aliaspseudonym: (Default)

The reality created by the azathoth exists as a standing wave in n-dimensional space. Its 'shape' can be thought of in terms of an electron orbital, which is also a standing wave.

As you can see, many of these structures are non-contiguous. There is some probability of an electron existing in two or more places separated by nodes or planes where there is zero chance of an electron existing.

What we think of as 'the universe' is only one contiguous portion of our universe. There are an unknown number of others, separated by very thin layers of outside. Beings from these other parts of our reality are called Neighbours. Neighbours exist within the same reality-wave we do and are therefore subject to similar rules and in theory comprehensible to use, however subtle differences between the different segments of reality can in practice mean these beings are almost as alien as some Outsiders.

The fae Neighbours live in an adjacent segment of reality, across a thin plane of Outside called the Wall. Sentience is more prevalent in their 'universe', and forces we consider magical or supernatural are fundamental to the natural order of things there. Fairies are better suited than we are to weather the Outside and smaller ones are able to cross the wall, however they risk damaging themselves in the process. Sometimes they drag humans across the wall with them, which increases the risk of damage to both the human and fairy, though it's still better than the human crossing alone.

Summoners are able to create bridges to allow safe passage across the wall, and may also allow fae beings normally too great to slip through the cracks to cross safely as well.

outside

Aug. 5th, 2013 05:03 pm
aliaspseudonym: (Default)
The outside is a sea of white light, an infinity of energy in semi-stable waves. Time moves forward and backward and in stranger directions. Standing waves shift gradually and sometimes form very complex patterns; sentient or semi-sentient entities can develop. These we call Outsiders.

Some outsiders, for unknown reasons, roam around gathering as much of the endless sea of energy into themselves as possible, growing to incredible size (though the outside has no real sense of scale). We call these outsiders azathoths. When an azathoth has absorbed enough energy and often engulfed several smaller outsiders in the process, it begins to collapse in on itself, bending the timespace and energy waves around it and creating a bubble, a dark spot in the sea of white. Eventually it contracts down to a single point, a vast amount of energy condensed into almost zero physical space. The resulting explosion creates what we think of as reality. Within the azathoth’s bubble, time flows in one direction and physical laws and constants remain static. Our reality bubble contains not only what we think of as our universe but also a multitude of alternate realities and otherworlds reachable by various forms of magic.

Certain kinds of outsiders have an affinity for our type of universe and are drawn to it. As it ages, the bubble naturally develops small tears that allow smaller outsiders to reach inside and manifest themselves. Eventually, when our universe approaches its final heat-death, these tears will open completely and the whole bubble will dissolve. For now, they merely allow strange beings to invade our reality for various purposes.

Most outsiders we simply cannot comprehend in any way, but the outsiders who cluster around our universe were drawn there because they relate to its nature in some way. Outsiders who actually manifest within our world must allow the bubble’s rules to shape them somewhat. The resulting manifestations are still very alien, but sentients from our universe are usually able to at least communicate with them.

The ‘tears’ in our universe often take unexpected forms. It is relatively common for a ‘tear’ to exist within the mind of a sentient being. People who contain/embody tears are called summoners, and have a certain affinity for the outside and for outsiders. Powerful summoners are said to be able to hear the voices of outsiders begging for a way in.

Outsiders often form pacts and contracts with summoners, in which the outsider will help the summoner in some way in exchange for access to the world. Contracts are more formal arrangements which end when both sides fulfill their obligation, pacts are more informal and involve a relationship between the summoner and outsider.

Most commonly, outsiders want summoners to grant them a haunt or a hallow. Outsiders can project a physical body into our world, but cannot keep it stable outside the influence of a summoner or rift unless they also have a haunt or hallow. A haunt is often described as an outsider’s footprint in our world. To create one, a summoner must perform a ritual that allows a significant portion of an outsider to enter our world and ‘possess’ a place. The smallest possible haunts are spaces like closets, but outsiders of such small size are quite rare. Most haunts are between the size of a bedroom and a large house; outliers on the large side can be the size of an entire town.

Hallows are found at the heart of the haunts of outsiders who are very firmly entrenched in our world. Other outsiders can be thought of as containing little universes of their own; hallows are places where those pocket universes overlap with ours. The influence of the outsider is exceptionally strong in this place and physical laws may not be as expected.

There are two unusual classes of outsiders encountered in our universe. The Unwelcome, sometimes called intruders, are entities that should not be here. They may be parasites or may have taken a wrong turn somehow in the chaos Outside; there’s no real way of knowing. The Unwelcome are antithetical to the existence of our reality bubble and do not conform to its rules the same way normal visitors do. They are probably sentient but nobody has ever successfully communicated with them. Their presence causes bizzare and damaging distortions to time and space and they must be removed as soon as possible.

Insiders are the Outsiders that were originally engulfed by the azathoth before our reality was created. Unlike all other Outsiders, they exist entirely within our reality and its laws have grown up to accommodate their existence. They all have important functions within reality, most of which we do not understand. We are most familiar with the handful of insiders who act as the universe’s immune system, eliminating the Unwelcome and acting to repair or prevent large, uncontrolled tears and rifts.

Carcosans

Jul. 25th, 2013 12:01 am
aliaspseudonym: (Default)
THE GARDENERS

The people of the blue planet programmed the miracle pods with specific instructions. They were designed to produce ecosystems dominated by a single sentient species of individuals, derived from the colonists. Most of the races are the produce of this program running under various circumstances.

One miracle pod was damaged during landing in such a way that caused it to revert to its default programming. The result was the creatures called the carcosans, which developed far, far faster than the other races and were crawling between the stars by uncertain means long before the others finished the Change.

The carcosans are not a race of individuals. They are a complete and mostly symbiotic biosphere under the supervising control of a sentience called a gardener. Each known carcosan garden-planet has one gardener, however these gardeners apparently either fled or were banished from their home planet of Carcosa long ago, and on that planet they say there are many gardens and many gardeners living side-by-side.

The physical characteristics of the carcosans are extremely maleable and depend on the will and personality of their gardener, however in general they have much higher life-spans and better regenerative capabilities than other species. The gardeners themselves are, as a sentient entity, immortal short of catastrophic decimation of their garden and can be reincarnated from the garden’s communal memory if their physical forms are destroyed. Some gardeners choose to exist in multiple forms simultaneously, occasionally bringing their various bodies together to sync their memories and personalities.

Carcosans are the only group besides the Sylphids who meet the criteria of a post-singularity race, and the gardeners have much more experience at modifying themselves than the Shining Ones. There is, however, so much variation among the known gardeners it makes more sense to talk about them individually.

Sylphids

Jul. 24th, 2013 01:55 am
aliaspseudonym: (Default)
SLYPHIDS

History: The sylphids claim they were aboard the very last miracle ship to leave the blue planet, which may or may not be true. Certainly they left the planet very late, after the fossil fuels were exhausted and much of the land mass was submerged. Their ship landed on Aurora, a small, hot planet orbiting a dangerously radioactive star. Despite the miracle pod’s attempts to make them resistant, the radiation made normal reproduction risky and the whole species nearly died off during the first century or so. The survivors were those who retreated into deep caves to avoid the radiation. In those caves they found rich seams of rare elements and metals and, by drawing power from the deadly sunlight on the surface, made rapid technological progress. They learned to integrate their electronics into their own bodies, and eventually completely changed their reproductive process so they could return at last to the surface.

Biology: Sylphids look more like base-stock humans than most races, but on a more fundimental level they’re actually some of the most significantly Changed. They have, for example, two extra chromosome pairs dedicated to genetic repair and tumour control -- only severely ill or immunocompromised sylphids suffer from cancers (members of other races should wear lead-lined protective clothing while visiting aurora, especially if they ever hope to have children.) Physically their tall and thin-boned body types reflect the relatively low gravity of Aurora.

Sylphids are also probably the race which has changed the most since the original Change. Modern sylphids, for example, do not really have sex chromosomes. The ‘Y’ chromosome proved to confer an unavoidable vulnerability to genetic damage that had a significant effect on average lifespan, so when they switched over to full artificial reproduction the sylphids simply discarded it.

Sylphids are grown in vats, sometimes from carefully designed seed cells and sometimes from genuine pseudosexual fusion of parent’s ‘eggs’. The juvenile sylphids live in lead-lined nurseries until the age of about 4, at which point their gametes (which mature very quickly in this race) are harvested for storage away from the sun, and they receive the cybernetic augmentations that characterize adults of the race. This system ensures that genetic material is never damaged by the harsh radiation.

Sylphid augmentations are primarily meant to make them better tool-users. Most sylphid tech has no interface that can be accessed without augmentations. Sylphids are also able to use a system originally designed to aid with fine manipulation to levitate themselves, and most use this as transportation instead of walking. When walking they project faintly glowing ‘wings’ near their shoulders; these projections are semi-solid and essential to the levitation process; if the ‘wings’ are disrupted the sylphid will stumble and possibly fall.

Culture: Sylphids do not use normal sexual reproduction and have no sex-linked traits. The sylphid concept of gender is related to the type of augmentation an individual has, with three broad categories and three associated pronoun sets. The actually difference between the different kinds of augmentations is, however, almost impossible to explain to races that don’t use them. A typical attempted explanation looks like “male augs are better at [becoming knowing] but slower, female augs are much faster at [illumination] but miss [shiny words] sometimes, EE augs are stronger but cause more [condensation] when [listening].” The third pronoun set is ee, eeir, ees.

Socially, ivory-tower intellectual jobs are typically thought of as male-gendered while engineering and design are female. The third gender is significantly rarer (about 10% of the population) and is typically associated with administrative, clerical and political positions. Gender changes occur occasionally as sylphids often tinker with their own augmentations. It is also relatively common for a sylphid to make modifications that technically shift their augmentation gender without bothering to change social gender.

Sylphids have no sexual orientations per se but do have sex, and use their augmentations during the process. Augmentations are in fact considered erotic and showing them is considerably more risque than showing genetalia; male sylphids wear robes with long hoods to hide the raised ridge of their back implants that would otherwise show through their clothing, females grow their hair out for the same reason. Third genders have smoother back implants that are not usually visible through clothing, they usually wear either shoulder-length hair or a turban-like head covering that covers the implants on the back of their necks.

Oddly, sylphids only have one word for food and no cultural tradition of eating for pleasure. Sylphid ‘food’ is rather unpalatable nutrient slop that is eaten purely for sustinence. There are a few animals and plants on Aurora that can potentially be converted into higher quality food, but the sylphids exclusively eat the calorie-dense, nutritionally complete secretion of a particular kind of green algae. Sylphids exposed to other race’s food for the first time have been known to gorge themselves dangerously.
aliaspseudonym: (Default)
I know very little about the Revenant Project, and I am supposedly its lead researcher on Aurora. They have us working on these implants, these bastard derivatives of our own cybernetic parts, but it makes no sense. We have modified the interface to accommodate Lop physiology and we have built this intricate intraneural network; we have no idea what they intend to do with it. The implantation procedure will kill the subject, I have told them a thousand times and they have ignored me. The microcomposite skin, the bone modifications, the enhanced ichor they want to use for blood, a living body simply won’t accept these augmentations. There will be infections and implant rejections and it’ll all be a nasty, expensive mess. They’d be better off removing the brain and building a new mechanical body for it from the ground up.

These Lops, they’re brutish but they aren’t stupid. They wouldn’t be spending this much time chasing after something impossible; they know something I don’t. I’ve heard, in communications I probably wasn’t supposed to overhear, the Lops talk about this as a three-part project. The Lops will be using their own weapons and combat training and it’ll be their people going through the process, that’s one part. They’re making us create the implants and augmentations, that’s two. The third part must be whatever’s going to make this monstrosity live. If it works, it’ll be a cyborg in a completely new way; not just technological augmentations grafted to a biological base, but the two woven together seamlessly into a singular technorganic being.

They wanted it wired for absolute obedience, which isn’t possible, but I’ve told them it is and put in a strong suggestion system that should pass for total control. I’ve also left a lot of the higher functions they wanted taken out, in. They’ll kill me for that if they find out, but they don’t understand this part of the project at all and I trust my staff not to turn me in.

If you’re reading this because you’re up against one of the things I helped create, looking for a secret weakness of some sort, I’m so sorry.

- Mx. Sky

Banshees

Jun. 21st, 2013 03:49 pm
aliaspseudonym: (Default)
In the early days of the occupation several of the Sylphid nurseries had the idea to engineer a resistance. They chose the most aggressive gene-lines and gave them unique wings designed for single combat. Called them Avengers. Ordinary Sylphids can project walls of hardened air with their wings and fend off enemies with sonic impacts; these Avengers could stop bullets and negate laser attacks, and slice enemies with blades of air. The project was, of course, a complete failure. The Avengers were never properly taught how to fight and most of them never showed any interest in the resistance; some of them defected to serve the Lop occupation as enforcers.

The Lops, with much crueler imaginations, soon realized that a species grown in vats can be recreated elsewhere without the inconvenient presence of other members of the species. With the help of a few Sylphid defectors they jury rigged a Sylphid nursery far away from Aurora and began to produce their own line of winged warriors.

Sylphid wings and implants draw energy from the charged air of Aurora; any Sylphid who spends too long outside the range of an energy broadcaster is reduced to a power-starved half-life. The Lops could not afford to run energy broadcasters everywhere they wanted their warriors to go. The program stalled for a few years, until one particularly unsavory researcher realized that the floating cyborgs were both highly resistant to radiation and able to project radio-shielding. It proved possible to graft micro-sized nuclear reactors onto the subject’s backs. The reactors could be made light enough by cutting back dramatically on shielding and demanding that its carrier project a neutralizing barrier around it at all times. The Sylphid itself would be within the barrier and would be cooked by the radiation, but very slowly.

Unlike the Avengers, these beings, dubbed Banshees by their engineers, were raised by the warlike Lops and learned to use their abilities to deadly effect. They knew nothing of Aurora or the other Sylphids and, in theory, existed only to advance the aims of the Lop military. In practice they proved dangerous and difficult to control and were phased out after the first prototype Revenants proved to be much more reliable super-soldiers.

A significant number of Banshees remain alive, either independently or as part of the Lop military. Some of them are trying to contact their true homeworld of Aurora, others seek to gain control of the nursery that produced them to continue the line to their own specifications. Some work as freelance bounty hunters or bodyguards, and a few have simply gone into hiding in hopes of being left alone.

Chapter 1

Jun. 2nd, 2013 11:10 am
aliaspseudonym: (Default)
This is the first part of a story about fairies and other things.


A girl was walking in the rain, about halfway between school and the train station that would take her home. She wore a dull orange raincoat with the hood pulled tight around her head and walked slowly, dawdling occasionally to watch streams of water drain into the sewer grates. She didn’t mind the rain, not when it was warm and relatively light. She liked the sounds of water and the way the world looked when everything was wet.

Her name was Autumn. She was going to miss her train home, but that was okay; there would be another train in ten minutes or so. She was probably going to fail an essay in intro to philosophy, which was due at midnight and which she hadn’t started -- that was less okay, but she’d still pass the class, probably. Her boyfriend of four months had finally broken up -- by text message -- after avoiding her for two weeks; that was definitely not okay but there wasn’t a whole lot she could do without it besides cry, which she had already done earlier that afternoon and seemed redundant when it was raining anyway.

He had been following her for several minutes already by the time she saw him. He could smell her wistful loneliness, her lack of purpose or direction. He was still sizing her up when she turned, dark eyes raking across him. There was strength in that gaze, almost enough to rip through his glamours and charms like so many cobwebs. But not quite, not here in the rain between places. He stepped forward.

He was average height with a slightly rounded figure and wore a knee-length raincoat of a deep and vivid blue-green which hung open, showing an odd, patchwork vest of shades of brown. His pants and shirt were deep green, his hair was brownish, and the whole lot of him was soaking wet. His smile was radiant and there was a slow, fluid, confident sway to his walk. The word ‘beautiful’ rose unbidden in Autumn’s head. She was not used to applying the word to boys and men, but it seemed more appropriate than the alternatives for this odd person.

He said, “Hello,” and she replied,

“Hello. Why don't you put your hood up?”

He shrugged. “I like water.”

She nodded slowly. They were walking side-by-side toward the train station, now. “I’m Autumn.”

“You can call me Viridian,” he said. “I thought you looked lonely.”

“Yeah,” she said, and, staring into the rain ahead of them, she told him about her now ex-boyfriend, about his laughter and smile and his kind of funny-looking nose and how nice her hand felt in his, about how he’d slowly lost interest in her, drifted away. She told him about school, about her frustration with her written assignments, about the overall lack of direction that was slowly undermining her life. She wasn’t sure why she told him any of this--she was a habitually silent person and rarely discussed her own life even with close friends. Something about the rain, and the walk, and the warmth of his presence beside her, made the talking easy. It felt good, like the rain was washing her worries away even as she spoke them. Occasionally he would nod and say something sympathetic and encourage her to continue.

She realized, once she was finished, that she had spoken for at least ten minutes and that they must surely have passed the station by now. She looked around to try to get her bearings. The rain was coming down as a sort of dense, slowly descending mist, now, and she could hardly see anything.

“Don’t worry,” he said. “We’re almost there.”

“Almost where?”

He stopped and turned to her, eyes twinkling. “Where are you going?”

“I don’t know. I mean... the train station, but we’ve passed that already, I should go back...”

“We are on the threshold,” he said. “From here we can step backward or forward.” He touched her hand and she felt a rush of strange euphoria, like the mist around her had leaked into her head. “Will you come with me?” She didn’t really understand, but had a indistinct feeling that she was supposed to say ‘yes’ and follow him. But, on a deeper level, she knew that she didn’t particularly want to. She brushed his hand away and said,

“I’m hungry, I really need to get home and start on supper. I should head back before I miss the next bus.” He looked disappointed and a little hurt, but he shrugged and the fog in her head dissipated.

“Alright,” he said, “We can step backwards for now. Um... would you accept a gift, and perhaps consider accompanying me on a later date?” He fished something out of the pocket of his raincoat and held it out to her.

It was a bracelet made of green and red coloured wire, woven together intricately to form a network of tiny vines and flowers. Even under the overcast sky, it sparkled and gleamed beautifully. Her eyes widened. “Did you make that? It’s very nice.” Autumn herself made and sold small things like this sometimes, usually made from clay, but this was far more elaborate than anything she’d made. She traced the wires with one finger and shivered a little. There was something unsettling about that pattern.

“Yes,” he said, looking extremely pleased with himself. “Took almost a week, very tricky to, um,” he stopped himself. “Do you want to try it on?”

“Can I really just have it? Don’t you want something in exchange?”

He frowned. “Only a promise that you’ll come through the door with me at least once.”

Autumn stood still, staring at the bracelet and listening to the rain. It was difficult to think in this in-between place, but she was distinctly aware of a right choice and a wrong choice.

She made the wrong choice. “Agreed. I’ll take it.”

His eyes widened and he fidgeted nervously with the bracelet as if suddenly having second thoughts. “You’re sure?” She nodded and extended her arm. He fastened it soundlessly around her wrist.

The rain stopped; she was at the station. She stopped for a moment and looked around--for a moment, she’d been certain there was somebody following her, but of course there was nobody nearby.

She took the train home and made herself supper, and it wasn’t until she finally sat down to write her essay that she noticed the strange and beautiful bracelet around her wrist. She had no idea where she’d gotten it and couldn’t seem to figure out how it unfastened. After a few minutes of toying with it she shrugged and gave up. It was very pretty, and very comfortable for something made of little wires, and she was sure she’d remember where it came from soon enough.

Sylphids

May. 27th, 2013 03:17 pm
aliaspseudonym: (Default)
The shining ones were the last to leave the blue planet. When the air was too dark to breath, they built the domed cities. When there was nothing left to burn they built enormous stations in the empty darkness to drink in sunlight and beam it back to them through the murky air. Only when Sol itself began to swell and burn strangely did they board the last of the miracle ships and set sail for the distant stars.

They awoke on a small, sunscorched, barren planet and they named it Aurora. The miracle ship gave them skin that drank in the harsh light and slim bodies that needed little sustenance, but as they spread they found their new star’s light shone through their buildings and their skin and burned their unborn children, so that many were born dead and deformed. They built lead houses for the child-bearers to hide from the light, but even then, the light burned away their virility and their population slowly dwindled.

The shining ones realized then that the miracle ship had failed them and took matters into their own hands. They built dark, lead-lined temples and, using the wisdom they carried from the blue planet, they grew their children in glass tanks from carefully cultured cells. As the temples rose the shining ones multiplied and built cities of glass and crystal until the once-barren Aurora was the most beautiful planet ever seen. The savage light of their star provided cheap, unlimited power, and they built great towers to broadcast that power into the air to be drawn on freely by all their machines and devices.

Slowly, then, the wisdom of the shining ones grew. They manipulated their own minds as they grew and implanted strange machines to better control their crystal computers. They grew tired of walking with their thin, frail bodies and gave themselves wings to fly about as they pleased. They turned their focus inward and learned to manipulate matter on the most fundamental level, to twist the very bonds between atoms to their augmented will. They built the Crystal City which was, at it’s height, the most glorious place in the galaxy.
aliaspseudonym: (Default)
I just got home from a week-long vacation and now people are asking me questions like “how did it go” and “did you have fun” and “what was your favourite thing?” And I reach back and come up with an awful lot of blankness. Did I enjoy myself? I think so. I smiled a lot. I did some things which are inherently pleasurable and fulfilling for me (eating sushi, climbing on rocks, exploring). I performed socially to the extent i was able to and was around people who were understanding of my need to withdraw when i ran out of steam. I saw many things i consider beautiful, which occasionally even overlapped with things my grandma considered beautiful, though i am much less fond of flowers. The experience overall was not stressful except for one afternoon where there was a possibility that i would be stranded in kelowna, but my grandma took care of that by calling the airport people for me.

The pictures are stranded on my grandma’s mac in kelowa because there is something wrong with my netbook’s SD card reader. it may take some time for her to figure out how to get said pictures here, but hopefully i’ll have them eventually.

i’m glad to be home, anyway.
aliaspseudonym: (Default)
As a young alien i read mostly to learn who i was,
which is the first use of stories--for the newly formed
to find what words in what order pulsates
through the fountanelle to resonate the zygomatic &
sphenoid bones--how else could they know
how they feel about spaceships & fairies
& monsters & dragons?


if i could be any bird i’d be
a magpie--if any animal, a hare
or maybe a cat. A magpie’s tail
is as long as the rest of its body.
These things are important &
worth thinking about.


i learned that i am someone
who wants to build inverted cities on the sky
& stare up at dusk at the streetlights as they
flare to life like newborn stars--i want to be
an architect of winds, of air, of thoughts, of playing cards,
of scrabble tiles each with a single letter, piling
up into words & sentences & paragraphs up into
the sky.


I am, i guess, one of the quiet ones--i knew
how to look through people, had to learn
how to look at them. It was, i think, in the stories
where i got the idea
to look inside them.


i love living things--i love things
that create themselves--i love
to play with them, to understand
how & where & why they grow,
& to gently guide them. The best stories
are alive too--a story, written, is only
a blueprint, a seed--a story, read, is a great tree of thought
that takes root slowly & springs up & branches into
who knows that kind of tree, or what fruit or what shade,
what shape & colour of leaves & flowers
you might find there.


The quiet ones have no spoken
language--though some are fluent
in human soundwords, they tire--we take shelter, sometimes
neath silent wordtrees with paper leaves that
take us to worlds where you can see
into the soul
without making eye contact.


I’ve learned i like words too much, i think,
to be a deconstructionist--for all their failings
you have to admire the brave little letters,
‘t-r-e-e’ for saying: i signify treeness--
look, i have seen many trees & they are
not all very much alike, and there is little of
t-r-e-e about them--yet, the wordchains can also
take you places: four letters can carry you away to
an entire universe of tree, which is surely
a sort of magic.


I’ve found the bad words, too, which bind & stifle
the growth of living things--names that burn brandlike
into the named, impose their meanings on the real:
weak or strong, natural or unnatural. The worst kind
of lie fights always to become true--look: i have seen
the sickly cities built from these lies; their supports are rotten--
they daily demand blood sacrifice
to oil ill-fitting gears & always they whisper:
“this is what must be done, there is no other way.”


I would be not just an architect, but
an arsonist of thoughts--i would build siege engines--
hurl flaming oil--sing firesongs. Bit by bit
the lies are burning. Piece by piece repair
the skycity. One by one the stars ignite
to light the way through the midnight gloom.


I want to burn it all down, & build a city
where it’s safe to be a boy or girl or
magpie, & to believe in everything or nothing, &
not even the quiet ones’
wordless language is drowned out. This
is what the stories taught me.

wormwood

Mar. 8th, 2013 12:41 pm
aliaspseudonym: (Default)
Alright. I was born about century ago, far away from here, but I spent the first half listening to a tree grow. Trees have a language of sorts, very slow and very quiet, easily drowned out. You have to let yourself slow down, to listen without thinking. I can't do it anymore. I've filled my head with the fast, flickering thoughts of creatures with heartbeats, and there's no going back. I tried once. I settled into the ground beneath a pine sapling and slowed my thoughts. Three days passed and I didn't hear anything and it felt like an eternity. I had to give up. It was hard to keep from crying, then. I worry, sometimes, that I'm losing even the memories of the things the tree and I talked about. The fast thoughts jostle and crowd out the slow ones.

One day men came with their logging equipment and chopped down my tree. I almost cried and I wanted to tear them to shreds or swallow them whole or something but my tree said something like, it's alright. I've been a tree for a while and now I'm going to be something else. That's alright. Don't hurt the heartbeat-creatures.

So I didn't, but I followed my tree and things happened incredibly quickly for a little while. It got turned into planks and the biggest part of it was made into a big, ornate cabinet and it was proud to be that. It ended up in a big house not too far from here and I watched it there for a while. I watched the heartbeat-creatures flickering around it a little too but I was so used to thinking slow, they were still too fast for me to follow.

I listened to my tree for another twenty years or so, maybe less, in that house. I slowly got better at keeping track of the other creatures. There was a boy who lived there for a while who sat still a lot and had a slow, quietness about his thoughts. I liked him best. Once he crawled right inside my tree and fell asleep and I tried to say hello to him in his dreams, but I appeared as a tree and trees can't talk to heartbeat-creatures, of course. He climbed me and played in my branches.

Eventually there was a fire and my tree burned to ashes along with some of the house, and that time I did cry, and my tears stained the ashes and the whole house and made strange things happen, like sometimes you could see my tree or the fire in reflections, and for a few years I haunted the spot and howled. The next owners made up some story about someone's lover being tragically murdered while waiting for him to pick her up and haunting the place forever, but really it was just me crying because my tree was gone.

After that I went halfway across the continent so that place couldn't remind me of my tree any more and I learned to speak to creatures with heartbeats and to walk the way they do, and a whole bunch of stuff happened that I'd really rather not talk about right now, but eventually the grief sort of faded and I made my way back here. And then ...
aliaspseudonym: (Default)
i'm not lost
i belong here.
i'm not lost, i belong here.
i'm not lost. i belong here.
i'm not lost.
i belong here.
aliaspseudonym: (Default)
i believe in alien gods.
i believe in wrong reflections.
i believe in other ways.
i believe that kindness is goodness.
i believe people.



(or, to unpack those,
i believe that other people's gods are real and their experiences of them are real even if i haven't experienced anything like that or even heard of their gods for that matter (xeno means 'strange/foreign or of strangers/foreigners')
i believe that people sometimes are really very different from how they look or are shaped
i believe that there's no One True Way for anything.
i believe that 'goodness' means 'being who you are/who you're meant to be, which is the original/root meaning of 'kind' (as in 'according to your kind') also that kindness in the modern sense, i.e. caring for others, is good.
when people tell me things about themselves i default to believing them.)

(licensed CC-by-SA)
aliaspseudonym: (Default)
In the land of the blind the one eyed man
meets a girl with short hair & clever fingers
at a bus stop on the way to a concert, &
she teaches him to play the guitar --

they break up later when the band breaks up
but they’re still good friends, & sometimes
he calls from the palace just to ask if she
wants to walk the coast with him again, &

listen to the
ocean breathing.
aliaspseudonym: (Default)
See the footprints –
here, and then here
ten paces apart at least –
See how she moves
smooth-flowing leap-to-leap
her feet strike the ground like a mighty hammer –
the earth might shake – spin backwards, but
instead she flies on.

for, see, the hare does not run. She flies
across the ground
flies ten times her length and when
the earth reaches up to claim her
strikes it down and flies on still –
faster than winds, faster than talons
that ride those winds –
faster even than her own fear she flies
& one day maybe death will outpace her
but today see! it lags behind, and her footsteps
shake the earth still.

poison

Mar. 10th, 2012 10:34 pm
aliaspseudonym: (Default)
i wanna know what the poison tastes like

when it drips from thoughtless tongues

to hiss and burn at other’s skin, other skins —

i wanna know the taste of the words as they curdle

& ferment in the mouth, taste like rubber & white-out

all chemical & ground up erasers

to bubble forth & paint the world synthetic sterile

white —

i wanna know the taste so i can choke it back,

not to spit aside but swallow, drink & let it burn

to the core of me till my heart pumps poison,

till my veins burn with knowledge —

till the fire shines in my eyes and flashes out

to scorch holes in the false blankness & sameness

till i can meet the eyes

of people who don’t exist,

because,

it’s all the same blood & all the same poison

distilled in thoughtless skulls

behind eyes that will not see

delivered in tiny doses, pinpricks,

dripping from between numb lips &

pouring from selfish pens

coating every surface, saturating thought & word —

it deadens the nerves & seeps into the soul & worst

worst of all it reaches deep

deep into the dark corners

& finds primal & selfish & slimey

something that really believes

you should stop existing, because

you are making me

uncomfortable.
aliaspseudonym: (Default)
i wrote a poem about hope once before. it was about whispers and wings and open cages, and it was very pretty, but it was sappy and i think it was wrong. i want to try again.


deep underground far from sight of the sky
under miles of concrete & stone -- left to die
from the pain & the fear pressing down from on high
every breath breathing poison too sickened to cry -- yet
there's a sound -- far & distant
but steady & strong -- it's a pounding,
a drumbeat, a heartbeat, a song
full of banging & cracking & splintering wood
till the doors crack wide open
& walls fall for good -- let the logs beat the gates
till the earth starts to shake -- let jailors take cover,
let barricades break -- & until that deep fortress
gives way to the slam --
let your hope be the sound
of the battering ram




(ouch my head rhyming is hard T-T)

interview!

Feb. 1st, 2012 12:06 pm
aliaspseudonym: (Default)
questions from jewel-fox, who seems to have MTG on the brain for some reason :P


1. Which color's your favorite in Magic, and why?

Blue, because floaty spirits and illusions and ghost bears. GHOST BEARS.


2. If you could make a custom deck using cards that don't exist yet, what kind would you use and what would it play like?

i'd want a blue deck of weird alien things! with lots of phase creatures that can't be blocked and cards that let you pull said creatures from your deck or play them at reduced cost. maybe some of them would require that you have special space lands

3. What would your fursona be like as a D&D / Pathfinder character?
I'm working on it XD
4. As a Magic card?
hmmm... i think maybe you could tap me to make any creature unblockable for the rest of the turn, and i'd give all your alien type cards a small boost to attack and larger one to defense o.o
5. Do you remember the Archenemy card "I Delight In Your Convulsions?" Because I did last night. ~.^
^///^;;;

i

Jan. 24th, 2012 11:02 am
aliaspseudonym: (Default)
I have mentioned a few times (albeit mostly on tumblr) being an alien, but it's occurred to me that 'alien' does call to mind images of things like spaceships and laser guns and little green or grey guys with big heads, and a lot of that is misleading. When i say 'alien' i just mean 'i'm not from around here.' So here is a story. Please note that this story is not meant to reflect actual facts so much as feelings of bigness and coldness and farness and emptiness; it's true in essence even if not strictly factual, because it describes me.

imagine a big round piece of rock and ice.

imagine it hurtling through deep space, light-years from everything.

imagine clinging to it, wrapping around it like the merest wisp of smoke, watching the stars go by. cold, but the cold is part of you, & alone, but that aloneness, singularity is at the core of you.

that's me.

then there's something bright from a very great distance

a little planet around a little star but

covered in tiny flames. warm & bright & so many

so i took very careful aim and,

i jumped.

fast and far as i could, skimming through nothing at the speed of thought

it took a long time & i started to miss my cold rock a bit but, eventually

i landed.

I wrapped myself around the whole blazing blue-green planet & for an instant i could feel see hear know every twitch every hair every blade of grass --

was too much, spread too thin, i had to jump again to the big, cold, empty rock in orbit -- it was comforting, reminded me of home.

i looked down & watched the little flames walk around on little legs & do things & say things but

none of it meant anything to me, & for the first time i felt not just alone but

lonely. &

i wanted to know what it meant.

i picked a big empty place & i made one last jump

i compressed myself down, down to almost nothing, down to to the size of a single cell. _became_ a single cell.



Later, i felt cramped and crowded and wasn't sure how to relate to anyone around me. I kept to myself and soaked up information about the physical world as quickly as i could, particularly information related to space and the stars. I avoided most social interactions because they felt uncomfortable and i didn't understand what the point was. Eventually, though (starting in late high school and continuing through university), i came to realize that the people around me were by far the most interesting things to study. Hence, i'm studying literature and biology to learn about people on a physical and mental level.

i guess that's about it?
aliaspseudonym: (Default)
 So, i was thinking earlier today (and i can't take all the credit for this, cause jewelfox and her series on otherkin were a big part of what got me thinking about this kinda thing) about belief, and otherkin, and spirituality and all that kinda stuff.

This is going to get kind of controversial right off the bat, i guess, but i'm going to come right out and say that the phrase 'i don't believe in _______' is an assumption, and furthermore a bad, hurtful assumption in many cases.

The obvious example is the atheist's 'i don't believe in god', but 'i don't believe in dragons' and 'i don't believe in fairies' and 'i don't believe in aliens' all fall into the same category of assertion.  The problem is that a statement of disbelief based on lack of evidence unpacks to a baseless assertion that the thing being disbelieved cannot exist.  i.e.

I don't believe in aliens.

is essentially the same statement as 

I believe that aliens do not exist.

Now, the sole article of evidence that can be offered for this statement is a personal lack of experience with extraterrestrials, so the whole logical statement is

I have never encountered an alien, therefore aliens do not exist.

Which is not so much a logical argument as an excellent demonstration of egocentric fallacy.

Now, to be completely fair, in the case of aliens most people actually mean

I believe that humanity has never encountered aliens.

which is based on the much less dodgy premise that such contact would probably have left behind some level of concrete evidence.  Still, underlying that premise are a lot of assumptions about the nature of alien existence and the way in which they operate.  Likewise, the atheist's argument against god is generally aimed at a specific god and often has significant logical weight behind it.  Unfortunately, atheists almost never restrict their claims of disbelief to the god with which they have a bone to pick, or for that matter even to beings which are commonly defined as gods.  Thus, the skeptical atheist's worldview rests on the notion that

I have never encountered the supernatural, therefore the supernatural does not exist.

which cannot by any stretch of the imagination be considered logical or rational.

That said, i must admit that i cannot actually fault this sort of disbelief purely on grounds of being an assumption.  Logic is a neutral beast that yields results based on the assumptions that we feed it, and you've got to feed it something or you'll get nothing out.  My actual purpose here is to examine (and question) the grounds under which assumptions like 'the supernatural does not exist' are made.

As we develop (and 'we' here refers to all thinking beings) we form a rough framework of how the universe operates.  We then use this framework to judge all incoming information.  We do this because it is generally the most useful way of dealing with what our senses tell us about the world, and indeed it allows us to rapidly generate useful assumptions like 'things fall when you drop them' and 'touching hot things is bad for you' and 'glue is delicious' (ok, maybe that was just me.)  As we develop further, though, we start to encounter ideas that clash with our established image of the universe, and so we reject them out of hand.  This process can be useful for making rough but often accurate guesses about truth of things without having to do a great deal of research, but it is also the basis for all forms of fundamentalism and a great deal of simple intolerance.

Generally, our system of rejecting things that clash with our private universes becomes a problem when it is applied to other people, particularly other people's beliefs about themselves, because it leads us to deny the identities of others on grounds of personal incredulity.

Take as an example the assertion

I am an alien.

There are a great number of immediate objections most people will have to an apparent human making this claim.  Objections like

You have a human body.

You have never physically been to space.

You were born on earth.

And so on and so forth.  These objections are, however, knee-jerk incredulity reactions and not actually the base of the skeptic's doubt.  After all, it is entirely possible that a person could be, or appear to be, completely human and yet still be alien in nature or spirit (haven't you watched any sci-fi?)  The skeptic's real problem is that they have applied the self-proclaimed alien's claim to their personal framework of reality, rejected it, and based on a set of assumptions logically decided that the 'alien' is either a. lying or b. crazy.  If they settle on the first they will accuse the 'alien' of escapism, of wanting to be 'special.'  If the second or a combination of the two they may offer undesired help with resolving the 'alien's obvious psychological problems.

Now, these frameworks are not logical constructions of any sort.  They are simply useful mechanisms for processing incoming data, and in the case described above the process causes the skeptic to attack another person's identity for no personal gain  due to a personal incredulity reaction.  This is a bug, not a feature.

You can probably see where this applies to other unverifiable personal beliefs, like those in deities and spirits and the supernatural, as well.

As an alternative, i would suggest returning to the logical processes i discussed near the beginning of this entry.  Rather than 'I don't believe in aliens', stick with the much more logical statement

I haven't met any aliens yet, but if I do I'll keep an open mind.

And guess what?  Now you have.

Nice to meet you too.

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags