A slow movement. Data-trail left behind. And then he curls up into the propensity of his abode. Curled tight in a downsize pack.

They have been building homes to fit in back-packs for a long time, but shells aren’t just physical structures – they have also been working on constructing psychological spaces that can be unpacked around someone, and plugged via multiple narrative tendrils into their minds.

Erlich was a part of the Homeplus program a long time ago, but the enforced collective consciousness wouldn’t take, and he had to escape when they tried to dispose of him. Five years later, gene-hacked, the Snail Plug Program was something he though he could deal with … it had seemed safer.

Little did he know that The Pinnacle, which branched out of Homeplus, at some future point, was also funding Snail Plug. He also didn’t know The Pinnacle had collapsed, and why should he? So the fact that the survivors were out there, and looking for a more compact space into which they might move their construction of a brainwashing program, given their interests in Snail Plug, was more dangerous to him than he might have realized, if he had of course known about that either. Erlich was effectively in the dark corner of an unlit box, dropped into an abyss of ignorance. He wouldn’t say the ignorance was bliss, but it was going to be a lot more palatable to him than the shit sandwich which was on the menu for later.

Roll the pinnacle up into a spiral and trap the future in the doom of a Fibonacci spiral. This was the dream – to have The Pinnacle without the The Pinnacle. If they could not see it then they could not destroy – if it were scattered like drops in the promise of a cloud; a distributed network of notions adding up to a philosophy, then it might grow to be greater in the future than it had been in the past.

Erlich, one of the few successes to have survived the binding process, that hooked him into his Snail Plug, might be, if they were to find him, the saviour of the survivors who had once been the controlling occupants of that tower which had cast its shadow out through time, space, and the whole of reality. He felt that shadow fall heavy on him, though he knew not what it was, and he tried to outrun.

How does one fight for their home when they and their home are imperiled in the same moment? How does one protect their abode when to fight for it they must put it at risk, because it is so closely bound to them? He ran, because he had no notion of what else he might do. For these years in which he had been bound to something he might call his, he had tried hard to keep it in the best condition. He knew that someone was coming to take it from him; he knew that he was not paranoid.

And when he stopped, and when he felt that he might rest; when he felt the warmth of the sun upon him, and not the warmth of the shadow. And he stopped, and his home unfurled. That was when The Mistle Thrush descended upon him.


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