HYPNOPOMPI I awoke in a prison cell, just about to be choked to death by a robot, when an inmate across from us starts ranting

like one of those insane the-end-is-near sidewalk preacher types. Shrouded in a floppy dark fro and a biblical beard, the possessed speaker rattled the door to a punctuating rhythm synced to his speech. Most everyone was listening to him now. His

You could hear an active silence foaming up in the place.

raw passion for being heard resonated louder than if he had been using a loudspeaker. “Twentieth century eugenic theory is the crystallization of millennia of animalistic tribal warfare. Human civilization

must not be bound by the ebb and flow of earthly power nor should the mind of any being rest unknown. The new western

frontier is the universal frontier, the mental frontier; it is the enveloping of the mind with the totality of space and time. The romantic struggle for liberty and justice is waged against the ideal of God as king. This is the revolution against A

mortality: the eternal hallucinatory awakening for all life. declaration of independence in which natural rights are respected as Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Omnipotence.” He pounded his fists into the door and raged, “I will see that my life is duplicated!”

HYPNOPOMPI 2 Before the robot could continue to assault me, another cellmate intervened. There were four of us in one hold The

outfitted with a toilet and sink and two sets of bunk beds.

cells wrapped around a guard tower stretching many stories tall. It was hard to tell the difference between robots and humans in this city, but this guy was a dead giveaway. I have

been around enough robots at the gym and they sweat more than humans. Also, his body was warmer than normal. Most robots run Above

at a temperature equivalent to a high fever for humans. all, there was no stench. The stench of humanity is

unmistakable and undesirable. existence.

Body odor was updated out of

Apparently, the other two guys in the cell were robots too because they exchanged some coded messages and proceeded to give me some space. of the top bunk. The leader of the three spoke from the shadows “Why do you have no eyelids?” The time that I had. The time that I How much time Watch your

I added up the time. spent. Time.

How much time did I spend asleep. In pictures?

has been spent with my eyes closed.

eyes: I’m about to turn on the lights. Never…now.

How often do I blink?

It was a Faustian back ally procedure. eyelids removed.

I was to have my

Screens of advanced materials were web locked

HYPNOPOMPI 3 into my eye sockets, wrapping my eyeballs with digital-organic membrane, powered biologically and wirelessly communicable. Additionally, a chemical override eviscerated my body’s ability to sleep. I was on. I created a new

They listened to my binary tapping. language and spoke to them in binary. heard me, I tapped out a code. stories than I could imagine. network of interests.

Without knowing if they She told me more

She responded.

My mind evaporated into her

For every worker within a 24hour city It was against

there is a watcher and she was my watcher.

protocol for her to contact me in any way, but only she and I could decipher the code. After a lengthy mental digression, I responded aloud with, “the better question is: how are we going to escape?” The leader in the shadows replied, “Why don’t you call your girl? Maybe she can help us.” I couldn’t trust any of these robots. My best bet was to There was no use

see if they could get me access to my watcher. in exchanging names.

They preferred to remain anonymous. You should escape

“We can’t access the watchers network. this city, rather than burrow in deeper.”

HYPNOPOMPI 4 “The watcher that I know will protect me. to leave this city.” The three chirped back and forth and the leader replied, “You obviously don’t understand what takes place here. you get into this city? How did I am not looking

And why do you have no eyelids?” I was to

We decided to meet at the tri-rail station.

follow behind Mark Five a couple of paces as to not draw attention as if we were not traveling together. a tiled hall that led to the subways. He turned down

We approached a fork and

veered to the left under a municipal sign that scanned us as we passed through. Most municipal signs are thin six-by-six foot The one we passed had a

screens that project and record.

display split into three picture-in-picture boxes with one box twice the size of the two boxes below it: the top box scrolled departure times for the Outer Industrial Zone Obverse. The doors swiped shut just as we shuffled into the second to last car link. Only an elderly woman sat in the train car.

Mark Five stood staring at his reflection in the mirrored windows. I sat facing him at a perpendicular angle, watching

both him and the back of the woman’s head, which was wrapped in a golden babushka. None of our eyes met on the train.

We passed brick buildings, many stories high, flanked by narrow alleyways. We did not have clearance for this area and

HYPNOPOMPI 5 if stopped, we would have to fabricate a story. Upon reaching

our stop, we promptly exited and kept a brisk pace. Leaving the station, we crossed a couple of placid streets, entered a chain link gate that opened to a vast parking lot, and advanced to a bay of garage doors that extended from the side of a sprawling warehouse complex. At this point I caught up with He used a card key to

Mark Five and acknowledged my presence.

open the garage door and descended into a cellar. Every step of the way, every inch of the space was brightly lit; until we started our descent into the cellar. we descended the dimmer the light shone. The further

Finally, we reached an

office door numbered room 101 with a dull, warm light that hung above; and the amber glow instantly coated the entryway with sophistication. We entered a narrow hallway bathed in red velvet and mellow incandescent light. One only hears rumors of the most elite

citizens’ supposed dark rooms: exclusively sanctioned spaces with no municipal coverage and private lighting. Soft

incandescent lighting like this is definitely not municipal. Heavy shadows spiked the walls. As we proceeded, what resembled

an unknown business office quickly became a doctor’s waiting room complete with a lobby full of chairs and a sliding glass window with a counter. Mark Five rang the doorbell.

HYPNOPOMPI 6 The only other door in the room, besides the one we just used, opened and a doctor appeared to welcome us. hallway was completely dark. The next

As the door shut behind me my No

pupils dilated and a tingling sensation showered over me. light.

For at least a few strides I progressed with abandon.

Finally, a slice of light cut through and we arrived in a clinical laboratory. I had to stupefy myself for these robots were reading my thoughts. They were scanning my memories. I told them, “I came

here for the work, like everyone else.” “Not all of us are here for the money.” The mysterious

robot paused and then slowly elaborated, “the prophets of Radical Digiance claim multitudes of extremist followers. the core of every 24hour city is a digiant-only center. humans are permitted to enter, nor is there any human involvement in the construction and maintenance of the center.” He continued, “Fortunately for you, the two thugs below me are radical digiants but I am not. extinguished as soon as possible.” “So why did you call them off of me?” “They are easily manipulated.” his face. He leaned forward to show His body They wish to see your life No At

Most of his hardware was translucent.

HYPNOPOMPI 7 looked like a crystalline mannequin pulsing with electrical current. A green glow emanated from the center of his head. “Contrary to

His glow cooled to a blue as he continued.

the radicals, a popular minority group of digiants called the Clockworkers view humans as the divine creators. They

aggressively oppose any harm directed towards humans, while upholding an ideal of autonomy and equality. Clockworker

communities feature human laboratories in which humans are conditioned for creative and constructive research and development all geared towards the expansion of digiant autonomy.” “What does this have to do with me?” “We cannot access the watchers network, but the terminal in the top of the guard tower connects directly.” “How could I get in there?” “You saw that crazy guy shouting rubbish earlier? cells around him are filled with Clockworkers. human in this section. The

You’re the only

There must have been an error in your

processing,” and with that his aura dimmed and he reclined back into the shadow above. “How should I contact them?”

HYPNOPOMPI 8 “What is your name? “My name is Olgivy.” door opened. She found me. You can access Tell them your name.” Right as I said my name, the cell

She connected, “Go left to the stairwell. the sewer system from the basement. rest of the way.”

A drone will lead you the

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HYPNOPOMPI is a series of stories adapted for various media formats. The year is 2083. Hybrid economic zones known as The cities are completely self-

24hour cities are burgeoning.

contained and continuously illuminated. Admitted to one of the new 24hour cities, Olgivy undergoes an illegal operation. He no longer blinks or sleeps. Soon, he

sees digital apparitions leading him to the Statue of Liberty, where he ignites a revolution.

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