Aerial Fragment: ‘numbers’



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 008

It goes like this: 2 years had gone by since the crash of the digital age, 2 years since the CPUs burned out en mass, simultaneously.

All the music of that era, the melodies we had composed, performed, recorded, coded into numbers, all this was lost seemingly forever.

And then the first of the drifting spirits appeared: the scattered ghosts of pop stars, their final traces still caught in the ether.

At dusk you could listen to the strange music. You might glimpse in the air a spectral glow, tiny dancing sprites of colour.

Sparkletown was a prime site; ghost collectors gathered there. A few got rich. Most went crazy. One or two killed themselves.

Some of them got so hooked into it, the spirits took them over completely. Their bodies were found at dawn, their dead mouths singing.



20110912 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 008

Up on the roof. The other crews carrying on around me. And all over Sparkletown, I knew that fog catchers worked their own nets.

But only our crew had been targeted: the only net damaged, the only flat broken into, the only one with images stolen. Why us?

Or should I ask: Why me? Was it to do with my supposed talent? Had I drawn certain images towards the net? Valuable images?

They’d first appeared about nine weeks ago. Letters, numbers. Entire symbol chains. All in the same typeface, all making little sense.

But I knew what it was. I could remember people working on this same language, when I was younger. It was code. Computer code.

I thought nothing of it. Sold some on as decoration, stored others. It just didn’t seem that important. Code was a relic. Useless.

And yet the fogware had floated in. Not every day; just now and again, without pattern. Maybe a dozen examples. And only to our net.

I thought of my father, back in the flat, still in pain. Anger flooded me. I had to find out why these fragments were so important.

I had to find that code for myself, if I could. Piece it together, and try to decipher it. What secrets did it hold? What treasure?



20120220 by temp_user9





The Fog Catchers 011

He stands before me. Just looking at me.

CODE FACE. The mist-bound man who does not speak, not in words, but only in numbers as they travel across his skin.

Numbers, letters, mathematical signs: glowing, known, unknown, and moving across his hands as well, as he holds them out to me.

CODE FACE. A stranger who takes me by the hand and dances with me. Dances! Me. Imagine. Rooftop waltzing in the fog, in the dark.

And his face is the only brightness. I am drawn to the patterns there, as they unfurl in golden lines.

CODE FACE. He’s not alone. Others with him. I never really see them, only glimpse fellow shapes, two or three more, it’s hard to tell.

They go about their own business, whatever it might be, and I am so pleased to be a part of what they’re doing. I have a role to play.

CODE FACE. My partner. Here we are, on the top of the world: I am the dancer who dances with the dancer as he leans in close to…

Whisper. To whisper secrets. To speak at last in words. And his breath on my skin, so gentle, I can hardly feel it. He’s barely alive.



20120424 by temp_user9