Friday, October 01, 2010

"Goetia," Symbolism, pt. 1, 361 words


“It's all semiotics,” Asmoday explained calmly to the others. “Direct use of symbols as communication.” Some were present before him physically, but only a mere handful – the vast majority watched remotely, whether his image captured by camera lens or the gestures of a digital avatar in their shared simspace, the virtual clubhouse nicknamed Pandaemonium.

“Some of us already use these names, drawn from the Lesser Key of Solomon and the Pseudomonarchia Daemonium, because they entertain us. There's at least one account of how Solomon used the demons for building the Temple, or at least exploited their knowledge. That's what we should mean to others, as the Goetia.”

Asmoday was a young man of Chinese descent, lanky and nearly two meters tall. Darkness defined his physical presence; black coat and pants, messy black hair, sharp dark eyes, all contrasted with ghostly-pale face and hands. He paced slowly back and forth in the cramped meeting room, borrowed with the permission of the student union manager for this purpose.

Sean was the only other attending student of their group there (surname: Alway; born 2037 CE in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; enrolled in MIT 2054 CE, Major: Computer Science, Minor: Intelligence Dynamics); , though he was a mere undergrad while Asmoday was working on a doctorate already. Everyone else present was older than Sean, though only one or two looked any older than Asmoday. Members of Asmoday's far-flung social group who had been close enough for a day trip, or had already been in the area for other reasons. Three dozen more watched through metaspace, via camera feed and motion capture input on Asmoday's PAN.

The two met because Asmoday was TA'ing a low-level programming class. Sean had picked up a quick crush on the intense but quiet older man. He still hadn't said anything to Asmoday about it, but worried it was pretty obvious. Asmoday had been more than willing to pull him in on the planning and plotting, though. Had a use for “a minion with more free time than they know what to do with,” and as an undergrad Sean automatically fit that category in Asmoday's view.

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