Thought I’d share the opening prologue of my work in progress. Have to admit after so many thousands of pages into this work – writing, rewriting, revising, incorporating both current philosophy and the sciences, utopian and dystopian thought, political, religious, and secular atheistic extremes, and the sequences of world building, etc. I’ve finally begun to see an overall scheme emerging, a narrative that is shaping itself into a strange and wondrous thing. One never knows where it will take you… but after a couple years a shape has been solidifying out of the chaos of writing, a way of seeing how the trends of political, technological, and socio-cultural worlds might take shape after the so called Singularity Event that many believe is both inevitable yet open and unknown. So like many a science fictional work – its part fantasy and an inflow from the Real.
The Assemblage of Sarniis – Part One – After the Fall of Man
Long before the sun went dark,
in an age before time grew long and sweet,
on the planets forgotten among dead stars –
sundered and silent, one came… a Stranger,
an Exile, came to us out of the great emptiness
at the edge of things; one who knew our pain,
our suffering, and our labors; one who fought
with us during the long Night of Knives,
before the great and terrible day of Wrath;
one who brought us the dark gnosis:
The universe was formless and void,
darkness was over the surface of the deep,
and the Abyss was hovering over the vastation,
where Time’s Infernal Paradise awakened…”
– Book of the Abyss
Private Chambers of Lady Mohenjii Song Xi
“Lady Song Xi,” the young clone spoke slowly and carefully in the prescribed manner: “the Archonii Directorate’s Proconsul, Tiberius Romulus Ka’diri is awaiting you in the Library.”
The Pontiff studied the young Buntings as they flew from branch to branch across the enclosed arboretum far below her night chambers, their delicate colors of scarlet, indigo, emerald, and chartreuse flashing brightly under the artificial sun of the Assemblage’s spheroidal sky. The machinic rays breaking through the early morning mists rising off the canopy of hybrid trees. Young novitiates of the Gylanic Order could be seen planting and harvesting, working the soil, feeding the mixture of genocentric and artisymbiont lifeforms.
She felt the tug of duty calling her away from this world of light and peace. So that old goat has come at last… such a petty man, full of guile and subterfuge. Let him think he has the upper hand, let him walk away satisfied he has conned the Council with his lies… pah! What an idiot they send to me!
Her thoughts roamed to her daughters who would soon enter the novitiate, begin the years of training, learning and shaping their young lithe bodies and minds to care of the Assemblage. She’d done it herself many years ago, what seemed like several lifetimes… So many years lost, so many deaths…
She stilled her mind, began the ritual of rational exigency, set the protocols of her connective inlays, and broadcast the imperceptible messages that would awaken the Artifex from her withdrawal in the Void.
She turned to the clone: “Tell the Old One we shall meet him within the hour.”
“But…” the young clone’s eyes widened; yet she said nothing, knowing disputation was cause for a severe mimetic splicing. She’d seen those who argued with these Witches of the Gylany: the blank eyes, the silent minds, each an obedient and compliant shadow of their former modes. No she would keep silent, her mind emptied of fear or threat.
“Within the hour… now go!” Her eyes shifted from a subtle grey to black as the Artifex’s fire began to awaken within her.
She saw the subtle inflections, the quivering movement of the clone’s consilient training, as if she could remain undetected in her anger and astonishment. How these clones taxed her, their subservient outer forms, the rituals of effacement; yet, behind the subterfuge was the affective truth of these animals. Someday these clones would have to be merged into the enclaves matrix. And soon…
The young clone knew not to say another word. She bowed and backed out of the alcove in the insular manner of obeisance that her Order required, effacing her presence with each step she took into the receding hall. She closed the door without a word or allowance of her eyes lifted to meet the Artifex’s Pontiff.
Mohenji heard the voice of the Artifex murmuring within the Void, its mind churning like a galactic fold of light, spinning upon the turnstile of some impenetrable black hole of memory and knowledge only she had access too.
“Good morning, Mohenjii,” the voice soft and eloquent. “Are you ready?”
I hate it when she addresses me the familiar form… Lady Song Xi sighed. Was she ready? She’d always been ready. She was shaped to this office by powers and networks of knowledge, by machinic intelligences lost in the darkest night of the great transition, long after the age of human divergence and dispersal.
In the depths of her inner gaze she felt even if she did not see the dark machinic intelligence of the Artifex, and said, “You and I were made for this, yes?”
The silence grew as if behind that dark wall of her mind there was a malevolent laughter surging from some foreign and uncanny center of nothingness so full of terror her heart stopped for beat. Then she turned outward and away… her body shivering in its animal disgust at having become a pawn in the weave of power she could neither resist nor unbind.
She gazed across the arboretum one last time, seeing one lone bird-of-paradise, its golden-black wings ablaze in the artificial light. Then she turned to the connecting spawn point in her chamber that would alight her within the Library of Time. Just before she entered the circular quantum field she laughed: The old fool thinks he is winning… let him!
Then as if from elsewhere the Artifex echoed her thought: “Yes, let him!”
She entered the silver shadowed circle of light, her rippling flesh bonding with the quantum mist, twisting among its bends and loops until the consilient knot in one singular motion touched the Void. She was gone. From a distance, far below her night chambers, the metallic clamor of artificial birds rose above the emerald canopy of the forest toward the spheroidal sun.
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– Steven Craig Hickman ©2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.
Hope you enjoy! I left this in the publish mode… I’ll see you in a few days!