Z-anon-sensei Speaks #93
“‘He’s an FRZS. I don’t quite know what it means, but he has it on his notepaper.’” Lawrence Durrell
The first electronic computers were, of course, created in Bletchley Park, under OSS and BOSI auspices, in order to decode Axis cyphers during the Second World War. Their future importance was recognized at the highest levels of ^darkpower, and Turing’s early efforts were adopted with enthusiasm by the newly created NSS after the war was over. Z-anon-sensei has records dating back to those first days of computing. They have been made aware of certain early experiments deep within the deeps of the original NSS laboratories and computer facilities, and of the ongoing importance of their results to the unfolding situation. These experiments from the very beginnings of computer science have, hitherto, been successfully hidden from the public. Z-anon-sensei says the current situation requires revealing many things that have, hitherto, been hidden.
In those first computers, certain random results— quirks in the electron flows, out of place bits— would sometimes interfere with successful processing. These random elements had to be eliminated in order to create coherent output. Noise, they called it, not sure what was causing it. The sciences of what is simplistically called “noise reduction” (which themselves operate on several different levels) were then taken up in mathematics, electronics, decryption, social engineering, and physics modeling of all kinds. All this was based on similar problems during the early days of wireless transmission.
But one secret office was created inside the multiple levels of secrecy in NSS not to reduce noise, but to explore what seemed to be coherent patterns inside that supposedly random noise.
Noise, it was discovered, can be added into a flat and meaningless signal in order to help bring out a nearly invisible pattern. In this way sense is made of nonsense, and wisdom drawn from an infinite pool of seemingly equal facts. It was the electronic suppression of noise that first revealed these irregular but significant patterns in what should have been entirely random variations within the noise filtered out of the original flow of bits. Noise added to noise in order to cancel it out. You could picture the process as adding static to a TV screen already filled with static, thereby covering over any randomness with more randomness until all that was left was the coherent image hidden beneath. Long analysis had proven that these patterns were, in fact, communications embedded within the noise, communicated by some unknown source or sources, and which, while identifiably intentional, remained for the most part completely indecipherable. Compartmentalization was implemented immediately, as it was with all deeply important developments, and the layers of “need to know” thickened into impenetrable bureaucratic scar tissue that pushed the physical labs exploring this phenomenon into deep basements of a single remote facility in Utah, and the analysis and reporting of the results of those experiments into a black hole that allowed no information of any type to leave said facility. This facility and its occupants became known as the ^zetateam. And though an apparatus of servers and massive databases and nearly infinite processing power has metastasized around their operation, funded by the blackest of black line items in the immense NSS black budget, the levels of secrecy have remained intact until the present day.
The most inside of insider knowledge in ^zetateam has become hereditary, passed only from fathers to their eldest sons and mothers to their eldest daughters, preserved in a kind of technological priesthood consisting only of the few firstborn of these elders of the NSS. These few alone are privy to the contents of these esoteric communications, on the rare occasions when they have been decrypted. The only thing Z-anon-sensei can say about those contents— at this point— is this: There is war in the aetheric realms, a bataille royale, if you will. What is happening in America is only a shadow of that war.
How do they know all this? Z-anon-sensei says, it doesn’t matter how, if it’s true.
Xenon was almost back to her apartment, just crossing under the freeway. It had been such a great protest, with no ^goonies in sight, and no tear gas at all, nothing but chanting and dancing all night, and now it was just starting to get light. For the first time in a long time, Xenon’s mind was wandering freely, ransacking both her memories and her fantasies of a possible future, mixing them into a delightful shuffle that had her rich/famous/hugely popular as live vlogger and meeting some truly big-time people: politicians, hip-hop artists, and, and… but every time she almost got there, the vision of the “dude from her past” who would reappear in her life and they’d skateboard off into the sunset together just wouldn’t quite come to her. She couldn’t imagine any of those guys right now taking her away anywhere. Damn, girl, she thought, you been tagging a lot of losers. You got to be a better chooser. You know he can’t refu-use you, you better make some moves, now. She was singing quietly to herself, just a little rap thing, something she often did to dispel the slightly spooky atmosphere under the concrete span of the freeway. You got nothing left to do-oo here. You better makes some moves, dear…
A movement in front of her cut off her little rhyming spree mid-rhyme, frustrating, truly, who… It was Mick Fuckin’ Pettifogger! She recognized something about his slouching posture, his shitty jacket, even though he was standing in the shadow of the last towering freeway pillar which had been tagged with Egyptian hieroglyphics stretching up its length as if it was a granite stela in Abydos announcing and warning of the entrance to some dark street any pilgrim should be especially careful about entering. If there were time, a careful translation of those symbols might reveal where that road would lead her. But she was too pissed off for that. Her reverie and her sweet mood interrupted by that rude jerk! He must have been waiting for her, just down the street from her apartment. He waved weakly at her as she approached. Wimp. He better not think he was getting any tonight. And not crashing there, either! Xenon didn’t run any junky crash pad for losers.
She was pretty torqued, and a little surprised about it, and kinda curious at the same time, and all of that was probably what let her get caught off her guard. As she strode up toward Mick, she instinctively reached down for her Mace spray in the little cargo pocket on her pants. Oh, shit, that was what she forgot! But even before that thought could fully register three things happened at once: Mick said something like, “I’m really sorry but…”, blinding lights hit her face as a van parked just behind Mick started its engine, and she was driven sideways by a strong arm as another man charged out of the shadows right into her and tried to knock her down.
She was slow tonight, for sure. Too slow. She managed to spin sideways so the big arm slid right off her, but her attempt to push him down by the shoulder missed completely, and threw her off balance. She saw a blur of orange as she stumbled past him. Tee-shirt guy from the protest. Before she could recover, he had a hand on her shoulder, pulling her around to face him. Big, leering, stupid-looking face, on the fat side. Ugly as sin. He punched her in the stomach, hard, but she was still wearing the catcher’s pad and it just knocked her backwards away from him. He looked a little surprised which made him look even stupider. The push gave her some room between them, perfect, and her kick was well-aimed. He looked even more surprised when the toe of her Doc Marten caught him right between the legs— and he wasn’t wearing a cup like so many of the guys protesting had taken to doing. He groaned and crumpled to his knees. But his training and reflexes were deeply conditioned, and he was strong. Even as he dropped, his left hand shot out and grabbed her ankle above the boot. He twisted her leg, she spun and fell, and he had her pinned down on the asphalt before she could react.
Xenon couldn’t see a thing as the van pulled up beside them and she was hauled inside. Orange dude just picked her up like she was a sack of flour, and tossed her in where the middle seat had been taken out. She sprawled on the rough floor carpet, spitting dirt, the metal seat-mount digging into her thigh. Orange shirt clambered in and shoved a rough knee in the middle of her back, pressing her down. “And resisting,” he muttered between clenched teeth, apparently to whoever was driving the mini-van, which was already speeding away before the automatic door had closed. And, da-amn if he didn’t pull an actual black bag over her head, too. Now she really couldn’t see anything.