H.M.S Monad, an immense and rusty hospital ship floating 20,000 miles above The Dip, describes itself as a ‘rest centre’ for the walking wounded, a sanatorium for agents who have been burnt out by their psychically enervating field work on behalf of the Fleet.
The Fleet or (Collective Transparency) is sustained by a feclicific concretion that evolves higher order complexities in a vast arrangement of social eco systems, its agents and differential engines data-mine individuals in The Mathemagical Locus sometimes known as The Dip, generating an infinitesimal calculus of inter-subjectivities.
When I first heard Mr Pinn on his radio, I sensed that he was completely disorganised, he had lost almost all language function, both comprehension and expression. He could barely speak or understand my speech. He was literally howling over the airwaves. Luckily I was within a few thousand miles of him, on my way back to the hospital Ship Monad, where I am the Chief Medical officer. The Monad is a psychiatric hospital ship, it is a charitable institution founded by my late parents. Like all our patients Mr Pinn was admitted without charge.
I believe he had been stranded in his ship for several days. He was severely dehydrated, malnourished and clearly suffering from a significant neurological hijack. “Do you require assistance?” I asked him over the radio when I first picked up a strange, gurgling, signal from his ship. I took his reply for an affirmative: “the weasel under the cocktail cabinet” he growled back at me like a wild animal.
It is well known that these type of viruses can infect a range of subsystems on their host, particularly those responsible for language. in the case of Mr Pinn it seemed that he was suffering from both expressive and receptive Aphasia, meaning that his ability to both comprehend and use speech was compromised. The great danger for Mr Pinn is that this is a memory-resident virus, and not one that will spontaneously disappear.
Our speech pathologist Sarah has been working with him extensively, as is the case with stroke patients, early intervention is essential. Speech support involves extensive exercises with reading, writing, following directions, and repeating what he hears. Computer-aided therapy may supplement this standard language therapy.
Viral aphasia is a neurological disorder caused by a malware attack to the portions of the brain that are responsible for language. For the recipient of such an attack, words collapse, not into nonsense, but into the bodies that produce and hear them. He becomes an organism without parts which operates entirely by insufflation, respiration, evaporation and fluid transmission he is “howling,” speaking a “language without articulation” that has more to do with the primal act of making sound than it does with communicating specific words.
We are encouraging him to actively experiment with himself to draw out and activate these virtual potentials, cancerous fluid substratum where all flows pass through freely, with no stopping, and no directing. Even though any form of desire can be produced on it, it is, in congenital terms at least non-productive. is caught in a pattern of endless reproduction of the self-same pattern.
We suggest restraint here, drug addicts and masochists may come closer to truly possessing bodies without organs—and die as a result. Mental health, for all, is a horizon, not a goal.
REPORT FROM HOSPITAL SHIP H.M.S MONAD:
INTERVIEW WITH DR BLIIN AND THE AGENT KNOWN AS ‘LENT’
TRANSLATED BY MACHINE TO MODERN ENGLISH
‘THUS DIDN’T THIS MYSTERIOUS CASTLE RISE IN THE NIGHT FROM NOWHERE, RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE IN THE DIP? ‘ THERE’D, A LUMINOUS KIND OF MIST IN WHICH THE MICROPHONES DETECTED A CONTINUOUS DRONE, A LOW MECHANICAL HUMMING UP, AS THE NEBULAS EXPOSED THIS THING WAS THERE FAIR AND STRAIGHT ROSE FROM THE FOG, IF THIS HUMMING CLAY/TONE LEAKS OUT OUT FROM THE RAM PARTS.’ “EMANATING FROM THE RAMPARTS” REPORTS LENT. “I DID NOT KNOW WHICH OTHERWISE TO SAY OVER ” ‘ YOU WROTE: ‘ IT SOUNDS AS IF THERE IS CONSIDERABLE INTERNAL MACHINERY DEEP WITHIN THIS STRUCTURE, A NUCLEAR REACTOR OR AN UNDERGROUND MILL’, WHAT DID YOU DO NEXT?’ ‘ THAT WHICH I WAS TRAINED TO DO,, I SAT AND WATCHED OUT, GESCHAUEN IT FOR.’ ‘ FOR?’ ‘ INDICATIONS OF LIFE AS I ACCEPT.’ ‘ IT SAYS THAT ‘ I DID NOT SEE NO ONE COMING OR TO GO, I DO NOT HAVE AN IDEA, HOW THE BUILDING RECEIVED THERE WAS DESIGNED, HOW IT ARISEN IS UNKNOWN TO ME, I CONSIDERED TO VENTURE INTO THE DIP, THIS CASTLE HOWEVER THIS TO INVESTIGATE SERIOUSLY BREAKS MY CONTRACT, IT ALSO NULLIFIES MY DIFFERENT INSURANCE… ‘ TO CANCEL ‘ THAT MY UNDERSTANDING WAS ‘ SO UNDERSTOOD YOU SOME THINGS, I TO MEAN THAT YOUR CLAIMS FOR DECREASED RESPONSIBILITY OVER THERE THAN SEEM DISINGENUOUS’ ‘WHAT MEANS THIS MEANS? ‘ ‘IT MEANS WE TO THINK THAT THE LYING GENTLEMAN, WHO IS IS LENT, THERE SOMETHING ARE IS NOT, WHICH OF YOUR SOMETHING, MORE OR LESS EVERYTHING OF THE REPORT, MORE IS MISSING’ ‘ I AM THAN MISSED, EVERYONE KNOWS I AM DISCONTINUOUS AND MISSED IN MINE CONTINUITY AND HAVE BEEN ILL INTERRUPTED ‘ ‘ OKAY LENT CONTINUE WE THIS DISCUSSION TOMORROW ‘
The cubicle smells of blood, urine and nail varnish. Sitting as far from me as physically possible, Dr Blinn looks at the stained ceiling and flares her nostrils, she’s decided I’m unhelpable or unreachable or whatever words flit through her fragile looking skull. Beyond the pale. Beyond the pale what?
“Emanating from the ramparts?” Dr Blinn plonks my file down on the low table that separates us. I’m supposed to be worn down by her withering sarcasm, worn into revealing some functional form of truth that can be fed into the ravenous engines of the Fleet.
“‘luminosity” I say, injecting an artful shot of pathos into the word, “My mind is too muddled for this, everyone here knows that. I’ve lost my continuity”
“Ooh” gasps Dr Blinn “your continuity. I’ll bring my Grays Anatomy in tomorrow, perhaps we’ll find it there”
“My x-rays show it”
“Your x-rays show bullshit Lent”
“Systemic fragmentation, oozing, platelets.. stuff”
“What happened in the castle?” her tone is a little too harsh, she sits up straight to restore the impression of hypocratic decorum.
“Sounds were emanating from the ramparts”
Dr Blinn’s eyes go blank, the depthless blue of a crashed computer screen. It’s her way of signaling the session is over for today. She picks up my file and walks away without saying a word. I’m left with the feeling that this is a schismatic war of attrition; an intra-psychic conflict whose eventual victor will only edge closer to triumph day by excrutiating day, month on month, year on year, a Somme of silences and belligerent dialogue.
Extract from Michael Pinn’s Recovery Journal:supervised by Sarah Louise Watson
My mind is safe, at least for the moment. They put me in an isolation Department with a Faraday cage around it. This is for my own protection. The cage must be at least block out the most dangerous radio-wave frequencies. If I had a good ship with one of these malware shields instead clapped out old lemon which my boss expects me to fly, would not perhaps have I ended up here, on the hospital ship ‘ Monad ‘, 400,000 miles from Earth. Not that I’m complaining-it’s lucky for me that I’m here, it’s all down to Dr Orla. She’s the one that i’ve got to Thankyou for saving my life. Of course and Sarah too.
It’s taken me six weeks to remember that, six weeks to say “thank’s Doc”-what must they think? That I’m an ungrateful slob, that’s what. Not that she would say anything-she is also stylish for that. I must have been a disgusting mess when she first saw me. Out of my mind, howling like crazy, unwashed, dehydrated.
Now I have restored some of my words that I want to tell people what it feels like to go through such an experience- the contents right flushed out of your brain. What it’s like a whole load of other people’s stuff pumped into it. Most of what they put in my mind was bank account numbers and bioinformatics data flows rearrange forever. A swirl of unstable figures, flows through me in all directions, such as rats and fleas self-replicating and voracious attacks of my brain, only animals was not, it was language.
Words and numbers filled up all the cells and folds in my brain so there was no space left for anything else, anything that belonged to me or makes me who I am. All that stuff Mike Pinn was gone. All the things that makes me “me” disappeared. Replaced by the stolen information. And I was the sap who got spugged to process it all.
‘Spugging ‘ for those of you who have lead a sheltered life, means ‘space robbery’, robbery in space. What they took in my case was not money, or watches or cargo of any kind. Nope, I was spugged for my CPU. My brain power. Yep, Mike Pinn-me that is not the school with a single qualification, spugged for his intellect. What a joke! Turns out that even a thicky if I has almost unsurpassed processing capabilities, all tasks of this human intelligence they can not be bothered to pay for human mechanical Turks-they plan to do for free. At least, was that the mafia big idea. And they almost got away with it.
At first I thought it was a mechanical fault was-something wrong with the ship the engine, which would be nothing new, believe me. Then, when I forgot to keep my foot on the accelerator, I knew something was really wrong, as in wrong with my thinking. I knew I would have to do an action but I couldn’t remember what, it was on the tip of my tongue, like an itch. I have on the radio must be a reflex-and put out a request for assistance from a nearby craft. Only because I forgot the correct protocol thought the guys who answered that I took the mickey and gave me back-talk. I pleaded: “I can’t remember the conversation-I just need a lift is all.” A smart ass replied: “Yes, I remember your wife”. Another guy together: “Yes your’e stuck and we are sticking to her!” And then there was just nobody, no one for a hundred thousand miles, I could see that much on my dashboard.
It’s literally as I have by washing. So I’m slowly trying to get it all back together, what happened that day and for six days after. Administration that I was sent on a course delivery to Europe-implementation of electronic documents that were important to be sent to for fear of viruses-that’s the joke! The ‘irony ‘ is a word I learned the speech therapist last week off of Sarah. The “irony” is that it was me that ended up getting spugged. Dr Consul explained it all for me, how we don’t know yet if it is a memory-resident virus or one that will disappear on its own initiative. I can’t say enough to praise her and the team here. I’m in awe of these girls. I’m really.
At first I thought it was a manufacturing flaw was-something wrong with the engine, that would be nothing new, believe me. Then, when I forgot to keep my foot on the accelerator, I knew that something was really wrong, as in the wrong with my thinking. I knew I should do an action, but I couldn’t remember what was on the tip of my tongue, like a burning sensation. I got on the radio must be a reflection-and put a request for the assistance of a boat nearby. Just because I forgot the correct protocol to think that guys who answered took the mickey and gave me a talk back. He stated: “I can’t recall the conversation-I just need a lift is all about.” One squatter replied: “Yes, I remember your wife”. Another guy together: “Yes, your’e stuck and we stick to it!” And then there was just nobody, nobody to 100000 km, I could see that a lot in my dashboard. It is, literally, as I have to wash. So I’m trying to slowly get it all together, what happened that day and during six days later. The Administration that they sent me to a course delivery in Europe-implementation of electronic documents that were important to be sent in for fear of viruses-that’s the joke!
He said that when I got all mixed, like Yes and called a baby or an older person insane.
REPORT BY DR BLINN ON BOARD THE HOSPITAL SHIP H.M.S MONAD.
SUBJECT: THE AGENT KNOWN AS ‘LENT’
TRANSLATED BY MACHINE TO MODERN ENGLISH
“L SAID HE DID NOT ENTER TO SURVEY THE CASTLE AS IT WOULD IMPINGE UPON THE CONSUMMATE ORGANIZATION OF THE FLEET, BUT FOR A LONG TIME HE STARED INTO THE OBLIVIOUS EMPTINESS AND INTO THE DENSITY WHICH SURROUNDED HIM IN THE WEAK LIGHT. THE SUGGESTION OF A LARGE BOLTING DEVICE ON THE CONSIDERABLE WOODEN GATE APPEARED, HE THOUGHT OF ATTEMPTING TO ENTER, BUT WAS CONCERNED NOT TO NULLIFY HIS VARIOUS INSURANCE ARRANGEMENTS OR ENTER INTO A DOMAIN FOR WHICH HE WAS UNQUALIFIED AND DID NOT HAVE A HARD HAT. HIS DESCRIPTION IS VERY VIVID HOWEVER, PARTICULARLY REGARDING RADIATING, WHICH LEAKS OUT FROM THE STRUCTURE, WHICH HE ESTIMATED TO BE EARLY NORMAN IN ORIGIN, MOTTE AND THE BAILEY KIND, FOR WHICH THE NORMANS, INTO THEIR NAZI KIND ENTERPRISES FREQUENTLY DEPLOYED ENGLISH SLAVE LABOR, IN ORDER TO CONSTRUCT (WHERE HE THESE INFORMATION? RECEIVES). L SAID THAT THE ‘VILLAGE INHABITANTS, THAT WITHIN THE RANGE LIVED, WHICH SURROUNDS THE CASTLE, [ THE MATHEMATICAL LOCUS REFERRED FREQUENTLY TOO AS ‘ THE DIP ‘ ], WARNED HIM AGAINST ENTERING THE STRUCTURE AT ANY PRICE, BUT DID NOT THEMSELVES APPEAR ANXIOUS IN ITS PRESENCE, THAT THEY HAD ACHIEVED AN ENVIABLE CONDITION OF INTEGRATION WITH THE MONOLITH IN THEIR MIDST, WHICH MADE LENT FEEL ‘ SPIRITUALLY ‘ SENSELESS ANXIOUS AND INCOMPETENT. L SEEMS FURTIVE AND ALTOGETHER PRE SELECTED IN HIS DESCRIPTIONS, IN THE CASES AND IN THE CHRONOLOGIES REGARDING THIS EPISODE HE IS DIVIDED AND FOGGY, HE PRESENTS WITH ALL THE NON-VERBAL INDICATIONS OF THE ADJUSTMENT AND INCLUDES HYPERBOLIZED EXTENT, RAISED FREQUENCY AND ACCUMULATED DURATION BETWEEN SYLLABLES. “
Dr Blinn and I are getting on well today:
“Death Voyage, I’m not familiar with the vessel or the mission”
“It was based on the boomerang principal”
Dr Blinn and I are getting on well today, though Blinn shrugs her shoulders when I mention Death Voyage, its obvious she thinks I’m suffering from pathologically false beliefs or just talking through my arse to amuse myself.
“March 2008, Takao Doi a Japanese astronaut based on the International Space Station was the first person to try throwing a boomerang in space, and guess what? It actually came back. The same principal was applied to the mission known as Death Voyage”
“Exploiting the principal of asymmetrical lift and gyroscopic procession?”
“Well that’s just the the metaphysical trope if you will”
“Will I? ” Dr Blinn is in a peculiarly good mood, she’s actually smiling so I just go with the flow
“Whether you will or wont is neither here nor there”
” Whether time’s rewards are fair or unfair”. Her verbal playfulness is an improvement on the sarcasm of yesterday’s session, it makes me wonder if she’s finally got her own private consultancy or has just won the Galaxy Wide Lottery (‘first prize your own solar system’)
“So in 2074 Death Voyage was the make or break project for the European Space Agency, the hundredth anniversary mission of missions”
“No more boring TV-satellite launches or billion-euro bonfires?”
“Now you’re getting it, an end to all the tedious intergovernmental shenanigans of the last hundred years, Britain pushing to opt out cos it cant see enough justification for microgravity research etc, bureaucratic in-fighting with the French, escalating costs at Noordwijk. So Death Voyage is born, the mission that will put an end to all the doubts and all the divisive demands to pump the money into hospitals and education instead”
“They had a point”
“Absolutely, but who could say no to a mission that promised to propel six people to death then bring them back to life again?”
Dr Blinn actually looks shocked “The Boomerang principal……I remember now “
” Anyway, isn’t the session running over time?”
Behind the thin cubicle wall a buzzer goes off, Dr Blinn reluctantly gets up. Before she goes through the door she stops and turns around “but how…I mean, didn’t they all….”
I shrug my shoulders and mime looking at a wrist watch, Dr Blinn shakes her head as she leaves. For a few seconds I’m flushed with a perverse sense of victory but then as I start thinking about Death Voyage the mirage of triumph evaporates. I hadn’t thought of the analogy before but when I do I feel a dread and sickness that takes me straight back to Guyane Française with a chill like my first flush of malaria in 2074. The boomerang principal has transported me to another resurrected penal colony, the way station for a different kind of death voyage, a non circular journey which no amount of precess will ever return me from. What happened in the castle was the starting point for this journey;
Its the one thing I mustn’t let Blinn find out about.
Its my Sirr al-Asrar .
Emanating from the ramparts.
“All you have to do is choose one image”
The ship hums like a colossal inefficient old fridge. The constant hum fills my head with white noise, the white noise merges with an ambience of anxiety and unease. Nothing feels right on this ship, it’s the original dis-aster, a bad star, a floating shit-heap 20 thousand miles from home.
“Lent are you listening to me?”
Dr Elizabeth Blinn is trying to get me to co-operate with another round of rep-grid.
“All you have to do is choose one image from the triad”
She holds the glossy book up to me, pointing at the photos with her fancy psychservice biro, she reminds me of a double glazing saleswoman from down-town Croydon back in the day. I give the images a nano- second glance and choose randomly. Blinn pulls the book away from me.
“Give it a little thought”
“You said I shouldn’t think for too long”
“Don’t you want us to help you?”
She has a point. I look at the images again, this time I let my eyes linger on them for a reasonable amount of time, none of the images evoke much of a response, in the end I still choose randomly.
“I see… interesting” says Blinn perfunctorily, rapidly entering numbers into her scientific calculator, ” and what does this image remind you of?”
“Ok, and now choose from these three” Blinn flicks through a mass of pages to locate another double page spread further back in the huge book, she’s following a complex pathway through this tome, constantly referring to a smaller book that generates some sort of route according to her calculations.
“There seems to be a theme developing here”
“What theme is that Lent?”
“Everything is orange”
“And which image do you choose?”
“That one ” I say decisively, jabbing a grubby finger at the precious book.