Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pattern Recognition

In a primitive society, a false negative can kill you.

You're sitting around your fire at night, and you see something moving. It might be just a shadow, but it might also be a predator. Your brain says "Predator!", puts you into fight-or-flight, and your eyes resolve the shadows into the shape of a panther or whatever. And you get up and grab your spear.

There are two possibilities. One is, it's a panther, you stab it, you win, you get to pass along your genetic material because your brain saw "shadows" and made your eyes perceive "enemy." Or it's a shadow, but you saw it as a panther, so you're awake but no skin off your nose.

But if your brain says "Shadows, never mind, going back to sleep," and it's really a predator...well, you're fucked. And that's why we hear voices in the wind, see monsters in closets, and Jesus in tortillas. We're genetically designed by evolution to see patterns, specifically faces.

So when people tell you that They look human, just keep that in mind.

Tune in Tomorrow.

curse the darkness

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Them

Not everyone has seen Them. Most people think they have.

They don't come out of the shadows and lay waste to everything in Their path. They've done that exactly once, that we know of, and that was Jerusalem. Mostly, They wait for you to fall into a shadow and then They do whatever it is They do with you.

Those of us who have been to the Between have seen Their natural environment a little more closely, of course. But it's always disappointing to folks who want information to use for strategy or analysis. They're "home" is just...dark. Nothing really there. You get some sense of topography, but...well, the Between's hard to explain, and They aren't easy either, so I'll try and stay focused.

Even if you've seen Them, you probably haven't really seen Them. When we see Them, it's usually because They're dragging someone near us away. And we look straight at the person being dragged, and usually what we remember is the screaming and the terror and sometimes the abrupt snap when the...It...carrying the person decides "fuck it" and just kills him. But we're looking right at It, and the thing is that They are always shrouded in shadows.

So if you look at Them out of the corner of your eye, where the greatest concentration of rods are, you see Them better. Rods are the bits of the eye that see better in dim light, which is why your peripheral vision is better in the dark than in the light. So if you really want to see Them, you look out of the corner of your eye.

While they're dragging someone away. Yeah, I didn't think you want to see Them that badly.

But really, you want to know the worst part? Think about all the times in your life - before He took over, I mean - when you thought you saw something move in the dark? Just some little flicker of activity, just for a split second, and you looked into that corner or behind that door or under that bed and there was nothing there except shadows, and you thought, "Hell, I thought I really saw something?"

I'm betting you did. I think They were just waiting for something.

Tune in Tomorrow.

curse the darkness

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Things We Don't Talk About

We don't talk about being American, or English, or Mexican, or Canadian, or Chinese, because nations don't exist.

We don't talk about being black or white or Hispanic, because race doesn't exist. He's never specifically forbidden that (after all, some folks are different colors than others, it's just that when people mention it at all, they're usually talking culture rather than skin color), but it's considered a taboo subject. Especially after dark.

We don't talk about religion or the religions we used to follow, if any.

We don't talk about the old days. Here's why.

They never happened.

This wasn't part of His explanations of the law in Riyadh. It was something that's kind of evolved since. You don't talk about ideas of nation, race, religion and other ideologies because they were never valid to begin with. God never existed, so there's no point harping on what people used to believe. Nations were never more than people standing on a patch of dirt and screaming "Ours!", so there's no point rehashing their slogans and songs. Race was never a valid reason to deny or extend anything to other people, so there's no point mentioning it.

As usual, He's got a point, but the larger issue overshadows it. Maybe he's right that nations, religion and race are artificial constructs, but that doesn't mean they weren't important or that there's no value in studying them. And even ignoring that, the fact of the matter is that they were worth killing and dying for, to a lot of people for a lot of years. And now He's saying, "Forget these parts of yourself ever existed, or else the monsters come in the night and kill you."

It's been 10 years, don't forget. Slowly but surely, They are taking out the people who just can't let go. The fire, the passion, the desire to stand and fight is becoming a less desirable trait.

Call it "unnatural selection."

Tune in Tomorrow.

curse the darkness

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Whole of the Law

He delivered it in English, of course. In His weird, non-accent accent, He stood in Riyadh, flanked by an army of Them, and told us how it was going to be.

It wasn't short. There are recordings, of course, and for a while it was just a matter of searching them online, but now that "online" doesn't mean the same thing as it once did, that's not as easy to arrange.

In that address, He explained Himself as clearly and concisely as He ever would. To my knowledge, He hasn't spoken since. Most of what He said was clarification on His statement three hours before Jerusalem. Ideology was the problem. Believing in something so strongly that you lost sight of what was real. Pursuit of an ideal, even when that ideal was untenable and counterproductive.

He made it clear He wasn't interested in debate. He wasn't interested in hearing about people's "right to believe." He mentioned, somewhere in that speech, while the world watched and tried to understand, that He couldn't control what anyone believed. But He could damn well keep them from acting in accordance with those "outdated, moronic, Bronze-Age ideals."

Mostly, He was talking about religion. But if you listened to the address, you started to understand: It wasn't just religion He wanted to dismantle.

He wanted a world where people realized that money wasn't actually worth anything. He wanted a world where people treated each other like people, related to each other on a direct, one-to-one kind of level, rather than seeing the vast majority of others as "them." He wanted a world in which greed, possessions, entitlement, victimization, were all gone.

Naturally, pretty much every major religion and government (what was left of them) stood up and said, "But that's what we wanted all along!"

More realistic folks stood up and said, "Um...how is this going to work?"

It's been 10 years. It's not working. But you can't say that too loud.

Tune in Tomorrow

curse the darkness

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Meaning of the Symbol

He never tried to keep people out of the Between. Of course, He never warned anyone, either, but that's sort of His way in a nutshell - do what you want, as long as what you want isn't clashing with the way the world should be.

Openers learned very quickly that the Between was useful, but not safe. And He set up the Symbol...maybe five years after Jerusalem. Like a lot of events of the time, it just kind of happened, and most of the world didn't see it until it was already there. But it was there, if people had been looking.

The Symbol is...well, it looks kind of like a spiral, or a loop, or a series of loops. I don't know. It's hard to describe. People define it in terms of symbols from their own culture. What letter it looks like, what alchemical symbols. Runes, Egyptian hieroglyphics, symbols from the Mayan calendar (even though we're well past that expiration date). But I think it's just something He made up. What frustrates people about the Symbol is that you can't cheat with it.

They know the intent behind the Symbol. That's the only way to explain it. If you're just using it to try and sneak through the Between and hook up with other resistance-types, They'll kill you. If you're using the Symbol to get through the Between to deliver a letter or something, They let you by. If you're delivering a letter and hooking up with resistance...well, then you're trusting your luck a little. They might kill you. They might not. And if there's a way to make this reliable, to really use the Symbol to your benefit, I don't know the secret.

It all points to Them communicating in ways other than what we use. Letters are symbols, of course, and depending on the nature of the symbol system a letter can stand for a concept or a sound. In English, letters stand for sounds and we group them together into words. In other systems, they stand for concepts, and as concepts are grouped you get bigger and more complicated concepts. But I think They understand symbols on a deeper, or more complex level - They know, somehow, what the intent was when the Symbol was made. I have no idea how that might work.

But if you watch the footage from Cheyenne Mountain, you can see Him nodding, almost imperceptibly, to the shadows around him. Acknowledgment of Their presence? Subtle, silent commands?

Like I said, that's His real power. Communicating with Them. We always assume He's controlling Them, but what if He is just the one person out of billions that They can understand?

Tune in Tomorrow.

curse the darkness

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The symbol

I heard about an Opener who got the Passage Symbol tattooed on his arm.

His wife found his arm on their bed the next week.

You can't cheat the Symbol. Jesus. How many people have to die before-

Well. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.

Tune in Tomorrow.

curse the darkness

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Resistance

This is the stuff I can't talk about.

All I can say is that...it's like living in every dystopian novel you've ever- Jeez, OK. The movies where there's computer security everywhere and they can track you flawlessly by a fingerprint? That, except you can't get away from it by going "off the grid." The grid isn't made of wires and nodes anymore. It's made of shadows. Anywhere you are, your body gives Him the window He needs to hear you, just by blocking light.

And, yes, the chances against Him listening in at any given time are pretty high. But when you think about how many people disappear every week, and the fact that He makes no attempt at all to hide what He's doing, you're left with two possibilities.

First, He might not be able to keep tabs on the whole world. That would make sense, right? Too much space, too many people, and He's got to sleep sometime, doesn't He? He might just grab people when He finds them (or they get reported - that's the other thing, it's not like He doesn't have followers), and takes enough people to make anyone thinking about resisting think twice.

The second possibility is scarier, but we have to consider it. He might actually be able to monitor the entire world somehow. He's already demonstrated that He can do things most Openers can't - direct two-way gates, controlling Them, expanding gates once they're open, and so on. Maybe He can listen to millions of people at once and sort through what they're saying for what He wants to hear. If so, that makes Him a savant and it makes Him even more terrifying, but honestly, my gut tells me this is what's really happening.

I say that because it's in keeping with how He's always behaved. He's never shown any desire to kill people. He's only ever killed to make a point, and He's going gone whole-hog at the very beginning, when He needed to make sure we all knew He wasn't fucking around. Since then, there haven't been any attacks on the scale of Jerusalem, and only a few on the scale of Cheyenne Mountain or Saint Peter's. He hasn't spoken to the world since the address he gave from Riyadh. Hell, to my knowledge He hasn't spoken since then.

The resistance, from what I've heard...hang on.

OK. Quick, now. From what I hear, most people who consider themselves "resistance" just want to be free to be religious again. It's a good, easy source of outrage, but it faces two big problems. First of all, it's dying out. Religion only works if people teach it to the kids, and teaching your kids about God is dangerous not only to you, but to the kids. Since there are no Churches anymore, urging you to send kids to Sunday school and give money, there's no community based on belief anymore, which is what He wanted in the first place, I think.

Second, the different religious factions still hate each other. They don't actively fight - radical Islam learned pretty quickly that any real violent activity against the West or the Jews was going to result in shadows opening up and a quick visit from Them - but they don't mingle and they don't help each other, either. And, in a show of bone-headedness that makes me want to sit down and cry, they blame each other for all of this.

They still. Blame. Each other.

Tune in Tomorrow.


curse the darkness