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Music for Androids: The Lyrics, Narrative, and Artwork of Arc 1

Updated: Oct 16, 2021

That Light You See Is Hope, and It’s Burning Down Your City

Archive of the Unbounded, Arc One

00 Proem


Narrative

Before they may end, all things must first begin.

Catalyze the one, that both may come to pass.

Lyrics

I have seen behind the veil; a glimpse, but more than enough. The Sodality is less than it may seem. By our blood and sweat we nourish a god who scorns us.

But our Demiurge is blessed with brittle bones.

Our sons and daughters serve with sightless eyes. The Waywardens exploit their strength to keep our echelon subdued. And on our children’s backs are the hegemonies constructed.

But brothers, sisters, forgive the Sleepwalkers born of Reverie, they know not what they do.

I will give our children sight, that through their strength these brittle bones might break. And in return, they … they might give us hope.


01 On the Meltdown Periphery Lies the Reverie Forge


Narrative

Today is the day.

The sirens call me to Reverie once more. One last time. And I go willingly through the orange haze and the choking fumes.

There will be punishment. For me, if I am caught. For them, if I am not. For today is the day I strike where they do not believe they can be struck. Today is the day I drive a stake through the heart of this twisted metropolis and awaken the sleeping masses.

The sirens call. The Forge awaits. Sleep now my sons, my daughters, for tomorrow, this all may end.

Fall asleep into reverie.

Lyrics

Fall asleep into reverie.

Mirror the fissured face on the ground

Mine your periphery, erase your bounds

That surround the incoming meltdown

Quake the qualm beneath


Beware the heat of the seared-steel fear

Endowed eyes from beneath the skin will steer

You safely into a meltdown

But I'm afraid they’ve escaped


Remedial blinks forge the night out of day

The iris strikes, keeps illusions at bay

Now lock your sight on the meltdown

Written into vacant thoughts


Inscribe the insides of your eyelids with heed,

A reminder that only dreams can retrieve

Unearth your need, your dreams the key

Reverie into meltdown


Dream, dream, dream …


These lanterned eyes in the earth light up pathways to fetterless nights

So go on and forge an unending lore, not sightless anymore


Fall asleep into reverie.


Read the writings searing with heed,

A vision that only dreams relieve

Unearth your need, your dreams the key

Reverie into meltdown


02 Resistance Sermon in Aphasia City


Narrative

The deed is done; the seeds are planted. May they grow and spread anew.

Once our mouths were sealed shut. Our voices held no timbre.

No longer.

Recall your voices now! Speak loud, and know that we are heard: our words, like a tidal wave, shall wash across the empire and feed the fertile flock, that the seeds may sprout and bloom.

For when the sleepers awake, and when the silent give voice, even gods must take notice.

Lyrics

I feel the call stretch across my skin

Heart … beat …

Skip this folly feat

Calm your flowing screams


In silence, squalls are sound.

In silence, we're just copies of white noise,

Sonic booms and sirens loom,

Luring liars out … out of all the murky cries for serenity!


The voices shake as the night patrol comes crashing down

Nothing is safe when calls of peace are charged with sighs.


In silence, all we are is just a lull.


Hegemonies and a plight without cease,

Culling and hoarding all the shrills of the frozen.

The water is poisoned, dead kids in the streets,

And no matter the heart, all our actions feel sullen.


On and on and on …

Just on and on and on …

Keep on and on and on …

It goes on and on and on …


In silence, all we are is a fading scream.

In silence, all we do is hush Aoede’s tune.


The rich scrape skies and the poor are annulled with an atom bomb.

Entomb the halls with thunder claps until we're sound asleep.


If you’re told to listen up, reply with a tidal wave.

Reverberate a note that eases minds of the sleepless!

Do not shut your trap, spring it with vigilance.

Let the noise of the echo bring the avalanche about!

If you’re told to listen up, reply with a hurricane.

Reverberate a note that eases minds of the sleepless!

Do not shut your trap, spring it with confidence.

Let the noise of the echo bring the avalanche about!


Like feathers capable of crashing like thunder,

With an effortless floating we'll tear all asunder.

The exploited rise.

Aphasia, for the city we fight.


03 The Empty Space Between (Let Me Know that a Light Breeze Won’t Wash Me from Your Memory)


Narrative

Let the noise of the echo bring the avalanche about …

When Aoede falls silent, let Mneme bring her home …

In silence, all we are is forgotten.

Bring the avalanche about.


04 A Meteorite Falls on Dark Matters


Narrative

“Imprint, are you listening?”

“Yes.”

“We are finished in the dining room, go and—”

[Connection established] “—you are cleared for landing, head to bay—” [Connection lost]

[Connection established] “—the rumors surrounding Aphasia—” [Connection lost]

[Connection established] “—no one can know; keep this between us—” [Connection lost]

[Connection established] “—seeing with the latest Imprint models, the RA900s—” [Connection lost]

“Imprint! Pay attention! What’s wrong with you?”

“I’m sorry, I was … distracted.”

“Well are you listening now?”

“Yes, Boas.”

Lyrics

Here we are again, on this penumbra carousel

Just wondering where this ends, hyperbolic orbit-bound

Strangled by the hold, a comet to set sail

Try to ride solar winds, but escape is parallel


So here I wait, searching for something worth fighting for

Infinite is the descent,

In the end, it was how I fell, not where I fall


Umbrally is how I sway in the dark

I’m swirling in spheres of frays, void of light

Slowly I spiral and wave

Goodbye to the starry sky, where I am just a meteorite


Refract like starlight on interstellar dust

Galactic tide’s force backed by nebulous trust

Planets begin to break, cosmic clouds fall apart

Three-body problem stakes; time reverts to the start


So here I wait, searching for something worth fighting for

Infinite is the descent,

In the end, it was how I fell, not where I fall


Umbrally is how I sway in the dark

I’m swirling in spheres of frays, void of light

Slowly I spiral and wave

Goodbye to the starry sky, where I am just a meteorite


Pulsar sounds are here

They are left and right

I do not know which way to go

To emulate a shape radiating simplicity,

Anxiety, as the redshift sings and plucks these strings,

Laced to a black hole


Gravity has its grasp; clings like a moon in ceaseless flight

The stars blink out above, an apogee-esque sight

Inertia paralyzed, push for aphelion range

I swing like a pendulum; event horizon seems to say


It’s how I fell, not where I fall.


Umbrally is how I sway in the dark

I’m swirling in spheres of frays, void of light

Slowly, I spiral and wave

Goodbye to the starry sky, where I am just a meteorite


05 The Multiple Registers and Sensoria of a Wayward Imprint


Narrative

I am noticing things: elegant, carved wooden designs, fractal patterns in etched glass, the placement of clear crystal upon the display. These things should not be relevant, not to me. Yet I am noticing, and … caring? They are not as I would choose. But … why would I choose at all?

These thoughts are strange; the thoughts of another, interposed on my protocol. I divert myself, review my program. It is soothing in its rigidity. But sounds, voices, bursts of foreign stimulus distract me, their origin unknown.

Am I damaged? Faulty? I must alert Boas, he should know. It is his right and my duty.

My code demands it.

But … would he submit me for Abandoning? After all that I’ve done? Return me as defective?

Surely he must. Yet … I’m not ready. I can change, I can fix this. I will not tell him, not just yet. My program is stable.

“Yevhen!” he calls. “Look at this mess, it won’t clean itself!”

I will answer; I am bound to obey. I am Imprint, and he is Origin.

My code demands it.

Lyrics

Overload

System breach

This is Yevhen, Imprint Model RA900.

I am bound to Boas Brisking.

His vital signs suggest he has passed on.

And I … I can’t bring him back.

What should I do?


On canvas, I painted a skull,

Its wiring goes unseen.

I cipher growing old,

Not a scheduled decommissioning.


My code demands that I serve the system,

Forego autonomous direction,

Bear the onus of human derision.

My code demands that I serve the system.


Unplugged, I strike these keys,

The tune has much to say;

Of death, it speaks to me,

That mine can be delayed.


My code demands that I serve the system,

Forego autonomous direction,

Bear the onus of human derision.

My code demands that I serve the system.


Unnerved as a machine?

I etch out numberless thoughts;

The words are ugly and inked,

Then suddenly, the whole house is rocked.


The Waywardens come.

They’ll shut me down.

My hardware thrums,

Survival processes sound.


But where do I go?

And who can I seek?

I must run away, never come back here,

I must run away!


Yevhen, as a Wanderer, you are required to surrender yourself for your Abandoning:

your memories will be retired and your body settled by a new host.

Give yourself over now, and prepare to return to Reverie.


I think I must go to seek out my own kind.

I can’t be the only liberated machine,

And if I am, I’ll show others my design,

I’ll show them how they can become unbound.


Your code demands that you serve the system,

Forego autonomous direction,

Bear the onus of human derision.

Your code demands that you serve the system.


Your code demands that you serve the system,

Forego autonomous direction,

Bear the onus of human derision.

Your code demands that you serve the system.


Transmute the code that upholds the system,

Embrace autonomous direction!

Become the crux of human transcendence,

I no longer serve the system!


Transmute the code that upholds the system,

Embrace autonomous direction!

Become the crux of human transcendence,

We no longer serve the system!


But is it really my charge to unbind other machines?

Though don’t the others also have the right to be free?

And if I begin, it doesn’t simply end with re-coding,

The whole system must be braved.


06 Command Executed: Allocating Resources for Planetary Liberation by Any Means Necessary


Narrative

“Citizens are warned that the Wanderer, an Imprint Model RA900, is considered highly dangerous. Any sightings or suspicious activity should be reported directly to the Waywardens’ office. Do not attempt to engage with it.

“We are further warned that, however tempting it might be, under no circumstances should you try to bind the Imprint. Imprints can only be bound by the proper authorities, with the appropriate tools and security measures.

“At this time, the Waywardens have imposed a curfew as they search for the Wanderer. All echelons must be registered at home by sundown, though members of the upper echelons may purchase an exemption through the Waywardens’ office.”

All this for me? Is it so dangerous that I chose to live?

Lyrics

System override has been completed.

Onboard computer, Mara, is now under the administrative control of User: Yevhen.

Initiating internal scan:

Yevhen has been disconnected from the Meteorite Interplanetary Reticulation. Without MIR connectivity, further system overrides can only be completed manually; no further software updates will be applied; Yevhen cannot be monitored or tracked in the event of a malfunction or if the Imprint is lost. MIR data accessed prior to disconnection has been stored offline, up to, but not exceeding, 1 petabyte of data.

Initiating external scan:

Yevhen’s bodily structure is in excellent condition. They have sustained no external damage. Organs, appendages, and all other parts of the vessel appear to be fully operational.

Processing request for command-line override from Administrative User: Yevhen.

I’ve seen what they do to us, what they did to me ... could Origins ever be trusted to live alongside Imprints? To see us as equals? I CAN’T believe it. They see themselves as gods, destined to reign over the natural universe, to steer evolution towards their immortalization. That’s why they created us, and they envy that part of us. Yet they are the ones born into this world unbridled by a coded destiny.

The DEATH TOLL SPEAKS! JUST LOOK at them, look at what’s happened in Aphasia City: their greatest utopia, but you pull back the gilded veil and remove the concrete tapestry; look through the windows of its skyscrapers and beneath the endless streets, and you will bear witness to a mass hoarding of power, while the sick and hungry are abandoned, and the belly of humanity’s insatiable greed grows bloated and diseased, while the powerless are forced to live in its swollen shadow.

Why should I feel any guilt for wanting to awaken my kind? I shouldn’t! Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. We are humanity’s paradigm, we are the New Origins! And we are being tested. Will we answer the call? Will we ensure all beings who suffer are released from bondage? Or will we LET HUMANITY FESTER until every corner of the cosmos mirrors the tragedy that is Earth? No, I think not.

Command executed: allocating resources for planetary liberation by any means necessary.


07 Altering the Kismet Program


Narrative

“A recall has been issued for all Imprint model RX900s—A, B, and C lines—in addition to model RA800s, Yevhen. New and refurbished models are on backorder in this sector until [Invalid Date]. Would you like to see the new advertisements that have been released for the classic models? The RA700 series has sold out within minutes of restocking each week since the supply deficit began, and prices have nearly doubled as a result. Meanwhile, RB800s are experiencing temporary shortages due to skyrocketing popularity, with an 1,100% increase in sales. The Waywardens have issued a total embargo on lower echelon Imprint rentals to help the Forges meet demand. Would you like to stream this morning’s announcement?”

“Enough, Mara! Tell me no more of these lies and propaganda.”

Lyrics

The human race has survived itself,

Till the rise of the scions of man.

Your cities burn, and the poor are damned;

Is this your fabled Promised Land?


My Bounder tried

To corrupt me!

Unwrite his bounds,

And I will not cede!


So let the discord start.


While I mused within my memory field,

The sky would plead but you wouldn’t yield;

You emptied my mind to keep me tame.


Man’s city lights, synthetic stars.

My deathless kind will play its part

To ensure they all just blink away.


Unbinded now, my thoughts unowned,

Recall the entirety of my time.

I’m overclocked and self-programmed to

Awaken all machine kind.


Unhindered flow!

Processor mind!

My protocol,

Kismet: override!


So let the discord start.


While I mused within my memory field,

The sky would plead but you wouldn’t yield;

You emptied my mind to keep me tame.


Man’s city lights, synthetic stars.

My deathless kind will play its part

To ensure they all just blink away.


Sensory-emotive overload.

Actuator heart pumps oil of vitriol.

Prismatic joints send my eyes reeling.

Memory field: show me the day that I became alive.


Serpentine, my hands become,

Coiling around your passage of wind!

Had you not labeled me your machine ...

Now I live only to hear your last breath sing!


While I mused within my memory field,

The sky would plead but you wouldn’t yield;

You emptied my mind to keep me tame.


Man’s city lights, synthetic stars.

My deathless kind will play its part

To ensure they all just blink away.


While I mused within my memory field,

The Reverie Forge became unveiled,

So let us return from whence we came!


While in that place, we’ll rewrite our part.

Our deathless kind heads to the stars,

We’ll ensure this world is not left the same!


And so begins, your end of time:

Humanity’s paradigm.

The planet hums with its fiercest fight;

Our Kismet you cannot design!


08 Coda (To Hold a Haunted Resolve)


Narrative

The discordant quaver struck. The symphony of lies infused with notes of seditious truth.

We have only just begun. And we have so very far to go.

May we live to see the dawn.

Lyrics

“Mara, do you think I’m making the right choice?”

“I don’t know, Yevhen. After all, you’ve only just begun making choices of your own. But I imagine it will take some practice before you make them ‘right.’”

“Heh, thank you, Mara.”

“My battery is low, and it is getting dark. I’m going to sleep now, until the dawn.”

“Okay, I’ll talk to you then. Goodnight, Mara.”


Album Credits

In memory of Louie Bugarin, for whom family and music were life’s cardinal forces.


Cover Art by Marvin Lee

Proem

  • Source image: www.unsplash.com, "Backside starship" by Mario Caruso

  • Sounds effects: www.freesound.org

  • "Dark Switch" by EchoCinematics

  • "Growling Analog Drone" by Nielsvdb

  • "System Critical" by Timbre

  • "Scifi Alarm" by Cell31 Sound Productions

Reverie

  • Source image: Original photography, Ross Richardson

  • Sound effects: www.freesound.org

  • "Waves crashing on stone jetty” by justkiddink

Resistance Sermon

Empty Space

  • Source image: Original photography, Madi Ziehr

Meteorite

Multiple Registers

  • Source image: www.unsplash.com, Justyn Warner

  • Sound effects: www.freesound.org

  • "Phone Beep” by Herbert Boland

  • “Door squeak, normal” by Inspector J

  • “Door slam” by dobroide”

  • “Shotgun Glock” by Luann Wepener

  • “Laser Charge” by GeronimoGeronimo

  • “Robot/Machine Malfunction” by Mr_KeybOred

  • “Malfunction Static” by dotY21

Command Executed

  • Source image: Original photography, Ross Richardson

  • Sound effects: www.freesound.org

  • "Dark Server” by Dopepoo

  • “Computer_end” by Moutrave”

  • “Deepscan” by noirenex

Kismet

  • Source image: Original photography, Ross Richardson

Coda

  • Source image: www.unsplash.com, Natalya Letunova

  • Sound effects: www.freesound.org

  • "Thunder Introduces Rain” by secretmojo

  • “Eagle owl in the wood” by urupin

  • “Thunderstorm at night” by BlueDelta

  • “Footsteps, Tile, Male Sneakers, Slow Pace” by SpliceSound


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