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65 : Gameworld’
For Colin Clive and Chris Scott
‘All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses.’ – Walt Whitman
VERSION 3 NEWS 2094
LEGENDARY FOUNDER OF ‘THE SPIRAL’: The Full Text Released Today!
Dr. Benjamin Fielding Reveals His Hidden Intentions
Also: Latest Game Births, Deaths… and our New Game-Mages
I remember the very morning; a confined but infinite expanse of white paper staring up at
me from the thin table. In my hand, I held a black point-pen while from outside the soft
sound of the wind rustling the shutters of our French apartment.
Love – the world’s great power - had drawn me here. The relocation had also brought
peace, balance and exile. When we are away from our home and our tribe we have, I
guess, a sense of greater possibility, separated from the things we have known. A new
beginning. And that morning just stands out to me now; an early darkness where my
girlfriend lay sleeping and I had risen early with thoughts - scattered – about the past and
hopes for a future; and many different futures too…
It was where I could first, properly, confront my Game idea. Face-to-face, I began to
describe it. ‘The Spiral’ concept had been forming in my mind for some years - the years
of convergence - waiting for a time to come before the world. Before a world that might
have a use for them…
I am not losing my memories yet, but it is good to make time to think of them. Many
young people today, their primary memories are of my Game-world, within this great
game of Life; this system that requires its systems. But I think, it requires them only for
such mornings as the one I’m now remembering, where I am sitting, reaching out for
cohesion and power, where the pen is lowering and striking the unlimited whiteness…
and the wind blows.
So it began as a story – in the guise of an email - in the ancient art of writing; the primary
form of Virtual Reality; the most intricate, deliberate and dynamic of all realities even
still… and the repercussions began not long after the last lines had been typed up, and
sent out. The sense of finality was large.
But… little did I expect I would be re-publishing its message after the date in which it was
originally based. This, I suppose may prove, how in the river of Time, even a small cry
within its flow can help mould or divert its mighty banks, or even keep our species from
being swept along by nature. Especially the one within.
And we can never measure how many pieces of writing have achieved this.
But…‘Yes’, I remember thinking, after countless decisions and revisions, ‘this is what I
have been meaning to speak about…’
Subject: re: 2084: The Time of Alignment
My old friend Leaven,
It’s May and you’ve not heard from me. It is because I have been disconnected so
completely. But as you may remember I never really liked that term. For I am not at all
disconnected, or disenthralled for that matter. In fact, I have been steadily reconnecting…
to the Source - to life - for some time. It is not a time I measure with minutes, but with a
sense of becoming myself again, or a different self altogether, with greater knowledge of
It has not been simple and there is no doubt, I’ll admit freely, that I am still intimately
burned by the fire of our creation. As much as one of your special cases. Perhaps more so
A room. I must start with a room, for it is simple and it is the present. And it all started
with a crude apartment like this, not dissimilar in size to the one where I first knew you at
MIT. Where you first put up with me, and we set out together on an odyssey that has
lasted for so many years… Years of excitement, possibility, hardship, change, growth…
and fruition. The sheer size of our dream, it seems, really matched a reality that we could
carve out for it…
Let me remember the dream again for a moment. Let me hold it in my mind. For with
everything it has become – a shadowy reflection, a hollow advertisement - it is getting
easier and easier to forget. And lately, many of its shadows have been haunting me. The
shadows of paths never taken in the woods. I do not know the precise point that the
dream of the Spiral began to diverge from what it once was…
‘The Game was the thing… wherein in we would catch the conscience of the
A rich, ever-changing super-world to help guide people to their fruition; to give
them focus, a pride in self-enrichment, and to help them enable their destinies
here in the Source. To promote mental and physical growth according to their
unique personality settings. To promote gentle competition in their spheres
through progression points. To give them the wonder of exploration and discovery,
the interaction with science and history and above all, promote in them a spiritual
understanding of life’s forces through observance of natural lore. Affinity with
Nature; their own natures. The wisdom of the Insights.
It was to create highly-trained, high-achieving Game Mages to re-enforce society
inside (and outside) and even, to influence degraded political values. It was to be a
goal-orientated version of man-made reality, a government supported,
permanently running world, free and instantly accessible to people of all ages and
nations. To unite humanity, break down borders of language and help promote a
productive global consciousness. It would promote personal independence and
group collaboration. Its belief system would combine the best of religion and
science, enabling people to flourish while remaining fully committed to factual
realism. I even remember you saying once, that we were on track to creating a
new, cultural adaptation. Its graphics would be lush and detailed, ever-developing
at the hands of the very best artists and coders.
Yes, it sounds complex, even today. Our shining Spiral. But it was a children’s story,
wasn’t it Lev? And we created it.
Before the shine became too great. Before it began to steal the shine from the Source.
The café I visit is old and tatty. It has red and white checkered tablecloths and I like this. I
spend many hours just being a presence, sitting among men and women we have
affected. They are not shining. But in their fractured state they keep on trying. It is rare
but sometimes a fight breaks out and it will be about one of the Insights, or the very fact
that someone has used Dreamspeak that is banned out here in the Disconnected
Quarters. Many are simply quiet and lost though; mourning their Clans and comrades
they will never see again, for they have no way of finding them, now they have rejected
their old powers and are stuck back in the Source. I think they keep the lighting in that
dreary place – the Devolution Café no less - deliberately low and grubby. ‘Normal’ eyes
are not what they used to be.
My God, Leaven, how we must murder our own minds! In order to undo the thrill of
enthrallment and get back to what we once were. For how brightly I remember my early
super-memories: the firing processors painting the possibilities for engagement with its
early vistas; those early trials. Like Columbus with a headset: a new future looming out of
But… it is so dark here. I am smoking again! Many of the old ways are allowed here. You with your regimes - may not recall what it is to pull soft smoke into the lungs and feel it
creep into the mind again and level the emotion. There is truth about it. But then, as well
you know me, I am in control of the practice and not the other way round. As far as I can
keep myself believing in what I have done with my life, ever since I made my peace with
Nature and what it cares for me, in my early years. I am also drinking sweet, rich coffee
and listening to the rain and the sounds of the city - a real city - out here in one of the
Quarters. I eat non-Division food and in re-stabilization periods I get so hungry from not
eating; my senses grow keener and more alert to its smell and sensation. Good old
For many days my ungloved fingers have been on the pulse of the present. I am also
listening to quiet, Embertime guitar music and although it’s from in-world it is helping me
think and face the matter that I finally feel ready to confront again.
The Time of Alignment is here for the Spiral. Our little Game! Its countless rooms within
the Spire now form a great gateway that the Connected now receive so easily into their
rooms. Even now the UN Government will be beginning its steps to make Spiral-progress
compulsory for all equipped citizens. Or to be correct: seekers.
So… I write to you here, as I cannot fully trust the audio or visual grid-channels and the
power of writing – as you can guess – still holds vitality over me. The power of things
considered and deliberate. It is a greater form of code. It persuades through empathy and
experience. I am even inscribing this long-hand first, like the old days, so that you may
understand my position (and I too) and also, so I can make this as much a testament as it
is a letter to you, my old friend whom I have always trusted with my thoughts… Anyone
would think my mind is slowing down but it is simply part of my new sense of reconnection. I am in love with ink. Disengagement is all about finding these loves again,
for the sake of ballast in the wake of the deep void that connection loss creates. Some
days my thoughts are lucid, others it is difficult to think of anything and my hand
trembles too violently for pen-use. But I have become more aware of Time. For once I am
setting it aside. The slow, old time that first led to our success. And what else does any
great success depend on… but the study and the awareness of Time.
And meanwhile, I am still being followed. It is not a trick of my disconnected brain, as
some might assume. I know they’re probably Crighton’s minions but the fact is they could
be any number of people, even Mages I have never heard of, not just from the
Development Division, who are ever-wary of what I might be doing. Especially with the
knowledge I have of the last Insight.
How ironic it is! …That they have begun to suspect us – the Demiurges - (whose very
spirit is embedded into their own precious progressions), and that they must now feel we
warrant surveillance. Perhaps it is their unique interpretation of one of my old profiles,
foretelling me as a loose cannon and a latent threat to society. I’m sure Crighton will be
aware of this irony, and must – somewhere – realize it should not be this way, but it will
make no difference. There is not enough time left to learn how we could not have noticed
the problem-signs or the paranoia in their profiles. This fault, among the others, I know,
shall one day be explored, for I can only make suggestions now.
How could such a thing as a Game traitor have arisen? It was brought out of it. Money, no
doubt. I will return to all this irony in more detail. For it should not be this way. It is
Crighton, the Rogues, even some of the Clans who now form part of the reason I am
forced into taking action. For all the elements that now form part of the onward motion of
our Spiral that we are now caught up in. It is not downward. You and I do not believe in
downward. So if it comes from us it will not be a betrayal. It will be for salvation. We know
things are not right because we have never been far from core access; the most
significant and intimate information. Although this soon will change.
This text I hope is firstly a testament to the new clarity of my thought. The last time we
spoke in the Source seems like the months it has been. I believe it was the Development
corridors and I only had time to whisper to you in that frenzied hallway to wait for me to
make contact. I can only hope you have until now trusted me to keep my word, as I have
always worked my best to do, especially you Leaven. There are far fewer people in whom
I can these days, even those in the old team such as Castellan - poor devil! - although
there is nothing like the Source to build new trust. You would not believe the Dis people I
have been speaking with lately. The injured souls who have abandoned their progressions
and the search for Insights. They are so real, and more good-natured than their
reputation. With their many forms of latent or blatant or subtle injuries that in some are
so endearing! They are their own freedom heroes. They are the true rogues; the real AntiGamers. They get on with everyday living. But I have to be cautious. Who knows how
many out of those I speak to, are interviewed by corporate spies afterwards? It has taken
a lot of time for me to build the right contacts.
That last time I saw you - your look of genuine concern - I was at the Dev site only to
perform last vital tasks. I couldn’t believe they were doing it: shutting me out of my own
code! Our old code. Even now I am uneasy about what may be escalating amongst the
other Masters. But it will not matter. I have been trying to get the hell out of that place
and now I am free, Lev, once and for all. I was not in a great frame of mind, but I beseech
you: do not believe any rumors of madness. Be assured you are now reading everything
that I have spent much labor pulling out here into the light of the real and rational.
There is only one truth I have read about myself in the news. It’s that I can now never
return to the Division. Everything else remaining must be instigated from a necessary
‘The Game is still the thing…’
I hope you are surviving the rigors of the Salvager Squad as well as you claimed you’d
continue doing, the last time we spoke. I have no doubt you’re still there, fighting the fires
many of which we – seem – to have started, next to those we never dreamed we’d start,
as it is claimed. Sure, we considered there’d be some - even many - but never so many
cases? Not just Tremblers, irritating Griefers or the Fall-Outs but the missing children,
broken homes, broken men. Some of these cases were there before. The strength of
super-addiction and of level progression. Possibly to those animal levels. But Fountellion –
our last island – it was supposed to be the cure. Bring people back to reality. For me it
worked, despite my commitment. But for others… did we just overload them with its
I can hardly believe it. Do not think I haven’t considered it to be a plot to undermine us,
even by frustrated, low-progressing players. But it just seems too unlikely. I have too
much faith in your department. And there were never any ‘losers’ within our game of
games. That was for the linear worlds. But there is other, more deliberate evidence – of
perversion - I shall arrive at.
The strength of Enthrallment. This weight we have lived with since the beginning, since
market domination. The latest headsets are stunning. You know I’ve seen some of the
sights of the Bedlam4 world for myself. The Exposure. Far beyond the Insight on Pain and
Desire. The need in some people to go too far and see too much. Creating their own hells.
It was why I sought your help for awhile, in the 60s. Our support modules to re-condition
people to the Source were an answer, but they have never proved very sufficient. You
would agree. And now I too have begun to realize that people just can’t handle so much
freedom, so much interface, even within the Tribes, Clans and village Guilds. They can’t
switch off the power of flight, once they have felt it on Fountellion. Or playing as animals –
especially cats - in the tree levels. Just too eye-opening. I’ve seen and counted the tattoos
just in this café.
On top of this, the heavy toll that lack of progression created. At least in this area we
adjusted quickly and have seen improvements. The Division will continue to tinker with
the modules until full-scale Alignment is passed. In so many ways, Spiral wisdom works
and has made countless differences. But it is undone somehow by the interface, by the
ease with which people slide. They become lost, lose hope, and are cast out… and they
become… quite wretched. You could blame it all on the tech but I’ve not spent these last
months researching (yes, I could pass all of your adjustment tests!) to find ourselves
without blame, as far as we can be blamed. Our ideals were maybe flawed. But at the
same time I have found how it confirms our vision, too, of mind and body seeking
harmony in a world battling for survival.
You once told me it was out of your sense of responsibility that you’d always keep working
in Salvage, since that day you walked out of Development. Because you were good at it. I
have understood this; admired your resilience and have still been able to seek your
advice on matters of the old code. But I have claimed before that such cases are only the
symptoms of Spiral faults that lie much deeper in men, and I have often felt the loss of
your clarity and support in confronting them, within the Division. But it is too late for that.
Our Insight wisdom is failing in other areas; closer to the heart with all this traitor
So… the problem of corruption has arisen since the increasing Spiral ties with the
Government. This is by far the worst symptom now surfacing for even I have overheard it
seeping into the vital organs; the organ of Development. There is more.
By writing this to you, I take a liberty. Such a friend have you been since the early days
and so true to our ideals – that I still believe to be your own – that though I send this to
you first as my friend, I make it also a statement to the wired world. For one day Leaven I
would see this published! It must be… and I ask you to freely edit any part where I have
mentioned you or us - at your own discretion… This is the extent of my trust.
I cannot really be brief, with so much at stake. And because to damage the things we love
– and have built up - suddenly, seems unavoidable, and I wouldn’t wish to do so without
this delicacy in explanation… and believe me, I have given this much serious, considered
And what conflicts within me lately! And this communication to you is to carry their
entirety! Arriving at this need for your assistance has not been easy… will not be… at this
‘historic’ rotation when we will allegedly see our dream be ‘fulfilled’ through full
Do not mistake me. I so am proud of the wisdom that lies within the Game and of the
travelers who have become Great Mages in their time with 2.65. There truly was an
Avalon at the dawn of the VR Age of Cyberworlds. There really was a shining time. And it
is for its own sake that I have returned to a small room such as this one. To smoke curling
outwards and reaching for the ceiling.
I will not live at the mercy of blind men. I would not see the whole thing undermined by
them. By men that the Spiral has failed to reach or filter out of society.
You and I, Lev… we have been sitting too long in the dark. We have been trying to believe
it will all get better…
But you know as well as I, everything we wanted the Spiral World to be, in its crucial, fluid
state - from the Sword in the Corn to the Ever-Singing Fountain, from the Village to the
Monastery to the Fire and the heights of the Spire itself - it is all unraveling before our
eyes. While you have been fighting from without, and I from within, I have also been
thinking… and, from this exile, so much about so many things is becoming clear, that I
would speak of my intentions to you and to all its dedicated players. They are owed this.
The dream is owed this… our dream that, after its downfall, may one day be resurrected.
THE TIME OF THE SPIRAL (2.65)
Now it is summer. The Source flows strong today. I have the window open and the small
rooms of my apartment are warm and clear with light. There is freshly mown grass across
the park outside and I am breathing it in through a breeze. One of my original notebooks
– spidery with designs - lies open before me on my table, and I’ve been peering down at
the coffee-stained past through those early markings. The pure dream that could’ve taken
so many forms. And for once in so many years I have only the simple desire to breathe…
and not to engage with the Interface.
But it won’t stay this way. At any moment I know it will come back; the great urge for
immersion and I will spend a whole day just thinking about that fluidity, that mental
control over form and color. The floating and the self-projection. The emotional leveling.
But I will not be defeated. You remember the Steinbeck quote. Well, I would take a place
amongst those dozen who are not. Do not worry. I will not become another case for you to
salvage. Not as long as I have writing and this pen to scratch my way along in the Source,
as you did through your work. Through your team you pulled out from your Clan and
brought with you. Even now, you might be one of the very few who can actually handle
the duality, the switching, because of your inner mission; your necessity to Salvage and
save more like your brother.
How far have we come! … and what will become of us? The Division moving closer to
Alignment. A new time where the Spiral will be fully endorsed by the Government Decree,
and everything will flow through the Game. As it was first in our imagining and in the
early versions of online games, you might think we would be overjoyed to see our names
go down in History. Only lately I was remembering those nights, long past, in those
cramped but cozy studies, intensively talking and browsing or exploring the deeper
recesses of the super-worlds, the more outlandish areas. Those were intensive days of
intoxication; discussing feverishly the possibilities for the mind and soul to flourish, and
discover themselves, within fantastical realms.
There were many games operating on the Grid when we began. But what were they
teaching anybody? What relevance did they have to life? What were the visions from the
trees, the animals and grass jungles? Yes, there were even truly non-linear, open-world
systems like ours, with vast sandbox functionality. Players could explore autonomously
and at leisure, before returning to the Binding Paths whenever it suited. Before their
training had reached suitable levels. In our case, before they proved they had found and
understood the Six Insights of the Lore. A lore to protect and to serve. There were others,
but none that went that extra distance, incorporating these spiritual aspects, this selfdevelopment and marrying it to a Source-based reward scheme. Our domination of the
market was through this and through the beauty and clarity of our interfaces. We
incorporated Social Networks within them. No easy task in versions 1-2.
And then… EEG. Electroencephalography…
The sheer sense of involvement; controlling machines with our thoughts and feelings, and
thus controlling realities too and so, too, our reputation and abilities back in the realworld
beneath. The ways in which the Game coincided with these breakthroughs… it seemed
mystical. And how we harnessed this technology – even with a breathing interface – to
help it play its powerful part in our vision. It was good timing. Some nights it fills my
dreams. It overtakes them and I am left struggling in the dark to re-connect.
But do not forget the dread that was present always, even back during the early stages.
Our fears about the possible misinterpretation of its scientific value, the possibility of
competition and abuse; the mysteries critiqued. There would be a careful Binding Path to
follow, but it would also be open-ended; written by the actions of the seeker and without
boundaries or limits to learning about the Source.
Let me outline the world of the Spiral, Fountellion, from my notebook and not just for the
benefit of your exemplary memory!
It is an island of nature, flux and inspiration found within the Virtual Web. It depicts
nature so intricately it’s astonishing. At its heart lies the Fountain but there are six,
key, symbolic areas, where the whole island is in fact a symbol. They are the
Estuary, the Fountain, the Monastery, the Village, the Fire and the Tower, or the
Dreamspire. Within these areas lie hidden Insights that reveal more secrets not
only of the island but of nature and our place inside of it. They can only be
experienced uniquely, activated by gesture and spoken word.
Within the Tower there are game-worlds. With every world connected to the Spiral,
the tower grows higher and more complex. At its top is hidden the mysterious Lord
As a new traveler - a seeker - your quest is to unlock the Six Insights, where
knowledge of any five will unlock the last, the sixth, and break the grip of the
Tower across the island. However, it is an emotional, instinctive world and the
power of flight, the Focus, does not come easily. It is the core practice of the
advanced interface. And those who use it expose themselves to the Stokermen,
who are the minions of Bleakmuse.
‘For the Spire must fall in Fountellion’
What early fragments of a vision – a new myth - to have shouldered! A game to nurture
the self, to help define it and test it; to teach it and give it pride and preparation… for our
lives to live, better than they could before. Young and old finding such growth in its long
grass. To live with our imagination – manifest - as a tangible tool and function taken back
into our real lives.
This is our Time; one that we have helped to create. And it will not have been fruitless!
But as to the quality of the fruit, I cannot help but see the whole tree now rotting even as
it reaches its fruition in the sun. It is on its own Binding Path towards sourness and
corruption. It has grown far from its seeds and I feel we can no longer direct the course of
its growth… nor protect the Insights from being sullied. So I write to you here, from the
secretly bruised core of this ripening apple, yet physically separated. Perhaps like so
much of advanced civilization today, unharmonious with the very nature-world from
which it has sprung.
But I am watching some figures out in the park. Offliners like me. They are playing the
French game of Pétanque. There is a slow grace inside their resignation to its simplicity. I
remember watching Cricket once, as a child. Every man had his role to play, and success
depended on each one of the team. It was all so neat and clearly defined and yet
anything could happen, at any time.
There will always be decent players, united by the laws of nature. Playing for power,
mastery, respect, replication. But in a world so fragmented, with so many players so cut
off from the Source, how can even our vision be implemented?
For the Spiral, for the island of the Fountain and the Spire, it is late Summer, because it
has only so long left to live before its second versions will fall and pass away. I will come
to this, my old comrade.
Lev, I should have known back on the first island, in the Neuroceans. I should have known
since I lost Blake and Rosa in front of me...
Then, one night, late last year, I knew for certain. No longer could I deny it; the dark,
depressing realization. I was immersed in the realm of the Village, buried into its
variables. The code structures were cementing before my eyes in one of the Div’s new
But the changes were even more visible, perhaps because they had been made to look so
invisible. Someone with deep access had been tampering. I may never know for sure
through who or how these changes had started to occur. The fact that the infiltration
seemed to favor certain political progress means it is more likely to have been instigated
by UN agents. Or simply a deliberate, long-term plot to begin undermining the credibility
of the gameworld. To generate corruption. This doesn’t feel right to me though.
Ahh Crichton! It might be he but I do not believe he truly feels wronged by any of its
values. Not enough to alter them for any gain. For him it was only ever something
personal against me or bitterness over the Insights. A part of some vague heroism to
champion a crusade for freedom, even when the Gameworld means to provide such
freedom; a freedom confluent with the Source. So much energy he put into undoing the
Insights that we would keep hidden and vital. All our efforts to try and shake him off or to
‘see’ the real heart of the game came to nothing. He could never find the Sixth. And I
think this is what changed him to a foe. We had created a very real Stokerman in the end
and to lose a good, talented friend in this way is - still - no easy thing. But even the Spiral
has limits. It cannot speak to all people. Despite all his progression something in Crichton
still sees the Spiral as a Game and never what it actually aims to be; a grand reflection
but also enabling technology; an addition to life on a par with the old ‘social networks’.
It doesn’t really matter to me, to be honest. Our Spiral was meant to deny through
progression the very concept of corruption, and it can only mean that it is failing on
fundamental levels to deny it. They are going against its grain.
There is an old term for it. Crighton would like it: cheating.
How may this be corrected? Perhaps the issue is with the Sixth Insight. What is certain, is
that we need a new discussion; an interval. For now, all we can do is gather and store
information and to stow it all away for future eyes. Even for just a year. Like we agreed.
The more addictive side was more foreseeable. For such tendencies have always been
present in humanity; and there are far worse addictions than Gameplay. We discuss it so
many times but we always conclude the same thing… People just need more time to
It is the more insidious evidence – that enemy I have mentioned – that has plagued me
Lev... It will undermine everything.
That our Insights would prove successful we expected, that it would prove valuable to
personal growth and self-fulfillment was the dream. That it would expand so rapidly, reshape society and embed itself in the formation of the top echelons of power, I realized
less. And now there must be fatal flaws that are producing these manifestations; the lockouts occurring around me… We are vulnerable.
To think if we had never instigated those fail-safe settings. Inside the Spire. It would have
rendered the whole game fabric moveable across the Grid. I would not be writing this to
you. At this moment it might be completely under Government control, and certainly
beyond any unraveling…
It’s early but I must get to bed. The Testing days have got to me, you’re probably
thinking. Well, they certainly took their toll. On all of us.
I think back these past years and see the faces of my colleagues, present and former; the
Development Division buildings in all their magnificence! And the birth of the Spiral…
These are my memories.
But I have lost much of RL or Source-memory, the last 10 years. They phase into those of
the Game; the more colorful and sonorous, like the vines of the Monastery.
This ratio saddens me. It worries me. There is something humble about RL; the Source.
There is a timelessness greater than any system in the simple joy of being alive.
Our technological culture keeps evolving in its arrogance, but it’s frightening.
It is like we are moving underground Leaven; becoming moles. And the Game was only
ever a complement to reality; to be harmonious; to feed back into it with training
gleaned, inspiration and motivation resonating in its visitors…
Too much of our lives still lean into the Super.
Maybe it is just too good; our work with Electroencephalography, and with the Firecube
Guild. That great, magical academy of world-building. The sandbox aspect; all too super.
You must know this better than I, with all your early work. And, of course, the incident on
Some memories will never fade, but the next generation of players? Who can say how we
are changing… and will the interruption help such change? You know it will, for it will
bring re-assessment; modification; evolution…
But I must keep hopeful. There is always a pen. How good it feels now, writing like this. I
have the window open and can recall the fresh breeze in the simple, coastal country of
my youth… sunshine on daffodils again. Forgive me if these thoughts seem scattered.
It is another reason why I must leave. Be born back into the past. Disengage. Step back.
I know you – the Salvager - can understand.
Let me write a little more. I realize our world was built to evolve. Change is a completely
intrinsic part of nature; it is necessary. Therefore we agreed that our codes should be
written around this. It has taken a great deal of time, and it just seems not enough. More
change is needed. For we are still at the mercy of blind men even here, in this future we
have made, of such empowering technology. They are not necessarily blind, for this at
least would be solvable. But it is that they are short-sighted, like much of nature.
Thus it is that Nature does battle with itself and perhaps often requires extreme cutbacks.
Many are now dependent on the Spiral, as we had dreamed. But such deep dependency
was never imagined. We supposed this could be corrected by the outcome and the
oeuvre of the Game itself; to complement; to understand reality. We have promoted
science and learning, knowledge and wisdom. We have progressed and united people. But
the Game is also enhanced Life. It is really still too much an alternative version of Life
that, maybe, though it changes, carries its own enhanced tendencies towards selfdestruction.
I will not give up yet. I write this to you because I know you were never ignorant of
Nature, and you and I have created a great system. Greater than even we could have
imagined. But I will not see its light extinguished slowly until the whole candle is burned. I
have seen the signs before. Therefore I write this now in secret, a true revolutionary,
hoping it will arrive safely to your kindred eyes. I am aware of consequences, as much as
I am aware that a revolution is in fact, a turning.
How it all fascinates me still, this Cybernature in the Enabling Technologies… the whole
fluidity of Interfaces. Our game and the ideals we once tethered to it. And it is hard to
turn away from things that shed such a mystery over us… the mystique of new
technology… and to simplify. I wonder still if I will manage it sometimes, or for how long I
shall be fighting my eyes.
But there is something about being back in nature that shows us the irrelevance of our
activities in the great intricate majesty of the landscape. It is not called the Source for
You see, I have always had my real memory of the estuary. I close my eyes and it is still
there. It is quiet beneath me, with a smoking cottage on its boundary, breathing inside a
day of sunshine and peace, which I must walk down to. If that disappears then I should be
glad to also… I am so tired…
I think you have been coping only for so long by facing its darker elements, its victims, by
confronting them as many wouldn’t. And you have spoken to me of your progress… Well I
have followed you in a way, ghosting about for days through Development, trying to
appear busy and oblivious. Then, in secret, also have I been trying to dam the darker
aspects of our creation - a Heart of Darkness in itself - and now by summoning the
courage to overturn it.
THE UNRAVELLING + THE FUTURE
You were holding whisky when we last discussed unraveling details. You were hiding a
glass in the Source but I could tell from your profile movements. We were jacked-in to the
Cloud Cities, leaning against its orbital confines and staring down upon the Virtual
I’m sure by now you can guess I have implemented it all. And what I have done to hide
the altered activation code to the final, Sixth Insight. Yes, it exists but now only in ink, on
papyrus paper. Seekers will have to search reality for it. Another gift I leave for the
business world. And for a brief time the Spire will not be falling and people will not see
the Future at the final stage of the game. But someone will again…
I’m sure you will not be surprised. Though I was surprised when you walked out on us, all
those years ago, so suddenly. You were the strongest Mage the game had created and in
that moment I was baffled, until later you showed me why.
Truth is not an easy thing to hear, or see before one’s eyes, especially connected ones.
But while you build your sand-towers the ocean brings more sand to the shore, And
when you destroy them the ocean laughs with you.
Verily the ocean laughs always with the innocent. – Words from the Sixth Insight (from
the Prophet (Gibran)
The Lore, that is the bedrock of Spiral progression, bids that we take this action, to fix our
towers in the sand for future ones; to shed our skins.
It seems clear to me – here in my café again – that men may not be ready for this
technology as it lies tethered to this game. Or for the power that is attainable through
technology. For our new reality; our super-game. Nor ready for fluid, functional switching
between the Real and the Unreal. They get lost and our systems fail them. It is either too
much of one or the other. Some folk I watch are wise in these Quarters for they have
realized this, consciously or subconsciously.
And so to Unravelling. It has gone too far for a clean outage. We can only hope to
thoroughly cripple it over the Grid. That is why I have spent the last months making
contacts here. I only needed to find a few expert virus creators and unite them with my
knowledge of the Spire. The expert I have been working with whispers to me over his
‘builders tea’ that he became afraid of how immersion affected his empathy, how he
became so insensible. Extraordinary.
When you read this, I shall already have sent the virus into the fabric of our golden,
rusted child. The Cora-6 strain will be sure to breech the primary nodes of activation. It is
the duplicated files which I know you possess that must be placed in our secured space.
The whole of the connected world is about to receive a wake-up call as access to the
Island becomes locked down and limited. The Sixth Insight lost. The Tower will fill with
many dark realms I’m glad I hold no imagination left for.
Future access? Invitation-only policy will commence via the Mages as they search only for
new, selected seekers. The onward motion of the Spiral will soon be ceasing… a
stoppage… for a time. There will be more Fall-outs for you to Salvage for a while and you
know I am sorry for what is unavoidable. But the Guilds will cope. Very few of their
training programs reside in Spiral databanks. The UN government will have to find new
ways to elect its short-sighted members.
There will be charges, but little proof. Sector 8 will not be able to undo the intrinsic
damage without reference to the original versions and blueprints. Mine I have now
transferred to our private space. You know the one.
We say our prayers and stay for death.
Play your role Lev, my old friend. I am bowling to you our special ball. The time has come
for you to catch it and help me bury our life’s work in the sand before it infects more of
the garden, before the government controls the Division and fills it with its unverified
Mages. I know you will not retire. You will not rest from rescuing until the cases have
diminished. They will diminish. But I shall sit back and watch adapting souls dance with
ghosts just as I have been dancing lately. The dishabituation will be darkly amusing, just
as nature is when the wind blows, and all the letters of our keyboards are suddenly,
randomly reversed. But it is also a re-awakening. There is nothing like a revolution; a
shake-up to force people back to the drawing board.
It seems, for now, that the hungry, open world of the Source – Life - cannot be confined;
even to a mirror we would create for it, to enhance it.
Travelers will have to measure themselves without the Insights for a while. It will be the
softest revolution the world may have seen. It may not be the only one before we move
towards greater synchronization between power in the Super and power in the Source.
I know that this is the hardest thing that I will ever ask of you, after all our long years of
building and passion. But I ask because you know I must ask. I believe the younger selves
that we once were would ask it of us.
Place this correspondence into that space too, with your knowledge of the system. When
we feel the smoke has dissipated enough and dust has begun to clear from clouded eyes
it will be published. If my trust in you is at all misplaced, I daresay you will find me out of
control… or beyond it all entirely! Maybe I shall reach my estuary by the time the other
Mages come for me, if that ultimate place still exists under protection. Once they have
hooked me up to their probe programs, I see a convenient Gamedeath on the cards. They
will try and prize out everything they can before I get near the Line and am thrown from
the cliff-face of reality. No matter either way, but depending on you, it will already be too
late for them.
I hope so. I shall read these words now into the system and send them via one of the
public terminals on the street. Quite appropriate.
When my last part is finished, where will I go? You may find me whenever you wish, my
old friend, where the wind is blowing.
Look for me where a man might live a life, without having worn an interface in order to do
so. Even one of his own making. A real version of our Village, that as you remember was
Perhaps when the heart has grown fonder and we allow the new wave of coders to rediscover our initial versions... perhaps when it has been sufficiently analysed - by
unclouded eyes - you and I can emerge from the shadows. They will see with our eyes at
least how exactly it became abused. For its many paths into the self we would not see
ruined. For like an old guitar that is played after many years by its former players, I’m
certain there is fine music within its concept - its many, many strings - for it to sing
again… and make new, better men - and even new heroes.
Maybe I will still be bowling a ball into the air as I breathe the rich breeze… enjoying the
weight and gravity of the situation...
Maybe I will be remembering the times before, more clearly…
… But for as long as my mind holds together I will cast glances into a printed Dis-paper
to see if I am to learn about the new, resurrected version of our world. The Spiral: Version
… Whenever we feel the time is ready for someone to find it. And I believe that will be a
Progression to you, your good team… and to our dream,
Dr. Benjamin Fielding, Chief Demiurge, THE SPIRAL
SECURITY INFO: This email has been authorized for release by Spiral Development
Division Sector 4 Security. 2094
Revised, Poitiers, 2015
Emotiv Systems, Wikipedia
the Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran, one inspiration for the Lore of Being/Insights
Desmond Morris, Wikipedia
George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1948)
Ade’s Greenwise Designs on FACEBOOK [related writings and artwork from the
Please ‘Like’ for updates…
The Neurocean Line etc – related stories by Ade McOran-Campbell (see above)
The Spiral concepts (artwork on Flickr album) by the author:
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