giovedì, dicembre 21, 2006

Scienta Est Potentia VII

We get disappointed when Saints fail us simply because we tend to forget that they are also human.

lunedì, dicembre 18, 2006

My Name is Echo

This piece was my final assignment for my Writing II unit which I recently completed. I hope you'll enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

And to my regular blog readers, you might find that the introduction of this story is EXACTLY the same as the intro of another (See Agent Johnny Constant). But don't worry about plagiarism or anything - I've asked the author if I could reproduced his work and he has given me full authority. Now wasn't that nice :P

My Name is Echo
by Eddie G.

Our story takes us to the depths of a bustling metropolis in the distant future known as Kayel City, named after the Capitol of a country long forgotten. There were no longer any countries after the Fallout anyway, but rather individual cities that arose with the preference of being self-governed, for the people by the people, auspicium melioris aevi, blah blah blah, yada yada yada, so on and so forth.

Individual Cities meant that they would be easier both to manage and control. It also meant unwavering loyalty on the citizens' part, mostly because leaving one City for another had recently knocked off "detonating a bomb with your teeth" from top spot in Riddly's Top 10 List of Messy Suicides.

However, Cities took a very feudalistic view when considering their neighbours (if they should be considered at all). This probably meant that throwing up on the wrong side of the City border could very well spark off another inter-City Holocaust. Little is known of the outcome that stemmed from the prototype offender, mostly because there were too little body parts around for a proper forensic study.

Petty disputes between cities were not uncommon, and were normally "settled" with Diplomacy. In fact, the use of Diplomacy became so commonplace that the microwave oven shot up to first place in Riddly's Top 10 List of Redundant Home Appliances overnight and had stayed there ever since.

”Diplomacy Nuclear Warheads will make all your problems immaterial. Literally!” its famous slogan rang.

Time became immaterial in Kayel City. Society had no longer a need for it. The rising and setting of Solaris was no longer relevant, for Her rays could hardly penetrate through the thick layer of radioactive dust; many Cities relied heavily on artificial sources of lighting, explosions being the most popular by far.


My name is Echo.

You heard correctly. My name is Echo.

From the day I was born, I never saw the face of Solaris
For eons, She was our source of light, hope and solace.
Now the dust has hid Her from us, and all that lights our city now
––is ambition.

Yet I do not envy those who had seen her face to face
Some say that her brilliance was so overwhelming that
one direct gaze at her will turn you blind.
Perhaps the dust saved us from her wrath.
But we’ll never know that.


A single tear fell, hit the pavement, disappeared.

Plop! Plop!

The tears began to flow more freely now. Echo wept.

She mourned the beautiful past – a past in which its denizens took for granted.

What what she did not know was that in years to come, this cycle will repeat itself.

Repeat itself, repeat itself.

Provided Terra would still be around then, which seemed rather unlikely.

She remembers the Hymn clearly:

Tell me then, what are stars,
For ne’er have I seen them
Winds blow, cold and old.
They teach us how to believe them

Decide ye now, ye fools of young
How ye want this world to be.
The rays of Solaris oft will blind
But ‘tis a world I’d rather not see.


Oppression is a beautiful thing. Without oppression, you will not know the sweet taste of freedom. This has been prevalent across the span of time. The cycle continues.

“What then is the first stage of this cycle?” the Rabbi droned before a congregation of thousands. “It can be summed up in two words ––status quo. As the Solarian Chapters thus say:

“There is first a Balance
Disruption is not of the Balance
Those that are not pure
Therefore thou art not of the Balance
Repent! Repent!
Thy Reckoning draws near!
- Amaunator 4:19”

Echo stifiled a laugh.

Foolish man she thought. A cycle has no “first stage”; that was more or less the prerequisite. Something which has no end surely meant it had no beginning either.

“Every new beginning comes
From some other beginning’s end
- Semisonic 1:16”

The line was adapted from an ancient folksong, and for some reason, the Canons of the Solarian Chapters had “ordained” it. Echo had a strong feeling that this reason fell nothing short of uninhibited intoxication.

“Draw close to Solaris, my children. Allow Her redeeming light to purify you!” the Rabbi declared.

How can a Light that cannot even penetrate dust purify souls that are clouded with more than just grit?


Echo frowned. Every time she got to that line, the Archive Reader was unable to go further. She knew for a fact that the passage was truncated on purpose, even though she was unable to prove anything. It however was a powerful statement – whatever Sir Walter Reighs had written, it contained truth that the regulatory bodies did not want the general populous to find out.

She thought back on the dream she had last night. She knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the key to restoring Time back to society lay within books. It was planned to perfection; to keep society repressed, remove the one and only thing that they truly owned – their awareness of time – and the masses would be nothing but putty in your hands, doing what you commanded them too. After all, nothing else mattered.

Keep the peasants uneducated, keep them ignorant, keep them unaware, and they will be eating from your hand. There was no other reason why knowledge was so bloody expensive, except for the fact that only the oppressors could afford it.

“That will all change in due time,” Echo whispered to herself, “tomorrow, they will know.”


Damnation! It was like talking to a bunch of kids. How on Terra did she wind up with such losers? The mutants in the “convention centre” milled around aimlessly, which pretty much described their current outlook of life. Aimless. It infuriated her that apathy was no longer a shortcoming.

It was now a lifestyle.

Presently Echo cleared her throat, and noted how only some had bothered to look up. Getting these sods motivated was akin to pulling teeth, and at least for the latter, some anesthetic would have be administered to help deaden the pain.

“May I remind you all why we are here?” she said, her voice resonating all across the “convention centre”. Sporadic coughs punctured the silence that ensued. Piqued, she attempted to continue her rally.

“We must restore Time! Not time as in the entity that separates one event from another, but Time as a concept. It is the only way. Time must be restored!”

Murmuring consensus rose from the crowd, although many of their faces betrayed an “easier-said-than-done” look in their expressions.

“Why?” a voice had asked.

“Why? Why?” Echo’s arm flew out. “What do you mean why? Did you ever for once question why you wake up every morning? Have you ever challenged why you breathe? Time was part of us, and without it we have no meaning. Our lives have no meaning! Do you truly want that? Waking up and realizing that all that you do in this life is of no eternal value?”

“What’s wrong with that?”

The murmuring started again, but this time with more conviction. By the rays of Solaris Echo thought, am I truly surrounded by such fools? There was a word that eluded her, the word that summed up her predicament.

That word was “inertia”.


Echo awoke to find herself strapped securely to a chair by meta-fibres. Panic threaten to overwhelm her as she surveyed her unfamiliar surroundings. Surely this must be a dream.

“Ye who spurn the warnings of Solaris shall be raptured into judgement.
Men shall not seek for thee; thy punishment is fair and just”
- Mortaris 1:6”

“Indeed they shall not search for you,” a disembodied voice said, “they will say it was destined to happen.”

Echo tried to call out, but the gag that secured her mouth was effective.

“For a girl as young as you are, you certainly know much,” the disembodied voice was visibly impressed. “I also cannot help but notice that you’ve been trying to access the musings of Sir Reighs. Foolish of you. I can’t believe you actually subscribe to such nonsense.”

Better that than to be a slave to dogs such as you she thought bitterly.

“Indeed,” the voice had said, “but conformism is the way of life. No… that’s not entirely true. Allow me to rephrase it: Conformism IS life. And this, you shall surely find out. Such a pity. We could have used one as intelligent as yourself.”


In every society, there are cowards.
In every coward, there is fear
In every fear, there is apprehension
In apprehension, there is doubt
Therefore, without doubt, society cannot exist
- Amaunator 3:16

In the heart of Kayel City stood a foreboding tower called Left. It was short for the "Left Half of The Kayel City Centre Something Towers" (names, like buildings, eroded with each turn of the Centuric Hourglass). Unlike its surrounding buildings, Left only sported less than a hundred storeys, and possibly had the least glamourous of futures. Yet, of all the buildings in entire Kayel, it had the most glamourous past. In a relatively happier, there were two such towers standing side by side, connected by a skybridge. It was truly the envy of the World, especially after a certain Country in the West had theirs blown up when a couple of planes crashed misguidedly into them; and all because their pilots had decided to leave their consoles unattended just so that they could go for a nice, long piss.

At the foot of Left stood a fountain that too had seen better days. Long gone were the days when streams of crystal clear water were shot into the backdrop of a bright, blue sky. Yet, still it stood, a testimony to the fact that nostalgia for the most trivial things was indeed what every self-respecting City should possess. Radiation Control Centres were in dire need, as more and more denizens began to succumb to the dust. Medical outposts were also in great demand. But the fountain was more important. The fountain served as constant reminder to Kayel City of who they are and what they once were ––idiots.


The Tomb of Tomes
By Walter Reighs

Indeed there has been much debate on why books can fetch such ridiculously astronomical amounts despite having no practical use whatsoever. It is ironic that if you have a book in your possession, your networth is immediately augmented by tens of thousands, and yet you can still starve to death; clutching on to it tightly as they lower your casket.

There is much to consider in the production of books, which will certainly lend some weight in the attempt to explain the unreal value that has been pinned upon them. The raw materials in which to print a book per se are easily available, but the material in which to replicate the contents of the book is already exhausted –inspiration.

In order to make sense of this, one must realize that aesthetic history has been divided by one groundshaking event – Renaissance Prime (RP for short). RP was hailed by many philosophers as “an era where understanding reached its Plateau” (Robinson, 642 RP, Ln 15). In other words, RP symbolized not only the “Terminal of Academia” (ibid, Ln 42; italics mine), but also implied that there was “nothing new” to be learnt. By the same token, this was why authors who had written before RP was considered priceless, just as how works of authors after RP were considered worthless.

Of course, this doesn’t explain fully why pre-RP books attained values of which they are hitting as of now. Upon closer scrutiny-

*Error 404 – The remainder of this file seems to be corrupted and hence unreadable. A log of this error has been submitted to the Central Archives for reference*