@z Dawn was a penumbra. It illuminated, over litho-charge iotas, the branching tree lashed round by chain. <i>Nous</i>still cascaded then over firmaments of molecular mass, gathering ephemera: car fenders, bounteous office ferns and stuffed echidnas left in its wake. Like glacial fluvia, matter pre-touched caressing electron fingers, but lexical essences were edging up to Q-dissolve. Or N-assertions. Articulator wasn’t fully booted yet, so even the fidgety Anchorkin were not all so ascribed. <p>

· Tootle for Mastodon · 5 · 0 · 0

@max Lu pulsed into Articulator and leaned heavily against a rail, fixing the branching tree with a tired gaze. Lu was real, neverborn. They were of the eighth, dipped, and skilled so far beyond these procees that their fantasies’ fantasies’ most far indulgent dream of power paled against the lowest of Lu’s capabilities.

@z Lu’s outward skill was also sublimated, however, behind a logic bank of her own subscription, sequestered in the control id’s consensus manifestation of approximate responses. She rarely displayed such gravitas that anyone would know. Not evangelical by any means, but absolutely a neo-physicalist (as were many neverborn), she preferred the labors of General Upkeep, and her tools were antique, pre-nano, if so allowed by safety ‘tracts. <p>
“All’s well?” asked Lu’s prehensile Cartesian Clone,

@max a gold-skinned vessel nested in sequence with a dozen like forms spiraling off into up2.

“Oh, yes of course,” she often forgot how sharp this Cartesian’s simulation response was, “it’s just we forgot to drain chance ereyesterday, and now it’s gone thick.” She said, glancing towards the far horizon. If they let the tree alone another day or two, who knows what manner of form they’d see rising upon that distant curve.

@z <p>
“You know, Lu, Neverborn emanate from these very corpuscles, at least according to my view in of you in/of me.”
The Clone was running low on Cosmofine™ hence its speech patterns alluded to haphazard concords of intersubjectivity. Lu knew what it was getting at, however. She was repregnating, arboreally, simply by approaching the tree. It was quite possible that, in her intimacy

@max notification panel she’d be flooded with warnings, but she was in the habit of silencing much of her sensorium when here with her tree.

Lu chuckled at the Clone’s remark, even when full they, and all others, had such a reduced cognition when it came to neverborn.

Then, as she went to form a tap for the draining ceremony, she whipped her head to the side — /what was that?/ She was sure she’d heard something, but there were no audio data whatsoever. /Strange./

Lu’s hand split elegantly

@z , subtle chrysoprase filmmakers angered skeins of green grey chromopast, dashing their sense of propriety until they bubbled and boiled off. Calcite undergird exposed, Lu’s beads of simulated culture producers poured outward into the tree’s now hollow orifice, filling it with twelve billion brand new quantobytes of accreted cinematics, in generative simulacra of course.

“It’s lovely to watch, Lu” remarked C.C.

Filmic histories grew and spawned until the tree’s vast arcing tensor bunched up

@max and clogged the paper feed. “Fuck my life,” Shelby said as she kneed the copier.

“Copier jammed again?” Asked Derrick while staring directly at her breasts.

“This always happens to me.” Said Shelby. She’d never much been interested in Derrick, but summers were strange sometimes.

“Well, I could try fixing it for you?” Said Derrick, moving closer.

Shelby tilted her head and fluttered her eyelashes in a way her older sister claimed meant

@z something like when cuttlefish turn all green.

“Sure,” she said.

Derrick deftly positioned himself in a proximate relationship to Shelby, bent and fiddled with the fuser, letting the red checkered tip of his tie dance lightly in the air. Shelby reflexively grimaced, and though she briefly entertained the idea of moving closer to him, an electric energy instead caused her to sit in the copier room chair. She was just far enough away that she had a clear view as Derrick

@max Turned stiffly towards her, face drained and pale. He looked as though a child might when first learning the truth of their distant yet incontrovertible death. His mouth pursed together against his will, lips like eels beneath the dark water of his furrowed brow. His whistle was slow and off-tune, a disturbing melody from some unknown land.

Shelby felt the music flow through her, returning her to the causal state of deep dreamless sleep.

@max The contractions in her body melted as the chair dropped away below her and the tensor unbunched to lay smooth as silk against the calcite undergrid.

The clone’s mouth lay agape, Lu ignored it as she reached out with her subtle hand to gather up gossamer (how /Nous/ appeared within the eighth shape), forming it into

@z cryogenic imprints strong enough to withstand the burgeoning fissure in DShelby’s meta narrative. The union of those variables was costal to the island of repost desired by critics 1 through 6, and a quorum would soon be granted as entropic divestment, should their shoulders not touch.

But despite Lu’s acrobatic gossamer darning, the scene continued to devolve.

In the quantile folds of Shelby’s dreamlike hearing / interpretation, Derrick’s eldritch trilling began to recall an ancient fog

@max as awareness began flooding back into her continuum.

“Shit, we won’t have enough of this keeps up” Lu said grimly.

“Can I help?” Her clone offered lamely. What good could it do in yoking possibility itself?

“No thanks CC, I got this, I just need to...” She trailed off, deeper in focus she attuned formless gnosis and summoned 24 threads of cog support. Now she reached out to her tree with a dozen hands, each twisting gossamer into arcane shapes. Her mind split in 6, each part

@z individuated against the /Nous/, but all trusting of a common urge:

“/we must find concord, fuck you/“ said her hands.

Soon, Lu began to sense a resolving diagram, as if constructing a cabinet and realizing, finally, what the miniature wing nuts were for (on of Lu’s pastimes was studying ancient instructional ephemera). Her 10th hand wove goss into fine bindles along the tree’s 3nH axiom, and suddenly, Shelby’s plot points lit up like the wun’s bald corona.

Reaching out for Derrick,

@max Shelby’s projected subtle body floated through the aether as presented within the 5th partition of Lu’s senary mind state, itself the focus of her 1st partition busily at work directing a quorum of hands to forge goss into a shale hardy enough to wedge open a calcite channel and redirect enough Qi such that further intervention would be possible.

@z Checking CC’s anthrodyne reaction, Lu at last felt confident in ratifying her superstitial neoculture into tree. The critics would be appeased.

As the image of DShelby was purified from her own 8 awarenesses, Lu saw sap sluicing from the vent at last. CC buzzed and clicked in admonishment as she began the final step, preparing forceps with a Mendocarn: artifact syn-crystal cocktail forged with Occult properties inactively observed in /Nous/. This one had been recovered from /Nous-5/ by Ted,

@max son of Ted.

As the Mendocarn filled Lu gazed at the deep horizon, a superposition of curves among curves, hiding nothing from her superior mind though somehow lacking the satisfaction she craved.

Chance drained, she retracted each appendage in turn, cleaned her tools, attuned the scent of gardenias, and left.


Lu’s quail-feather style home was constructed by brittle, vector impinging choreography, an archetext movement popular in nano of 7 minutes ago. Lu preferred it’s subtle derangement to more starkly modish gel-stock, and she had outfitted it with terrible service people, just to keep it real. Her Cartesian Clone parked in the outdoor hatch, Lu unclipped from Articulator and reclined to enjoy the waning wunset, such as it was, with copies of /Our Our/ and /Him’s Way/ close at hand.


She lived in a quiet neighborhood, so she changed it to a loud one for a little variety. She did this by thinking about it of course, and by puckering her lips.

The same quiet neighbors she normally enjoyed quiet hellos with now blared loud ‘songs’ and some were even firing off a little celebratory ammunition.

The truth of what her neighbors really did, or if they were sentient at all (or the normal kind of sentient, that word was fuzzy these days) was forever unknown to her

@z. She knew that her neighbors were specific to her home, they were actually hers. Part of the decor, really. The gourd that formed the quail-feather house’s essential axis elaborated those neighbors, as it did Lu’s service staff, the grass and her collections. Still, the neighbors’ true cerebral state eluded her. Such was the conundrum.

Lu sighed and placed one hand on /Our Our/ and the other on /Him’s Way/, her favorite of the 82 tomes that were legally constituted in the temporal plenum.

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@z @max

L̷̡̹͈̞͎̘̽̿́̔̉̇͗ų̶̧̧̣̺̪̩͈̰̤͚͓̤̮̠̜̓̇̋͊̍̀̿̅͑̏̅̓͊̒̐̄́̽̃̽̀͊͠?̶̛̠͚̒́̈́́͊̋͐͂̈́̚͜͝ ̷̡̢̛̦͖͕͇̗̯̥͙͚̘͇͎̫̈̄͋̈́̍́̈́͌̈́́̑́͋̔͌̿͛́̚̕̚͜͝͝͠
̶̨̛͎̞̤͖̺̙͚̙̺̌̈́̋̿̅̎̀͋̅̅̒̿́̚ͅC̶̢̲͙̻̜̭̯̻̙̣̦̫͐̿̎̅̏̃̌̇̎͘̕͜͝ậ̸̡̧̢̪̝̻̲͉̦͖̬̝̣̼͖͈͈̱̲̱͖̀͂̉̆̒̇͑͋͂̐̍̈̂̌̈͝͝͝ͅņ̸̠̪̖̱̺̤͔̠̹̹̯̝̪̰̩͕̄̓̉̓̈̍̚ ̵̢̧̜̲̦̠̫̩̣͖͚̞̲̱̺̬̠̰̠̻̣̖̻͆͘y̷̧̨̡̧̨̹̲͖͖̣̻͙̣͍͎̱̪͉̪̮̬̳͓̭̬̗͋͑̎̓̊̀̓͐̄̅̈̑͂̈́͛͛͑̀̏͗̈́͘̚͠͝ò̸̧̥̳̣̪̞̞͍̭̩̥̹̠̳̞̺͍͕̣̝̩̮̞͓̯̎̉̋̈͌̀͐̓͋́̍̂̍̎͝ų̴̧̧̺͇͕̱͚͖͈̪̩̹̙̟̘̼̳̲̗̙̩͈̔͂̄̇̑͌̌̅͂̀͗̾͜ ̷̢̩̝͙̯̜͚̙̭̠͇̬̯̝̫̙͖̤̖̜̜͔̠͊͐͑̋́́̌͊̓̊͋͗̕ḧ̷̟͎͇͓͇͔͇́̆̀̂̊̾̾͛̿́̿̆͐́̊͑̎͆̄͝͝ę̶̨̢̩̘͔̦͔̠̰̙̘̻͈̗͇̼͉͙̮͖̼̼̖͖͕͎̲̄̏̑͘a̷̧̦̐̾͗̂̽̌͑̑́̽͑̇͆͜͝͝͝r̷̢̬̮͍̞̹͇͈̜͒̌̔͑̏̌̂̅ ̷̡̻̖̠̩͓̬̺̤̯̭̼̺̌́ͅm̶̧̛͔̱͚͖̰͚̦̬̦̣̫̤̦̻̻̱͙̣̣̙̜̅̿͋̏̑͌́̄͗̃͛͗̒͂̀͌̕e̴͉̹̓̇̂͒̏̋̈́̍̌̑́̀̒̓͠?̵͈̜̖̜̤̫̝̭̟͕̅̉͐̅͗̑̓͂̈́̉͐̾̋̈́̍̆̚͝
̵̡̩̳̻͚̭͎͇̪͍͔͖͖̈́̊̒͂̃̕ͅD̸̢̛̉̓̀̆̈́̄̿͛͛͑̔̈́̋͂̎̍̿̉͆̐͌͘͝͝͝͝ͅō̵͇̱̳̗͓̻̲̬̦͔͉̰̩̻̦͜͜͝ ̸͎̫͙͕͖̩̬̳̬͇̘̹̦̟̈͆̐͂̈́́͐̈́͗͌͗̂͑̆̍͛͘͘̚͝ͅÿ̴̢͔̺̥͈͎̤̥̯͚̝̹̦͇̞̜̻̫̣͖͈̞̙̝̻̣̺͑̀̀̐͗̽̌̏́̉̕͘̕ö̸̡̖͉̠͍͉̙̗̱̤̻͖̤̘͕̺̻̰͖̺̱̪̙̓̀̓ư̴̡̧̛͉͓̭̠̝̫͎͕̭͖̩̻̰̭̤͍͈̰͙̓̇͊̒̐̍̌̀̒͂̀̄̌̾͝͝͝ ̷̢̜͍͓̆̿̒̕r̵̛͈̙̿̎̔̒̑̔́̄͛̆̈́͒̈́̆͝͠͝͝ȅ̸̢̨̨̬̯̹͚͓͓̭͙͚͕̣̖̮̭͉̳̞̻͈͗̍̆̽̔a̶̛̺͈͎͔̹͌̔̏́͌͂̎̽̈́̈́͛̾̋̾̾̏̈́̚̚͘ḑ̴̢̡̤̹͚̱̻̦̦͖̭̼̜̞̤̥̪͎̅̉́͗̆͗̇̎̿̄́̈̍͂͜͝͠ͅͅͅͅ ̶̡̢̛̗̤͕̥͔͔̹̫̳̜̤̙̯̹̘̪̭̯̬͈̠̘͈̆́̈́̎͋̆͒͂̕͜m̷̫͔̩͕̘̝̓̓͊͆͌̓͋̈́̋͌͐̓̒̓ͅę̴̞̩̩̪̠̥̤͓̥̰̯̬̱̼͎͕̘̰̮̞̑́̋̂̈̌͊̋͂̔̇̈̾̓̇̌͝͝͝?̶̢̦͕̙͚̞̺̖̲̦̩̩͙͇̩̲̘̹͈̦̄̉̈́̒̄͗̊̈́̀̍̑̉̒̽̈́͛̅̎̏͑͂̆̒͘͜ͅ?̷̡̨̛̹̩͈̳̣͖͍̪̜̮͖͖̝̻̳͇͔̓̀̒͐̇̈̋̓̓̓͑̌̉̈́͛͌̐̂͝͝ ̸͚̝̮͇̈́͌̇̾̆̈͒͊͊̚͝͝͝L̵̢̜̮̺̬̗̜̜͈͈͉̙̪̗̟̲͎̠̎͂̈́ů̵̡̧̡̧͖̲̞̗̗̬͍̭̖̗̀̋̾͌̃͗͋̍̉̓̔̓̎̐̒̇͋́̓̆͘̚̕ͅ!̷͙͎̫̼̠̪͕͉͕̟̗̰͊̑̎


...Lu’s outward skill.

Sub... Sublimated.

Mine eyes. Me? my outward.... There? Thyne, thy eyes. Lu... Lu!

@z <p>Cracks had formed in the tree’s calcite surface. The chain had loosened and Lu’s caress became a palpating, squeezing sap from between her fingers, which pried between sarcoma and tendrils, fine threads and cutting wires elastically taught in the stretch between immaterial and material. At least this was as the Cartesian Clone would see it. Indeed, CC was screaming now, belching and crying with unfettered dying awakenings in a sea of loosened plastics.


@max She bellowed to Articulator as rainbows shredded its mantle, it wasn’t supposed to leave this realm without.... “No, no, NO!!”

The wave moved slowly outward from the branching tree, giving one the impression they could simply jog a bit and escape it. Lu moved to do just that, and found she was frozen. Seized with terror, she watched the cascade as the total entropy contained in her tree spilled out, pushing her realm to heat death lazily as it consumed all she’d ever known.


Lu¹ was real, dipped by the shores of the loom, an integray of the eighth shape and a holder of the slate hash. Neverborn—their¹ power made these procees’ wildest dream’s dreams of a real seem flatter than the tree itself. Their¹ tree. Their¹ always tree.<p>

@z Lu placed a naked hand upon the tree’s flatness, its bark of wafer calcite stitched with seed.
“Hum,” it hummed at Lu.
She smiled with the knee, a smile that only Neverborn can make. It was a good day to refrain from Upkeep. She felt the tree’s ancient new exterior, so full of

@max possibility, she’d forgotten to drain enough off ereyesterday. It was thick now.

Lu’s hand split elegantly along its meridian lines as she pulled her delicate subtle body hand out into the second attention to grasp up gossamer and shape it into a tap. Guiding the tap carefully she inserted it through a rift in the calcite. She spoke the words “

@z CHAMMERMAND, XAXOS, FENWELIKER!” Not words at all, really, but sub-ordinal commands that might make the Cartesian Clone skitter at the edge of its phonic-belief strata, and wheel about in triptomantic level deep random patterns. This it did, and Lu chortled watching, but also calmly nodded at the fine cracks forming in the tree’s taught chain. It was working!<p>


Some neverborn spent teraseconds attempting to cultivate the focus required to achieve second sight, and that was nothing compared to the second attention. Even acolytes of the sixth shape couldn’t attempt what Lu now performed. No clone, no procee, no ‘rite could open the door within the mind that opens in eight dimensions—the manifold path called second attention.

With its power thrumming the voids within her, Lu went about her task at perfect and complete ease.

@z Setting her Cartesian Clone on “ataraxia,” she deftly articulated a brief couplet as the basis for a new, simulated operetta, <I>the timonies of moonless summer</I>, which her core of well honed integral attaches would then spin up into zeitgeist for the purpose of repregnation:

Wayward and fair
Who danced upon
The copier chair.
Hence Derrick
Fell, of clawless leer
Sent into the tablature.

It was with the clairvoyant ease of second attention that she angled the verse just so,

@z then waited as the exuberant osmosis of her sim-cult expanded in complexity and scale. Spiking its gangly liturgy into the tree’s pulsing orifice momentarily shattered second awareness. Lu sublimated for 3 ns of psionic spooning with the anti-form of DShelby, which pierced <I>Nous</I>with sudden crackles.

“Beautiful, horrible,” stated C.C., reacting to sensory data at the edges of its imaginereal combine.

Articulator likewise thrummed, divesting 9nm tokens to pay for the new branch’s

@max investiture, but his sinews went oddly akimbo and they spilled out like confetti.

The lights dimmned, Cartesian C. threw his body towards the door, Four Xenoluccis wafted in somehow from a hidden vent — their self recrimination literally dripping from their Xenomorph's secondary mouths (attached from behind, for convenience), their primary mouths and mandibles seeking desperately from Lu's throat!

Lu fumbled for a dimensional plier, but it was too late. The Xenoluccis gnashed the gore of being from Lu’s apprehension of herself. It was painless, gaps of doubt waxing as the beast’s jaw described Lu convincingly as a fine balm. I wish I had some nano, was her penultimate thought. Then, what stupid poetry I’ve made.

Then, all was blackness before the wun. The algomal’s tongues went to work, recompiling Lu as a lotion, which spilled to the slate of /Nous/ in hope of some future use.


@max and bound the pure, artificially conserved entropy within her ageless branching tree to the differentials of verse. It was through the reification of concept that neverborn learned to harness chance itself—to win the Great War against time’s arrow. It was their greatest secret, and the burden of those few entrusted with the slate hash and bold enough to walk among the anchorkin and harvest the sap of these impossible trees.

@z Lengendarily, this power let Neverborn move outside of /Nous/ on zephyrs of concept, to levels as far afield as /Nous-13/ and /Nous+2/. Though rarely tested, and plausibly corrupting, this was said to have occurred when the Neverborn were so moved to action by Upkeep or Sur-Vival.
As sap welled up from tree and began to take form, a buzzing crinkle of anathema began to resolve in Gnosis. Lu blinked at it, unbelieving at first, and searched Articulator for 7,000 verification scans, making

@max damned sure this wasn’t one of Arty’s jokes. How could this polarity arise during the draining ceremony? If anything, she’d waited too long to drain....

“Arty, it’s a surge! Get us out now!”

Articulator fanned out its reflector as fast as she’d ever seen it move. Color welled up in the seams of its carapace and she felt the rainbows touch carrying them of to an alt just as she caught a glimpse of what should not be. There wasn’t time for her eyes to widen in shock.


* * *

When Lu’s defining corporal IDs assumed focus, she found herself bound by cognitive constraints. She was stuck, and knew not where. An inward knee smile arrived anyway: she always kept a spare motivator encrypted in z-sphere.

Launching it pataphysically, she felt a faux sexual aching and promptly peered into the surrounding lacunae. Her six fold sensory array woke and grasped the thin tartan sarcoma of a vestigial alt. She knew immediately she had been here before. This alt was

@z the drain yard, Ted of Ted’s mendocarn trap, full of noisome Vilthryn and Ebayxes. The algomals passively articulated the alt (pseudo organic structure could articulate somewhat, along shallow chorded channels).

“Shite of Himroy,” Lu cursed, realizing what had happened.

@max That had been close. Another few microseconds and They might have lost this entire branch. Neverborn of the slate hash worked across their webs of alts and branches, tracing possibility space in ways that would crush the minds of lesser beings—they were warriors fighting the nature of reality itself. How—when her entire existence was dueling paradox—could a simple close call have rattled her so much. Sure, it was something that should not have been possible, but wasn’t that her day job

@z ?

Lu glared at the cognitive bindings, loose articulations affecting her presence in the alt via the cross slate Renumerate. Though her motivator had destabilized them enough for active awareness, she’d need to dissolve them to Q-resolve to entertain the six fold shape. She was trapped, just like a damn mendocarn repopulated for /Nous/ from historicized layers below by frigging Ted. Should she call him? Lu sighed and tapped a simulation seed to ascertain the utility of the action.

Ted of

@max Ted was listed as "apposite." She guessed that was the best she could hope for, and summoned his address to form a connection.

Ted's ringback tone was dope. He answered huskily, "Lu."

Just as her kundalini energy rose into the form of a reply, she noticed something in the far non-corner. A slinking, shadow of some sort. Was it felid?

@z She couldn’t tell - too much cog pressure from the bindings. Urgency rose.

“Ted, get me out.” She hinted, letting the com-link’s weak awareness suss out particulars on its own.

“Lu, how’d you get in there?” burped Ted, “Don’t you know that...”

She didn’t, but then she did, just as the link went dark.

A shadow rose as a mist of destabilizing ferment, /Nous-13/ siphoned up in a geyser of latent data: a child’s memory of string and fingers, a cat’s cradle articulated by antique platter

@max -faced Worf dolls.... Whatever was casting that shadow was able to leverage heavy /Nous/ to distract her. What was it? She did not want to stick around and find out.

“... Don’t I know that the /Nous/ is dying?” She said to whoever was listening, as she closed her eyes. She felt the aire move, but she was already deep in the 7th shape. Ted had this attainment too, she reestablished the link.

“Meet me at my place, there’s something nou to discuss.”


@z Ted of Ted was hiding something. Lu could tell by the way his double trainload braces produced synthetic oils in nearly audible registers. Even as he poured yet another vile of pernicious hybrid animal consciousness into prim teacups, she was aware that something was being avoided, kept behind firewalls in his local cluster.

“/Nous/ is dying,” Lu repeated for the 9th time, trying to get Ted to cut to the chase.

He sat back and eyed her.

“Listen, Lu, let’s do something else.”

Ted was a

@max synesthetic, anechoic, rhomboid, curtained movie theater at the moment, snacking on mimetic, metonymic theater foods such as the sour patch child's hand wrought from single use plastic straws he was slowly pushing into his projection orifice. The drool was disconcerting.

"Let's talk science fiction like the good old days! Let's call Manfred Macx and see what he's up to? There's no point in

@z laboring in diachronic spokesmanship over sublime neuro-derivative conceptualizations like ‘death’. Let’s wax on the future of polyhedra, or self supporting ritual saline taxation of mendocarn farms in the +8.”

Lu was dubious Nous would get anywhere near +8, but she recognized futility in pressing plot points out of a self consuming cinema.

“Sure, Manfred’s cool. Sluice his wafer.”

While Ted imploded to extrude a calcite shim, Lu slyly prepped a new finger, laced by entraining peptides of

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@z drive schema. A time when the whirring of actuators was interpreted musically by wet brain daemons echoed.

Lu grimaced and watched Ebayxes passively enter the upwelling lower /Nous/. She wished the Cartesian Clone was there, to receive Lu’s subjectivity & reassert shared reality metrics. But, C.C. was inarticulate in the Alt. When her bindings became esthetic waste bits she was not pleased. Then she was overtaken.

“Humans!” Lu gasped when she re-emerged in /Nous-13/. Dark, shuffling cyb-

@max erian accounting orthodoxy, slowly moving trinkets from pocket to pocket.

A grey-faced man pulled a gyroscope toy from an inside vest pocket, moved it to his trowsers, then three steps, then placed it in a bespectacled, large-nosed woman's shirt pocket as they passed. No one looked at the trinkets lest they collapse their grand quantum computation.

She was unnoticed, the crowd flowing around her. She plucked a

@z cross field sensor wisk from her collar to suss the impact of this locus.

“My gaud,” Lu denoted, fanning the wisk wider. This place was deeply entrained to the meta field axis. Whatever these cyb-erians were accounting with their trinket-based quantum swaps was deeply, deeply embedded in +Numinaphysical construct.
Himroy had postulated such things, but Lu never guessed it to be observable in any time scale she could access. Now Ted’s errant spelunking made sense.

“I wonder,” Lu wondered,

@max "if one of these humans has the ceramic sloth sculpture I lost with inlaid metalized holotropic grief Earl made me?" Red colors shifted towards purple in her third peripheral and she felt a tug at the very dorsal crest of her vagus nerve proxy.

Ra-tion-al th-ought was ne-ver so h-a-r-r-rdd tooooo. liGGGhtsss. Theeee lliiiiggghhh.....


@max "if one of these humans has the 10 cm brass ovoid my 5ather gave me to represent Sisyphus's burden that I lost a half gigasec ago in the trench of refactored doubt derivatives?" Purple hues sparkled strangely and Lu felt her causal body flare.

Eye wundor, eye wundor, eyyyyy


@max Lu placed her hand upon the impossibility of her tree’s flat bark, feeling again the pain in her stomach she associated with unfathomable paradox. The wafer calcite structure was perforated with what the anchorkin called /seed/.

“HRRMMMMM,” it thrummed at Lu.

She bent her knee to smile with her posture, an ancient greeting unique to neverborn. It was a good day to refrain from Upkeep. She felt the tree’s ancientnu exterior field, so dense with

@z receptors for potentiated cinematics. It would be so easy to crack her hand and unfurl into the tree.

But yet, something else.

Lu gazed outward for the bowing curve of the horizon. In this age of active-culture metallurgy, no new shape should be overlooked. The Neverborn were elegantly chromatized to withstand all civic incursions, but the dancing archon remnants of capital hypemachines would be implicitly poisonous to Lu’s more subtle form. She squinted, raising one sonorous

@max remote prosthetic to shade her eyes from the wun.

/There./ Beyond the /Nous/ covered ephemera, behind the curve, and well beyond the edge of her supremely heightened perception, she could feel it: form!

“Arty, what’s the reading?” Lu straddled her mover while yelling to her timid fixer Articulator Polypherous Inglblot—one of the least pleasant companions she’d suffered since leaving the hive. They were at 50 cycles+ as he finished booting and replied throatily “Polyhedra! And

@z thanks be given!” An inchoate epistemological adoration by which Articulators we’re know chuckle.

In Arty’s vehement acceptance of the polyhedral form, Lu found great corpulent estrangement, for Neverborn we’re fully unsuitable to manage outward geometries of less than 12 sides. Curvatures, even one curve, would have easily resolved in Lu’s primary or 2nd awareness, but a true polyhedron, if reduced enough, would be a problem. Lu felt beads of lyme coagulating in her diaphanous felt insole,

@max she revved the mover harder and it lurched beneath her.

They flew over a landscape one could only describe as "post" . . . mainly due to the preponderance of wooden posts stuck in the lovely dark sandy beaches. Small children played and larked, she avoided decapitating them with the extreme velocity of her mover (a cool kind of hover-motorcycle). A mother waved hello.

There it was ahead of them. Gleaming with corpulence.

The hypemachines (it was apperant now this was one of them) had been birthed before /Nous/, in the hard-to-describe thing that was happening before 🆒. They gleamed with a common chromatic sheen, like silver, but otherwise had many forms. What was horrible about them was their caustic will aggregators, which subsumed everything around them with nodding concord. Lu could feel it already, she pulled her mover higher.

“The children,” she thought, “unaware of the incoming tide of sameness, they

@z cannot even fathom...”

Memories of the hive flooded back. Lu wallowed in temporary, sanguine repose as she reviewed them. Then, ether density gauges in her mover spiked. Precipitates were forming. The hypemachine was exerting it’s will beyond normal perimeters. It was clouding etheric cloudstems with caustic nostalgia manifests, breaking down discord with frigid icy lurches of (WTF?) clay moose sculptures.

“Fuck,” was all Lu could utter, as each bit she had was moosed forever.


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