Day 90. 87 pages, 37,379 words.
The Balathustrian is a loneform
Thought to have originated as a
Species or engineered subspecies,
But over time has defeated in war
And then consumed all others of its kind.
Functional mortal regenerative,
The Balathustrian was placed in high
Stable orbit above Yinh where it is
Maintained in a dormant state by the cold.
Do not attempt to engage or destroy.
Predericon swam on through the glowing information. The entries she’d been most fascinated with – the ancient, the extinct, the semi-mythical and the cancelled – were crafted in an elegant old linguistic rhetorical form known as theria. Ten Xidh characters per line, ten lines per entry, each one formed a poetic square of information that simultaneously created a tidy stanza, a near-infinitely stackable and cross-referencable block, and an overlexicon for the data system itself. Theria could be gathered into cubes of one hundred, and from there scaled more or less indefinitely.
But that wasn’t all of it. If you swam deep enough, there were theria that didn’t fit the pattern. Which was impossible, because the pattern formed the framework of the entire system and you could no more have exceptions to it than you could have an ascending numerical sequence where 4 came between 2 and 3, or a prime number with a third natural divisor. They ought to invalidate the entire block – the entire archive – and yet there they were.
The Gesipulid has been generally
Credited as being the most shockingly
Unintelligent creature that ever lived.
Many dispute its legitimacy on
Grounds of artificiality: it was
A construct specifically designed to
Be stupid, its life functions, its very cells
Maintained unnaturally when organic
And evolutionary impulse was to
Shut down or mutate in a desperate bid
To become something marginally less thick.
Some of them – like the Gesipulid with its droll eleven-character theria, or themaia, she supposed it should be called – seemed like jokes coded into the data intentionally by the creators. Ho ho, the Gesipulid was so stupid, even its theria has eleven characters instead of ten. But it wasn’t just the comical entries, and it wasn’t just an 11 x 11 theria here and there. There was a pattern to it, a deeper meaning, a layer of information coded into the anomalies.
A whole second tapestry, picked out in the faulty stitches of the first.
And so Predericon swam deeper.
– Posted from my Huawei mobile phone while faffing around delivering my car to annual checkup and taking the bus home.
These entries have been not only directly translated, but localised in a sense to preserve the the structure. Xidh characters have been replaced by syllables, which has cost some of the elegance of the phrasing but kept the spirit of the text. The syllables and words do not therefore represent a direct translation of the texts.
Now just waiting to see if someone wants to explain to me how I can have an ascending numerical sequence where 4 goes between 2 and 3.
And by “someone”, of course I mean Aaron the MIT Patriot. 😀
2, 2.4, 3
You didn’t say it was integers…
Hey you tempted me with this comment. All I WAS going to write was I salute your incredible imagination and writing ability.
Ahh, see I had natural numbers for the prime thing but had originally specified it here too. But well played, full points.
Nice Blog Posting. Great work