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001. A Breakdown

‘I am seeking a breakdown, Tollemeyer.’

‘I see.’

‘We’re isolating the sounds that issue forth from the actors into Hokusai Freeze Frames, so that we can translate the sound to ink for the Tattooed Boys of Yesterday.’

‘You’re building a barricade?’

‘Yes, we used to use polaroids and haiku, but there is some kind of interference on the brevity channel, that is pushing us into even shorter spikes, and hiding the programs in glitch art.’

‘Like the Vector Flower?’

‘Yes, and the Flower of Babel. What’s that you’re drinking?’

‘A cup of white noise.’

<< Cough. Cough. There’s a hiccough in the narrative. >>

<< The water in the sink is travelling in the wrong direction, and there is a kind of butterfly that has chosen it as a migratory path going down with it.>>

‘We’re building echoes Tollemeyer; repeating echoes; leitmotifs; a repetitive fractal structure for our agents to travel between. This was the whole notion of the metaphor tech as we saw it – to make one thing into another thing, and through the transmogrifying mapping structures of language and implication, to lock the entire universe into a state of mutability and interchangeability.
‘We don’t want this time-locked, single-function item kind of world. We remember when there was just a rose, and then we turned it into prose and it became a flat pressed flower, so we invented poetry and we blew it up through infinite dimensions to become a flower bush where the white roses were painted red by the blood of the Butcher Bird’s victims.’

‘Can you repeat that, Candied? The narrative stuttered; I think the film is burning in the gate.’

‘It’s Candid. I’ll zip that one into you. Look, we have heard that you are there trying to snip a narrative development, and we know that you are an element of the chaos that dreams itself to be an avatar of order, and that just feeds into the cycle.’

‘OK, Candide, I understand that you have been seeding the worlds with the ingredients to build The Shrine Of The Uncollapsed Wave, but I am not a believer. I’m just here trying to keep the story straight.’

‘I’m Candid. There is a man coming for you – he is named Munch. He is not from our ranks, though he dallied in our rooms at one point, and told us of things which we noted down; wrote tomes which we store in our Grey Libraries, here at the end; here in the Tower Of Period, under the rule of the King Of Full Stop.’

‘And what do those tomes say?’

‘Well, Tollemeyer, they talk of Between The Lions – this is where his habitat is; this is from whence he derives. The Tardigrades, or Storylions as we term them, the early detection systems – they have been generating Footnotes that we’ve been loading into Book-Plates, but the Uriel Protocols aren’t working quite as well as they used to.’

‘Candor, I don’t understand you – you seem to want chaos – you tell me I represent order on some level; this person Munch represents chaos, but you try to forewarn and forearm me against him. What is the long game? What is the game you are playing?’

‘It is Candid, my friend – I know your perceptions grow ragged as they pass through the iterations of world, but please, call me by name.’

‘I shall. What game are you playing?’

‘There are many stories, Tollemeyer, and you are the one we prefer to tell. We do not wish to write stories into The Unscripted Realms, we do not wish to make explicit that Between The Lions; we only wish to tell of that which is written, but not Inviolate Narratives; we wish instead to tell rough and ready stories with edges knocked off, with the centres missing, that jump around. You are that story Tollemeyer.’

<< The narrative reverses. The story winds tight that had come loose. The ribbon of water that had thread itself into run-off coils in the sink like a mirror, and the butterfly lifts from the mirror, sits upon it, and feeds upon it’s own reflection until there is none, and then it speaks to Tollemeyer … >>

‘Do you remember the nots tied into Knots? All the impossibilities that we wrought, and the dreams we set loose in the world wearing flesh, Tollemeyer? I am come to build The Base from the Bass. I am come to tie up the undone. Tollemeyer, a story should not be a reflection, and I am here to help you find how to move this story forward.’

‘Are you Candid?’

‘I’m not, but I know him. My name is Britten.’

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000. Diegesis

‘You call it instinct; I call it an unpacking micro-narrative. From the bottom to the top it is all about stories. See, I heard tell of a Spindle at the start of the Universe, and a Spindle at the end of the Universe.
‘The first Spindle is spatiotemporally anchored to a singularity that serves as an informational ingress point for this Universe, or a wormhole, where the used up data from some dead universe is unpacked and remixed into our origin story. And the second Spindle at the end of our Universe has the narrative being wound through it into a singularity that serves as an egress point for the narrative structures of our Universe.
‘At one end we decode a super-translation, and at the other end, we encode one.
‘And on every level that steps down from that, a replication of the same process. Birth (Beginning), Life (Story) Death (End), and then begin again, somewhere else.’

Tollemyer stuck his hand into the bag of Liquorice Allsorts and pulled out a liqourice stick, and stuck it in his mouth. Then he picked up his chai-latte and took a sip from it.

‘Ya shouldn’t be eating comestibles bought elsewhere, ya know.’

‘Oh, is that in the rules, then?’

‘Well, actually …’

‘How about if I give you a fiver? Will you turn a blind eye.’

‘Sure, what do I care, it’s not like they pay me more than minimum wage, anyway. But if someone else sees ya, would ya mind telling ’em I told ya so?’

‘Of course, madam, I shall,’ he said, as he winked at her.’

‘Who were you talking to?’ she said.

‘Someone off screen.’

‘Huh? Are you off your meds?’

He smiled ‘No.’

‘Can you travel the inter-fractal, you’re going to get me locked up.’

‘Can’t just step through a wall?’

‘Oh, maybe. The fourth wall I suppose.’

‘Here I am.’

‘Hello, Arbitour, looking beautiful, as ever.’

‘You just pulled me back across an event horizon, so if my dialogue seems a little elongated adjust your red shift.’

‘OK.’

‘So, Tollemeyer, why are you here? We can jump-cut this if you need.’

‘Sorry, I can’t afford to weaken the narrative tread by accelerating the story engine.’

‘OK, great, then just explain.’

‘Someone is trying to figure eight the narrative.’

‘Interesting … not a Reality Engineer?’

‘I don’t believe so. Sailor on The Chronon Sea, come to prolong the journey?’

‘Maybe, but an Epoch Lock? When has that ever worked?’

‘Well, briefly, in The Wittgenstein Iteration.’

‘True, but then it expressed it’s interior novelty mechanics and we ended up with a Turing Eventuality.’

‘Yes, what a neat little law that is – that if the universe becomes a puzzle, some consciousness will evolve to solve it. Which of course follows on from the Rubik’s Deterministic Probability Curve.’

‘Yes, that a tendency towards atemporality will cause the evolution of a consciousness that makes the universe into a puzzle.’

‘And of course, you remember Bollard Equation?’

‘Of course, that time doesn’t exist, and so perception of it will move towards a conception of the universe as atemporal.’

‘I like being an OR.’

‘Or an oar.’

‘Orator.’

‘Or a tour.’

‘Narrator.’

‘Damn, I didn’t think you were going to use the safe word this early into the game.’

‘Well, dream logic, game logic, fractal narrative drives – all much of a muchness Tollemeyer. Good luck with this – if you find them maybe you can turn it back into a 1,2,3.’

And she was gone – the shapes of her disintegrated into a multitude of dispersed geometric narratives within the localspace framework. He saw her echo in the shadows on the wall, in the musical chime of a man’s watch at a neighbouring table. He finished his chai-latte, stood up, and popped a pink spog in his mouth, winking at the lady as he did so.