Tonight: NY

#200 Bones of Starlight story post: Hooray!

I’m popping up at COSM – Chapel of Sacred Mirrors for tonight’s Full Moon Gathering with Typewriter Collabstream poetry – people can sit down with me at my 1958 Hermes 3000, and co-create a poetic line of word association or stream of consciousness, to keep.

I’ll be situated in the stunning originals room, with these (pictured) and other monumental works: check out that brushwork texture.

Full Moon Ceremony begins at 7:30, and music by Deca & DJ MarvL starts at 9:30, along with other simultaneous interactive creativity, including mine!

18 \ 200

Exactly what the human military would do was of interest to the re-education units. They imagined that response would be forthcoming, without knowing the nature of it. One motivation driving the Vedani emergence into the Pan-Galactic Imperium was the fact that they did not underestimate humans. Though they possessed technology that had advanced human invention, these distant cousins had their own spark of innovation.

They did know, from their initial introduction with inhabited Hirylien, that not all humans were deceptively rapacious killers, as some other interactions had alarmed them into believing. Sturlusson the elder had been fair and wise, had believed as they did that their contact could mean a momentous shift in the course of their peoples. But they had also been covertly stolen from, kidnapped, tortured, and murdered, suppressed and shunned in their efforts to reach the leadership of this civilization. Supposedly this empire was built on cooperation, but Vedani knew too, for themselves, that adherence to ideals was never constant.

The villains no doubt thought that they could hide what they’d done, but Vedani share with each other more than they hide. The amount of people who experienced, via bio-aetherscape, everything that befell their emissaries was more than could be reckoned. They now suspected that humans could figure out how to pursue them violently for the sake of gain without ever acknowledging them as people.

They did not sit comfortably in a mistaken belief of superiority. First, they took away what had been theirs to begin with, that technology which had been appropriated from their wreckage and adapted to become the new wave of signal strength and transport security. They knew exactly how to control those frequencies, like calling their stolen horse.

There were options. People could figure out what they were trying to say, and attempt to communicate. Or, they could attack, and in this case they were ready to learn what humans could do in this regard, and ready to retaliate should they be able to accomplish much.

The signal storm performed the interesting effect of discrete channel scrambling; images sent to one window showed up in another, which caused an amusing confusion amongst individual streamers. When some of the stationary-stop beams located their targets, the results caused consternation. This interaction began to alter portal parameters, turning windows into doors – exactly what Vedani suspected humans might just manage someday. Properties of the reflective began to morph into those of a sendthrough, and other wavelengths induced elements of the transanchor. Windows turned into doors, and the doors were stuck open.

Unwillingly set into contingency preparations, the awaiting allies took charge. Dragons broke out through these gates as though reality were a screen of twigs. The viewing portals, opened, created a workaround through the Viridian Phasing defense.

Red Nexus Dragons were not numerous, but they were furious. Just one, willing to wreak destruction in a zone, was more than anybody wanted. That’s how they appeared, one to a zone at a time, changing places from one zone to another. It seemed like there were more than eight. Were there more than eight? There had been initially, though it was known that some died in banishment. The human-Dragon war which brought that about had been so long ago barely any humans knew their names, but they were learning them again.

These Dragons attacked nearby, active, focused, and stored weaponry by the means of their elemental domains, causing the greatest possible level of damage to the Imperium’s hostile capabilities. Military personnel were at liberty to flee or protect themselves in whatever way they could, though many could not. Means of recording, however, were left untouched and often actively addressed. Thanks to this, their vitriolic orations were captured in full, to be viewed and reviewed by all. Acamar, the new dragon, was noted absent, while er first eight were present as could be. They had old business.

I carry this rage
from outside of time –
an unextinguished fire
freed from its cage
to seek on this side
of life, enemies vile.

In the zone where Petralm appeared in Ionos, fuel fires sprang up that could not be extinguished. Almost everything has a form of fuel, as this Dragon understood it, and those things that could be used against er were consumed in their own fuels.

Those who named us vile
inspired this rage.
We stood for our side
in another time,
and there was built a cage
to contain our fire.

In that zone where Kordiyt appeared in Pioneer, projectiles and hostile energy projections misfired, malfunctioned, or went errant. Targets could not be acquired, and targeting equipment lost the ability.

You needed our fire,
so you did something vile:
made a killing cage
to satisfy your rage,
to last throughout time
and shelter your side.

In the experimental zone where Mbarx appeared in Primatris, inherent temperatures of active weaponry rose to intolerable levels, cooking and melting it to slag.

Illusions of a side.
Our kind of fire
knows no time.
We are not vile!
Life grew from our rage;
it was the key to our cage.

In the area where Magneu appeared in Archipelago, weaponized light flared to magnitudes, from laser beams down to digital displays and power indicators. The overactivity completely seized things that utilized an iota of brightness, and malfunctioned nearby machinery.

From the illusion of our cage,
we met a new side
that understood our rage.
We lend them our fire
to rectify such vile
actions done in this time.

In the zone where Ulphos appeared in Ferris, chemical reactions within devices ignited in whatever ways possible – burning, bursting, and corroding mechanisms and housings to inactivity.

Now is the time!
There is no more cage!
Whatever may seem vile,
whatever your side,
you must know this fire
to resolve our rage.

In the experimental zone where Ignivus appeared on Alisandre, sparks exploded wherever one could be struck within a method of attack. Unbelievable chain reactions sent one spark of destruction to another, to another.

While Red Nexus did rounds decimating Imperial offense, the Vedani portals under attack froze blank with barred signal. At the same time, they tightened their grip on frequency control and widened their portaled areas. There was outcry. Perimeter and area weapons that were somehow not lost to attack were now turned onto the Dragons, but to little efficacy. The damage was grim, the wreckage severe.

Out of the dust, fire, and smoke in Alisandre Capital strode one man. He would say that his name was not important. He wore leather, no shirt, one pauldron his only armor. He carried a sword. Ignivus turned to see him, and reared er form.

17 \ 199

The Alisandre Capital Diplomat’s Quarter had already been evacuated. For that and other tactical reasons, this was staged as the zone of experimental conflict against the portal invasion for the Capital city. Equipment was set up around the perimeter; larger physical weaponry blocked some streets, and various technological safeguards were set up in emptied buildings. The streets were quiet, though the viewing portals apparent here continued broadcasting, like the others throughout this city and multiple population centers in every federet.

Only King Proxem Vario and General Draig Claymore were physically present at their communication point, where they were planning the coordinated disruption effort. The face of each federet’s General occupied a screen panel, their files and schematics hovering in the surrounding airspace.

Upon initiating records for this session, they’d done their roll call. “All federets represented by top level, Iparia by Lieutenant Corporal,” stated General Alisandre-Claymore.

“Any message from General Iparia?” asked King Proxem Vario to the reporting officer, named by her federet in this current role.

She replied, “He said I would be understood if I reported that he was rabbit hunting, Sir.”

Vario turned to share a look with Claymore before his acknowledgment. “We’re familiar with his passion for this particular prey. At times his drive has become all-consuming, and we’ve never yet held that against him. We’re glad to have you, Lieutenant Corporal Iparia.” He brought forth a fresh communication. “I’ll share with you the most recent update on this situation from our analysts.

“People have identified certain forms in the images sent by the strangers as biometrically human, and distinct from the Strangers, who are non-human while possessing similarities of conformation. People are now reinterpreting some of the scenes with that in mind, though the images are made mainly of forms without details.

“There are shapes under debate in these scene captures, many claiming that they resemble some of our dated technology, which places some scenes within time frames. Some government databases are experiencing increased reference, including rejections of requests for classified information.”

Each portal shared its own sets of images in its own fashion, it had been determined. Though images were shared within the total pool, there appeared to be unique perspectives and sequences of presentation. This excited the puzzle workers of a populace bored for lack of its usual sources of entertainment.

“At this point, we have to demonstrate defensive capability, or at least willingness,” was Vario’s estimation. They continued synchronizing phases of the pre-emption. Each federet had slightly different sets of equipment, but they would use them all to similar effect in their experimental zones. They would activate shields and white/pink noise walls, then fire up sonic and signal storm generators. Multi-frequency focused beam arrays were aimed at the projection patches in both passthrough and stationary-stop patterns. These would be engaged beginning with one test patch, then in ascending sets throughout their areas. They planned an alternation of amplitudes and waveforms that could theoretically affect or create a reaction in the projections.

Plans were in place, and the time had come. Each commanding officer, Generals and Lieutenant Corporal, confirmed their plan sets and went from their respective chambers to their command centers, General Alisandre with King Proxem Vario apace.

Here in the Capital, the command center was staged in a meeting hall with a centrally-facing four story window. This building and its surrounding area housed one of each type of active equipment, performing with those staged in other buildings. They were running communications with old fashioned local area line connections, along with three kinds of early-prototype remote signals that worked around the widespread net interruption being experienced in projection portal areas. There were just enough operators with extant equipment to run that for these areas, but not for the wider populace, in signal darkness like they hadn’t known during this generation.

Emerging into the center, Draig was immediately flanked by four to seven in chain of command who began accepting their plan sets from him. Each at his side was replaced by another in efficacious rotation until all systems had worked through their startups and reached states of concerted readiness.

Soon, the people around him had no further actions and were waiting on his word. Draig rested his eyes on the Aquari outdoor murals within view, inherently active and displaying unusual mood patterns. Hard to know whether it was all personnel reflection, or whether any of it was reading from the portals. Tension and conflict were the apparent themes in jagged and ragged clashing color, interspersed with the flat calms of zero reading.

The quiet sound of the synchronizing timer began on General Alisandre’s fingerfall.

The Lay of Sakhana and Zoe @ WFC 2019

Here’s a video of the reading I did for the Poetry Open Mic at the World Fantasy Convention – this ancient-epic style poem is contained in Bones of Starlight 1: Fire Within, performed upon the occasion of the 7-year holiday of Pyrean Midsummer, when four planets of the Pan-Galactic Imperium have aligned solstices.

(I was actually surprise video’d by the illustrious Deborah Beale, who also caught some pictures for me. But, why not? The words as spoken.)