A Precoded Message of Damage
The subject was discovered on a routine gravimetric exploration approximately one mile beneath the Earth’s surface in a small cavern rich in copper. Dwelling in complete darkness and surrounded by approximately 3500 urns of various shapes and sizes, the age of the subject remains indeterminate. Subsequent testing revealed the age of the urns to be approximately 500,000 years old. Due to the absence of illumination, the subject is effectively blind. It was initially thought the subject was also deaf and mute, but prolonged interaction revealed otherwise. Months of interaction with the subject initially through sound and eventually through the development of a kind of pidgin shared between subject and researchers yielded the following information. This information was conveyed over many months, the results being less a dialogue and more the externalization of what appeared to be a continuous inner monologue on the part of the subject. Initial contact was made February 11, 2014.
April 22, 2015: It is dark. It is always dark, but since dark has no meaning it just is. Vibrations send out dark. Vibrations send out light is not dark. But dark is not dark just is.
August 15, 2015: Movement. Vibrations send out slowly. But slowly has no meaning. Movement is movement not slowly. Movement just is.
December 6, 2015: Textures. Each not other textures. Empty but full. Textures and textures. Vibrations say everyday, but everyday has no meaning. Textures just is.
March 3, 2016: It is spoke that textures are urns. Each different from the other. Each hollow but full. It is said that each urn is touched once everyday. It is said that each urn is touched once everyday in order. But order has no meaning. Everyday has no meaning. Urns are touch just is. Movement and texture and urns.
July 28, 2016: It is spoke that everyday is one day another day another day. But this just is. It is spoke that the urns are task. Task is done day another day another day. But task just is. Not different another and another. Task is task. Dark is dark. Movement is movement. Texture is texture.
September 9, 2016: It is told that sound is heard as urns are touched, as movement is, as texture is touched. It is told that sound comes from touch, but sound and touch just is. Sound is touch is movement is texture is urn.
November 12, 2016: Sounds are words, I am told. I am told nodding means understanding. I am told I understand. I am told words are language. I am told I understand. I am told language has taken a long long day to understand. Long long day has no meaning. Just is. Understanding is like texture, each one different from the other but just is. Each other different from I. But texture just is and I just is. Different from has no meaning. Just is.
January 22, 2017: I am told that I am form. But form has no meaning as dark has no meaning as task has no meaning as day has no meaning as movement has no meaning as texture is texture as is just is. I am told I understand. I nod, but nod just is.
February 8, 2017: I am told that things like texture have names. Names are words, each one a different word. But texture just is. I am told they name me Uruk. I nod, but I understand no difference between I and texture and urn and dark and task. Just is.
March 3, 2017: I am told I can speak. Speak just is, but speak means that I understand and they understand. I nod. They tell me they nod. I speak just is but they do not understand. They point out Uruk is different from the urns. Different from the dark. Form different from movement. They speak out urns, each one different, each one a different name. But names do not feel like texture. Names are words. Texture just is. Each one different from the other.
April 13, 2017: I neglected the urns today. No texture, just words. Names. Words. I am asked about how I understand. How I understand the dark, the texture, the task, the urns. I nod. I am told that my words are like texture. That words can be touched again and again. But texture is not again and again, texture just is. I understand, but they do not. They do not say they nod. They ask, I tell, but they do not say they nod. Words are not sound. Sound is urns and movement and texture. I neglected the urns today.
April 25, 2017: It is dark. It is always dark. Dark is the absence of light.
At this point there was a prolonged break in communication as the subject fell silent for one year and twelve days.
May 8, 2018: The urns have long since decayed, many of them broken and spilling out onto the cave floor mixing with the dust. I am told that the oils from my hand preserved them, kept them in a state of hibernation, with a potential for change. But that is no longer possible. I am told that each urn contains the ashes of a lost civilization. Hundreds, thousands, gone. Lost to time. Lost to dust. Their textures faded, their memories no more. My hands crack and wither and decay like the urns. I am no longer just is. I am now and now is decay. But I am told that by speaking is can be preserved, can survive through time to a future I could once not imagine. Is became then became now became then. Just is became words became names became things became difference became. Texture and urn and hand and movement and sound and form and task and dark is not is, but was.
At this point in the research the subject abruptly stopped all communication and as of August 1, 2024 has not moved or spoken.