Tuesday, April 6, 2010

[Mythos IX] A Ward Is Not Always Of A Court

With apologies to HP Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Charles Stross. Copyright 2010 Thomas James Hardman, Jr, all rights reserved. This is a work of fiction.

Back when this area was first settled, nobody much actually lived here.

First off, the natives had seen the long ridge of land that ran almost perfectly south to north between two watersheds as something of a natural boundary between neighboring tribes. The Shawnee and tribes that later were associated with the Iroquois Confederation were more along the Potomac River north of Great Falls, and the Piscataway -- among them the Anacostias and the Pawtuxents -- more along the rivers that bear their names in the modern day.

To the north and more past the modern Howard County and on towards Pennsylvania, were the Susquehannocks.

Around 1700 or so, the encroachments of the Europeans combined with the onslaught of the diseases which they brought, to which the native people had almost no resistance. Having survived at least one wave of such a pestilence before -- smallpox having been introduced to Mexico in roughly 1530, and having approximately a 95-percent fatality rate for the natives -- the natives were both weakened and easily encouraged to remove almost all of themselves from what would become the State of Maryland.

When the newcomers began to settle in numbers beyond the shores and inlets of the great Chesapeake, they developed a pattern of land claims. In the area that became "the mid-County" section of Montgomery County, adventurers and minor nobles laid claim to great swaths of land simply by placing survey markers and declaring "the metes and bounds". From the middle of Aspen Hill north nearly to Olney is one such swath of land, claimed as Bradford's Rest for nearly 5000 acres. To the south, an elder claim called Hermitage covered most of the land south from Aspen Hill to Plyer's Mill south of what is now Wheaton, from the eastern bound of Rockville at Veirs Mill Road.

These immense tracts were later divided, and divided again, and eventually sub-divided; schools, churches, apartments, parks, shopping centers and public facilities of all sorts eventually covered the land. Yet one thing hasn't much changed... the bounds of the elder tracts are all still marked, mostly by what are called "planted stones".

In Europe and the Middle East, archaeologists refer to the larger ones as "Menhir":

Various "planted stones" of all sorts of shapes and sizes are to be found, and meant to be left where they were planted. Many might take several men and several mules to move, back in the days when they were set into the earth.

Interestingly enough, the most interesting ones have at least a nice inlay, natural no doubt, of high-quality quartz.

Why does quartz sound so familiar?

Well, aside from being the premier choice material for antique crystal balls, quartz has special electrical and magnetic properties. It's the basis of most modern timekeeping. See also its essential other uses for extremely reliable oscillators... useful in all kinds of electronics, especially radio.

And why is radio so important?

Remember what you can hear if you listen to the radio in between the stations?

Heinrich Hertz and his inheritors such as Marconi experimented a lot with quartz... and discovered that it has interesting properties all across the electromagnetic spectrum.

Though they were some of the first to make public their discoveries, in peer-reviewed journals, they likely weren't the first to discover that quartz has interesting properties. From even ancient history, we find it in many places, referenced as being far more valuable than diamonds, and most of those references were in tomes reputed to have been authored by people suspected of at least dabbling in the Occult.

Some people did more than dabble in the Occult; some of them designed cities based on that hidden and secret collection of Mystery.

Washington DC, for example, is replete with Masonic symbology, down to the very layout of the streets.
[...] When the site for Washington D.C. was chosen to be the national capital of the United States, it was an undeveloped area. George Washington selected Pierre L'enfant to design the layout of the city. George Washington was the highest ranking member of the Masons at the time and the Masons were ardent students of ancient civilizations such as those of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. [...]

A lot of my neighbors refuse to much visit the District, claiming that it's "too weird".

Yet if you start to look at the shapes, the orderly shapes with immense self-reference by inclusion of geometries that are very specific to this particular world and its particular history, it seems far less weird, and more of almost an anchor to reality for the government that would be located there.

I do have this problem with working math the way most educated people would; this is my curse and my blessing, or both all at once. Since I couldn't learn engineering concepts easily through the math, I had to learn graphic analysis, specifically the engineering graphics of "piece, part, and assembly" drawings. Blessedly, I turned out to be rather good at graphical projection, especially at Orthographic projection.

I was fascinated by the fact that orthographic projection is the representation of three-dimensional objects in two dimensions. I had to wonder, of course, how one could represent a four-dimensional object in three dimensions, and the really quite excellent professor said, "Ah, that would be the hypercube", and quickly drew a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional representation of a four-dimensional object. He then referred me to a colleague in the math department, and that got me referred to someone else dealing with interesting psychology projects dealing with methods for higher learning for the disabled, whom I knew by reputation. This got me other referrals, and one thing led to another and I wound up trying to comfort poor Anabel shortly after her enlightenment, or epiphany, or apotheosis or whatever happened, which as you may recall led to my head being used as a football while something inside her, something from beyond, started writing on the walls in my blood, evidently using a combination of symbology and unknown representational arts to attempt to represent a 12-dimensional object on a vertical plane surface.

One of the sayings of that Orthographic Projection course comes back to me: "project from the adjacent, measure from the related". All a bit technical but it's how you get one of those engineering drawings that looks like five or six different views of the same object arrayed all around a tic-tac-toe grid. It becomes second nature.

Not too long before Anabel went off of the deep end -- or more properly, attracted the attention of something nasty swimming there and discovered, like the characters in that movie Jaws, that she would need a bigger boat -- we'd had a discussion about how things might look if you were to "project from the adjacent and measure from the related" if you you were trying to do a four-dimensional orthographic projection. She gave me her best grin, went to the bookshelf, and pulled out this:

MC Escher drew a lot of that sort of thing, becoming especially enthralled by geometry and mathematics dealing with the visual arts, beginning in the mid-1930s. By the late 1950s, he had become something of a mathematician in his own right, developing well known graphic processes for solving complex mathematical problems.
His works brought him fame: he was awarded the Knighthood of the Order of Orange Nassau in 1955. Subsequently he regularly designed art for dignitaries around the world. An asteroid, 4444 Escher, was named in his honour in 1985.

In 1958, he published a paper called Regular Division of the Plane, in which he described the systematic buildup of mathematical designs in his artworks. He emphasized, "Mathematicians have opened the gate leading to an extensive domain."

Having had my mental processes twisted a bit by that lovely bit of art from Mr Escher, I went on to further ponder how exactly one could "project from the adjacent and measure from the related" if you you were trying to do a four-dimensional orthographic projection. Basically, you have to add another layer of "folding lines" around the normal tic-tac-toe grid's folding lines... and to get the measurements right, you have to add what you might call "false perspective", not the usual scaling factors such as you'd use in the creation of a Diorama in order to create a sense of deep distance. It's more along the lines of calculating a prism to embed in the second layer of "folding lines".

Beyond that prism of false perspective, as I call it, things become twisted, very twisted. Length becomes radial angle, much in the same way that looking down a rod lengthwise causes forshortening with the closer end appearing to be wider. Yet after enough practice, seeing it properly becomes second nature, as in a "perspective" flat drawing of a cube on a sheet of paper.

Why do I mention this?

Many of the boundaries of the large land claims outside of Washington DC, especially those plotted out after L'Enfant's Masonically-Emblemized street plan had been finalized and published has that exact same twisting and false perspective I had to derive in my learning to orthographically draw four-dimensional objects in two dimensions.

"Project from the adjacent, measure from the related..."

Adjacent and related to what?

And all of those oddly twisted lines are terminated by extremely large blocks of very fine quality quartz...

And where do all of those lines come together?

Did I mention my, well, research subject, consultant, sometimes-oracle, sometimes-boss? You know, walled up in his tomb with nearly illiterate death-row convicts doing two-way morse-code transcriptions that they cannot understand, that being the only remotely safe way we've found to communicate with him?

Did I mention who it is that you can hear whispering amid the static when you tune your radio to the place where there are supposed to be no stations? I guess I forgot to mention that FM wasn't just developed to have static-free stereophonic sound; it was meant to ultimately totally replace AM radio just so that we could abandon a broadcast technology that required the receivers to operate in a mode guaranteed to be able to tune in on the wicked whispers of the devil himself, or at least the wheedling and lies of Iblis.

I did mention quartz and how it both enables and disrupts significant bands of the electromagnetic spectrum.

There are people from this neighborhood -- where the lines all come together, lines terminated by the finest quartz and lots of it, too -- who won't go down to the nice safe parts of Washington DC, which thanks to the geometries of the Masons ought to be one of the safest places for your soul on the face of the planet. They won't go down to Washington DC because "it's too weird".

There are people living in the caldera of the Yellowstone Supervolcano who say "I couldn't move away from all of this natural splendor!"

Where all of the lines come together here -- related and adjacent, projected and measured from what? -- is in some ways a lot more dangerous than the Yellowstone Supervolcano. That could erupt at any time, potentially causing the next mass extinction (as if the ongoing Holocene Mass Extinction weren't enough)... but then again, perhaps it won't. In any case, that eruption isn't something about which people can do anything, one way or another, to precipitate or to prevent.

What could happen here -- according to my former mentor, employer, and educator, someone who has had too-close conversation with something far far worse than weak old Iblis who can only whisper and taunt -- could easily be done or undone by human intention or design. As mentioned previously, the massive supercomputers we expose to hostile alien powers from dimensions beyond the Beyond, the computers we let get infected by scary monsters with powers near to divine, the computers whose infested wreckage we study to duplicate in our best weapons systems, those computers have a very standardized decommissioning process. So far it has worked, and worked well.

But we have never before tried to decommission such a device, to cauterize the portal, to exorcise the hyper-demons while preventing their escape to the local surrounds... never before have we tried to do this at such a nexus of forces as are collected, channeled, regenerated and reinforced in a hyperspatial resonance circuit that appears to be the occult equivalent of a petawatt Tesla Coil of the Damned.

What sort of maniac would willfully build such a thing, at such a place?

Did I mention the gibbering wretch, the one who doesn't need any lights in his cell because his eyes are bright as torches with an eldritch greenish foxfire-on-wormwood glow from Beyond whom we have walled up within his tomb at the end of Death Row?

And of course I know the risks. So does the rest of the company in question, and so do national security organizations all around the planet... and probably other planets as well.

And so it seems, unfortunately, do elements of at least five organizations we've been watching settle into place, taking over entire shopping centers and office buildings with maybe one-in-five battle-tested operatives scattered amongst unsuspecting cannon-fodder of clueless co-workers and customers.

Cults? Foreign intelligence rogue operations? Fucking crazy people who read it on the InterNet in one of the Space Invaders and Alien Abduction chat rooms? Transnational Criminal Corporations looking to Get More in the form of the sort of ransoms that Somali Pirates get for hijacking megabarrel oil tankers?

All of the above?

The clock is ticking...

Where all of the lines converge.

Perhaps you'd like to jump to the next chapter?