13! by Alisson Madrigal

Kiara’s name is “Kiara Kariri.”

Read this in my 6 y.o. voice.

Fiamma is a title (one has a form to quickly announce, tell others, and also to pressure these into a utility for the larger whole of the territory-in-construction).It’s more like a role than an individual, implying a level of uniqueness. 

Initial development:

‘Finally, some silence’ takes place in a future where Brazil has reverted back to cannibalism for different reasons than before, the languages are a mixture of the isolated polysynthesis that I’ll develop yet. The cosmology/metaphysics is implicitly operative on the logic developed in the cannibal Interlude + XH/HX (a monstrous phenomenology and aesthetic logic of its characters). Let us not confirm any of this in the narrative, for it is to be complex like Panta. The reader should want to partake in the banquet.

In this future, one young person (a girl) shall find, in abandoned ruins, a well-preserved library full of books and music and more (my stuff). She will read the Lord of the Rings trilogy, for example, and the Silmarillion, while learning English by isolating the polysynthesis of her own language (that has mixed with English). Her interpretation of LoTR is that Melkor is more interesting than Eru Iluvatar, and she sides with him hoping that he can ‘eat’ his cannibal creator Eru. Expand this spin to other works, all from the perspective of this practically alien — if only to Western civilization — girl. 

This is our Olivia/Kiara/Fiamma/Lis/etc. that we so longed to express herself into our narrative. How she ends up ‘back in the past through the contamination of Hemlock’ is something we need to yet arrive at. 

When reading about the features of the orcs and monstrous races, with slanted eyes and darker skin, she will identify as one of them and instinctively think the narrator an infiltrated spy that is secretly on the chthonic side, a double agent. 

Nothing is given. The girl must find a way to make herself travel through time, not just find an olden technology that she can learn to operate. No, she shall develop it — possibly alongside others. Aliens abound in the future, much like the Boto, and so she will collaborate with aliens that see her as an alien herself. This is the original idea behind Lis that she herself describes in ‘Fur Lis’. The girl must become part of a collective, an alien collective, they must become imperceptible to travel, and this legion shall become Lis only once it takes over Hemlock and re-institute the appearance of Oneness in a new identity. This new identity is Lis, the body of Hemlock going through transition, becoming-woman, for Lis is a woman while her new body is biologically ‘male’.

This girl is brought back into her own timeline by Nicolle, through the Hole in Formic Jazz II (part 2). In part 1 Nicolle rescued her, and in part 2 they will go into the future together. So, basically, the Nicolle we meet in Panta helping Hemlock out is actually a Nicolle that already went into the future and returned the girl. 

Let’s do a story (to enter Pantagroreille) where the main focus (or punchline) is a guy that ate one seed of the mutated strain and the seed took to him — they become a symbiotic relationship and THC is synthesized by his body (he also is connected to all weed allies and becomes a corporeally increased form of Cannibalis, a being similar to Mescalito): Homo sapiens cannibalis? Cannabis sapiens sapiens? A dumb joke like that. From his perspective, he is rotting and growing at the same time (his rotten humanoid form increasingly vegetative slowly taking roots and becoming more plant-like). Think about where to put this. Maybe just continue another story that up until now wasn’t flashed out enough? Answer: yes, that is “The Scar”.

The mutated weed proliferated into the future and the child’s cannibal heaven future smokes not only that but other types of substances. There exists no more shamanism, only sorcery as a type of nomadic aristocracy (these ultra sorcerers). Although not ruling class, for they don’t even mingle that much with other bodies, they are more like living deities, like the Boto. The first sorcerer, it is told in tales, was Matilda/Eli (they merge into one as the sorceress, while another deity remains: Matilda the bringer of chaos. And another martyr remains: Eli the vanishing one. Some people believe Kiara to be an avatar of this legendary figure Matilda/Eli (since she both vanished and came back, and also, along the story, changes the fluxes of the zone with her innovations and links she establishes with the sorcerers).

Kiara spends a lot of time in the library because, in a way, she is left a bit outcasted (mainly due to the color of her skin, that, even though olive-tan, is still much fairer than the usual very dark skin of people in the future == whom natural selection acted to pass on dark-skin phenotypes due to high levels of solar radiation and radiation in general). She is an outcast, but not due to a polygenist racism, but because her socius feels like she holds a special place in the communal bodies – one similar to being a child of the Boto – and that she is destined to push forward as the vanguard (in a society of nomadic sorcerers), she resents this special treatment and even fears being captured by outside forces that constantly lurk, readying their traps and lures to use her for their own motives.

Another couple ideas to add to the storyline:

One of the things that our girl finds in the library (after emerging from the Hole with Nicolle) is a computer with access to what is left of the internet. She randomly clicks everything until finding a game. As she learn more things, she eventually comes to play that game (that is an online game with no support after the ‘apocalypse’) and quickly becomes very good at it. There are supposedly other people around the globe in situations such as hers, and they also play this game. Nobody understands anybody through chat, until eventually she discovers a person that can speak a broken English not unlike hers (but nevertheless different) — and they begin to know each other better and trade information until eventually they both start to try and find more people to communicate with.

The game has to be a competitive one, like a MMORPG. Starting things off, she just keeps trying new places inside the game and killing mobs and farming and such, until she encounters another player, then another, etc.

This all has to happen in a subtle way, feeding the reader information in a very suspenseful and atmospheric way. We could be the first people ever to write an online encounter between two avatars of a MMORPG as something even more scary/exciting than meeting an alien for the first time. This only works if the reader is left in the dark masterfully.

On the succubi of Brazil (the future): “My mother is a succubus”. Develop this idea somehow, to make something out of it. Maybe develop it into a synthetic concept between succubi, sin eaters, spectral transmission and necrosexuality, etc. all into one well-defined social function in Kiara’s future. Perhaps Kiara herself is supposed to perform this function– or she is an orphan because her mother performs this function (and cannot take care of her) [this latter seems better].

Getting more complex:

In her own timeline [Kiara’s] (that Nicolle leaves her there), that is, in the future, the Amazonian river dolphins (Boto) came back to the land — although still a bit amphibious –, they are almost like jaguars and hunt both in the waters of the river and land. As for the jaguars themselves, they continued to hunt in the waters and remained amphibious, now with more amphibious characteristics. Both the botos and onças are essentially amphibious apex predators that are comfortable on land and river. They have a variety of colors as colorful as rainbows and tropical birds. Once Kiara starts learning about the past of these creatures and their relations to the people, she starts to speculate about their relatives, recreating phylogeny in an entirely alien configuration (alien to current biological/zoological classifications). The previously mostly well-defined colors (pink and grey-bluish for the botos and the pintada vs parda for the jaguars/onças) and the stark difference in the future weighs heavily on her imagination and logic as she traces the phylogeny. The central concept/object in biology [the gene(s) and genetic material] takes on an entirely different hue as she appropriates it from loose books and encyclopedic entries. Also, her studies of memes indicate a residual Descartean duality between the conceptual and the concrete (material) – duality which she doesn’t understand, constantly jumbling the concept of memes and genes around, collapsing the distinction. The transduction of concepts as objects-becoming already happened (albeit differently from Reza’s view), and all acts of thought she performs with the entirety of her body: memes and genes are silly names for the same darkness veiled, smirking eerily behind the mirror.

The gregarious nature of the river dolphins goes on in the future, forming what could be described as a symbiotic relationship with humans, alliances where the social ‘animals’ cooperate with Homo sapiens. Much like the dragons of ancient Eastern cultures, now actualized in physical ‘reality’. The loner attitude of big cats made jaguars go the opposite route.

With this, and having in mind her studies of the past, Kiara starts to speculate that the river dolphins are becoming increasingly of the land while the jaguars are becoming increasingly of the river — maybe even the sea. 

There exist flying fish and snakes, among other animals. It is common in the future that a vast amount of small reptile, fish and mammalian species are flying — some are even domesticated. Kiara starts to speculate, as she studies and discovers this was not the case in the past, that this may have become to be the case due to extreme pressure from predation by the amphibious apex predators (botos, onças, humans…).

The most important (for humans and non-human humans) of these flying types are species that seemingly evolved from manatees. Now they band together like schools of fish and migrate through the clouds. This evolutionary advantage made them proliferate easily, although humans eat them. The thing is, humans don’t hunt them. They seasonally ‘fall from the sky’ over human settlements, offering themselves as plentiful meat during the harshest periods. Kiara speculates that they band together once they’re old and die midair, bombing strategic places — exploding below and exposing meat for the animals below. With this, they do not need to be hunted, and in fact do not need to come down from the sky (since this cycles back into their sustenance, that is, the ‘yggdrasil’-like world tree composite of symbiotes ritually worshiped by humans and also made, in part, of humans). The evolved compounds of the tree are psychoactive (much like THC and Psilocybin from the mushrooms that grow from their feces that fall close and over the tree [making the Ygg tree also infested with mushrooms]) and are stored throughout their whole lives in their fat. So, when, they fall, the animals that eat them experience potent trips. Humans do too, and so the ritual of eating the manatees is a big festivity the likes never seen before on the planet — and humans and animals (non-human humans) are involved in the daze.

A big problem, indeed a pest, are the flying piranhas: in the dangerous waters of the river stretching into the sea, they evolved to fly (as some species are already doing), now swarming as locusts to eat the floating manatees as they offer themselves like salmons to bears after copulation in the breeding season. Kiara postulates that one of the reasons the manatees become bombs is not really to help the environment, that is a happy contingency, in fact they might’ve become bombs in the first place to dispose of the swams of piranhas that might attack their young.

Settlements evolved to account for this, and the falling bombs are stopped by special nets put over whole regions by people (so as not to waste food and not to put people in danger). Animals, too, when the time is approaching, go into these human settlements expecting to be protected from the bombardment and share in the spoils of the season. Kiara speculates that this might’ve been how humans made peace with the river dolphins, and people thank these ‘dragons’ for the gift of directing manatees’ evolution in this way. There is no hunger in the future, humans are anatomically extremely fit to the point where Kiara finds it weird when she sees photos of people in the past. As she studies, she wants to find out if the brain structure of people is also different from the people in the past. She will have the opportunity to find out analyzing corpses that she was supposed to bring back to the village.

All of this has to happen cryptically: it is only when Kiara studies something, for example, the manatees and their near extinction in the past, that she notices how they look and sound similar to the creatures of her future — only then, as she compares her own reality diachronically, does the description of these creatures match and come into fruition in the narrative as something recognizable to the reader. Everything, of course, is almost completely alien to the reader otherwise, and narratively very surreal/syntheticist. Ygg the world-tree only resembles yggdrasil, or is even remotely understood as a tree, once Kiara meets yggdrasil through reading (for what even is a tree if not a conceptual partial object, liable to reproduction — which implies mutation and change — and death?). In Kiara’s future, it is the norm to talk of ‘peoples’. The ones falling from the sky as part of a symbiogenetic ritual are not descendants of manatees, but the sky peoples. Jaguars as well, and all others — even Ygg the world-tree itself is an individual (only becoming a tree — or rather hybridizing with the ‘concept’ of tree — once Kiara meets it through records). 

In this society, memory is more important than innovation — since creativity is a seasonal matter where innovation is achieved communally. There is no big drive for individual achievement, egoism is a quality of the sorcerous. Kiara, as a shaman apprentice, is likewise of perfect memory — although she is becoming sorcerous. In her journey she will meet different sorcerous ‘deities’ that will tell her that sorcery starts with ‘the voice’ (but not one to listen to, rather feeling it). She will think methods for them to collaborate more directly with the shamans and peoples, only to slowly understand that they are already — everything is — and to force individual collaboration like her books teach is to imprison the very spirit of the world.

However, as all societies, this is not an utopia. We need to flesh out the contextual problems emerging from this future capitalism-free hyper-biosynthetic flux of living — that did not go back to being “primitive”, for nothing was ever primitive — such as discomforts that pester the characters as well as the reader (since the very aspects one might consider utopic, the reader might consider infernal). For some examples, ritual orgies and cross-species romance as well as public sex and urination might make the reader uncomfortable or maybe even longing for this future. These are merely customs. We need to address the pain and sad affects in-universe. Possibly child labour and a larger than usual number of orphans, among other things, can be counted among the maladies of the time and place.

There is also the ants: they assimilated the use and replication of certain human tools useful for their warring between superclusters and mega colonies. They synthesize materials like silicon and cannot be called ‘carbon-based’ life forms anymore — at least not only that — as they are composite (incorporating silicon in their very reproduction and individual organic structure).

And the octopuses: the octopuses also changed, they are much bigger now, and they participate in the celebrations. They come out of the water to dance (which is part of their reproduction). They dance by changing the shape, color, and texture of their bodies as well as by moving their tentacles, all according to the ambient sounds, the sound of the one big party involving the entire ecosystem in synchrony. Octopuses are called by many names, among them: the many-armed people, the wondrous ones, silent birds of the sea, etc.

Kiara, along her studies, will you with the scientific designations and denominations (classes of phylogenetic ancestry). As she plays with this, she learns a proper yet broken latin in an attempt to understand why certain species were called by what they were (such as Homo sapiens sapiens), and to, further, give new names to the peoples of her time and place. 

One fun initial incursion into this is her attempt to understand the difference between genus and species (Homo vs sapiens) and sub-species (the second sapiens in H. sapiens sapiens). She thinks something along the lines of “if men of the past were mostly homosexual, why did they hide behind old signs and discriminate against the homosexual men courageous enough to accept and be who they were in public?”. This opens a line of questioning where will have Kiara collapsing the distinction between genus and species and entangling these two in creative ways. Each peoples have their own genuses and species, with the sub-species being particular to each individual in that genus-species bond. Even more fun is that she will use her newfound latin to name these peoples. ‘Homo’ stops meaning “of the Homo genus” (she is unable to understand recursion) and starts meaning “of the homosexual tribe”. In this way, Homo sapiens means just “homosexual know-it-all” — with a new Hetero sapiens for the “heterosexual know-it-alls”. 

And Finally, Some Silence.

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