Origami Unicorn by Ray Ogar

>>> COPYRIGHT 2007

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<text from the back cover>

An event known as the Reformat changes the face of Earth. What is left of the Oldest Internet ossifies into glassy shells left along every beach. While the ocean recedes from all the world’s shorelines the remains of humanity live nomadic lives in social networks called Google clans. These clans, each a group of clones descendent from one of three Primes, struggle to survive in the immaterial wrecks of reality——a reality descended from a war between semi-sentient AI and bacterially-armored humans. One clone, Aedl, proceeds to investigate the descendants of a rival clan known as the Grammar. Soon Aedl and the Grammar race to unlock the secret to a series of Artifacts made of pure information lying along what used to be the Texas coastline.

It is three months before the event called the Reformat. A virtual farmer named Cikly asks his friend Dale to steal a copy of a book called The House of Leaves. Dale reluctantly searches for the book and instead obsessively blogs about his belief he exists in a waking coma. Dale finally discovers the book among millions of titles warehoused in the local mega-bookstore. Except when Dale locates the book, opens it, by all accounts it appears blank. Or so he believes. The mysterious book goes missing before Dale can further examine it. Soon, under the pretense of their combined obsession, Dale and Cikly begin a roadtrip in search of the enigmatic book. By journey’s end what they find redefines themselves and their place in reality...

<images from interior of book>

<begin excerpt>

open quote\\

your mother is glad you aren’t here.
you aren’t here strapped under the cleansing plague of the ‘pause.
i fear the rage.
i dread the ringing in my ears.
but i accept the fire under your mother’s collar.
i endorse this Corporeality as an attempt to make the world a better place.
so you will remain safe.
never mind the attendant strife.
never mind the collateral gossip.
we ARE making a difference.
you will accept my reality
while i lie compressed under Teflon spider silk
and adamantine crinoline,
i bear witness in the offline incorporation of your mother’s worst nightmare:
Google making good on its promise,
Google making me worry about my son’s future playground,
Google reaching across all the whiteboard sessions behind closed doors,
actually taking the step
to make itself real, times-two.
Google fitting its hand into the glove of Bluetooths.
i’ve seen the sticker-bomb propaganda, son.
and i’ve bourn the required hours of therapy under my local branch of retail chaplain.
sickened by his prosthetic arms,
his gesture and tongue,
his proselytizing fling of God and Country...
The Good Book tattooed onto his fingers
so he could touch me with the words of God.
i accepted him and Him but secretly denied Him under the guise of listening to my in-voice,
without FRANK i fear,
without FRANK i am nothing
without FRANK i know i will never bear the light of the Corporeality again.
FRANK is my bacterial witness,
my personal precog.
i’m on the Photoshop battlefield
channelling the ‘pause,
lobbing secret santas across the Zyban rift
into the Bluetooth...
of course the GoogleWhipped crowds never tense,
never surge.
Google having supplanted their sentience for mere intelligence,
the Bluetooth are the ocean’s calm.
and now the santas deliver their gifts.
FRANK reveals strike-points, blood, ichor, wallops of torn Insubstantiality.
Google retracts a tendril and the Bluetooth mass becomes a field of autistic dandelions.
FRANK wipes away your mother’s attempts at hate and fear and hallelujah.
he dots your mother’s eyes and crosses just enough of me to get your mother to pay attention to the battle-zone.
My screen crashes and resets to blue.
I hear the glass crack.
My body begins to heat,
my toes a’twitter.
it is then that the Plonesuit grabs my core charge.
threads itself into my very pores.
reaches into the heart of your mother and takes.
mind you doesn’t ask.
takes what it needs.
but leaves your mother,
leaves me,
with the most beautiful moment, purity, and the edge of a sublime paradigm shift-carriage return.

the screen clears.

the enclave pushes deeper into the Insubstantiality.
Google lashes back with smoke and broken mirrors.
a shard of glass pierces my leg.
and the Plonesuit quickly decompiles the material.
FRANK has to remind your mother that because the battle-suit maintains itself as an ever upgradable open architecture, it requires your mother’s excess body heat, my powerhousing ‘pause to reconcile any captured mass. when lobbed santas dismantle Bluetooth we can use their leftovers to build ammunition. we can tap into their collateral gossip as well as their constant brainstorm to precog on our plan.

FRANK whispers into my ear,
he calms me down from bloodlust to heartbeat.
the screen clears and
i see his skull, the holes of gaping code in FRANK’s face.
he could be sweet and soft,
long-eared and Harvey...
but no.
he is FRANK
he is my precog and
i am his zombie terminal.
this, our Corps reality.
his hand reaches into me when the ‘pause begins its surge.
he acts in my stead when its heat finally corrupts my Corporeality.
it is when i am momentarily retarded FRANK slips me a skill-set upgrade.
ALL of us in the enclave have accepted FRANK’s guiding hand.
he is the one who saved us.
removed us from Bluetooth angst.
and we are his dutiful warriors,
your mother and her support staff of Photoshoped sisters,
plying our Corps for the greater real.
no more cigarettes.
no more TV.
no more alt.cyberpunk.chatsubo.
no more sugar.
no more trans-fats.
no more alcohol.
no more Paris Hilton.
no more Michael Crichton.
no more art.
no more home shopping network.
no more CSI.
no more meat.
no more ...
your mother can take.
i am afraid i will become a drinker of Kool-Aid.
merely user generated content.
used toner.
your mother misses you.
no more.

//close quote


<end excerpt>