DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Thursday, December 09, 2004

Tiny bit of fiction from the Novel "Darkmatters"...

Darkmatters Chronicle One:
Standing on the brink of Complete DARKNESS

By Matt Adcock

“We’re all living on borrowed time”

Elemental Prologue – death from the past

The image ‘echoes’ from deep space were being streamed in real time across the systems of the L2 Galactic Infestations Research and Early Warning Group (GIREWG) [1]. What was being recorded were basically starlight ‘projections’, those whose light had once ‘bounced’ off earth and then rebounded again from nearer planets, dust fields or gas clusters. Once in possession of these echoed waves of light, the mammoth analytical A.I. brains were able to fragment, magnify and display such reflections so that actual events on our little planet from various times past could be watched in much the same way that cc uplinked satellite footage had been tracking our every move for at least the last couple of hundred years.

In the half light of the huge GIREWG main viewing hall an image of somewhere on Earth, from some time ago stabilises on the high definition banks of multi-angle plasma screens showing a mass of armoured warriors marching through sparse sandy desert terrain. It is dark, maybe just before dawn and a harsh sandstorm appears to be obscuring much of the detail but even from this high overhead vantage point it is obvious that this army is prepared for battle. From within the dust cloud savagely fashioned swords glint in the last of the moonlight, the armour is black and barbarically impressive – a lot to do with the twisted sharp edges of dark metal. The full extent of the army is difficult to gage but it must run into tens of thousands, there are cavalry forming a wide column of mounted riders running along one edge of a steep sided valley. The main bulk is made up of foot soldiers, some with banners that have various emblems on them – the feed computer is cross-referencing the ancient symbols and languages against the inter-global directory of knowledge and displaying footnotes about the images presented which includes translations of some of banners, one apparently reads ‘the bringers of death’.

“Can we pan out or track ahead of them? I want to see what force this army is moving to meet…” asks one of the watchers. The screens blink as the picture expands to take in a wider view of the landscape, the army showing as a mass of darkness creeping across the surface from left to right.

L2’s Ministry for Information is the best funded on the planet and it should come as little surprise that it is they who have set up the technology to view our human distant past from the aging reflection of light bounced from the stars themselves. It appears that Grand Information Controller Manu Doyyle has taken a keen interest in the footage coming in through the GIREWG. He is a man of average height and little hair but a hugely compelling presence. His Social Rating[2] is blinking “****overexcited” and it is mirrored on his face – a schoolboy in a toyshop staring at the latest plaything which his parents have just promised him for Christmas… 

“My God, this stuff is fantastic, have we channelled this anywhere else? Maybe we should get some GOV tactical military adviser A.I.s to have a look at this?” drools Doyyle.
“Do we have a confirmed date for this feed?”
“Negative on both of those sir I’m afraid, but our A.I.s should have a date in a few moments… this is fresh footage that has not been analysed or even archived yet, I just thought you’d like to see the quality of this new feed – it really is far superior to anything we’ve managed to track to date.”

Grand Information Controller Doyyle and Senior Research Technician M’diitch are standing in front of the main dark-plasma screen which stands 50 meters in height and some 80 across, it dwarves the watchers and awes those not accustomed to its monstrous dimensions. The image is sectioned into the main feed in a large central window with subsidiary information windows around the edges. This main viewing hall is also referred to as the ‘High Tech Lab’, it is a converted ancient Cathedral[3] – moved brick by brick from the abandoned Westminster area of the Underworld beneath L2 and rebuilt into the foot of a new GOV research laboratory. The massive pillars now support billions of global dollars worth of the latest tech – this place may no longer be a shrine of worship to a ‘God’, but for the many who have come to bow before technology as their divinity it is the antechamber to heaven itself.

“So, how old did you say this footage is?” asks Doyyle, staring transfixed at the thousands of long dead warriors up on the screen. He has a reputation for his energetic enthusiasm for progress and movement on anything that L2 leads the world in and this new generation of Starlight Historical Records (SHR) are just one of his current pet projects.

“Sir, best estimates are that this feed is from hundreds of years BC – the location is being predicted to be the Middle East, possibly near to the ancient land of known at that time as ‘Canaan’.”
Doyyle laughs, “Canaan, right, so we’ll be seeing young Joseph and his dream coat making an appearance in a minute then? Damn, my wife loves that ancient musical – is it still running?”

“If we do, I don’t fancy his chances against this lot. Unless his coat of many colours is actually heavy duty armour… look at those hardcore looking soldiers…”

On screen the space relay camera has tracked ahead of the massive army now and in what must be the first light of dawn there is a temporary looking encampment clearly ahead, directly in the path of the massive black suited military advance.

“Zoom in on that camp please.”

The screen blinks and then the people in the camp can be seen. It appears as if they are collecting some kind of foodstuff from the sand around their tents. Suddenly what could be a warning shout goes out (SHR’s don’t come with soundtracks) and a scout can be see running into the camp, within minutes there is much activity, some of the campers are obviously soldiers and they can be seen suiting up in lightweight silver armour. Women, children and elders however can be seen gathering their possessions and breaking camp as fast as they can. Bizarrely a small group leaves the camp and head towards a large dune that is in the path of the oncoming army, which are not yet visible to the main body of the camp but cannot be more than a few miles away now. It appears to be two elderly men with six silver armoured guards, who between them are carrying a huge chest that has poles running along its length and some kind of ornate figures carved onto it. In the first rays of sunlight it reflects as if made of gold or some other burnished metal. The very air around them shimmers with energy as if the chest is giving off some kind of power, as the group with the chest make their way to a large dune and take up positions with the guards in a spear formation in front of the elders. The approaching enemy seem to sense their position and a battalion of seven[4] swift riders break off from the main body of the forces and gallop towards them. It might be just a degradation of the image but there appear to be massive shadows circling the black armoured riders. The shadows are not moving in relation to the way they should be in the sunrise, in fact they are lining up as if preparing to smash into the guards on the dune.

Doyyle is transfixed, “K, please clear my immediate diary, I am in an important meeting and it looks like running on – no calls at all, thank you,” he turns to a quizzical looking M’diitch, “I want to see what happens next!” he grins. “Do you suppose that those guys are going to try and plead terms of surrender, or buy off the army?”

M’diitch brings up a window showing the advancing wave of black suited soldiers, and shakes his head. “I don’t think they look like they could be talked to, let alone bargained with… I think we’re about to witness an absolute massacre.”
As the riders gather speed, kicking up masses of sand behind them, the two elders with the chest raise their hands and the energy waves from the chest focus in the air around them as if forming some kind of shield.
“I’ve never seen anything like it, are they maGes[5]?” asks Doyyle but his voice breaks off as the shadows around the riders suddenly shoot ahead of them – directly into the guards in front of the energy field tearing them apart in massive explosions of gore…
The elderly men look on in horror as a red rain of what used to be their bodyguards sweeps over them. One of them drops his arms and the shield blinks out of the existence.  

The first of the riders is upon them, he swings his massive sword in a tight arc, slicing the head from the elder who dropped his guard. The other seems to accept the fate of his companion stoically and then prostrates himself over the golden chest as the sand covered head of his compatriot rolls past.
The other riders pull up and form a circle around the chest, their weapons drawn but none actually attack the elder directly, it is as if something is holding them back.
Suddenly the screen blanks out, Doyyle can’t hold back, “What the hell? Tell me that isn’t all we’ve got? That was just amazing… Make me a personal copy of it and have it beamed to my apartment A.I.”

M’diitch barely has time to acknowledge the instruction before Doyyle has summoned a STREAM[6] and has gone.

Outside the massive city is a glowing sheen of reflected arc lights, an evil wind howls through the streets as an insane rain soaked maelstrom rips across the high tech capital of the still functioning world. The Tech Lab A.I. Council are variously engaged in heated debate about the SHR footage, none of them tracking the last vapours of Doyyle’s STREAM as it dissipates into the sterile processed and highly filtered evening air.

L2’s overall weather has been wrecked ever since the Accursed sons of Delusion[7] hijacked and crashed one of the climate stabilising nuclear cloud platforms in 2102. M’diitch stares at the main monitor as it comes back to life – there on the screen in an incredible close up is one of the Seven riders, he has a red ribbon tied around one of the two horns on his helmet. It is impossible but it is almost as if he is gazing into the camera lens, his malevolent stare beaming across time and space directly into the observation lab.

M’diitch shivers and peers closer to the screen, ‘What are you staring at pal?’ he quips… The ribboned rider raises his sword in an unmistakable gesture of hostility and for a second M’diitch thinks he hears the voice of the long dead warrior saying ‘I will look for you when the day of carnage comes’…

[1] Starlight bounced phenomena were a major breakthrough for the Galactic Infestations Research and Early Warning Group seeing as up until the massively funded unit released tangible results – which an unnamed insider claimed to be a ‘lucky accident’ – there had been a growing dissatisfaction with the programme at the highest levels of Government.

[2] Social Rating™’s are the established population monitoring measures enforced by law in all civilised areas of the planet. A Social Rating cannot be turned off or cloaked without irreversible damage to the wearer. Readouts are flashed up to casually inform other citizens of a person’s mood, but more detailed data is readable to all who pull up the personal profile schematics on any person fitted with a global standard GOV sanctioned paramator ‘head’-chips. Head or paramator-chips replaced passports, bank accounts and criminal records – nobody except the very highest security level A.I.s can alter the details on them as they record in real time and are linked to the host’s brain. The chips are also fitted with biofunctioning batteries that charge themselves from either the blood pulsing around them in humans or directly hard wired into the energy core of the droid they are fitted to. 

[3] Quite what John Francis Bentley (the architect of the original Westminster Cathedral) would have made of the GIREWG viewing gallery we can only speculate at? The semi Byzantine style of the architecture had been noted in its day as a reflection of eastern Roman Empire rather than the more familiar Gothic style of many other native English cathedrals. The massive pillars once stood in the main body of the church, the Nave taken from the Latin ‘Navis’ - meaning ‘ship’. The giant Sony2 super dark-plasma ultra high definition screens now filling the gaps between the pillars were unlikely however to be seen as the walls of a vessel designed for upholding the souls of the populace above the stormy waters of life – especially after the ‘Powel Porno Fiasco’ that came to light when an A.I. broadcaster witnessed some unspeakable acts of depravity screened on them at the after hours VIP opening party in 2042. The footage that was simulcast across the main news networks is still talked of today and the ministers involved were immediately removed from office. Most of them found employment in the entertainment or adult film industry shortly afterwards though due to their worldwide notoriety.

[4]One of the ‘odder’ L2 A.I.s – identified as ‘TWADE’ – a dual identity bi-bot which has both an anchored A.I. mega- analytical supermind which forms a module of the Overworld and TWADE2 a fully functioning class 1 ‘hunt, exterminate and leave nothing alive’ bio-unit on active duty as one of the metallic lieutenants in the mech corps. Though the two elements of TWADE are linked – it is the ‘mind’ until that is monitoring this starlight-bounced signal with more than just professional interest. TWADE is a seeker and documentor of legendary creatures his arcane archive database has calculated that there is a possibility that these riders might be the legendary ‘The Seven’ also known as ‘The Sebitti.’ The Seven were supposed to be illustrious Babylonian warrior demons led by Errai (the Hunter, also known as ‘Shietan’ and prophesied to one-day answer to another name… ‘that of Ra-zour’) – their blood soaked path through history has been traced by tracking the vilest carnage hotspots, the legends of the darkest barbaric acts and the places where human blood has flowed like rivers… Their very names are the omens of death to those who hear them and none have ever crossed them and lived. These ‘sons of heaven and earth’ — referred to in many literatures across many cultures as the "champions without peer" were named by the Babylonians as: Errai “to be feared above all others”, Adrastus "he who stands his ground", Amphiaraus "doubly-cursed", Capaneus "violent against God", Hippomedon “whose parts are very large and powerful”, Polynices "too many victories to count" and Tydeus “banished from heaven.”
‘How I  love my Assyro-Babylonian Mythology’ beams TWADE whose Social Rating is blinking Ecstatic ***** which is noted with machine tooled distaste by the Tech Lab’s  A.I. Council.

[5] MaGe – mostly referred to as ‘BattlemaGes’ these are persons skilled in the mysterious and hidden art of dark magic. Developed for military purposes the BattlemaGe corps of L2 were legendary in their ability to decimate enemies using weaponry in the form of magical energy. In single combat also there were few who could face a The terminology ‘maGe’ came about due to the warlike nature of these supernaturally enhanced individuals – the capitalisation of the ‘G’ standing for Grimoire or in this case ‘Grim-war’ – an ever expanding record of the unnatural abilities that the maGes utilise.
[6] STREAM – a mostly effective teleportation system developed by the L2 GOV Scientists that links all places fitted with entrance / exit terminals. The actual matter transfer is through a fast path network of light acceleration, which loops back on itself ensuring (according to the patented theory) that the exit version of the traveller is identical to the entrant. The latest development of the STREAM has enabled moveable portals, which can be summoned to any location within a certain range and used to access the main central STREAM FLOW SYSTEM. The travel from STREAM entrance to exit is instantaneous and the safety record in terms of successful ‘reassembling of the traveller’ has after a high mortality rate version 1.0 been locked at 99.9% with the new firmware version 1.55.
[7] The Accursed sons of Delusion (AsD) were a short-lived atheist terrorist group who were prone to creating incidents that would cause massive loss of life while simultaneously broadcasting a challenge to any religious believers to ‘pray that God would stop them’. The weather control, nuclear cloud platform incident, didn’t work out very well for the AsD as the megaton blast radius of the nuclear explosion caused when the cloud platform veered off course and crashed on the outskirts of L2 actually managed to vaporise the entirety of the ‘L2 Richard Dawkins University of Non Belief’, which was the AsD’s base of operations. In an exceptional twist of fate it transpired that at most of the world’s prominent leading atheist thinkers were gathered in the University at the time of the catastrophic explosion – they had gathered there for a victory conference entitled ‘God can’t kiss my Ass – because he doesn’t exist’, none survived. It was widely covered on the news channels as a definitive ‘act of God’…   

Read more Darkmatters: FILM SCENE

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