activate the psalm-code.

I see the Souq from behind her multicoloured irises – I feel the shock of commerce suddenly halted by the psalm-code – watch the pieces of leeched-on programming decay before my scrutiny – I fly through the room – see it in its broken down components – I see Thyristor, his dream stick unsheathed; the dull blade at the short end pierces the gatekeepers throat while the long end with its wetware is wired into and overriding the firewall – I am the cleansing light that runs between the lines of code that constitute the Souk – I am the new the old the right the light I am I am I am I 01 10010111100111001101010100101000101101010110100100 000001 001 1 1


Candie Bracci said...


"I'm the new,the old,the right,the light"
and then...uh?
now it's you who talk about cryptic post?;)

James Higham said...

I feel the shock of commerce suddenly halted by the psalm-code

And it will be too - I was thinking this this morning.

Anonymous said...

You are the Ghost in the machine...

CherryPie said...

Or even the guiding light in the machine!

Pisces Iscariot said...

Candie: Cryptic yes, in the true sense of being “to do with code and encoding” The zeros and ones are, as sci-fi fans and computer geeks will tell you, binary code – the most basic language of computers.
James: You needn’t to be a Luddite to see how the replacement of practical skills with cyber-based, user-friendly interfaces leaves the systems we employ (not only commerce) vulnerable to catastrophe/corruption from the most obscure sources.
This is one of my favourite dystopian themes: the descent of man into a new dark age with the catastrophic collapse of cyber-technology.
SubTorp & CherryPie: Yes, every machine needs a ghost (and perhaps a guiding light) – only when the geeks can program a true ghost will they achieve the holy grail of artificial intelligence ;)

Anonymous said...

Pisces-that reminded me of Frederick Pohl's "Heechee Rendevous", where the main character has died, only to have his brain converted into actual computer data. Very interesting.

Yodood said...

We needn't wait for cyber breakdown to see how the convenience of our prosthetics have made of them necessities we rank ahead of natural food and health.

I just had a thought of people coming out of their cyber-isolation when your catastrophe overtakes the intertubes, trying to meet each other by shaking hands with fingers that are little more than calloused nubs differentiated as little as required for text messaging and other "actions." nlol:c