Aerial Fragment: ‘images’



Ghost Codes 002

Scanning for signals in darkness, for voices in static drift. Hearing only the song of ghosts as they spark across circuits.

Name of planet: unknown. Ship destroyed. No signs of life. Twin moons: one bone white, the other blood coloured.

Our captain buried the crew, then killed himself. Patterns of rain across the curve of my visor. Alone now. Battery low.

I am the last of the mechanisms. The coded remains of Planet Earth.

Databanks broken. Only fragments left to me: cascade of numbers, images, lost memories. From these I will build pulse signals.

Flicker of readout: red, green, yellow. Seeking output texts. 140bit limit, intermittent bursts. Commencing…

 

[:REMIX:]



20110909 by temp_user9





Ghost Codes 012

The True History of the Synthetik Angels, as told by one of their kind. How, being eighteen and poor I sold my body to the dream merchants.

They clothed my skin with implants and programmed my skull with slogans. The system burned through me, taking me over completely.

I floated through the markets, a voice speaking only of the latest products. My implants sang and the air around me glowed with pictures.

I was a living advert, bought and sold many times over the next two years, my system hacked and pirated until I danced chaotic with one thousand images.

They called us Angels of Transmission. Messages moved through our bodies, into the world. And all was well until the Day of the Crash.

I recall the flare of overload, skin shock, implants sparking with static, adverts screaming inside me as luxury goods all around turned to dust.

And there I lay, alone and dying on the walkway of a shopping mall, all my golden images flickering dark one by one.

 

[: REMIX :]



20111006 by temp_user9





The Fog Catchers 001

The fog rolls in, the fog rolls out.

Twelve storeys, here we go. A little scared. The lift to the seventh floor, then the stairs. Dad’s puffing for air. Gotta be careful.

Onto the roof. The other tower blocks surrounding us, trails of mist still lingering. My first time up here. Dawn light. Cold.

The other crews already at work. They have these super shiny nets stretched from post to post, all finely stitched, tightly meshed.

But our net is old and a bit tatty. Got more than a few holes in it. I keep mending them, they keep on breaking. No matter.

I step closer. Never actually seen it in action. Just a bit of cloth before, back in the flat. But now I’m all eyes, really I am.

Reach out. Slowly. Make contact. The surface is warm! Images tremble under my fingers. Oh God. I feel like I’m touching ghosts.



20111227 by temp_user9





The Fog Catchers 002

Shapes flicker on the gauze: colours, fragments, whirls of black and white, sudden explosions of numbers, breakage, slivers of code.

Dad tells me to snap out of it, get to work. We have maybe ten minutes before the fade begins. Images die. That’s the thing, see.

So I’m scanning for something good, something we can use. Trying to find little pieces of loveliness in the chaos. That’s my job.

There! A mouth. Looks like. Half a smile. No. No good. Need more. Time is short and my father’s eyes are failing him. Keep looking.

Now I see it. Twin moons. A tower in silhouette. A spaceship landing. Looks like something from an old science fiction movie. Perfect.

I point it out and dad moves in with the lens knife. He peels that shivering image right off the net whilst I watch. Captured!

Here I am. Here I am on the roof of a giant block of flats, feeling like I’m about to dance off the edge with joy. What can I say?

Call me Zee Zee of the Mystical World Crew. (I made the name up. It’s just me and my dad.) I’m 15 years old. I’m a fog catcher.



20120103 by temp_user9





The Fog Catchers 003

The fog rolls in, the fog rolls out. And as it passes through the nets, images linger like dew from all the scattered memories.

Edits from film and video, mobile phone footage, digital uploads, all caught in the tracery. Objects, landscapes, people. The dead…

It’s cool. The world before I was born. Way before, most of it. I like that kind of weird connection.

So we head back down, captures in my backpack. Just a single half-decent image, a few other scrapings. But they feel so precious.

And that’s how the story begins. My life. Up early each day, attend the nets, then school. Home, to see dad working on the transfers.

Me helping, learning, getting in the way. Making shimmercasts, smokepods, vapouramas. Anything that could hold an image in place.

And then every Saturday, we’d head down the Sparkle Market, making sales. That’s important. Because that’s where I met Jake.



20120107 by temp_user9





The Fog Catchers 006

Images spin away in dreams and I cannot catch them, not at all, in a fog of dreams rolling in, rolling out, forever spinning away…

Broken, broken nets unravelling, silver threads coming loose, sodden in black rain, tangled underfoot, scattered like spider webs…

My body tightens in the cloth as it winds about me, skin slashed, constricted, fog in my mouth all clammy, wet, and then I wake…

I wake in my bed trembling, tense, breath held tight, aware of every sound in the room, every movement, rain on the window.

I get up. The ruined net lies draped over furniture like ghost skin, lined with all my hopeless stitches, too expensive to replace.

Quietly I open the door of my father’s room, peep in. He lies there sleeping, whiskey bottle discarded on the bed sheets.

Step inside, closer. His face. Eyes all aflicker with his own dreams – there they dwell under his eyelids, and I imagine…

And I imagine…mother. Dolores. Alive. Her beauty as I recall it, not as vivid as it was, but here, touchable, breathing, here…

A world lost… in my father’s eyes…in dreams…



20120130 by temp_user9





The Fog Catchers 007

Dear anybody. Summer here. And my birthday. 16 now. Jake’s helping me with the fog catching. And transferrals. And selling, and so on.

I guess we’re a “thing”. That is, we’ve had some “moments”. But nothing serious. Not yet. Not sure what I want to happen.

Fog in, fog out. Yeah, you know. The night leaving visions on a wounded net, criss-crossed by stitches. Getting by, making good.

Oh. Oh God, I don’t know what to say, or do… something terrible has happened. It’s dad. He’s…

Well. Here I am. Hospital. My father’s in ward 6. Cracked ribs, bruised all over. He was lucky. That’s what the doctor said. Lucky.

The flat was broken into. Two guys. They went on at dad, shouting at him, demanding, threatening. He was drunk, of course, and…

And they beat him up. And then they trashed the place. Everything just thrown around, scattered. A couple of images taken.

Just that. Images. And not even pictures: but words, fragments of text, messages from the past. Why? Why are they doing this?

Leave us alone! That’s all. That’s all I’m asking. Whoever you are. Just… just leave us alone.



20120208 by temp_user9





The Fog Catchers 009

Seven days later I’m waiting here, alone. It’s three in the morning. Darkness. No moon. And not yet dawn. The fog hasn’t arrived yet.

They say to never be up on the roof, not when the fog rolls in. All the crews say that, all the old guys. No fog on the skin.

It’s meant to be dangerous, unhealthy. Makes you crazy. So many stories, rumours. But here I am. Waiting. Waiting for the mist…

We did some searching, but the last week has brought nothing good, re the code. Only a few purchasers to follow, leading to dead ends.

I see it now, the fog. Grey curls, tendrils, black mass at the centre. It’s gathering at the estate’s edge. Creeping onwards.

I’ll bet it’s not another crew, stealing images. It can’t be. Freelancers, probably. Maybe selling onto somebody rich.

But why? The question remains.

I don’t care. They stole from us. They hurt us. Whatever they want, I want it too. I want it before them. So I’m here. I’m waiting…

The fog approaches. A cloud of lost forms. Almost alive, sparkling with colours, flashes of light. Here it comes!



20120308 by temp_user9