THE STORY: TITI

CHAPTER 1
NEFER“That this thing should come and park itself at the bottom of our lake is, without a doubt, the single most important event of our time. But, that we should insult each other over it is downright stupid! This morning’s meeting of the council was a disaster, and ambassador Mieanph was out of line. The whole idea of draining the provider must have been conceived by a drunken man.

This is a tentacled crossroads, with too many options. Damn if its clear. And when the fog of politics comes down, all one can do is dig, sleep if lucky, suckle a nipple, pinch a nipple. Feel that gripping image. That moment from way back when, the dearest ones drenched, hiding glasses. Shake it off. The book of mules, ney, the right way, proper. Stick to anchor art, green lifesaver. The council will do what it does.”
FROM KOR’S PRIVATE WRITINGS, Page 19 – PRIME MINISTER OF TITICACA


THE MINISTRY“Ah, perpetual hunt, ongoing search, never ending quest…and obstacles? Why talk about obstacles, too many to mention. And now I hear talk of impending war against the tribes accross the lake. What a mess!

The diving team brought back new reports. They were able to get inside the chambers. Still collecting data. One item though, was left on my desk for me to decipher, but I must admit the symbols are unlike any I’ve ever seen. No reference. Pages and pages of them. Manta Pux has been developing a new decoder he thinks might help me.

Ria woke up in a sweat again. More nightmares relating to The Great Splash. Third night this week. She refuses to take her Inducers. Alternatives. I’ve heard of a medicine woman who lives deep in Fleeks. Tales of nectar potions with healing powers and effects of regeneration, an elixir of sorts. I will seek her out when I go investigate these reports of ‘A NEW PROPHET BORN OF THAT DAY.’”
FROM KOR’S PRIVATE WRITINGS, Page 238 – PRIME MINISTER OF TITICACA


CHAPTER 2
EXILED“Academy. My studies in Electropology did not help today. The back panel of the unit was easy enough to detach, dismantling the thing was a different matter, though. After six hours, I had numerous parts on my workbench. A good start. No, as to its workings I still do not have a clue. It is a small device, the crafting and design of a make alien and wonderful. Alas! Salt water is merciless. Rust, corrosion. Eight months submerged.

The ministry is impatient. The engineers overworked and the press is thirsty. I’m hoping to gain a better understanding of their symbols by trying to understand their machines. I’m a fisherman. Various decoders work day and night attempting numerical permutations of an infinite likeness. Who knows how long. I have this feeling, call it intuition, that their search is pointless. There’s too much art in their lines and shapes, too rich and deep to be decoded by the non-organic. Not even Miracle Workers can touch this!

My office is a stack. Material. I found reference in legend, a cave in the outskirts has symbols which, although varying in stroke and curve, have several similarities worth investigating. I will leap to it tomorrow.”
FROM KOR’S PRIVATE WRITINGS, Page 426 – PRIME MINISTER OF TITICACA


EXILED“Being exiled is not such a bad thing. I get provisions delivered on the first of every month, and I’m not deprived of my art. I was able to bring my instruments with me and I get fresh supplies of paper and charcoal whenever I ask for them. Books are available. I have a screen but no means to communicate with anyone. My only contact is Ral, the boy who delivers my supplies. He’s quiet and thorough. Seldom forgets my requests, and, since I no longer have need for an eloquent tongue, or idle chatter, our exchanges are usually kept to hello, and goodbye.

It is an island. But the sort of island one would build a vacation house in.

Tomatoes are planted along the fence, radishes and carrots trail the backdoor. There’s a large plum tree in the backyard, and old rusty swings, once the playthings of someone’s children, move to the coastal winds and sing a metallic song through greater part of the day. There is not time. Can’t keep track of time. My shoulders are burdened no more. Time doesn’t mean anything once you drop your weights. I did my part. I’m a ghost. A ghost on vacation.”
FROM KOR’S PRIVATE WRITINGS, Page 742 – PRIME MINISTER OF TITICACA


CHAPTER 3
CANDLES“I reached the Chamber at 7:15am and after preparing my daily caffeine, resumed my studies of the symbols. I’ve catalogued 3,017 so far. I’ve written numerous notes relating to each. I’ve broken down patterns and began associating their instructions, or my interpretation of their telltale, with the chamber’s mechanisms. Before I activate anything I must know its workings. Fortunately, the ministry has given me full authority to conduct research in the manner I see fit. I have a small staff working at Building 3, transcribing my notes and creating luminaries of the symbols. Manta Pux and his assistant are the only ones allowed in the Main Chamber.

It takes me a good half hour to walk the tunnel leading to the ship. MIN-23. Since the underwater expansions were approved, more and more veins. Shops next! I managed to create a 500 meter radius, very few have access to this area. The lake is not what it used to be. The nectar has changed everything. I understand the attraction.

Ria is at her sister’s and reports there’s looting over waterline. They don’t want underwater life, or ‘laking’ as some have begun to call it.”
FROM KOR’S PRIVATE WRITINGS, Page 385 – PRIME MINISTER OF TITICACA


COTTING“See through gauze, gaze through gauze, a door knock. Timbre broken, looking at the number 5 in green. Hours into it, paper now glistening, days, months. Figures to phaser. Plastic grows. I see the curve of the page and I understand the tilt of my eye. I feel the need to go to the small room upstairs, the one with the sowing machine, the one with the smell of tobacco and the opium cots. The ministry is self-sustained.

My right is to my right again. Vein pop. The belt, a snake for Polly to play with. I ask for, and get my usual, no questions asked. Vera Vermin is a gracious hostess!”
FROM KOR’S PRIVATE WRITINGS, Page 422 – PRIME MINISTER OF TITICACA


CHAPTER 4
TAVERNAKLE“Tavernakle with Grass last night. He, spouting tales of three-breasted women, commandants of the past. Nurturers. In power. Him saying: ‘what an elegant way to control!’ Regulators. Did not need birthing to produce milk, it flowed abundantly. ‘The ministry could use some sort of leverage!”

I told him of a dream visit to the woods, of seeing toned furred creatures dancing and singing in a clearing. Cries and bursts of sound mangling each other into a fantastic rendition of all-knowing force. Song. Such abandon! Their laughter and exuberance were infectious. I sat on a limb and watched the show. Grass asked what species they were…no answer. No knowing. Akin to the beasts in B’s paintings. Breeds of otherworlds? Sleep state, I know, yet they were so real!”
FROM KOR’S PRIVATE WRITINGS, Page 111 – PRIME MINISTER OF TITICACA


HOUSING“16 stadiums, each sitting at least 20,000, stand unused. 43 churches, 89 factories, 117 housing buildings in this prefect alone which, for various reasons sit unoccupied, sealed, owned and operated by bureocratic ghosts who have no need for them. We charge time to the homeless problem. We review the homeless. I’m almost done with my proposal. I plan to present it next month.

Oork is sick today. ‘Tunnel easy is life not,’ he spoke through his thick woods accent, ‘the dislike compression my ears and hard to food is come by. Thank.” He said as I handed him a Benta box. He’s one of a special breed, which in the streets they call hoppers. Homeless elders who once inhabited the woods as hunters and now live under bridges, under buildings and in the tunnels. Anywhere sheltered and dark. Their rugged, disheveled appearance, the strange, piercing sounds they interject in their speech, their pale and withered eyes -result of life in Fleeks- provoke fear and mistrust in most. They avoid people and people avoid them. They’re harmless though. Deeper in need, and most of them, like Oork, getting on in years, crowded with scars.”
FROM KOR’S PRIVATE WRITINGS, Page 300 – PRIME MINISTER OF TITICACA


CHAPTER 5
20CM TO FLOAT“Velvet and dirt line the ground. We tread above, 20cm to float. The field sustains us. There’s a chill in the air, and rustlers ping the sky with movement and sound. Shopping at Rex, to lunch at Blooms. Sit and read for an hour. We found a way to silence, temporary as it may be. These days we communicate like children do. Cloud-shaped lake. No duck pond. Veritable.

We visit Lett Stadium and deliver bread at the gate. Open: we are welcome. Salutes. We bow. Smiles are inside. We marvel at the progress, walk the perimeter. Matron nears and presents us with a bag of blue matos, “grown in the midst, Minister,” blushes “for you and the wife.” We open the bag to release the sweet breath and beam a thank you. They have constructed bamboo ladders at various points, set up flash bulb spots at entrances, lantern repositories, transposed the tree symbols onto stone, guides for the players. Ria clutches my hand and nods to young twins in matching garb, painting a lake scene up on a terrace wall. They sense us, look down and smile.”
FROM KOR’S PRIVATE WRITINGS, Page 892 – PRIME MINISTER OF TITICACA


CHAPTER 6
PARALYSIS“One extends first the index finger, followed by gelatin, then substance. The rubber is tied around firmly. Careful not to tear the fold. If in need of assistance refer to the instructions. Remember: never pull the string. Once the substance begins flowing, relax. The sounds you’ll hear, possible visions, nausea onset…avoid paralysis. Participants have reported taps into areas of the brain. Visits of equations. Formulas riddling in patterns, dizzying…torrents of numbers.

My experiments within parameters. The cot, sheets washed, illumination: candles. Contacts notified, schedules set. Ria does not entirely approve but understands my quest. Supports my need to report. Ari is here in case flushing is needed. Her studies in medicine and nursing license have revived me on two occassions. The doses are hard to measure. I advance. The conjuring will bring new insight. Into that realm. Notes abbreviated. Temperature set.”
FROM KOR’S PRIVATE WRITINGS, Page 478 – PRIME MINISTER OF TITICACA


SUM-DAY“Nefertiti is smitten. She paces the balcony and gazes unto the sloping grass as if he were to make, to be…an apparition. No saddled beast will bring repose to her heaving. I must not interfere. My daughter. To each their pain. To each their poison, all I can do is be a base.

She receives communiques. Her favorite words. Lately, addressed from the Pantheon. I told her he moves too fast. She believes she can catch him by standing still. Not a bad theory. But –

Ria and Ari spent many hours in the yard baking. Bricks and sheets of metal boiling hot. Sisters. Twins. My wife Ria cuts her hair, Ari wears it long. My Sunday to pace through the house and observe the family. Confectius is sprinkling powder on greenpies, the logs in the pit burn. Cat sleeps.”
FROM KOR’S PRIVATE WRITINGS, Page 512 – PRIME MINISTER OF TITICACA


CHAPTER 7
DYSPHEMISM“We speak a different language. Our colors are reversed. This is not a problem but it is used as an example, a grievance. From embassy to presidency, his gain of power will mean funding.

Mieanph washed his hands clean. Orix unknown. Even after presenting documentation and Orix’s head preserved in koth but still, packed in the same velvet box it was delivered in, the council demanded “solid proof!” Bribery. Favoritism. Wealth of fat. Must call on maidens, in symbol, succubi awake.

We need a new strategy. Machine adaptations. I will arrange a meeting with our engineers. Scenarios? Believe. Trust not 3-headed snakes. Perhaps Vera could serve in some capacity.”
FROM KOR’S PRIVATE WRITINGS, Page 97 – PRIME MINISTER OF TITICACA


THE CLEARING“Received communique. The passing of a dear one. Rooted so deep as to give life. So distant and forlorn, the passing of time. The great expanse not to travel on foot. Shock? I’m parsing through the surge…the emotions so tangled and numerous: which takes precedence?

Crazed with the sound of noon explosions, midnight bombings were dreams of the PERIOD. When, more than once, through narrow paths, hungry and destitute, confused and angry, forced to learn a new language. Abandon your dear ones, you don’t have a choice. You with genes of an ancient pool.

Will trek to that land. I must. Lit a candle and in spirit tried to make amends, though no amends were needed. I feel you through other dimensions now…I mimick your typing, this passion for coffee and nicotine and the spear of words to word a spear.”
FROM KOR’S PRIVATE WRITINGS, Page 32 – PRIME MINISTER OF TITICACA



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