thoughtwork 1: preparation

He was constructing an entry point through the careful collaging of photographs he had taken over a long period of time – this kind of thoughtwork was never simple. It was different to the rewriting he had done before – with that he had just sat down with a pen, tuned out the conscious mind and let what he liked to think of as the silent majority in the electric voice phenomenon spectrum channel in through him. Words were locks on perception and if the dead had a consciousness which had survived the limitations of material perceptual apparatus they might just have got some kind of perspective on what made the universe spin in that idiosyncratic way that it span. This was the best way to communicate with them – as if you were a pre-verbal child that only saw in pictures.

Anyway, it had given his remote viewing an edge – a scalpel sharp edge that allowed him to shift bodily from one place to the other. This technique, with its heavier reliance on the visual was supposed to circumvent some of the psychic bandwidths that someone such as him would usually narrowcast on. You had to change your game up once in a while or the people on the other side of the fence would get wise to you and then the game was well and truly up.

Gain lit up a clove cigarette. As a mental exercise to sharpen his focus he would paint with the smoke, pulling those atoms around until you could see all kinds of things in them. This was no game of spot a face in the clouds though – he would shift from Manet impressionism, through Goya vivacity, Boschian horror, Leonardo precision and then leap into architectural blueprints for the building that he intended to infiltrate.

He plugged the earpieces for his quantumslice music player in and breathed deeply as the first sounds of the Buddhist temple music floated around him. His breathing rate slowed, as did his heart rate. All of these practices that he utilised made him harder to spot as he pushed in through whatever baffles and psychic lattices they had stitched in around the place. You couldn’t really scout the sensitive psionics of a place without tripping the alarms. All the mundane systems were left to the AI he’d slaved to that task and that was usually enough: he had a great system whose adaptive neural net, thanks to some customisation, allowed it to outstrip most things that it came up against. Despite the number of times that people like him broke into places there was still a certain amount of disbelief in their abilities.

His mind floated around a central illuminated image of the building in question, zeroing in on certain areas, pulling them into focus, relating them to the various maps, and then rotating the whole construction through three dimensional space until he snagged upon an entry point. The air was suffused with a strange perfume – rust, sweat, sandalwood and burning leaves. His eyes rolled back in his skull, he bit his tongue like he often did and tasted blood, his body spasmed and there was a flash of light and the room was empty.

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