From The Amethyst House: Arachnus Speaks

Arachnus speaks: Codex 11/2

The hunt is on. And I am already being hunted. I like a loaded dice, stacked odds, impossibilities. Poor old Alwyn he’ll be half mad by now between me and my mad mother. However it is only too true that if they could but find me they would translate me back to their so-called safety without so much as a by your leave and with some finesse they would deconstruct me. Pity the poor sinner, me. Fortunately I’m not stupid so they’ll not find one trace of any transmission of mine, deadly with my genestructure. And Alwyn is very, very fast. But I am, and always have been, both more and less than what they think. Shaman gene, warlord gene and something less definable, its a bad mix. I’m a storm-rider, catwalker, trapezist and Krystos do I love the high wire without a safety net. You will think I am arrogant and you would be right. But I can hunt and I hunt meticulously well, the gift of Aralia apart from natural inheritance, they could never fault me on that, not even stuffy old Andrusus. There’s a killer on every road in this filthy place. Already I am beginning to feel I will never be clean again.

I was born to the craw house of Amethyst. Locked into its implacable jaws. It was said when I was birthed that I was uncommonly pure in the dragon gene. Big future. No-one ever considered that I might consider it something less than a privilege. It was lethal to me, the overpowering love of my clan. Too containing, I needed to be what I was outside of them; and they couldn’t understand that. I love too much and I hate too hard. That simple. Apart from anything I loath being manipulated and the Amethyst craw specialises in that particular game. Is there a love untainted by manipulation? I’ve yet to find it. Except for Lorenz who appeared to accept me for what I was and being wise and crafty he hid his intricate web of love so well I felt secure. Regina hated me, though she would never admit to it, too much like Lorenz for her taste. So there I was, all bright, jagged pieces, already like a shattered crystal mirror. So much potential and the Hive shook its collective head. Humming in indignation. I lacked respect. But the Hive taught me well. Almost too well. They taught me the perfect art of telling lies. Smiling when your jaw aches. A brilliant intricate game, mastered by very few who know its sabotage and love it. Power junkies.

A skilful liar doesn’t dream at night. They wake refreshed by their lies, bathe and dress in them. Speak in artifice so well crafted that they forget that they are lies. So neat, so efficient, so easily filed away. But I did better than that for I kept my dreams clean, I dreamt of the last of the wild creatures, of the place where the rivers twist like running silver in the dawn, of the great web of Ariadne and the music my brother, Joy, made. I dreamt of the children as yet unborn, of the world that they might make beyond the clan. Regina suspected me of playing her for a fool and never forgave me. Yes it was bitter wine the love I bore the Amethyst craw and difficult for us all.

In this incarnation I dreamt or rather saw in a kind of vision my future so clearly it has always surprised me that I bothered at all. My mother would have dismissed it as a nightmare, she has always believed I am prone to these delusions but I knew better with a certainty that settled in my guts like lead. For the Queen Bee in the vision stung my legs so well that they were decimated, I couldn’t run. I knew I’d never outrun any of it. It was Lorenz who first sensed something of this in my psyche and he, most gifted in love and lies, taught me the first great law of hope, the first and only vestige of light in my life. Courage I had in such measure that in itself it was dangerous. Knowing your destiny so young tends to leave you devoid of fear. Lorenz gave me a thread, a random factor. He was very strong in this. He said: ‘It is not so much what will happen to you, Arachnus, it is what you will choose to do with it. In this only are we truly free, truly able to transcend the chains of fate.’

Sometimes I have hated him for that dark jewel of knowledge. There always has been and perhaps there always will be a strange conspiracy in the circus arena of my blood family. We are like that. But once I hit Div 5, galaxy 7 I knew so much was pointless. Therefore I had to try that much harder. For this place abounded in childslayers, it was methodically decimating its future. This unstrung balance disturbed me, it is in my genes to hunt, kill clean and burn. Each night the sleazy grey twilight seems to weep for its murdered children. I have such a rage in me. And the music of my life plays on remorselessly. O for my little brother, Joy, for the sweetness of his breath, his small strong hands upon the lute. For him, if nothing else, I’ll out-hunt the axaii. And my wild lady mother who has never been able to see me clearly. Does love always cloud vision? She who has so much clarity, such rare insight. And still she couldn’t see me.

It would be wiser to forget the past in this murky galaxy; only sometimes I wonder if I will still remember the stellar eve in the ice country. When I am no longer quite myself shall I remember, Lorenz, my mother, Joy? Within the sorcery unfolding here shall I still, somewhere in memory’s strange and twisted bypaths, remember the sound of first bird call, the gleam of icy distances, the Ilex gliding down from the mountain. Shall I retain in the vestiges of descending darkness the memory of Aralia, she who watched my childhood, taking to the sky with such fluid grace and lethal power for her morning hunt ?

Arachnus Codex 44/8

Skimming the surface of div 5 I find myself what you would call a sleazy dive. I’ve had it under surveillance for some time now. The Master’s henchman has followed me of course and with little subtlety and no flair, his thoughts are as interesting as a wet day on a summer holiday. Assuming the obvious he believes that my testosterone will drive me into the arms and between the legs of the nearest female with a hole in it. It is insulting to be so grossly underestimated. Some female creature is already leering at me through the smoke and grime. The performance here is excellent, the stupefied, callous atmosphere. Whoever runs this cover is clever. The studied carefully constructed dedication to oblivion. Enough outsiders to make it totally credible. At the first sign of trouble some artsaxai performer will stage a drunken macho brawl, Not dissimilar to some old flick clip. The dancing is a shade too good. But no-one notices. The Master’s thug is bored.

Last night sleeping under glass, the stars reflected in my icy dreams I dreamt I’d stopped somewhere too long. Misjudged something. Genelegacy. Was I sleeping or in vision country. Does it matter? I no longer care very much and that makes me both dangerous and vulnerable. Did I ever sleep well, that priceless gift of kings? I don’t think so, I was never that secure, some part of me was always on red alert. In any case my name made it impossible. I chose it deliberately. My mother cried the day I gave it to her after first blooding. She is prone to sentiment at times. But it is correct that it is a venomous name with a long and intricate history, not all of it pretty or honourable. Venom is always twisting, forever congealing and uncoiling, sliding and slipping into unlikely and the least accessible of places. It suited me. Andrusus was appalled and Lorenz roared with laughter, but Joy was truly disturbed and I comforted him as best I could. I am not good with real words, far better at dissembling.

O for the single state of stillness, of quiet. To watch the soundless fall of a water in the Hive at dawn, staggering about with all the indecency of knowledge. ‘From the bottom of a pool fixed stars govern a life.’ Lorenz would not agree with that, to him everything is mutable; it is his greatest strength and within it he finds the true source of regeneration. But to return to the present.

Here I live in style with robber-barons and I talk of profit, eco-splits, percentiles in the sweat houses, necessary terminations. The latest magnetic experiment. I need to find the terminals that are blowing the grid and reducing the population to their collective aphasia. Poor bastards. Oh I will. I have gorgeous charm, all the tricks of the trade that Lorenz, that fox, taught me and a most engaging manner. Above all my smile shines with innocence. Of course the Masters like me. One went so far to suggest I join their farcical Judiciary. I remained calm. Indeed I pondered this excellent advice for a time, a little perturbed by the magnitude of this offer. I told him that I was a little overwhelmed by such an honour, perhaps I was too young, untried. I did not laugh. He did. He slapped me on the back and said something patronising like ‘In time, young man, in time’. I wanted to kill him very badly. He suggested I should think about their most prestigious College. I believe I managed to blush. They seem such easy prey, these masters, but no, I am not deceived, at the upper echelon they are deadly, accurate and evil. Particularly their leader, Kel.

Shall I tell you what I really desire? And me with an 11/2 warlord gene. I would love to fly a volcanic region, black waters, the season of feather fall where a bird could break a mountain, where the eagle could eclipse the first quarter of the stellar moon. I’d like to dance on horny mountains. Forgive me for this need to traverse back through time a little, sometimes I need memory here merely to keep breathing. If I could concoct Alwyn’s alchemy of time I would be able to forget that all are dead or dying from the touch of shadow. I would summon up animals, clouds, the free things, I’d let them play. Did I ever play? There didn’t seem to be enough time to indulge myself in being a child. Recreations, oh yes I had them in abundance. Always in trouble, never made the right grade, came in as a priority one in the wrong ones. The Phoenix Warlord Tribunal abhorred me. I could always argue a technicality. Hard to prove I had malice aforethought let alone access to menserea. I have always believed that if some group of individuals, some institution make rules then it follows that they are predicating the actions of the creatures who will break them. Made sense to me. Not necessarily to my elders and my betters, in truth they despaired of me at times. Only the shaman understood my escapades as a kind of need to outhunt myself. No wonder I trusted him. He has a mind that defies even Amethyst description. A white wolf. He glided in and out of so much trouble it amazed me and beneath those hooded eyes that never missed anything, beneath that devious dissembling and elegant manner he was always laughing.

Only the loss of my aunt, Amethyst, took the lightness from his soul. Perhaps only an event of that magnitude could. He has never laughed, not truly, since. He told the craw he would retire from the clan. They believed him, I didn’t. He taught me hope and, like me, he doesn’t know how not to hope. I remember laughter, it is quite strange: happiness has a taste to it, a smell, an ambience in soundwave. All gone now I suppose. I remember a time when Lorenz had set up such an elaborate game with the Hive that even Alwyn thought he’d gone too far. It was basically in retaliation for something Regina had done. Anyway eventually Nemesis rose up and decided she would impeach him for violation 1/127 or some such arcane thing. But in the end they couldn’t pin a thing. He never left a trace. Once in a fit of boredom he decided that it befitted his status as shaman to transmit a Universal declaration of Craw and Hive Rights. It kept the Hive busy for months and they still can’t decipher it. Great minds were imported to wrestle with these problems, for the Hive fear nothing more than an encroachment on their domain, while Lorenz retired to the ice country and roared with laughter. Lorenz respects very little. He is a kind of archetypal unit of ambiguity. Subtle, but lethal to cross. Something even the Hive learnt eventually. My mother didn’t. She’s almost as capricious as he is. They have so much more in common than they know, and even if they did they would never admit to it.

Lorenz has always argued about the possibility of choice. It is central to his belief system. Perhaps it his own form of rebellion against the caprices of fate. The Amethyst craw has often been buffeted by the winds of cruelty. But even in the event of choice if the end product is still the same what is the difference? Perhaps he is right, our choices still matter, they are what shape us, form our souls, make us whole. But I am not made of identical metal as Lorenz. I am like a blade, honed and shaped to kill; poised on any number of thin edges and prone to magnetic pull, subject to vortex whorl. O I can bend. An art I learnt hard and not one that came naturally. If Andrusus had ever understood what I did to achieve this he might have been proud of me. I seem to have a need of his approval. But he is as incapable of understanding me as he is my mother. But he loves her and in that house many compromises are made, Though he doesn’t see it that way of course as she fights the gossamer threads of their love with a flamethrower. The man’s a great fool at times. Poor demented bastard. Krystos wouldn’t he abhor my pity.

Andrusus made the error of underestimating me. He bought the front cover I presented to him. It never seemed to occur to him that I was born chameleon, that in my cradle I played with facial contortions, practised vocal range to gauge reaction, the art of shapechanging came as naturally to me as breathing. It is my strength, my milieu. Which is how the Master’s thug just lost me. Witless fool.

Now I can get on with the real business of finding the lynch pin in this elegant little establishment, its a well structured joint, lots of exit points. But how to get in. My hackles are overly sensitive. There is something here both very simple and very complex. Keeping a couple of moves ahead in a game where you know neither the pieces nor the shape of the board, let alone the rules, is always a challenge. If Andrusus were here he would analyse it as a potential charnel house and kill everyone. Fast, efficient, so quick he blurs in movement. I’ve never seen a Phoenix like him. It is peculiar the way I both like and detest the man. Perhaps I am jealous, that’s an interesting musing. I loathe his arrogance, his complete sense of certainty about the world. He doesn’t even suspect himself of weakness, a fatally flawed Greek hero. He has often amused me since he came to the craw. One day he might learn the Hive, the bee-box, though he fears it. How appalled he would be if he knew that I knew that much about him. Pride goeth before a fall, Warlord, an old galaxy saying and well worth thinking about. I am too young for him to take seriously, though he will take this little escapade of mine to the highest tribunal, absent without leave.

I must admit I have enjoyed tormenting the man under the malicious eye of Lorenz. Press the right sequence in the man, o subtle, infinitely so, I have proper respect for that monstrous computer mind and the rest is relatively simple. It irritates him that I manage to annoy him so much. Why do so many strong men fear the Hive. And yet Andrusus can’t seem to keep away from it. He cannot seem to see through it and him with third eye pineality, He can’t concede that if he applied that extraordinary sense of his that he would find nothing, it is dark, dark, no exit. Nine tenths of the time he ignores the Hive, a dangerous if efficient choice. He doesn’t believe in mis-spending energy. Me I’d spread the galaxy with it. I’d invade, de-stabilize anything and everything not necessarily with good reason. As for space, I’ve never understood this mystique about space, sacred or otherwise. What a lot of shit. Sacred means mystery and mystery is the substance , no the fuel, that powers my being. So I will return to this mystery, this joint where I believe the Matriach Kazan

may well be concealing the presence of my mother.

Wild Lady Codex 8.7.11.10279 13/6

I have just me the G-G, whoever that may be, a strange man in the extreme, the dogs are talking apparently whatever that means. This place is called a Geneprison but I do not remember how I came to be here. The transition was very difficult; they must have found me somewhere. I claimed amnesia, I don’t remember, I don’t recall, the women here use that refrain in the song they sing before their court hearings. The cages stink of vomit and shit, one of the women whose name is Lorien has managed to quiet the screaming child at last. I would have quiet in this place above all else but they are less disturbed than they were. The level of static has decreased .

Kai: We tried, forgive..

Alwyn: Things go according to their own plan, within the seed is the tree

There is pain

There is always pain, close transmit, my brother.

Nemesis looks to raise the Hive,sister

I thought the law was nothing in excess, Lord of Time?

That was unnecessary, Kai, close.

So I am a bitch sometimes, what else is new? My veins are aching, the noise level is driving me close to dementia, I suppose I will have to do something sooner or later. My right ear is rapidly going to another place, how does it go: ‘Outside I hear the wind, the clouds have got into my eyes but still I feel the pulse of earth the breathing of trees..’ If only I could.

They have the remnants of a library in this place, some legacy from the time when these places had a different ethos, the idea of return to a society instead of holding pens or abatoirs. The other women think I am more than strange as I try and distract myself with books. I return to Galileo, another arrogant man who refuted the christian view of the galaxy creation myth. He was a pioneer in the field of the linear although he didn’t know it. Lucifer sheltered him well. In his Dialogues Concerning the Two Principles system Galileo razed the old theories, he destroyed the old laws, or thought he had, by the use of procuring fallacious proofs. With him began the idee fixee of Galaxy 7 science, both its ingenuity and its downfall. It would last until my father, Lorenz, in one of his more capricious moods, let loose the theory of non-aligned particles and their misnomers : attractors. But the habit of procuring truth with false equations was a primary cause of any number of wars, genocides, destruction and rape on the galaxy and it permitted much in its name. So it is, so it must be, that was inscribed on another temple in this world. I am becoming cryptic again, it is the rigours of transition. I am no longer younger nor was I ever accounted beautiful, from the Queen of Sparta to her lover Alkiabides. To divert back to Galileo. Pope Ubanus VIII forced Galileo to recant by resorting to the use of instruments of torture. a practice enshrined by the Spanish Inquisition. I have some memory of that time, I was burnt as a witch in that life and Alwyn with me. So many women died then and their cats. In doing this the maniacs unleashed the Black Plague for the cats had kept the rat population down and with their decline the rodent population exploded. It is most unwise to trouble the feline species, they are beloved of Maat and she is truly powerful. Anyway, men , is there never an end to their mindless cruelty? Galileo became a liar, a thief and a defector from his own code of honour. he was an over-reacher. To him we lost the lovely man Copernicus. Galileo’s psyche was powerful however and from him the galaxy was to inherit the most dangerous credos of all: that galaxy 7 was the centre of its axaii-parallel and man was the centre of galaxy 7, the maddest lie of all. Enough, their science bores me after a while with its tiny perimeters, its binary discourse, its rigidity, it is not distracting me nor you either I suppose but I must do something to pass the time. the future is all edgeless grey, I can sense nothing.

One of the women asked me recently from whence I came. She had a wall eye and a strange lisp, she felt something, her tonotopic range was enhanced I suspect I suggested Alpha Centauri but she did not understand this as an attempt at humour. She watches me constantly.

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