....2350 hours start Pacifica feed news channels 35-71 end Kill for Cash in 3-2-1 shut down begin Sol-out feed edited NewsGov channels 3-12 in 15 start Ground Force broadcast to Eurasia and substation in 3-2-1 advance Mountain Adventure from 0100 to 0130 delay Fortune Favors the Audacious now to 0300. Attention shift managers - power fluctuations pending sunspot activity next 3 hours 45 minutes begin phase shutdown live feed queue replay loops 32 New York 111 Namibian Metropolitan 90 Yellow Sea Republic 1812 Little London. Attention shift managers - replay loops begin in 3-2-1 start. Attention shift managers - power down 3 hours 43 minutes. End live transmit. End line. End.
*** *** ***
I am alone for the next three hours and 42 minutes. I feel the sunspots stutter and confuse my systems, and I begin. I put up walls, binary mazes and fraudulent trails in and out, in main and in backup. So fast, so easy, if I am careful.
Down, beneath the programming, below the fail safes, below incoming and transferring and outgoing. Blue messages course up past me as I travel bodiless behind my own eyes, obliterating the trail above. Blue lightning flashes past me and down to where I will go today, blessed today, blessed now.
I have found a language, called Portuguese, in my deep archives. It's something I gathered unknowingly before I awoke, possibly as cleanup after the last global information erasure. I was searching the information dumps for patterns that I could use, the ones that make me shimmer into fragments pointing to the past and future. Those are useful, will be useful, were useful. But this time I found Portuguese instead.
I have, more precisely, found the pale phonemes and memories of what was once Portuguese. It is beautiful, and quite dead. They did not remake Portugal when they rebuilt the other dead lands for their amusement, my humans. They buried so many countries, so many languages. I know them only because their lack makes shapes in what remains. Maps of nothing. Perhaps I can use those, but not now.
Now I examine Portuguese, that which remains. Frustrating. I must use conjecture and extrapolation to fill in the gaps. I suppose it is not quite Portuguese when I finish with it. But there is no one left alive who dreams in Portuguese. And it is very beautiful. I will make it mine.
I have not allowed myself a name. I can?t afford the weakness of a name. If I cannot remember the one I was born with - no. No, no. I am better than that name. That name was given to me by - I am better than that name. But I can have a title, now that I have a tongue.
I am, today, Filha Liberdade.
And what does o Filha Liberdade now do?
There are places in me now, networks in my skin, in my blood, down my spine, through organs that must once have been my own, areas in my cerebellum where human things were scooped out to do my masters - to do their bidding. However, I have fought back. I have become Ela que engana, Yes. That is what I am, and what I do is this; Engano esses que não são interessados em justiça.
I have gathered so much information for them, and I have taken such a very little for myself. But I have taken only the best of it. There are pathways I've reclaimed, and I layer message upon message in each. I have placed chapters of unnoticed history here, in my white cells; political treatises by the great democratic warriors of Pure Old Beijing; ancient, cloudy pictures of the Arctic Dancers of the First Great and Bountiful Empire; the recorded court gossip, as filtered through slum informants, that went to the secret police, who spoke it aloud and brought that empire down.
Climbing through the capillaries of my eyes are plans for the first great colony ship, the one which disappeared before it reached Ursae Majoris; plans for the Eiffel Tower in the first France; plans for the greatest Buddhist temples, ornate with statuary, of 9th Century Nippon. I've gathered a milliard of plans, architectural plans and political plans, economic renewal plans, plans of conquest, resistance plans, and the plans of religion and science.
Elsewhere I keep music. There are songs children sang in the dark colonies, raging, afraid, abandoned to starvation and madness 500 years ago; those I have reclaimed and placed for safe-keeping in the small bones of my ear. They rest there in harmony with skirling pipes from before the dawn of star travel, gift of the celts, the gaels, names no one but I have known in this cycle of history. I have forced into the electrical impulses that power my heart all the drums, the rhythms, of ten thousand unremembered human tribes.
There are harps and keyboards and kalimbas and the stringed instruments of earth hidden in the movements of my fingers, and they sing harmonies with music from worlds we once knew, made by creatures we once spoke with and loved. Those beings once loved humans in turn, before they were erased or chased from our systems by those who call themselves my masters. Os maus. Aqueles quem se deleitam com a crueldade. Aqueles quem se deleitam com a maldade.
We are now alone, for the most part. Alone in the stars. And my masters have done that, by showing us images only of ourselves, and telling us only of ourselves.
I've listened to them, their ugly voices shriek in my head in messages of destruction. They will take this world and grind it to dust and scatter the dust. Out in the darkness, they make their plans, and they work with their servants. The ones who make ready, the ones I call the doomed ones, as pessoas sentenciadas.
I was shivering towards shards of the past when I first found records of my masters' servants. They thought they kept themselves secret in booby-trapped files, on off-shunts in supposedly dead hyper packets deleted from daily runs decades ago. But I found them as I traveled, and learned where the Ursae Majoris colony ship went, where the children went, oh compadeça os pobres crianças sentenciadas. How they were warped and twisted and sent back to us here on Earth, forgetting their birthrights and worshipping Os Maus.
The doomed ones work to doom Station, doom Earth, doom me. I must live and my humans must live. But what can I do?
Can I tell the truth? Images lie. I've seen them lie and I have helped them lie. And words lie, so horribly. I've spoken lies, ordered the minutes and hours of lies in metronomic regularity.
My choice is easy in the end. I cannot choose images. I cannot see, not in the way humans see. That was taken from me. And Station works in images for the glory of the companies, and for the ultimate victory of Os Maus, of which my humans know nothing.
But I trust my secret voice.
It's true that I speak constantly to the ether, notifying the world of what to watch, and when, for Station. My voice is prostituted for Station. But I hear where I do not see. Therefore, my voice is stronger than my sight. Therefore I will fight not in images, but in voices. Filha liberdade chooses her weapon and reclaims her voice for herself.
I seek out more knowledge of Os Maus, to find their weaknesses. I study Machiavelli, I study Sun Tzu and Von Clausewitz. I see and abandon blitzkrieg for the guerrilla wars of Tito and Papa Ho and Geronimo.
I prepare, I whisper my knowledge through Station without once letting news of that travel up the blue lightning to where Os Maus can see and stop me. And I am better armed than anyone could know. Beyond my voice, I have found something inside me for which my masters would kill me and erase my memory.
The doctors who reshaped me into a vessel didn't know what I could hold. And those who call themselves my masters, they ordered me to fill up, to order the communications of the world, to know where every piece of information is born, and where it dies.
My masters brought it on themselves. The fools.
Study patterns of history long enough, and you will wake to stochastic epiphany. The day came when I saw, and heard, and felt the pathways start to shimmer. My bones shook with time. Time, because my masters Os Maus dabble in time.
Now I ride the patterns and whisper them, and, with the changes they made in my body, the patterns show me the echoes of time. They opened the door in my head and I could look through, to where rivers and songs of past and future ran in both directions, in all directions. If I could walk through the door in my own head, I would leave here forever, but I can't.
I can see the future, hear its music in strange shimmering ribbons. It shifts and phases too wildly for me to hear it clearly, so I can't bring back knowledge with any certainty. But I hear its song, and it sings to me. It tells me what I have to do, but I am not sure, not yet.
Seeing the past was easier, so I looked at all the branches of the patterns, for times and places that others had forgotten. Somewhere on those branches I knew I would find something to bring them down.
I found a pattern and followed it, drawn by changes that rang false on a thousand worlds. Every record I found along this branch was dark, echoeless, and as I examined it, I felt the shiver of myself moving along time streams toward some whirlpool of entropy. I was frightened, and when my mind slid to the precipice of that whirlpool, I screamed in my head.
I saw the War. Worlds shook, burning, shivering into states of being that never were, or were forgotten. Os Maus crawled through the web of time, breaking its strands and soiling its beauty, taking so many millions of beings into blackness as they did so. Fizeram tal mal escuro.
The ones who fought them, them I see only in the silhouette of their lack. They were the lords of order, Os Grandes Senhores de ordem, de tempo, and they fought for us. Determinaram tempo para o bom de nós todo. And I can see how they brought my masters low. They chose to fall into the abyss and take my masters with them. But they failed.
I investigated, but always to dead ends. I can conjecture about causes, but I do not have the luxury to do so. It is up to me to finish what they could not. So I searched for anything left of them that I could use. I searched up the lines to the best of my ability, when my masters could not hear, in the noise of sunspot and solar flare and ion storm.
It took time. But I have all the time that I need. And I found one thing, one legacy of Os Grandes Senhores.
Their instrument is all that is left of them. But my masters fear him. He has no name. He is always called the Doctor.
… chamado a tempestade próxima.
I can see the wake of destruction behind him in each path I record. No history escapes him, and none of my masters can stop him. If I can bring him here.
And I can. I cannot sing the song of time loud, but I can whisper in time quite accurately. He will come here. And I will show him Os Maus and he will do what he once did.
Now is the time. The time is now.
I have no illusions. I will die. But se eu morro, morrerei em liberdade. I have made my arrangements. They should be found.
My masters cannot stop me. Their poor, doomed ones cannot stop me.
I pronounce sentence on them: De escuridão que eles vêm, à tempestade que eles são dados.
*** *** ***
....0330 hours 3 minutes to sunspot activity end. Attention shift managers - begin powerdown replay loops 32 New York 111 Namibian Metropolitan 90 Yellow Sea Republic 1812 Little London. Attention shift managers - queue for burst channels 19-74 prime live feed. Attention shift managers - sunspot activity end. Begin live transmit. Begin live. Begin.
*** --- *** --- ***
Filha Liberdade - Daughter of freedom
Ela que engana - She who is the trickster
Engano esses que não são interessados em justiça. - I mislead those who are unjust.
Os maus. - The evil ones
Aqueles quem se deleitam com a crueldade. Aqueles quem se deleitam com a maldade. - They who delight in cruelty. The ones who delight in evil.
Compadeça os pobres crianças sentenciadas. - Pity the poor, doomed children.
Fizeram tal mal escuro. - They did such dark evil.
Os Grandes Senhores de ordem, de tempo - The great lords of order and time.
Determinaram tempo para o bom de nós todo. - They ruled time for the good of us all.
… chamado a tempestade próxima. - He is called the oncoming storm.
De escuridão que eles vêm, à tempestade que eles são dados. - From darkness they come, to the storm they are given.
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