Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: the anywhere machine

Ceremony and Celebration

They spoke an Old Earth language: a dialect of Mandarin. It was forcefully injected into his brains moments before he was given the honour. It pushed his name out of his head.

“It is a great honour,” Kannyo Madita said, though the man only heard every other word, “to reopen this position, and make that your new and only name.” She repeated his new name in the Old Earth tongue, and he understood it as Prisoner-Ambassador.

The language was still establishing itself in his skull when he was pushed into the cubicle and saw the door melt into the wall.

The Anywhere Machine, Appendix II – Telepath Unexplained

On a world called Forest, dread rose from the earth. There was nothing but liquid rock on the planet’s surface. Intelligence grew. Whether this was because of the dread or despite it, does not matter.

The rock cooled down. The planet glowed red for a while and then that too disappeared. There was life already on this boulder. Dread continued to seep up through the cracks in rocks and the space between molecules in the sand and the air. The dread had no audience in space, but one emerged on the planet surface.

A primitive trapcreature evolved: it would wait underneath rocks and dirt to make its move. Fearwarped, it had coated itself with iron, filled its blood. When a fat animal walked over its single sinewy tendril, the trapcreature would turn itself into a spear and spike the beast. It would gain a feast that could last for months. The trapcreature would then be all alone with its thoughts. It thought itself to be alone of its kind, not sure how it had come into being and not that interested. It worked up a coping mechanism for the nightmares: it would talk to the air.

After what felt like eternity in angst, it grew a second spike. With this, the trapcreature entered the category of beings known as receptacles. Because it could communicate with itself – it carried an idea machine – and it could define itself as this communication. Something happened with hir identity. Now hir neurons clustered and televised and spun around themselves, and a forest of spikes emerged from the ground. The trapcreature was still tortured, still alone, but gave hirself the illusion of plentifulness.

The earth still gave hir bad dreams; ze changed the way ze hunted. Its slithery spikes crawled in groups of four, for miles and miles, below the surface, to find vulnerables. Ze would spike them through their limbs, capture them, and eat them alive.

The vulnerables were but little consolation to the terribleness of the dreams. The receptacle trapcreature found that differences in density of air and rock changed the subject matter of the dreams. Ze started creating a map of what dreams were triggered in what places: the first Forest attempt at history.

Ze grew bored of that.

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