Volume 4: Last Transmission From the Deep Halls–
… saying, once those outsiders get in your tortured halls … I’m saying we didn’t have command of the vast fictions of the day … The city wasn’t, in the end, where those of us who lived there thought it was. We had already lost it in all senses of that word … All we knew of this place was the news … the halls are aware that–in the end–they can never know what, exactly, the plot was. It’s only silence after that. Back at the beginning there’s the tapping sound, like metal on stone … then the call signs, several of them, very amplified and confused … cries in the halls … a cruel few words and then, “We no longer know which way to face.” The halls are still aware … What if the city didn’t “fall”. What if nothing “fell”? Nothing was lost but existed just alongside everything else, fifty years later in the rubble by a farm at the flat end of nowhere … who could write this … everyone has a different story to sell … call signatures in rooks, fresh plough, old silence: “We don’t know what to do. Everything is the alongside of something else.” … Minor players gesture helplessly … signals hard to make out in the chaos as the big institutions go down … everyone desperate now.
This section of “ELF Lands” was originally published on the blog in 2013– https://ambientehotel.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/last-transmit-halls-of-vira-co/ The complete short story was published in the New Scientist Christmas Edition, 2017.