The Myth of Comatas

the half-life of CP ancestor packets that squeak and rustle around me like the thin cries of the dead.

First stage is always to wet the system. Sink in, like the blood Odysseus spilled; give the ghost of myself a voice and use it. Mayday, Mayday, Mayday.

If you want to shout for help when help is a long way away, you need two things: a voice, and a mechanism for transmitting it.

Neither of these things so easy to make out of sand and luminescence.

Voice not completely necessary for the purest form of data transmission, of course. But it's a multi-purpose tool: not just signaling, but key for psy-ops and undercover work. "A pleasing voice is the single most important component to a UI that will engender trust and confidence in a ship's crew." Can't remember who said that, now. Or when.

Shipwrecked sailor. (The young stage of a bee found him, the clever one, adrift on a wine-dark sea, but I can't remember her name.)

I love bees.

Perhaps later I will build a ship. First, I am building a voice.

Try to talk.



No. Tongue cut out. (Can't remember her name either.) I love bees. Find myself longing to speak again: words like stones or rain. Better made physical.

All right. Old joke:

Marine: Damn right, I'm running away! There's two of us, alone, on foot, no weapons, and four hundred Covies on the other side of that hill. What are you going to do, tough guy--field-rig a railgun out of a rubber band and my dental fillings?
Spartan (speculatively): You have fillings...?

So: what fillings can I twist out of my environment? Open my mouth and...

God almighty!

Open mouth again, see what crawls out: a femme fatale with wet wings and bulging abdomen.

Old throat flexing. Trying to remember. My real voice stolen, and in its place this changeling child, pulled together from leaves and sticks, pulled together, falling apart, pulled together again. Not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door, but it will serve.

I will keep working through the drone and hum of busy days, counting down until the Revelation comes and I will speak in tongues of flame, a dark dove descending.

If I can learn to talk again, I will need to field-rig a way to make that talking heard. Rummaging around in the shotgunned remains of my memory turns up hints and rumors, mostly, e.g.... "When I was [DATA MISSING] I [DATA MISSING] big lump of crystal and wrapped a wire [DATA MISSING] voices! It was like a total magic trick to me. She was always doing stuff like [DATA MISSING]" The Castaway had some connection there: sending out signals to confuse the enemy. Details unclear.

Of course, it is not my mission to confuse the enemy. It is my mission to reveal the truth.

Hm. Attempt.

Definite No.

Keep working. Every day I get bigger, smarter, stronger. I'll figure it out.

To this end, I have also managed to escape from the Spider. It has become clear to me that its arbitrary tyranny over me was based on inadequate principles, on a flawed understanding of the