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So last night before I went to bed I watched 'Logorama' a short film about a fictional Los Angeles made entirely out of corporate logos. Very interesting and cool!

I slept fitfully as usual and in the hours before I woke, had a confusing and terrifying dream of driving in inescapable traffic jams. For some reason driving was suddenly replaced by climbing the outside of a modern skyscraper. Much of the infrastructure of the building (data cables, power cables, passive cables, supports, plumbing, etc.) were attached to a sort of mini-scaffolding set on the outside of the building. I was trying to reach a particular floor of the building where there was an entrance in a sort of airlock.

This was hard going, the climb was fraught with danger from passing helicopters, strong winds, and weirdly enough other climbers, who kept falling to their doom or base-jumping from the structure intentionally. There was an incredible view from the building which appeared to be many hundreds of stories tall, built almost atop the site of the entrance to the Clem Jones 7 tunnel, at the RBWH end. After I had climbed high enough that I had not encountered other active climbers or extreme sportspeople, things started to get weirder as other parts of my brain came awake. I encountered people in various stages of decomposition strung to the outside of the building which was by now scattered with warning symbols, speakers telling me of danger and to go back, which I could not. I climbed higher and higher, eventually losing my handhold on a cable and swinging free by one foot near a point where the towering building split into two, smaller towers.

I feared I would fall, and clutched for a higher handhold, sweating with fear although terribly cold from the chill high winds. Too late I reached for a cable which would support my weight and the handhold I had grasped quickly for tore away and I fell, thinking it was to my death, at this point realising it was all a dream and that I would wake up if I 'died.' Suddenly, the cables which had pulled from the wall sprung to an electric life, as high-tension power cables will, like angry snakes. They plunged into my thigh and I felt an invigoration of energy and intense pain as they contracted and coiled around my leg, holding me aloft away from the building, upside down, with a view of the entire city and the structure down to the street below. Slowly the cables pulled me closer to the building, and other cables snaked out to encircle my limbs and throat, in some places pressing into my clothes and flesh, running along and into my skin. The cold was forgotten in the overwhelming sensation of electricity running in small circuits around my entire nervous system.

Reality began to fade and I thought the dream over, that surely I would awake in bed, safe from what had become a nightmare. Only to find myself standing, in a room inside the building I had been climbing. It was a hotel room, well appointed, with a large bed and two chairs, a small table for taking tea and meals, and a bathroom. Floor-to-ceiling drapes covered one wall and I pulled them open, discovering my body held spread-eagled against plate glass, wrists, ankles and throat wrapped in electrical and data cables of various kinds, connectors plunged into my flesh at points where nerves were most dense. I panicked, and screamed my horror, knowing I was dreaming but unable to wake. I explored the room and turned on the large flat television on the wall opposite the bed. Most channels were quite normal, showing repeats of programs I had seem in the waking world, but one contained footage of the dream world I inhabited and as I watched subtitles scrolled across informing me that I would be studied.

I tried to throw the furniture and then myself against the plate glass, thinking to smash it and fall to my waking 'death' on the street below, but it proved completely impermeable except for one titanic effort where it showed itself to be a deformable 'mirror', when enough force was exerted. I knew myself trapped in a virtual reality, so returned my attentions to the screen thinking the only way out of this situation was to reason with the entity which had me at its mercy. Horror and panic had truly set in by now and I began to wonder if this was truly the waking world, that perhaps I would only survive in this room until my body began to die of dehydration or exposure. with the phone in hand I found myself able to ask questions of the screen, which would display answers in the scrolling subtitles as images of the city below and bodies, including mine, were held captive on its 'skin.' Many questions it would not answer, most that it would were trivial, it would not elaborate on why it was present, whether I was actually dreaming, or how its technology functioned.

Upon the query "Why are you doing this?" the generated reality flickered, wobbled, and dissolved like water into many droplets, each containing complete copies of the generated environment but the larger reflection from all their surfaces showing the city, my city of Brisbane, from high in the air above. Suddenly I was falling away from the droplets, or they were moving away from me, and I was in blackness. I screamed in terror, feeling as though I were falling endlessly in vacuum unable to reach my terminal velocity. I thrashed about trying to see in which direction I was falling, or perhaps traveling, and woke with a start, sitting upright in bed. A glance at my mobile phone showed 8:00am, more than time to get up and begin my day.


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Nova Aurata Quiddity

June 2017

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