The Half Shaman in Space: Thinking Through the Problem


This image sourced through google. Check out the blog it came from, for an amazing performance piece ...  http://www.jacopocastellano.com/numenfor-use/

Alone in the Reality that Jeb was meant to 'furnish', she analyses where she might be and comes to a conclusion only about where she probably isn't ... 

The plastic wall feels real. How would it feel if it wasn’t real? I cast about for comparisons. Back when I was in the black cell … no, forward away from there. I escaped.  

The second night after I escaped, Mongoose and I and Ant and Uncle Puma joined a larger group and we all spent the night on the second platform. Thyal, the group’s real shaman—other than me, the half shaman, I mean—despite that he had no amulet at the time encouraged me to think myself into the Totem Reality he hoped to see on the Ark Ship. 

Yes yes, I know it was an imaginary place in our minds. But. Were there any walls? 

I recall the blue sky at the top of the Totem Reality. And I flew over a deep valley with a white water creek rushing through it, at the base of the Reality. One one side cliffs, the other a steep hillside clad with low green vegetation to hunt through for prey. No walls. 

It was of course an imaginary reality. Aka a reality I imagined in my mind. Since I shared it with Thyal and he agreed with me on its structure, it was a consensual reality. 

It had no smooth plastic walls that we remarked on. No hard horizontal plastic floor. No ceiling. The place I am in is a large room. More properly known as a hall, and it is one of many halls in this part of the Ark Ship. 

The internal shape of this hall niggles at me. This isn’t a vertical wall that I’m leaning against. I have to crane my head back to see how the wall slopes inward as it rises. The wall becomes the ceiling. 

So what does that mean? The wall curves up slightly, or the ceiling curves down quite a lot? And anyway it isn’t much of a curve. More a straight line ended by a pair of angles. I’m not educated enough in geometry to be able to guess by how much of an angle but it’s the wrong kind of line for the kind of spaceship I imagine the ArkShip to be. 

Not that we didn’t study the ArkShip at the Shaman School. It was held to most resemble a very large wheel. Wheels on Lotor were cast in a mould carved in stone. Hemp fibres laid in the mould were fixed with molten silicates poured over them.

I try to imagine the rooms like the one I’m in, stacked up and surrounding the central hall with its forever circulating human herd, in the wheel that is the Ark Ship. 

Crowd of people, I interrupt myself. Don’t get sucked into the people are only animals story. Remember that I saw Lithe in the crowd. 

Didn’t the Maremma girl say she had six so-called realities in her row? And remember that there was the base floor and two upper U-shaped floors of rows. 

Why am I thinking as though the scene was like that but isn’t now? Everything is still out there somewhere. 

But still not the entity in here with me. 

Three sixes are eighteen. The canteen is in the curvy bit of the middle U and the place where I came out of the Reception Hall is in the curvy bit of the upper U. So, leaving out the curvy bits, two sixes per U are twelve. Three twelves are thirty-six. There are thirty-six rooms masquerading as realities? How will I find you, Mongoose?

I will not dwell on that scary thought. 

Where was I? Stacking up the rooms. The one I’m in is a weird shape. Floor is horizontal. Inner wall where normally the sliding doors are is vertical. The wall I am at I can’t see very far in either direction, left or right, but what I can see of it slopes inward as it rises. If all the rooms are shaped like this one, when fitted together they’d make a shape with a zigzaggy back wall. 

But wait, the room I was in oh so briefly on the ground floor diagonally across the central hall from this room, what shape was that? 

I remember a bull-shaped man sitting at a cafe table. Beyond him tall stacks of cells. Double if not triple the height of the wall I’m standing near. The room I’m in stacked on that one … a barn shape?

I can’t see how a bunch of barn shapes could be stacked inside a wheel other than with a huge waste of internal space. Vaguely I recall information about a second skin inside the exterior skin of a space ship. 

Still that stacking problem. I don’t believe there’d be any such waste. I can no longer believe that I, or all the others of my group, are in the ship we intended to meet. What chance that there were two ships orbiting Lotor? Thyal and I would surely have seen two reflections twinkling across the night sky? And how would our shuttle have known to dock with a starship not its own? 


Still not the entity back with me. 

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