teh gema antarctiQ
i’m pretty chuffed. i finally sat down and put the very first chapter into some sort of graphic-friendly form. i’ve been ignoring the first chapter for awhile, because i originally saw it all at once, and it served as the metaphor. but then today i saw it as a graphic chapter, and it all flowed out like this.
and i’ve got a provisional name, too.
Teh Gema AntarctiQ
chapter 1, the fairy tale
places: realworld, at dragoncon, on the roof, in a vision of a videogame of the garden of eden in antarctica, in the stairwell.
note: this chapter should be entirely graphic, with as little narration and dialog as possible.
location: longshot of atlanta at night, centered on a dragoncon hotel roof with 2 small figures lounging on top…the late-night revelry of 10,000 partiers 45 floors below can be felt and heard on the roof, but a couple of stars are visible, the wind is cool, and the boy and girl are alone, relaxing and talking casually before the large quantities of various recreational substances they’ve ingested kick in…they slump into a vision together:
box – dragoncon…atlanta is overrun by fans…anything is possible.
sfx – noises of partying and commotion from below shake the building.
location: flying above the game of antarctica…a wireframe hand with fairy wings comes out of a tiny cloud and sprinkles the boy and girl with pixie dust…the hand (khalil gibran) sends them flying off toward the second star on the right. (monochrome image riffing off john and michael combined with ET over the moon)
box: second star on the right…straight on till antarctica.
location: in space approaching star. the star resolves into a ball with a fractal-looking outline on it, resembling a logo. closer still, it becomes a white planet with colored stripes, the details obscured by clouds. even closer, and they can see islands and a small continent. the colored stripes suggest the figure of a person. they land on a cloud.
location: longshot above the garden of eden, a fiery angel (with a wireframe hand) joins them on the cloud and gives them powers just like his, powers of an expanded will.
location: longshot above antarctica. the angel shows them game antarctica, a videogame played by the whole world, with infinite things to do and unlimited roles to play. the angel tells them all the hacks and cheat codes.
the angel shows them 7 levels of reality (animism, goddess, xian, newtonian, relativistic, quantum, god consciousness),
the angel shows them 7 quantum skills (movement, knowledge of all things past present and future, knowledge of thoughts and intentions of others, teleportation and time travel, action at a distance, manifestation of thoughtforms, consciousness),
the angel points out 7 rings that make up antarctica, each colored differently, where they will learn different ways to create, and name, and nurture, and guide, and share, and preserve, and pass on the essence.
boxes: where necessary
location: the garden of eden. the angel watches in dismay as they spend all their time playing games with universes they have created. the angel turns off their games, tells them that they’ve got better things to do with their powers, and promises they can have the key to the garden when they can answer a simple question:
bubbles:“what is the essence of the game?” they look at him and say, “huh?” and offer a shallow response. “to win,” says the boy, and “to learn,” says the girl. the angel clarifies, “what is behind that curtain?” they look at each other this time. “what?” the angel tries to be more specific. “answer yes or no.” they are baffled. “huh?”
location: at the gates of the garden of eden. the angel loses his temper and kicks them out of the garden. the boy looks back to see the angel quenching the fiery sword in a rock, and the girl notices a feather dropping from the angel’s wings, and they steal back to get them.
location: outside the gates in antarctica. they set out to wander antarctica and do what they like with it, and halfheartedly create a few superficial things, but the angel doesn’t notice, so they lose interest and forget their quest to figure out what the game is really about. the boy goes off to find the meaning thru striving (asserting his inner authority); the girl searches for understanding but goes off on tangents (accepting outer authority).
location: extreme longshot of the game as a big map of antarctica, with miniature figures. they boy fights everyone he meets, and wins because of his magical sword. he grows rich and powerful and becomes the king of the game. in time, because he takes everything for himself, his lands become despoiled and his people sickly. the girl helps everyone she meets with her magical feather, and grows beloved and respected as mother of all. tho she has nothing and gives of herself to everything, her lands and people grow rich, but because she is obsessed with her quest, her people become bloated and idle. the boy is detested behind his back and the girl’s endless search for meaning is belittled by her people. the boy begins making demands and conquering the girl’s lands and people. the girl gives him what he seeks and continues searching for meaning, ignoring him. he gets angry.
location: a windswept grassland border area in the game. he masses his armies on her borders, imposing and bellicose. finally taking notice, she grows frightened for her safety, but goes to face him alone. they talk; they disagree. they fight. he attacks her; she waves her feather, and his weapons grow heavy, bend, and root into the ground. his soldiers disappear among the branches. the boy and girl fly away, screaming at each other. the sky grows dark.
location: on top of a stormy mountaintop in the game. the boy and girl stand alone against each other in the howling wind and rain. they are old and tired. they feel ridiculous in their fairytale getup. they see beneath the masks to the young lovers they used to be and their hearts soften. they have missed each other. he is sorry for all the fuss. she’s sorry for not taking better care of him. they embrace, and energy builds up between them until their synapses overload and they explode in bliss.
sfx: explosions of bliss and synapses.
location: in the clouds above the game. they see the duality of all things, and the oneness of all things…in the light, as the feeling fades, the fiery angel appears and asks them the answer to the question…but during his wanderings, the boy did not find the answer to the question about the game’s essence. he concentrated on what he understood to be the essence of any game – winning…the girl did not find the answer either. she looked for the game’s meaning in symbols and analysis, and thought that the essence of a game must be the gameplay.
bubbles: after the bliss, he understands the essence as experiencing, not competing “(the essence is self mastery (I…))”, and her understanding comes from communion with others “(the essence is cooperation (…can’t do it without YOU))”. they answer, “binary/qunary/yes.” the angel asks, “what does it mean?” they answer that “they are really one person.” that “everything is one, or else it’s nothing.” and “love is all you need.” “everything/nothing/me/god/yes.”
sfx: they give voice to all possible meanings at once, and the answers combine to create light, which whites everything out in bliss.
location: the bottom of a stairwell at their dragoncon hotel. when they awake, it’s the next morning and they’re lying in a stairwell looking all the way up thru the railings, feeling sick…they find a feather. the girl goes to pick it up but the boy criticizes her because it’s from a filthy pigeon and is probably diseased. she pockets it when his back is turned. they get a text message from the angel:
box: “cre8 teh gema antarctiQ. t’ch hte Sns 3*7. fthr/sord”
location: a computer-filled basement in the realworld, lit by multiple monitors, a tech reviews a clip of security footage, showing the boy and girl materializing into a stairwell. he passes it on to his superiors.