Aerial Fragment: ‘sparks’



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 003

Stories made from: microspores, fog maps, infected bass samples, mathematics, patterns of decay, broken machines, blood, code bugs…

…CD mould, groove crackle, screen static, pirate radio signals, perfume, sparks, borderzone music, transmission ghosts, vapourtext.



20110909 by temp_user9





Ghost Codes 009

Grey light. Fading moon. Dixie on slow walkabout, Break at her side. Other collectors were seen, working the streets. Let them be.

Break started to tremble. His skin was picking up traces, buzzing with sparks: evidence of spirit activity, serious measure.

He led Dixie to Hive 7, the worst of the blocks. Off limits. Unsafe. Stories of demon songs haunting the rooms. A passageway beckoned.

Dixie moved closer, alone. Into darkness. Silence. And then the crackle of melody, sparklenotes fluttering in minor key colours.

Listen now: held by rusty guitar strings, a woman’s voice. Old, pitched low, a black moan. Murder ballad style. Dixie shivered.

She set the ghost trap and waited. The spirit flickered, sighed in darkness. Icy, blue, fevered: something touched at Dixie’s face.

 

[:REMIX:]



20110917 by temp_user9





Ghost Codes 011

Break entered the passageway. All was dark within but for his own light, his skin gleaming soft and low. His fingers tingled.

A glint of colour drew him forward. A cry. He felt he was stepping across a borderline. The sizzle of pain behind his eyes.

He’d heard other synthetiks boasting of the halo effect. Lies, mostly. He’d never seen it happen. Now he felt his temples pulsate.

It wasn’t the full-on ignition he’d expected, more a flicker of sparks in a ragged, lopsided orbit around his head. It was enough.

He peered into the homemade trap. And there, held within the circle of microphones, suspended in midair…there lay the ghost itself.

It was a few centimetres across, of no fixed shape, crimson coloured, speckled with gold, quiet now, a small broken spirit of music.

Break reached in and closed his hand around the ghost. No burn. No anger. Only sorrow flooding his skull: pictures, sounds, memories.



20110928 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





Ghost Codes 014

They worked through the day on the new track. Break manned the grain web, Dixie worked the Dali engine, needle tip glistening.

They sprinkled sleeping powder on the ghost to keep it docile whilst they bled the plasma away. The vampyrophone collected the output.

Break caressed the machine’s skin. Sparks hit him with radiance. Once more, he heard the singer crying out in pain, but softer now…

He said, “This is bad blues, Dixie. It’s a chance recording. The woman being attacked or killed, mid song. Or something. Maybe.”

Dixie was too busy seeking out a melody path, stretching the lyrical scraps, squeezing homemade beats from a plastic tube. Like goo.

By 5pm the track was done, conjured into being, sealed in wax. They listened to it in silence, sitting back, getting distance.

Dixie had cut the scream just so, leaving only a breath, indrawn. That moment of loss, repeating. Break felt his heart stop each time.



20111017 by temp_user9





Ghost Codes 015

Dixie. Living artefact of the haunted tower blocks, collector of sparks. Magpie. Extractor of the original (still famous) blood song.

Breeder of glowbugs. Lo-fi alchemist. Transformer of lives once lost, broken, ghosted, now mixed down into a vapour groove.

Mapper of the dawn mist, curator of fragments. Inventor of the vampyrophone, the sleep trap, and other such homemade devices.

Dixie. Searcher of wasteland and canal-beds where the digital trash resides. Salvager of discards. Queen of the unofficial channels.

Maker of the track “Last Cry of the Mouth Ever Fading.” The one with the echo of a scream, the final traces of a murder victim.

Dixie Magus. Expert patcher of the wounded. Retuner of all hybrid demoflesh for the next age. Saviour of burnt-out angels.

[:REMIX:]



20111021 by temp_user9





Ghost Codes 016

The dance floor was half empty, people still waiting for take-off. Break stood at the centre of the room, looking up at the lights…

I was a broken soul stranded on the last day of the world, skin aflame in a shopping mall. Blacking out, dying of digital fever.

He still felt weird inside at the work they had done today, the way that Dixie had treated the ghost, the wounded ghost. And yet…

Only Dixie had reached out to me. She lifted me up and dragged me home and worked on my body like I was one of her crazy machines.

Plugged me in analogue style and set up circuits to keep my system alive. In my delirium I heard wings beating, silver and gold.

I rose from my bed shrouded by sparks, crackling at the edges. Strange apparitions flickered around me, creatures of dust and light.

He could see them now in the club, all these stray sparkles that no one else could notice. His skull flared with colour and noise.

And then Dixie played the new tune…



20111028 by temp_user9





Ghost Codes 020

Two nights later, he took possession of the icon pod. It cost most of the wages Dixie had given him, but Break had no choice.

He snapped open the lid and released the mist. There it floated in the dark room, the singer’s image illuminated: gold, electric blue.

A few seconds of footage torn from a promo video, caught in endless repeat. The red speckles on her face a remnant of special FX.

Break played Dixie’s track. The apparition moved in time to the rhythm. He could not stop looking at her.

He didn’t know her name, didn’t recognise her face. Somebody from before he was born, before memory. Lost in the archives until now.

Somebody damaged, the victim of a bad manager or a crazed fan or a cruel lover. Or someone who had taken a knife to her own flesh.

But she had sought Break out, in both image and sound. And here in this room, this city, with his help a kind of life was being made.

He stepped into the mist, his body sparking at the points of contact. It was all he could do.

The track played on. The woman sang. The ghost of fog and light danced. And danced. And danced. And danced. And danced. And danced…

[: REMIX/CODA :]

END



20111128 by temp_user9