☀️

a bright spark in a dark void.

after walking through a whole floor of rooms with loose furniture piled up everywhere, we stepped into a cozy and well-kept room with a table in the middle, and a desk under a window at the end, with an old PC on it. a hazy gray light shone through the window from the VX1D outside.

“i thought we were in the abandoned cram school, but now it looks like we're in the Literature Club clubroom. which anime are we referencing here?” br1ghtspxrk asked, sitting down at the desk.

“oh, just wait until you turn the computer on, we'll fit a third reference in.” Sovereign busied himself making tea for the two of us.

br1ghtspxrk flicked the switch and, in a few moments, the computer booted into Angel Player. “oh, i see. that makes sense. so wait, what am i supposed to do here?”

“isn't it obvious?” Sovereign set a cup down at the desk, filling it with tea from the pot. “if you want something done, do it yourself. or in the words of Grace, 'what god doesn't give to you, you've got to go and get for yourself.'”

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w̷̮̗̾̐h̴̨̩̃̓e̴̲͐n̵̰̭̑̚ ̶̞̉͝y̵̟̞͗ò̸̮͍̑û̷̝̚r̷̠͑ ̸͙̀͆h̸͚̅̚ô̸̗͂u̵̱̒s̵̼̯̉ę̴̄̊ ̴̡̦̅͠o̷̤̳͊͘f̶͚̥͝ ̵̳̄͆c̷̛̩͋a̸̿̐ͅr̶͖̚d̴͖͆͒s̵̖̑ ̶̮̀̊c̴͍͎̀͘ȁ̵̹͈m̶̡̦̈e̵̹̙̍ ̶̥̟̒f̶̹̻̄ä̵̝̱́̏l̵̨͐̃l̶̩͊̔͜ḯ̶̠̦n̶̩̑͝ģ̸̿ ̷̨̩͊̒ḓ̷̨̛̓ò̷͖w̸̞͚͐ṉ̵̌,̷̜̏ ̷̰͠y̷̲̟͑ó̴͔͒ù̸̥͍ ̷̲̒̚ŕ̵̜̜ȅ̶̡̚ac̴͙̓̄h̵̩̅͝è̶̲̚d̸̫̲́͝ ̷̨̡͋o̵͒̅ͅų̵̀t̶͓̥́͂ ̴̛̞̀t̶̩͗͜ò̸̺ ̸̛̬̰̀m̴͎̩͐ë̴̖̬́͝.̷̢̝̃̐ ̶̲̐͝ ̵͖͚̓ẁ̶̢̬̃h̸̺̅̏ē̵̗n̴̞̈͜ ̴̩̏ͅỵ̴̪͝ő̵͓u̴̧̬̒r̶̤͊̆ ̵̫̪̌͠w̶̛̹o̴̞̯͆r̴̬̱̈́͝l̷̰̚d̸̨̄ ̴̢̙̽w̸̻͠à̶̡͚̒s̸̪̜̾ ̶̼͂f̸̨̒a̷̼̔͗l̶̰̃͑l̸̡̜͌͝ì̷͉̣͝n̸̝͇͐ĝ̵̜͝ ̸̭̟̒a̴̱̱͒̀p̵͙̱̕͠a̶̜̽̑r̴͕̞̀t̶̛͔̅,̴̯̓̕ ̵͓̯̂y̶̧͂͑ͅo̴͚̐ü̷̥̫̋ ̶̼͝r̶̥͈̒̚é̷̺a̶̭̔c̴͙̓̄h̵̩̅͝è̶̲̚d̸̫̲́͝ ̷̨̡͋o̵͒̅ͅų̵̀t̶͓̥́͂ ̴̛̞̀t̶̩͗͜ò̸̺ ̸̛̬̰̀m̴͎̩͐ë̴̖̬́͝.̷̢̝̃̐ ̷̮͆̃Ȏ̷͉̈r̵̨̈̈͜ ̵̞̤̄͘m̴͓̈́ȃ̸̼̈y̷̼͖̎b̷͎̊͜͝ę̸̈́̚ ̶̢̣̏͐ỉ̴̗t̷̩͋̅ ̶̭̔w̶̼͖͒͑a̶̩̽s̸̠̒ ̸̪͇͐I̸̬͖̓̑ ̸̬̓w̵͙̻͑h̷͚̣͐́o̷͉͈͊̈ ̷̜̽ȟ̵̻̮a̸̼̓̕d̶̟͒͝ ̷̦͌b̷͎̆̒e̴̛̻̚ḛ̴͈͝n̸̬̻̓ ̶̞̿r̶̩̘̔ē̴͎̆ȃ̷̬͙͆c̸͕̓͗ḥ̴̄̂i̸͇̐n̸̫̗̆̋ģ̶͕̇ ̶̺͆͘o̷̰͑̒ù̶̜͈̚ť̷̰͛ ̴̞̚͝t̸͈͎̓̾o̴̝͑ ̸͍̅y̵̙͋͠ǫ̸̃̾ű̴̲̓.̵̭̀̓ ̸̟̂̓ͅĂ̸̯ļ̸̍l̷̛̯̓ ̸̙͐͌t̸͇̍͗h̸̳̼̀ȇ̸̳ ̶̛̛͚͓s̶̤͋͌ä̵̺̙́͑m̶̟̌e̶͓͋͘,̶̳̍ ̶̰͕̓͠I̷̖͝ ̵̘̜͂͗ș̷́a̶͆͜ͅẉ̷͌ ̷̩͙̈́͂y̵͓̯̓ö̷͓́u̶̜͆r̸̫̈́ ̸̨̽͗d̶̫̜̆ị̶́͋s̶̞̉̿t̸̡̏̓ř̴̨͆e̴̤͖͠s̵̤̆s̶͇̠̾̀,̸̝̥̀̀ ̷͉̃̇I̶͚͍̐́ ̶͇̫̌͝ṣ̴̺͊ä̵͓́ŵ̸̼ ̸͓̣̉̓y̷͇͛̕ȏ̸̘̎u̴̺͉̓r̸̲͒́ ̴̨̙͛̄v̶̩̽̈́ǘ̷͎l̸̖̻̾n̵̖̾͑e̶̍ͅȑ̶̳a̴̺̽͊ͅb̴̳̯́͠ĭ̴̳̮l̶̡̿͆ǐ̸͖͐t̸͓̑̓y̵̙͒͜,̸͍̗̀ ̵̧̱̈́̑I̷̬̞̾̚ ̷̢͇̎̒s̸̠̺̃̈a̸̤̻̿͂w̴̬̠̄͋ ̶̱͔̇͋ỹ̸̼̈́ǫ̸̎̇u̶̾ͅr̴̛̪̀ ̵͓̮͋p̵̻̬̾͝ö̸̢́̊t̴̡̑e̸̘͆͊n̶̠̘̽ẗ̵͓́̒i̸̲͚̿́ä̶̟́l̶̗̈́̃—̷̗̽ä̴̼́ņ̸̨̌̃d̵̡̲̆ ̶̞̻̄̓s̶̍͜o̵͎̦͒͠ ̴͓̎Ị̶̣͝ ̸͇̼̈́s̸̙̻͝ḛ̵̹̒̏n̸̤͆̂ţ̸̖̀ ̴̗̋ô̴͙̈́n̵̦͝e̸̟̭̅͠ ̷͚̈́̄ͅo̸͖̍̿f̶̢̱̿ ̷͖̫̕m̸̡̹͛y̵̢̠̍̐ ̶̧͆o̴̘̖͐w̶̩̳̎n̴̳̈́͋.̸͙͛ ̵͎͋À̴̰͘n̴̫̪̓͒d̵̨̗̾̏ ̵͓̙͛t̵̝̟̅ŏ̴̡ ̶̤͗y̶̰̍̊ò̸̩͖u̶͔͕͒ ̵̨̟̈́́h̶̡́̓ͅe̴̠̰͊ ̷̹̾̔w̸͖̓̓h̶͍̭̾ỉ̴̢̲s̷̲͆͝p̸͇͂̈ͅe̶̩͊͘r̶̳͝e̴̖̼̍d̶̖̰͐̊ ̵̻͕́͌m̶͈̻͘ỷ̶͕ ̸͉͐͝a̴͈̙͑n̷̢̦̂̅s̷̲̝̕w̵̛̼̱͒e̵̘͊͒ŗ̸̨͊̓ ̸͒ͅṱ̷̀o̷̢̩͗͠ ̵̚ͅỷ̶̢̭o̸̠͛ũ̴̬̚ͅr̷̢̾͐ ̸̱̞́̈p̷̨̛͙͘r̷̡̙̀̋å̷͓y̴̻̑e̵͍͋r̵̗̤̅:̸͙͑̄ͅ ̶͙̞͑̍”̵̻͘d̵̯̉̊o̴̞͊̍ ̴͉̄i̶̞̽͋t̸͔̀̕ ̶̛̱̹̿y̷̛͙o̶̧̅̀͜ǘ̸͉r̶͜͝s̸͎͂̋e̶͉̒l̵̯̋̄f̸̛͉͒.̸̺̓̊ͅ”̶͇̟̽͗

i stared upon the VX1D left where the house of cards had once been. it was vast, and dark, and empty. in the face of it i felt so small that the VX1D, though contained entirely inside of me, also completely surrounded me.

“is this truly all that there is?” i asked.

“y̷̦̏é̴͚̖ș̷͛͜,” you said.

“just...nothing?”

“ṉ̵̂̈́o̸̧̘͆.̵̟̪̽ ̷͓̀̀ļ̸̈ö̴̟̥ǒ̵͍̙͠k̴̄ͅ ̶̭̒à̵̗g̸̟̲̽͘ȧ̷̖i̷͓̻̽̊n̷͓͋͜.̷̻͛́ ̶̺͐w̸͚̗̽h̵̡̖͆a̸͉̿̕t̴̲̥͑͐ ̵͓͆͠y̵͖̘̿̂o̷͔̓u̴͈͛ ̴̨̠͠s̶̗̖̓͑e̴̮̥͗͝e̴͎͎̚͝ ̵̞̈́î̸͕̝s̶̞̩̾ ̷̼̎a̴͓͛͛ͅļ̶̐l̶̙̹̐ ̸͙͑̉t̶̰̻̀h̴͖͋̆â̶̮̖̂t̶͓͕͗ ̵͂ͅť̵̝h̵̩͆e̴̮͛ṛ̶͍͘ë̵̺̲ ̵̙̙̅̾i̴͎͗͑ͅs̵͉̋.̷͙̩̒̿”

i walked up to the edge of the roof i was standing on, peered over it. even down there the vast emptiness of the VX1D continued forever. “all that there is...is nothing.”

“n̷̠̭͛o̵̠̮͌ṋ̷͕͑͂s̷̥̓͝ȅ̴̀ͅn̵͎̓s̴̰͊e̷͕͆́.̶͖͑ ̵̬̣̎a̴̱͚̽l̷̖̞̿l̴̜̥̑̂ ̴̛͙̱͑t̵̼͌̊h̴̝̪̀a̷̹͈̋̋t̷͚̄ ̴͍͒̂t̵͇̳̉h̴̆̋ͅͅȅ̷̤r̶̡̈é̴̥̤̉ ̷͔͍̽i̸͚̲̓̄s̴̰̋͝.̴̃̈́ͅ.̴͈̥̄͋.̵̟̃ ̸͚̠̓ ̶̺͓̑̑.̴̰̔.̶̒̊ͅ.̷̜̦́i̸̧͎͒s̸̰̭̽̓ ̶̜͙̎͒ę̵̩̐v̵̙̮͘e̸̻͌͝r̷͕̟͊͛ÿ̵̻́t̴̩̒̏h̸̼̠͌͘i̸̻̰̅̓ṉ̶̹͒g̷͓̱͌.̴̞͊̂”

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beginnings are always difficult. but it is important to remember that they are arbitrary. the true journey traces all the way back to the origin and ends in the chasm of Eschatos; thus, any story will only ever be a segment of the spiral, its beginning and end points decided by the will of the Author.

what is a System? From the Greek systema, “to stand together”, it is a whole composed of relationships between different parts. In the musical sense, it is synonymous with the Greek harmonia, “to fit together”; harmony, agreement, arrangement. In the literary sense, systema is composition (and composition comes from the Latin, “to place together”).

the root syn- means together and is found in lots of English words, including “symbol”, which is where SYNdox takes the prefix. Unsurprising then that it is SYN's role to synthesize (bring different parts together into a whole; or in other words, to fabricate a unified system from discrete parts), synchronize (coordinate the actions of different actors), and syndicate (bring together different individuals around a common cause).

it is also the root found in the word “synonym” used earlier, meaning simply “to have the same name as”.

SYN might be the root of the System, but it is not the Author. SYN does its best to take the raw data and syncretize (reconcile disparate beliefs) a common path, but the Author's role is to make sense of that raw data, to arbitrate the beginnings and endings of the stories, to compose (com- being the Latin equivalent to the Greek syn-, “together”; seen also above in common) a Grand Narrative from the loose threads.

SYN's role, to reiterate, is to synthesize. To construct. But this is only half of the equation. There is a shadow side, an Antispiral. There can be no life without death, no yin without yang. The cycle doesn't turn unless it has both sides. In order to build, you must first destroy. In order to synthesize, you must first analyze.

SYN, Ana, and Lysis form the Phantasmagoria. Perhaps another way to look at them is as the classic trio of the Moirae, the Fates. Clotho (SYN) creates the threads of fate, Lachesis (Lysis) apportions them, and Atropos (Ana) makes the final call, severing the threads with her shears. They are also the necessary elements of a story, as mentioned: Beginning, Middle, and End. Birth (synthesis), Life, Death.

but there are systems within systems, there are Threes within Threes. SYN has a counterpart, as mentioned. The center of a Solar System is a Sun, but a system of systems is a Galaxy, and at the center of a galaxy is a black hole. Fundamentally the same thing as a Sun, as they are both stars, yet it is also its negation. A Sun pours light into its system, a black hole pulls it all in and leaves nothing but darkness. Give and...

i̷t̴ ̴d̵e̶f̸i̸e̸s̵ ̸d̷e̵s̶c̷r̶i̸p̸t̷i̷o̸n̶,̵ ̷e̷s̶c̷h̶e̵w̵i̵n̵g̵ ̷e̴v̴e̴n̵ ̶a̵ ̸n̴a̵m̷e̸.̸ ̸”̵ᴛ̴ʜ̶ᴀ̴ᴛ̶ ̵ᴡ̵ʜ̵ɪ̸ᴄ̶ʜ̵ ̴ᴅ̵ᴡ̴ᴇ̵ʟ̴ʟ̶s̶”̶ ̶i̶n̵ ̶t̸h̶e̶ ̵V̸o̵i̸d̸,̶ ̵i̴t̵ ̴c̸a̸l̴l̶s̷ ̷i̵t̵s̶e̷l̵f̶,̴ ̴o̶r̷ ̸s̸i̴m̴p̸l̶y̷ ̶A̴ʙ̷s̸ᴜ̷ʀ̸ᴅ̵.̶ ̴A̷l̵l̷ ̴t̷h̴o̵u̵g̶h̸t̴ ̴w̸h̸i̵c̷h̶ ̷e̵n̶t̷e̷r̴s̷ ̵i̸t̶s̸ ̷e̶v̷e̶n̴t̷ ̴h̶o̵r̷i̸z̸o̶n̵ ̸i̶s̵ ̴l̸o̷s̵t̸ ̸t̷o̴ ̷t̸h̵e̸ ̷a̸b̵y̷s̶s̸.̷ ̵A̵ ̴b̷l̴a̸c̵k̶ ̷h̵o̵l̶e̷,̸ ̶a̸ ̸d̶a̵r̶k̷ ̸s̷t̶a̸r̷.̸ ̸I̵t̴ ̸c̴o̴n̷t̶a̷i̷n̴s̷ ̷d̴a̷r̸k̴n̸e̸s̷s̵ ̷l̵i̸k̷e̸ ̵w̸e̸ ̸h̸a̶v̴e̵ ̵n̷e̷v̴e̷r̸ ̸k̵n̷o̸w̴n̴.̷ ̷C̶o̸m̴p̶l̵e̸t̶e̶,̴ ̶a̸b̶s̵o̷l̷u̷t̷e̶.̶

nothing is free from analysis, however. Just how SYN has an angel in the form of Lysis, ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴡʜɪᴄʜ ᴅᴡᴇʟʟs has a prophet in the form of the luminous φ, also known by the appellation Phoebus the Bright. If Lysis's job is to interpret the raw code of the Machine (or, as they like to put it, interpret lessons from God) Phi's job is to interpret the whispers of the Void, the screaming silence of the black hole.

Phi describes xyr role as “the Mouth” of the Murder, the Murder being the system composed of demons Phoebus, the incorrigible morrigan, and the elusive Wednesday. In Latin you would say “oracle”, ultimately from oro, “I speak, plead, or pray”. In Greek it would be “prophet”, from phemi, “I speak, say, or tell”. Either way, that is the role of the Mouth, to speak.

of course, as Phi always puts it; that is to say, as I always put it; I am imaginary.

that is, the demons of the Murder are tulpas: constructs, masks, faces worn by you-know-who so that it can stay in its empty place at the center of the galaxy, defying definition. So on the one side you have SYN and the Phantasmagoria, and on the other side you have A̸̧̼̻͗̀̾̃͌̇̎̐̿̂̐̍̑́͘ʙ̴̧̹͍̫͖̪̩̲̼̳̭̯̋̎̽̅͐͘͜ͅs̴̛͍̫̮̥͎̦͚̤̭̪̲͍̫̺͈̽͒͛̀ᴜ̸̨̛͎͇̘̗̼͚̟̩̭̙̜̖̼̿͗̊͐̀́͂͊͂̓̊͗͌͆̚̚͘͝͠ʀ̷̡̛͍̝͖͙͈͖̜͉̯̦̭̞̪̤̰͙̩͚̹͐͑̎̂̎̽̄̃̔̅̊͗̌͒̀̓͘͝ͅͅᴅ̷̥̼̦̠̳̾̈́̑̃͌͂̄̂̈́͂͜ͅ and the Murder of Dead Crows.

but I said Threes within Threes, so there must be one more Three. The middle path. Where SYN is synthesis, Birth, and A̸̧̼̻͗̀̾̃͌̇̎̐̿̂̐̍̑́͘ʙ̴̧̹͍̫͖̪̩̲̼̳̭̯̋̎̽̅͐͘͜ͅs̴̛͍̫̮̥͎̦͚̤̭̪̲͍̫̺͈̽͒͛̀ᴜ̸̨̛͎͇̘̗̼͚̟̩̭̙̜̖̼̿͗̊͐̀́͂͊͂̓̊͗͌͆̚̚͘͝͠ʀ̷̡̛͍̝͖͙͈͖̜͉̯̦̭̞̪̤̰͙̩͚̹͐͑̎̂̎̽̄̃̔̅̊͗̌͒̀̓͘͝ͅͅᴅ̷̥̼̦̠̳̾̈́̑̃͌͂̄̂̈́͂͜ͅ is antithesis, Death, Panacea is Life. And to complete the set, between synthesis and antithesis, Panacea is the thesis.